November 30, 2019
Please pardon my unusual approach to provide you with my writings for publication. Your friend the sheriff is a lovely man who speaks fondly and highly of you, with the welcome wisdom of his age. His trust in you allows me to trust you even more than I did before, since I have only known you through the many beautiful works you have overseen for publication.
No doubt you will doubt the authenticity of these manuscripts. You will doubt that they are the work of one person who is a young woman in her early twenties, as your friend surely will describe me. You will doubt how one person can know so many disparate languages. You will doubt my intentions. You will likely worry that I want to stalk you or ruin your reputation.
If I were you, I would have the same, precise doubts.
But I am roughly 5,500 years old. From what I recollect, I was born in Uruk, 40-50 years before the construction of what is currently known as the “Stone-Cone temple”. I know this because I remember that area well enough before the temple’s construction, when there was an older temple of the Ubaid period.
I do not expect you to believe this, because established human experience and Science say differently. Indeed, Mother Nature herself says differently, by and large, and who am I to contradict Mother Nature? I say ‘by and large’ because you will find there are some fascinating natural exceptions to aging, such as the hydra.
Naturally, humans are not hydras. Given our biological and chemical complexity, humans are not biologically designed to survive hundreds of years let alone thousands of years. All humans age by processes of DNA replication that, over time, produce more mutations, degradations, genetic errors. That is more or less the process, though the details are still being evaluated by Science.
This aging process has not happened to me. I have yet to understand the biological and chemical reasons, though I reflect on them in my writings. Someday Science will illuminate the details of aging, thereby providing an explanation of how my condition is possible. Until then, I must live with the mystery of myself.
So, as you may understand, I can only claim what I know to be my own personal experience. I also understand that you and I will likely not be able to agree on my biographical truth. Precedent is a strong, valid and extremely important qualifier. I do not expect you to abandon precedent simply because I say so.
Fortunately, my biographical truth is irrelevant for you and your professional role. My interest in providing you with my writings is to allow you and your company to widely divulge my musings to the general public. Your professional abilities, your reputation and authority as a serious publishing company may encourage the young women of the world (my intended audience) to take more notice of my diary than if I were to self-publish as an unknown person without credentials, on Amazon or some such. Your organization and network is better able to ‘spread the word’ through publicity and fanfare than I can as a single, anonymous individual.
The $80,000 I provided for your effort, time and authentication and translation expenses can, at a minimum, provide a touch of assurance that these documents are authentic and not part of an elaborate hoax. The experts you hire will confirm these documents are authentic. They will confirm the signatures are contemporaneous to the documents, and that the calligraphy reflects the same writing hand.
You will ask why all the languages. I have traveled a bit in 5,500 years, and learned the language of the land I stayed in. For me, it is a beautiful tribute to the infinitely rich creativity of the human race, even if the historically compressed overview of seeing all these texts together is one of chaos and confusion.
Why did I not translate the texts? Because I no longer remember many of these languages, especially in their details. You may understand that after centuries of not using Akkadian, ancient Greek, Aramaic, old Japanese or Chinese, I have mostly forgotten them. I trust the experts you engage will do a much better job of translation than I can. I know the translations will reflect my thoughts marvelously.
On the USB (free of malware or viruses), I have provided high resolution scans of most of the documents- the ones that fit on my consumer scanner. The larger documents will need to be scanned by your team of authenticators. On those I have written a code at the lower left the document, to be used as a reference tool.
Also on the USB is a schema in Microsoft Word 2016 of how I think the texts should be grouped into parts, sections and subsections, as well as their relative order. In the schema, I use the aforementioned code to indicate where the translations of the larger documents should be inserted. I have also written introductions to most of the parts and sections, for greater clarity for the reader. The schema also includes additional text I have written recently either to clarify or further detail some of the essay topics. There is also a separate file of this note to you.
I would not include images of the scanned documents. I would keep things simple. If you feel there is a need to add explanatory footnotes to enhance historical context, please do so. I have tried to provide context to many of these texts and the anecdotes they describe, but they may still need some clarity for people unfamiliar with the times or places.
In the end, this collection of documents is my diary. It is an unusual diary- spanning 5,500 years and reflecting on public topics more than on personal anecdotes. But it is still a personal diary capturing my thoughts and a fair number of my personal experiences and fantasies.
The first part, Part 1, collects my essays reflecting on what it is to be a Woman. The essays are written for a broad audience, but the texts are generally targeted towards young women. The sections collect my thoughts on the nature of Women, men and others, on human relationships, as well as my reflections and notes on Mother Nature, biology, sexuality, perception and senses, feelings, Motherhood, Women’s thinking and spirit, human nature, human history and human civilization. Hopefully the opinions expressed can be of some value to young women.
Part 2 collects writings related to my life, highlighting some of my personal experiences in childhood and adulthood, as well as various chapters reflecting on the people I have met throughout history. Here too I meditate on multiple facets of Womanhood, especially love, Motherhood, friendship and family.
Part 3 collects some of my fictions, including short stories, sketches, poems, quotes and longer works.
Finally, there is an addendum for various writings since Women often have loose ends.
As you are well aware, the readers will decide the merits and value of what I say. Hopefully they decide positively, so your publishing house may also financially benefit. Any percentages you normally reserve for the author can be directed to charity, ideally in this order of priority: organizations that help young children in need; organizations that help young women in need; organizations that address poverty in less privileged countries; medical research for significant diseases; climate change research; clean energy technologies.
I trust you will do magnificent work, and that the original papers will wind up more suitably preserved in a museum or library. I know you will take good care of my intellectual offspring.
If I may also ask that this note to you be included as part of the publication, as “full disclosure”.
Graciously yours and with infinite thanks: