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  • blainepatricksmith

What is Left Behind

I'm speaking of posterity, not posterior. What follows us metaphorically, not physiologically.

A legacy. A footprint. A mark upon the world. Something the future will have to remind them we were here. Our own personal Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Tibetan sand mandalas are well-crafted, time-consumptive, gorgeously stunning works of art that are ritualistically dismantled and destroyed nearly as soon as they are finished. They signify the permanent impermanence of existence—that all works, all lives, all things are as temporary and easily washed away in the grand flow of time as the sand from these murals is washed downstream.

It's a beautiful idea. But doesn't that rather seem a shame? All the work, artistry, time, materials gone without a second thought? Never to be seen again and enjoyed only for the briefest span of time. Don't we want to mark our time upon this earth and know that our very existence caused some effect?

The grandeur of the Great Pyramids. The majesty of the Roman Coliseum. The awe-inspiration of the Great Wall of China. The complete works of Shakespeare. The Taj Mahal. The frescoes of Michelangelo. The Eiffel Tower. Goethe's Faust. Warhol's Soup Cans. The catalog goes on and on and on. In the west, we leave our works for all to see for as long as they'll last.

What achievement would you leave as your legacy? What would your encyclopedia listing list under your heading? To what might your future line trace themselves back and beam with generationally-removed pride?

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