With it being almost time to vote, and me having mentioned the apocalypse, one would be forgiven for thinking I was gonna talk about Donald Trump.
Instead, today’s lesson comes from the Book of Shelly, the prophet who tells us of the fate of Ozymandias, with his colossal statue lying broken in a wasteland.
With a frown, and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command….
“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
All things are full of weariness;
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Dust in the wind… All we are is dust in the wind…”
For all of these men–and they’re all men, fwiw–I must pose a question:
Why do you care? About your “legacy,” I mean. Being “remembered” by people not even alive yet.
And why are so many of us kinda like that?
What makes us want to spread our image and our name across the land, like a lightning bug smeared across the inside wall of a church-camp quonset hut on a mosquito-infested night? (That’s an oddly specific image…) What makes us want to carve our names into history, leaving a reputation-shaped scar to last all time? What good does that do us when the sands will still come and cover us up?
What good does it do? There is an answer: No good. none at all. None good.
Life has its own scale, and it isn’t monumental. It is human-sized–if you’re living right.
It’s today. And when tomorrow comes, it’s that day. And if you’re lucky, you’ll share it with the right people. And when you’re gone, and when they’re gone, and the sands come, it won’t matter, because you have already had your days, and you knew it when it was happening, and it was enough. More than enough.
Between love today and future glory, I’ll take love. Speaking for me is the prophet Nesmith in the book of Monkees:
I have no more than I did before
But now I’ve got all that I need
For I love you and I know you love me
(Note to my beloved wife–I’m talking about you.) 🙂