Wednesday, 20 January 2010


I've been working for a good proportion of the day, praise the Lord! Writing an essay on European empires (would be much better if I knew exactly what countries are in Europe). It's cool though, because I look at all these massive administrations and rulers that had everything, and with hindsight we can see that in the end it crumbled away. I look around today at all the superpowers, and it can seem sometimes like they're unshakable and unstoppable.

I met a traveller 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".
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

There's a lake I used to like to walk around in Nottingham, and at a certain point I'd always look across it and this poem would pop into my head. Often I'd be there to think through stuff, problems and decisions alike, but when I'd look up and see this incredible sight, the futility of what I'd been pondering was just eclipsed by the amazing beauty of creation and creator. And that beauty would be eternal, whereas earthly things and worries would not.

Everything crumbles eventually. I think it's hard to believe it until you can look down on the ruins that become history to you. I bet people thought the Romans would become synonymous with humanity. I bet people think the countries we hear about on the news will never be surpassed. I bet there are people who think that evil and suffering rule on Earth, and that we'll be broken forever. There are things in my life that I've sometimes felt would never let up, feelings that would hold me, situations that would tie me down and keep me, but in time I see them crumble to dust like everything else.

Because there's only one power that will never fail. One kingdom that is eternal. One King who will rule forever.

The rest is dust.

In other news, life is pretty sweet.

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