Ljubljana Marshes Wheel

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I’ve often paralleled my parent’s ancestral home as the inspiration and foundation for the Biblical description of the Garden of Eden. As the Ice Age receded man became witness to the beginning, evolving, positive expression of active life and “Saw that it was Good”. If your doubtful, vacation Slovenia/Croatia for yourself. Pristine, plush, fertile, inspiring and should you have a camera, picturesque. My immediate family at times behaves as active remnant of the Adam and Eve narrative, we are banished and try as we might, can not find our return to paradise. Thus far anyhow, it’s been to no avail. This is the seed of my discontent, reaching home where I belong but something always presents itself, to stand in my way. Can’t stop a coffin. “Miles to go before I sleep”. So it shouldn’t come as surprise, to any, that we are deeply religious, devoutly Christian and perplexingly Catholic. Consequentially, on our lands, one will find a surplus of worshipping life and death, churches. Perspective’s of religion and faith are drawn into focus for our countrymen, when invaders, whoever the fashionable flavour, attack our body-politic and property, attempting to overtake us, because, well, we just happen to occupy a fantastic piece of real estate. images (6)Resolute unity, reveals a superhuman stubbornness, suffered in the face of too numerous to count tyrannical enemy and their oppressive greedy desires. Attempt to criticize this hardened national trait, is at once suspiciously deduced a ruse, to surrender guard, exploit weakness and crudely leave us vulnerable to destruction. We’ve seen it all, in every known variety of manmade manipulation, wearisomely, be it displayed in marching uniforms or cunning sophisticated eco-political promises. This day arrives changeless, as the mind games continue, running interference under the auspices of something philosophically special and shiny. Divide and Conquer. Trojan Horse. David and Goliath. Ask me how we came to this place? Probably equivalencies, of violence, barbarism, some assimilated others obliterated, with the help of plague and pestilence, or miracle of well timed flood and by determination of inexplicable endurance. Somehow we still find places to laugh. Irony remains king. Life is a double-edged sword. Maybe a time will come when we will tire of this gruesome, glorious, self assigned protection of heaven and dustbin ourselves into a never to be heard from again, historic footnote. Until then, replacements have not shown worthy. I still have breath and it finds ingenious room to inspire growth, through changing forms. Sustainable is development. Needs only the committed courage to adhere.  

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View across the Ljubljana marsh with the Ljubljanica River. The Ljubljanica River flows into Sava and later joins the Danube. The Ljubljanica River possessed strong religious significance for the inhabitants of this region and has also played an important pragmatic role, not just for the people living next to it, but also for people traveling east from the Italian peninsula. (Photo by Arne Hodalic/Corbis via Getty Images)

Everybody would like to place a finger or two in our pie and who can blame them, unless I inform, of how much blood has dropped, even amongst ourselves, to protect this popsicle stand. You begin to wonder if the Slovenian/Croatian people would better live without water, in desert, as something other than cactus. Abundance can be a countries worst burden. And what, from all this, my fellow inhabitants of ‘heaven on earth’ are often a less than happy people and their difficulty is determining if this resignation to sadness is reflective of their own spirit or the drain of constant interference from larger than us powers. I beseech you, leave us to our own vices, for a few centuries, so we can come to understand ourselves. No peace for the wicked. We wallow enjoyment in hard small intervals. It’s who and how we roll.

 

See what I did there? Diplomacy and shrewdness are vital peacetime characteristics. Survival relies on the negotiated goodwill of our neighbours and the continued balance of struggling adversaries. The mission today is adapting to high-speed, high-powered technology and requires my people to be nimble, spry, and insightful. Oh yeah, that’s not new either. New is when our children and innocent, live in an increasingly over-populated, hypocritical, dangerous world.

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The wheel aside from it’s obvious usefulness as transport, was the first significant primitive mechanical form of communication in advancing civilization. The wheel is what allowed me to paint so many walls, move all my crap, then call it temporarily home. Otherwise moving my belongings would have taken an unjustifiable length of lifetime. Hauling credenza by pack mule, through rough terrain, would still be considered awkward. I jest with obvious, but consider water rafts and boats as modes of transport for village, to hut, to modern day condo and that 500 years ago, most or all, remove a thoughtful handful, the world somewhere was surely ominously flat. I mean I would include myself as inept of any other conclusion. Only theorizing friends could save me from my ignorance.  If you had a pulsating imagination, sharks would be of minor concern, compared to falling off our still undiscovered planet, into the abyss of waters unknown. Pythagorus believed the Earth was spherical some two, plus a half thousand years ago. A mere smidgen. Aristotle and others were convinced, the world as round, including Ptolemy, such that it was studied as an theoretical institutional fact. However, if everyone was certain and not just speculating, why did shipbuilding take such a long time to develop, comparative to metal forging, and weaponry capable of catapulting tons of weighted projectiles? I guess we were busy, as usual, tormenting each other. True the oceans are deep, as they are vast, as is the unknown. Go there in peace and find salvation. 

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The year 2002 brought the discovery of the Ljubljana Marshes Wheel and official radiocarbon dating, places the wood and it’s age of construction, in the range of 5200 years ago. It is considered to be the oldest and largest wheel ever found. The wheel is made of ash and the axel is made of oak, implying they were discriminating tree properties and quality in utilization. Also interesting is that they were able to define the origin of the trees processed, to be close to the find area of Marshes, some twenty kilometres south of Ljubljana.

 

Where’s the other piece of this wheel? Where’s the wheel on the other side of this axel? Where’s the piece that sat on top of this heavy duty axel? Detectives please. I can speculate some obvious assumptions. The only surety, is that a fluke, plus accident of man, combined with the physical properties of nature, to await present day technology and provide our museum important evidence of our history. What if found fifty years prior by a nonchalant farmer and not as an investigation by trained educated professionals? Most certainly the unknown parts have decomposed and disintegrated, or were solemnly lost.

 

As evidence suggests, the conceptualization of a push-cart comes into existence, at a simultaneous period of history in the areas of Mesopotamia and Europe. Useful inventions spread uniformed through man’s consciousness. The first to adapt new information to it’s military and foresee an obvious advantage, most often turn this into a moral imperative to attack a perceived enemy. Should they be  successful in military tactics with limited damage to themselves, they will begin to create enemies to advance the greatness of their thinking. So it was and so it is.

 

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In the name of goodwill and common purpose I suggest we develop a road race for the following nations of Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Switzerland and Germany that can marginally rival the Tour De France. For my personal satisfaction I wish to suggest incorporating one to all of the following towns as passing route or primary stage. Bled Slovenija, Kamnik Slovenija, Podvolovljek Slovenija, Luce Slovenija, Prebold Slovenija, Stuttgart Germany, Reutligen Germany, Lake Constance Switzerland, Klagenfurt Austria, Graz Austria, Zelezna Gora Croatia, Strigova Croatia, Prelog Croatia, Pula Croatia, Vularija Croatia.

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I also advocate for a larger European multiple stage bike race that finds it’s final inside a new stadium extensively built with grandiose, over and including a preserved colosseum of Rome. With the last stage encompassing multiple laps over the border lip of the former gladiator ring in front of an audience of not smaller than 50,000 people. This restoration of peaceful spiritual revival, of the most brilliant architecture of antiquity, would become a modern day enigma. It would also participate to preserve this living relevance to history, for future millennium generations of humanity.

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