The Transitory Nature of Civilization

Still sick as a dog, and not in the mood to blog. (Hey! That rhymes!)

So I shall leave you with a half formed thought before going back to bed.

picture 13

Here’s a photo I took many years ago on a trip to Ephesus, Turkey. If you’ve heard of Ephesus at all, it’s probably from the bible, but rest assured it was once a thriving metropolis. With a population of 250,000, it was one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean during the first century BC. The people there must have thought it would last forever. As I walked through these crumbling ruins, now populated only by tourists and weeds, I couldn’t help but think of a poem I learned in high school:

Ozymandias

by Percy 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.

And I ask myself: what kind of legacy will we all leave behind us? Is there such a thing as permanence? What lingers on?

Back to bed for me.

7 thoughts on “The Transitory Nature of Civilization

  1. The golden arches beside the McDonald’s burger joints will be here for ever. And so will Dick Cheney. And me, because my people live for like abillion years. But the rest of you are rat droppings in the wind. Sorry.

      1. You still haven’t gone back and seen all my mean pictures of Cheney yet, have you. Trust me, no one has more suppresed rage at that jerk than I do. And the one where he is Fred Flintstone is woth the trouble. But I messed with that guy for weeks.

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