"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Musings on a Roman emperor
ves-tige Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Latin vestigium footstep, footprint, track, vestige
1 a (1) : a trace, mark, or visible sign left by something (as an ancient city or a condition or practice) vanished or lost (2) : the smallest quantity or trace b : FOOTPRINT
2 : an image on an ancient coin
I'm trying, God knows I'm trying, to keep a sense of perspective right now.
The company I work for is failing. There, I've said it. The wolves are not only at the door, they've already done some serious feeding.
As of yesterday, our company no longer had any discernible source of income. Without receiving some massive financial help, as in "purchase," we're goners.
Two years ago I ran all the numbers and showed everyone that we could not stay alive unless we hit a certain level of daily production. The plant manager never even attempted that level, and now here we are, just like I said we would be.
Sour grapes, yeah, but that's no good when you have to feed a family and pay bills and stuff.
I'm looking right now at a pile of coins from ancient Rome.
They are very corroded. Most of them now have irregular shapes. You can't really make out any of the inscriptions around the edges of them, but you can clearly see the faces of the emperors on most of them.
The emperors are all different, and all staring fixedly off to the right. Statistically, most of these men met with violent deaths. A lot of them were possibly fools and bad leaders, but a lot of them might have been good men.
All of them are now sitting here in a pile on my desk, vestiges of greatness. Each one, on the day these coins were minted, was at the center of glory and adoration.
Well, I'm not on any coins.
In the universal order of things, what does it matter if I lose my job? The only world that will upset is the one I am in the center of, and that is limited indeed.
It does pain me, though, that I feel so left out of the camaraderie at work, especially now. And I have done so much, tried so hard to make it not so.
I place the coins in my palm and feel their weight, their size. Not one is larger than a fingernail, and most are far smaller.
I pick one at random. The inscription is just close enough to readable to tease the eye, but try as I might the letters stay just beyond my comprehension. One side appears to have two figures, soldiers perhaps, carrying something between them. It might be bounty of some sort, spoils of war from some great battle fought two thousand years ago. The other side has a face...I can't make out the inscription, but I can see his facial features clearly.
He has sad eyes. After two thousand years, that's about all I can tell about him.
He has sad eyes.
Time is a rope that we ride down, not knowing when it will end and not able to stop.
I spoke to a friend of mine last night. He has just had heart surgery, his fourth or fifth, I believe. Every day for him is a struggle due to several illnesses he copes with. Once, long ago, he jumped from the Brooklyn bridge, and survived.
He does not talk much about that, but last night he mentioned having a conversation with God on his way down.
Why is it that the way others feel about me is so important to me? When I look at it here, all typed out in Times New Roman, it looks foolish, trite, shallow. There are so many things so much more important.
I can't mint a coin to tell everyone how great I am, or send armies to conquer lands in my name. I am what I am. My gauge for that is other people's reactions to me.
I am so confused, and I feel so worthless.
I don't like my sense of perspective.
I have sad eyes.
When we are angry or depressed in our creativity, we have misplaced our power. We have allowed someone else to determine our worth, and then we are angry at being undervalued.
Julia Cameron, The Vein of Gold