I wrote a poem a long time ago that went like this:
The man without the camera
Walks entirely on rocks.
There was more, maybe, but I don’t remember what.
I’d learned from a friend that he had been in Saudi Arabia and taught for a year but never took a single photo of his time there.
I thought that was kind of cool and it inspired a poem.
The thought is the opposite of the quote by Maya Angelou on todays Ragtag Daily Prompt. The man who walks on rocks has no record of where he has been and the earth has none either. What’s his legacy? I remember what I was thinking at the time, sometime in late 80s, and that was that I wasn’t going to accomplish great things after all. I was at THAT moment in life. I was learning to be cool with the idea that I was just a face in the crowd.
“Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased…” is a dangerous — possibly irresponsible — admonition. The easiest way to do that is through destruction. Building something meaningful can take a lifetime. Even then, the future is going to do whatever it wants with it. One’s legacy — no matter how beautiful — is never going to wander through time unscathed.
I don’t know what else Maya Angelou had to say in the printed world from which this quotation was extracted, but no. Don’t live so you leave a legacy. Live so you have had a LIFE. The future will do whatever it wants with whomever you were and whatever you did.