Most of us have seen photographs of the Paleolithic paintings on the walls of France’s Grotte Chauvet. Some of the paintings are 32,000 years old. While the horses, owls, and rhinoceros are exquisite, what I find haunting are the hands. Hundreds of outlined hands cover the walls, some imprinting the animal paintings with a kind of artist's signature, some all on their own or in groupings.
Not limited to the famous European caves, similar handprints are found all over the world, in places as diverse as South America and Australia. Their makers pressed their hands onto stone walls throughout the centuries and millennium, forming 'a great crowd of witnesses' to humanity's unwritten history.
While the words of men seem to dominate much of our written history, prehistory was more equal. Modern analysis and measurements show that many, if not most, of the Grotte Chauvet's handprints, belonged to women.
What were these women saying? What were their stories?
I believe their stories are essentially ours: I was here. I lived. I loved. For just a moment--I was.
And so they were. And so we are. Let us whisper our adventures into our daughters' ears; laugh with our friends; and write our hopes and dreams in our journals, our letters, and our blogs.
Tell your story. Leave a hand-print on the Wall.