Saturday, October 08, 2011

Time the Decider

I was reminded of Shelly's poem Ozymandias recently:

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."

We've been cleaning out our attic, and discovering first hand what the ravages of time can do. I had a large collection of paperbacks stored in a wooden crate in a corner of the attic. They weren't especially important, or valuable, or had strong emotional attachments. They were just books that I had enjoyed, and couldn't quite decide to let go of. So rather than deciding, I put them in the attic, the decision to be made at a later time.

Twenty years later, I pulled out the box to discover that various critters had also found my books useful, but in a different way. Even the box had been gnawed on, making it unusable as well. So out to the trash the whole lot went.

Even though I hadn't decided what to do with those books, time had.

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