Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Two Roads Diverged in the Woods...What Will We Leave Behind

A couple of items have me thinking today.  The first is a thread on my favourite MG Bulletin Board Site; the second is a song from the "Mary Poppins" soundtrack, now a favourite of my four-year-old son.  Seemingly divergent ideas, but both speak to me in a similar way.

The former, the thread about MG cars, discusses the question of who will take on our passions for antique cars (in my case, a 1952 MG-TD) once we are gone.  The latter is an observation made towards the end of the film, where Mr Banks is ruminating on his apparent, perceived ruin:
A man has dreams of walking with giants
To carve his niche in the edifice of time
Before the mortar of his zeal has a chance to congeal

What I'm thinking about today is the modern view of time, its passage, what we want to leave behind, and indeed, if we ought to leave anything behind at all.  Our ideas of permanence and impermanence have taken different views over time, of course.  As has modernity.  What we value changes.  The Victorians definitely had ideas of grand monuments; Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote his epic poem Ozymandias about the folly of such an idea.  Today we claim to value "authenticity," but talk about footprints in not always good terms.

I plan a couple of my own thoughts, but am curious about how others think about what constitutes lasting value, what "lasting" even means, and what we would want to leave behind if we could, Ozymandias be damned.


 
 
 
 
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