Even Tombstones Fade

“Hereby is this monument erected for the perpetual memory of ….”

I can’t remember his name. But I walked by the odd-looking, miniature monument, on my Sunday morning stroll today.

The perpetual memory…

It was hard to read because the thing was so old. I had to stand there for a good 3 minutes, trying to decipher each word, talking out loud as I went…piecing it together until it made sense.

The perpetual memory…

He died in 1918.
I can’t remember his name.
And this stone monument in the park, close to the highway, under some trees, set off to the side is… lovely, but, isn’t really perpetuating the memory of the guy.

I don’t know what he did. I don’t know who he was. I don’t know why I should care. I don’t even remember his name! Except this fading stone monument vaguely points to his existence.

No matter what physical structures are put up in the name of someone, they will pass. Just as the person does. It may take longer to erode stone than the body, but it all gets eroded. Time takes it all. Everything fades. Everything passes.

Except what doesn’t.

Ideas. Energy. Conscious evolution of the same. Existence affecting existence.

“The perpetual memory” then, is inevitable. We need not try. Though we may direct…

Because it is not the memory of our name that is perpetuated. It is the memory of our very existence. Perpetuated through the influence and exchange we had with others while we were alive. It is never-ending as long as those we interacted with — even as brief as a silent smile — will share their existence. And that is a given. It is impossible for us to not be touched by the lives of those around us.

We are all creating this humanity, one-by-one…yet, together.

What memory are we perpetuating?