Did you ever love a song so much that you played it over and over and felt that it really spoke to your soul…until you finally looked up the lyrics and were like “wtf is this crap?”
(When I write my book based on Dawn’s life, there will be a chapter filled with the lines she overuses. Here would be where she’d say “umm no? Me neither. ‘Whistles’)
(Another thing about Dawn…If I had forgotten to write the poetry-Wednesday that I volunteered for, she NEVER would have reminded me. Because it would be, oh, so much more devastating if I remembered on my own days later and said OMG.)
(The book will be titled “Scrutable.”)
This poem was something like that for me (the WTF part, not the crap part).
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“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.
When I was younger, I must have heard the snippet “I am ozymandias king of kings, look on my works ye mighty and despair” and thought it was a bad-ass statement. I even said it to others once in a while when I wanted to be particularly bad-ass.
But as I learnt when I finally read the poem…I had it backwards.
The “colossal wreck” is all bark and no bite.
So what’s the lesson?
We’re all tiny tiny specks in a tiny tiny part of the universe and no one will remember any of us in a hundred years, let alone a thousand or ten.
But isn’t that such a relief?
Nothing we do or don’t do really matters, because we’re nobody. We’re all nobodies.
(Except for the fact that Ozymandias is immortalized not only by this poem but by the bible too, as supposedly he is the king of the Egyptians that wouldn’t let Moses go…ten plagues…yada yada…So maybe what we do does matter?)
Of course, this whole argument about nothing mattering because we’re so small and fleeting, goes on the assumption that that would be the measure of what matters. If instead we judge based on the affect we have on others during our lifetime, then it’s a good time to spread some holiday comfort and joy.