A human is built from dust and their fate is dust. They spend their life earning a living. A life like a breakable cup, like withering grass, like a fading flower, like a passing shadow, like a melting cloud, like a fleeting wind, like scattering dust, like a fading dream...
High Holy Days liturgy, R Amnon of Mainz, c 1100
Cities and Thrones and Powers,
Stand in Time's eye,
Almost as long as flowers,
Which daily die:
But, as new buds put forth
To glad new men,
Out of the spent and unconsidered Earth,
The Cities rise again.
This season's Daffodil,
She never hears,
What change, what chance, what chill,
Cut down last year's;
But with bold countenance,
And knowledge small,
Esteems her seven days' continuance,
To be perpetual.
So Time that is o'er-kind,
To all that be,
Ordains us e'en as blind,
As bold as she:
That in our very death,
And burial sure,
Shadow to shadow, well persuaded, saith,
"See how our works endure!"
Rudyard Kipling, 1906
Snippets of poetry on the theme The map is not the territory from Making Light:
a child may move from myth onto the map
and find that truth requires a kind of lie
a world half glimpsed between the game and nap
a shape that's written on the empty sky
elves that tread quietly and dare to tap
your sleeping shoulder and stare in your eye
and then we grow up and the world's just crap
you work your arse off and you have to die
we have fresh apples now and wine in flagons
but see no unicorns and spy no dragons
Once Upon a Time
Libraries were replete with sense of wonder
Books were maps to places I might find
Rocketships and magic rings, and under
All, unspoken hope in humankind
Ad astra. Tesseract. The game’s afoot
The unicorn is searching for her kin
Toad Hall and Rivendell and Warlock put
Me on the road to battles yet to win
That universe held wonders. I was one.
Now my reading's lessened by misgiving
I’ve lost the run to joy, the will to run
Eaten, not by dragons, but by living
Too much mundane, I’m weighed down till I snap
Alas, my territory’s not the map
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:2-9, c 250 BCE
|Date:||September 30th, 2007 12:24 pm (UTC)|
20 hours after journal entry
"So many great nobles, things, administrations,
So many high chieftains, so many brave nations,
So many proud princes, and power so splendid.
In a moment, a twinkling, all utterly ended."
-- Jacopone da Todi (Jacobus de Benedictus), 1306