Blue-sky history?

Blue-sky thinking:
Noun. blue-sky thinking (uncountable) (idiomatic) Thinking that is not grounded or in touch in the realities of the present. (idiomatic) Open-minded thinking. From wiktionary.org
 
British Dictionary definitions for blue-sky thinking
noun 1. creative ideas that are not limited by current thinking or beliefs
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I love the idea of thinking, unfettered, clear and high as the blue sky.

Blue-sky history:
This is a mechanism of mine, based on blue-sky thinking.
I use it looking back at the past. I believe it is important, not to judge yesteryears, with the hindsight of today.

I immerse myself in their era when researching my family history. I endeavour to view life through their eyes.

 
Sometimes this proves very hard

My recent book was set in the 1930’s, when my family lived in Germany and Britain. I discovered a German Uncle who was an anti- Nazi campaigner, tortured by the Nazi’s for his beliefs.

My dilemma was writing about Hitler, without the taint of hindsight. It was a tough task, knowing full-well the horrors of the Nazi regime.
But blue-sky history, helped me to understand, members of my family, drawn to the Nazi party. I feel it’s important not to judge, people, actions from history.

To understand what happened, delay judgement. Not to do so is to miss the nuance of lives long gone and an understanding of their motivations.
It helps when travelling through torrid historical times. It helps to make sense of it all.
Then, your research may reveal a much bigger picture, than you ever imagined. Your judgement may then be very different. I know this was the case for me, writing Betweenwhiles. It helped reveal a family bravely rebelling against Nazism.

Blue-sky history has revealed new avenues of research; many lightbulb moments.
What are your thoughts? Do you judge the past by today’s standards?
Is blue-sky history for you?

 

 

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Photos by MA Lossl. Balloon over Bath. Main picture, Balloon and seagull over Bath.

17 thoughts on “Blue-sky history?

  1. I believe I’m a blue-sky thinker. Truth lies neither in the total affirmation nor in the total denial of either side, but precisely in the tug of war between the two. For years, I was a Revolutionary War reenactor. I tried diligently to let go of the present and become fully immersed in the past. Living history through their eyes, if you will. My unplugged approach to woodworking follows suit. Time spent in my wood shop is a communion of saints, as I emulate the craftsmanship of the past. It is quite rewarding when the past is viewed through the proper lens.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You and I were both posting today about the need to understand history in the context of the events and people involved. Judging the past by today’s standards does a disservice to those who actually lived in a different era under conditions and circumstances that are far removed from our current experience and thinking.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree. But to discover and understand long gone lives, I feel it is important to try. I found researching Hitler rise to power repugnant. But it made me realise the bravery of those who rebelled against the Nazis in 1933.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is so true Liz. I had not thought of that. Very insightful. I believe, subliminally, this was what I tried to achieve when writing about Hitler. Thank you for your comment.

        Like

  3. I enjoyed learning about Blue-sky history from you. We have a lot in common. We both want to see the past from the eyes of those in the past without our own prejudice and knowledge received growing up. Thank for taking the time to read and like my blog. I believe we have so much to learn from each other.

    Liked by 1 person

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