For the past two weeks I have been wandering around ruins and basilicas. The glory that once was the empire of Rome is just left to the ages. The voices in the forum and in the Coliseum are now the voices of travelers passing through on their way to the espresso shops. Power fades, voices fade, empires fade. I think it is a good for me to view this cautionary tale of monuments to pride to greed to love to excess with a keen reflective eye that looks inwards toward the soul. Where have I been? Where am I going? What will history say? What will be written?
I traveled backwards in time from a small room where a great man died; his burial tomb just below this room. I have retraced his steps to another country to the room where he was born. I observed his history and growth. I am partially the product of his good work and good life. I cannot escape it. He was an ancient mentor to his friends and by extension a mentor for me. His imperfections humanized him and in whose imperfections I can take solace and comfort as my own personal journey moves forward and my imperfections stare me in the face. My history, like his, helped to form him for good or ill. At the grave of a saint I prayed that my life would be as fulfilling as his. No regrets. Only living in the present with the weight of history being not an intolerable burden but a guide post to future endeavors. The journey was a time of quiet personal reflection. The man did not seek glory, it was thrust upon him and he quietly did not let it stick. Sic transit gloria mundi
Life is short, the dance music is constantly playing and inviting me to strut and have fun. Perhaps soon it will stop and my tunes will end. The familiar giving way to the unknown. Where am I going? What will history say? What will be written? Have I made this a better place by having been here? Have I taken the “…it was good” and made it a little better today? History will write. Even still my music continues and everyone is dancing. I will join in. I will not care if I dance poorly because it is my dance and no others. I will join the dancers and add my step and enjoy. Let the ruins come after. Let the history be written later. I know where I have been. And where I am going will take care of itself. Meanwhile, I am here, now, in the present history moving forward towards whatever may come. As long as I have consciousness I have an eye on my soul and constantly monitor its health. But I need take time to reflect on it while I dance.
And so it goes…