Who says beauty is reserved for the living?

COLUMNS

We are terrified of loss. But one reason for our terror is that we feel we are supposed to be terrorized; even though death of each and every one of us, and our loved ones, is a sure thing.

In a world of beauty, where death is a constant truth, how can death not be given the benefit of the doubt? Beyond the fact that death is an inevitable part of the plan for us anyway, have you noticed our own behavior regarding the profound beauty in those things whose time has come and gone? The architectural ruins of early Greece and Rome are one example.

We honor them, and are moved by them, and their own, inherent eternity —

Once Upon A Roman Wood

I walked with others over roots

Of chestnut, oak and

Cypress trees

Rendering our path below

Dense and dark

With limbs and leaves

When far away, a panoply

Of shafts of brilliant

Ivory light

Broke through the Roman canopy

As moonglow would

A winter’s night

Compelled to reach this golden space

Resisting rest

We travelled on

Until we came upon the place

Which was there

And yet, was gone

There we stood among the ruin

Of an ancient

Royal manse

A once majestic monument

Now lost to

History’s dance

But faded frescos thrilled our eyes

And rugged stone

Our touch

As ivy vines rendered

Crumbling columns

Into dust

Still it heard our exhalations

And knew it took

Our breath

And not for what it was in life,

But what it is,

In death.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *