Saturday, June 16, 2012

Allegory for my Mother    

     Once upon a time there was an architect who wished to build the most beautiful arch in the world.  He wished to set it up high so that all could admire it and enjoy it and say what a wonderful arch it was. The architect set about selecting the most beautiful and expensive stones for his arch, not compromising on anything – time, money, or energy.  Finally he went about the task of erecting his dream.  But he was beset with one fundamental problem.  He needed to build two columns or towers first so that the arch would have a place to perch and press upon for support.  He was wracked with annoyance at this architectural necessity and so dispensed with the labor quite hastily and without love.  After all it was the arch that mattered, the arch that would be his greatest monument. He chose fine stones, but not the best quality.  He chose sturdy stones, but nothing burnished or marbled.  Nonetheless, the towers were completed and the arch was set in place.  And it did garner attention.  It attracted admiration and the architect was well pleased with his creation.  Over the years he added jewels, statuettes, gargoyles, and other decorations to the arch to celebrate its loveliness.  However, he failed to make improvements to the towers, never noticing them and neglecting them in favor of adding to the arch.  Over time, the two towers became weak from the weight of the arch and tumbled to the ground.  Of course, the grand arch toppled too.  Its statuettes, bas reliefs and friezes became rubble.  It’s jewels shattered like colored shards in the sands.  The architect, old by now and inconsolable, would not hear his fellow engineer’s philosophies about the importance of pillars to structural integrity.  He would not listen to their ideas about the understated beauty of columns or the pure utility of towers. He sat in the sand and cried at the debris of his glorious arch.  He died without understanding.  He died in ruins.

Diane Chancy

December 29, 2006

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