Sunday, August 13, 2006


Why are ruins so attractive, mysterious, beguiling even?

What seduces our hearts toward them?

Why is it so many find their sadness intoxicating?

What seed is being watered in these feelings?

What are our eyes trying to say with their tears?

Maybe ruins bid us surrender to our strivings and our ideas of perfection and fulfilment. That we cannot defy time or our common humanity and brokenness. They tell stories whose message is one of the folly of giving up peace of mind for unrealistic and unstable rewards. Sometimes, old stones make us aware and allow us to feel and see our anxieties about our achievements (or lack of them) and who we are.

And maybe the real gift of ruins is that they point to a bigger picture, they move us away from the temporal to the eternal - they remind us that some things just can't be fixed this side of a much better place. Maybe even they give us perspective and in their presence we are granted a glimpse of our own insignificance...


mister tumnus said...

do you think we get to know which things can, and which can't be fixed? and if something can't be fixed do we give up trying to fix it?

watching six feet under yesterday and ruth is in her knitting class talking to her friends about her life and her relationships. 'I'm a horrible train wreck of a person', she says. sometimes i feel like a horrible train wreck of a person. and often not so beautiful, consistent and wise as those ruins.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

i think much like faith we get a feeling, a hunch if you like, when we are still enough - when we stand back from a situation - we can recognise that maybe this or that is in too many pieces to put back together.

i can fully empathise with ruth's train wreck of a person...fully

Niki said...

I think we're all a train wreck of a person. Right inside with all those insecurities and dark wants...
Alright maybe it's just me

Mata H said...

We are broken. That is just the simple truth of all of us. Life happens in the "so what?" question.

Celebrate the pieces.

Mata H said...

Then there is always the poem by 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! "
No thing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that Colossal Wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

gareth higgins said...

hey papa i'm in newark airport which is not in ruins and i will be home tomoro a.m. so please call me