Monuments and Relics

We are each, in our day, both consumers and creators. These two phases of our selves live in both flux and harmony; it is a curious interdependence.

In days past, my proudest moments have been as a creator. I have created objects, experiences, adventures, friendships, and follies. I have made music, made friends, made enemies (though not many), made money, and made love.

Still, of all the created things to have passed out of my self and into the world, the most remarkable -to me at least- have been the Monuments and the Relics. Some such creations have, in time, become both.

I was reminded of this on a recent trip back to BC. There, out back, across the field, in early-morning half-light, one of the finest monuments/relics ever devised lay waiting for my visitation. My father’s old housetruck, slowly becoming one with the landscape. It is so familiar to me and my past, and yet being just one step removed from me, allows me to breathe and move around it, observe it, and cherish the conflagration of emotion that bubbles up inside me at the sight, the smell, the sheer presence of it.

Of course, the similarity to my own abandoned housebus resonates mightily. In that, the difference between Monument and Relic is strictly a matter of perspective. My silently passionate father feels the same push and pull of history.

At our best, we each put something intangible and eternal into our creations. Only time and perspective will show them to be Monument, Relic, or anything worth remembering at all. Sometimes it is only some pervasive and phenomenal application of passionate energy that shifts the inevitable Relic towards Monumental status.

My bus is a Relic, for sure, but not so my boat. Yes, we were forced to abandon her mid-Atlantic, but she’s not a Relic for all that. Wherever she now sails or rests, she is undoubtedly a Monument.

Yesterday, a friend and I were discussing some aspect of sailing, and I contributed some anecdote about some feature of my boat something that I had long-labored upon.

He slowly smiled, and said, “You lost a lot…”.

I smiled back. “Yeah, I guess. But I learned a lot too.” It was a fair trade, a Monumental one.

Back at the housetruck, my sailing-companion and friend Cory and I shared a moment. Without much else to say on the matter, it is quickly agreed that friendships are greatest Monuments of all.

And so too, without much else to say on the matter, I agree with myself that many of the Relics of my past were once Monuments I had erected, and can be so once again. They should be.

In the meantime, I shall keep on creating.


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