Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Final Story

Endings are odd. Sometimes they are supposed to be happy and care free. A mutual decision between people. Everyone goes about away and they are all happy about it. School, however, creates a very weird situation. When a class is over there is an odd sense of finality and conclusion, and yet you will see the people again next semester. So there is a sense that things are not quite finished. A false ending, as it were.

If we were to end
There would be nothing
Left of us for others

We pass
Quick words
Nodded heads
A short salute

I see her
Standing off
Memories of Virgil
Nothing remains

I see him
We wave
And smile

It is over
Nothing left
But faded memories

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vine Street Rumble

Ever get mad at someone for being better than you? I do. It’s very frustrating when someone else outshines you, especially in an area you consider your forte. It can drive you nuts; at least it drives me nuts sometimes. It can be pretty aggravating. Occasionally, it will drive you to do better, to try and "beat" them, but most of the time it just sends you plummeting into a funk. (For lack of a better word.) And that just makes it worse. Personally, I haven’t found a perfect way around this, but I have found some tricks that help. Idea the first: Ignore them. That didn’t work, Good, that's what I thought. Idea the second: Find something else you are good at. If they’re “beating” you at history, “beat” them at math. Or something like that. It’s not the most mature course of action, but it makes me feel much better. Idea the third: (If all else fails) Remember that life is not a competition. They might be performing better than you at that moment, but so what. Find happiness in your work. That’s all that matters. And if you really can’t do that, I know a guy...

50 points to anyone who figures out the reason behind the title.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Offer It Up

So I'm up at 2:40 on a Monday morning because I am sick and can't sleep. It's loads and loads of fun, especially the part about being sick. It has been said often (a little too often, if you ask me) that a little bit of suffering is good for the soul. (Quick side note: ever notice how the people saying that for the most part aren't the ones who are suffering. But that is a story for a different time) Anyway, the point being is I having been watching this mini-series The Pillars of the Earth, about the building of a cathedral in medieval England. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It ended with this wonderful shot of the cathedral as it stands today, looking almost exactly as it "looks" being built in the 12th Century. It was an incredibly moving piece of work.
For me, one of the most powerful experiences there is in the world is to stand inside a structure that was built hundreds or even thousands of years ago and think about the people who built it. It can truly boggle the mind if you let it. Consider, for example, this cathedral. It was built over the course of several lifetimes almost 900 years ago. The people who began its construction did not live to see its completion and those who did see it finished would never know for how long it would stand. And yet it remains with us today, as a powerful reminder of the strength and endurance of mankind's works. Reflecting about what must have been going through those workers minds as they labored on a building they themselves would never see completed, I a struck by their dedication. I can not imagine spending one's entire adult life laboring on one project, only to die with it still incomplete. With that mindset, looking at these magnificent buildings brings with it a whole new sense of power. You are viewing a person's life work. This is what they spent their time on, what they left behind for us. It leaves me with a feeling of something close to duty or responsibility. That we as a collective people have a duty to those who came before us to preserve their works, so that their legacy may live on and so their creations may continue to shine. Imagine building something like a cathedral in 1150. I can't.
In the end, thinking about this serves to make me feel better and worse. Worse because it makes my mild suffering pale by comparison, and no one ever likes to be outdone, and better because it reminds be of what human beings can accomplish. But in the end, I'm still a bit sick, a bit tired, and it's now 2:55 a.m., so maybe now I will try to get some sleep.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In a Moment

Sleep? Funny.

An endless progression
One moment into
The next without

Living with no
Rest for mind and
Spirit broken by
Life without

Relentless pace
Slowly inexorably separating
The very essence of
Your being from
The body containing it
Life without pause

Told to rest
Unable to do so
Crumbling under the
Forces brought to
Bear thoughtlessly
Life without

Apologies for not writing in a while. I've have been quite busy and have had very little mental down time. I really need a break. (Snow day, that means you!) But I found some time to write this on the late bus home today. Hopefully more will be forthcoming.

Life isn't simple. And any man who tells you otherwise is either a liar or a fool.