Long, long ago, before “god” was invented
We’d gather together, for friendship and strength
We’d sit singing songs, telling stories and fables
In the gaze of the children, we’d go on at length
The stories might sometimes have heroes or villains,
The tale of a hunt, or a great person’s death,
Practical, sometimes, or just entertainment,
With listeners gathered, all holding their breath
In weaving their stories, creating their legends,
These tellers of tales brought a culture to life
As much as the clothing, or tools, or utensils,
The crudely made bowl, the obsidian knife.
When field archeologists, sifting through artifacts
Pick out some pottery, arrowheads, beads,
Or anything else—it’s a piece of a puzzle—
The job is to see where, exactly, it leads.
If only we could, as we search for the answers,
Uncover the echoes of stories of old
The dusty remains of a song or a story
The remnants of legends so long ago told.
I guess, in a way, we have done this already
But often we don’t know that that’s what we’ve done;
We do see the remnants, the fossils, the echoes
Of tales when our culture was only begun
See, just as the bowls and the knives in your kitchen
Descended from those used so long, long ago
So too, our mythology, current religion
Evolved to the state that we currently know.
The truth is that “gods” were at first just a story
That people repeated like so many more
The heroes and villains are long since forgotten
As well as the purpose the story was for.
A story to tell to the people who gathered;
A tale to enlighten, to lift, to enthrall,
A legend, an epic, a myth, an adventure
But… what is religion? A story. That’s all.