It happens as soon as you could forget, and just that moment the deal is made, you are in love.
The index finger is the largest of all fingers when seen for its meaning and discrepancy. And some even say the index finger has been as revolutionary as the thumb, I beg to differ.
In the caves of what we call modern America, we see a young, strong, and large-boned family of cavemen and cavewomen. They are discovering fire for first time as they sit on square wheels; keep hitting that flint. It has been days since the cavefather has discovered the spark, which sparked the idea of throwing sparks on something dry. Later he will discover the fire to which has yet to be extinguished; he is our greatest grandfather, with his mammoth drape over his body and his spear. He never dragged his cavewife by the hair of her head; he made the fire for her. This is where I was most fascinated; the act of devotion, and furthermore, the emotion of love.
The fire was invented at the same time as love, for a man had no control of his will, his inner fire to his desire. His eyes, shaded by the slope of his brow, were determined to create what his strange dreams had foreseen.
I would like to talk of the times before the invention of the fire, and of love. The cavepeople would travel, nomadically, throughout the country side, only stopping at bodies of water and continuing along their coast. The times could not get anymore simpler for the people, they cared only for hunting, eating, and then sleeping, and having kids for some unexplained reason that still exist today in modern day men and women, in a certain time in their lives. Things almost had no meaning without the fire or love, everything was just like it should and without reason to explain. This was a time of few emotions as well. The invention of fear was given to the hunters facing the giant mammoth and saber-tooth tigers of their time. It was upon the face of the enemy, in this case, the giant animal, the caveman decided he could die from this creature, his heart raced and his eyes dilated, and he didn’t even really feel hungry anymore either. But to spite all these changes in his body he charged forwards and conquered the creature. When he was walking home, or rather, the home before his family decided to move again, …and then again, he thought he had challenged something greater, not just a giant, but something that could’ve killed him. He decided to invent fear to explain his challenges as a hunter; the hunter who hunts against fear. Over the mammoth-size meal, the hunter told his story, and his children listened dearly with watery eyes of fresh discovery. And so they grew older and told the story of fear to their children, and so on and so forth until the origins of the story were lost in time. Today we only feel fear, and have no concept of a life without the feeling, but there were days where fear wasn’t a factor.
Soon after, almost instantly after, on another part of the land, which was very far from the origins of fear, a cavewomen invented love. She had birthed her fifth child, and decided to name him. The name given was Cough, and was the most beautiful baby she had ever seen. She cared for her other children but there was something very much different with Cough, as if he wasn’t from this world. Cough was smaller than his cavebrothers and cavesisters, and never really grew as muscular as them as well. But to spite his physical disadvantage he was smart, taking the spear of sharpened wood and decided to use the flint stone as an arrowhead for the tip. This made the spear sharper, and since it didn’t need as much wood, it also made the spear lighter. Later on Cough would be the grandfather to certain indigenous tribes who adapted the Cough spear into small handheld arrows. Cough didn’t know what to feel about his mother, she would care for him the most because he was the smallest, and though his siblings didn’t like him much, he cared deeply for them. Seeing Cough grow to Cough’s mother was the greatest thing she had ever felt and decided to invent the feeling of love to explain this to her other offspring and to her cavehusband. And to spite their jealousy over Cough, they all understood then and there, that love conquers all.
It wasn’t long after the invention of love, and the “spreading” of love occurred that the invention of hope came about. It was invented by a few cavepeople, and miraculously instantanously. The word of love carried on the backs of many nomadic people, telling them of this great thing that happened to them, but there were a sum of few who did not know of that feeling of love. They struggled to understand, as they carried on their cave drawings with the diming light. There was no fire for their hearts. The only thing they could do for others as they struggled to understand what love was to invent something that complements it. These cavepeople, all instantly, invented Hope. With hope they were able to coup with the emptiness or rather, the lack of, love in their hearts, and hoped to find love one day. This later grew on many others, and over the generations became essential to life itself amongst humans. Without love there is hope, without hope there is nothing but hunting and gathering.
The index finger comes into this story after the invention of fear, love, and hope. The index finder was used for selection of who you are and who that person is, and as a general identification device. Without the index finger the cavemen and cavewomen would not know who one was talking about. They had to point the finger, to tell that person he was in love with her, or that she had hope for the future, which was him as she pointed out the cave to an endless desert, far away there was her love; faceless and lost without her as he pointed out to that same desert in her direction. But soon after the use of the index finger as identification, there was discrimination, where loving someone who did not love you was feared. The mixture of fear and love is a rather complex story and I will try to explain this without losing you in the process.
Originally fear was invented to mark a larger obstacle than the physical challenge of hunting a certain creature. When hope was invented those who were without love were either seen as crazy or sad, with a taste of sympathy, which was invented as by-product of hope. The cavepeople who had found love were intoxicated with this new take on life that they could not imagine their lives before this feeling, and were lost to meaning of the lives of others, those who had not found this feeling called love. The cavepeople without love, but had hope, spoke to their friends and family members, telling them they were not lost, that they were not crazy, but waiting for something unseen. But they were granted little attention in the audience of love as they pointed their index fingers first to themselves then to the endless void. It was this very endless void that provoked fear in those who were comfortable, even complacent, in their natural landscape. The lands beyond their knowledge were even more of challenge, and more death-threatening than the mammoths and the saber-tooth tigers, for they, at least, were understood, little could be said for lands beyond one’s eyes. And so those with love told those without to carry on, to find their loves that were in the endless void and to never return. The hopeful were casted from their native lands to seek their hope. And the once friends, and the family members would watch them leave, without saying anything, just pointing their index finger to the void, as they watched their histories walk away until they disappeared into the setting sun, or a hill, and maybe even a forest. The love-filled towns grew smaller and smaller as they realized less and less knew of love, and this itself apposed a fear. They were slowly losing their communities to the unknown. And they also longed to know what had happened to their hopeful friends and family members, for even the hopeful were loved themselves. If only they shared this love with those who loved them, they would be together still. And so the index finger had been abused for its power, and later banned to be use against a person. Today we no longer have to ban the use of the index finger towards another, but regard it as rude and impolite.
And so everyone decided to leave their caves to seek the unknown in hopes to find what had been in front of their eyes this whole time. They had lost the most important thing to them; their families and a part of their history. They only had hope to find, and it was hope that found them like the many before them as they too walked into the unknown with nothing on their backs, alone on a journey for something they cannot describe. We never chose our fates; to be born as, and we have never felt more alone until we found each other and saw the same fear we all share.
FYI (July 30th, 2009) Cavepeople is now accepted over Cavemen.