Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Wordy Wednesday: MONUMENTS
Despite the splendor, my nine-year-old left the Air & Space in tears. He had been hoping for some insight, some revelation that never came to him. He wondered what he had missed or, perhaps, what he had failed to do that denied him the elation he sought. I remember having similar feelings after a much-anticipated experience left me cold. In trying to comfort him, I began to think that one thing that differentiates the grown-up-me from the child-me is that I expect less from "great" experiences and am comfortable finding joy in smaller moments, such as being around the dinner table with my husband and all of our kids. Yet sometimes, still, I am caught off guard and feel that strange sense of absence after some accomplishment or event. Perhaps I'm not entirely grown up?
Dictionary.com defines monument (the noun) in eleven different ways, my favorite being #3: "any enduring evidence or notable example of something." Amazon.com has hundreds of monument books, best-selling topics being Washington, DC, monuments, war memorials, and New York City architectural landmarks, all testament to the human struggle for immortality and our interest in what we have done and made in the past. For me, every bookstore is filled with my favorite kind of monuments: Collections of words that represent the struggle to understand, preserve and share the human experience. In the end, I told my son that monuments can be found in many places, that it just matters how you define them and, maybe, what you are looking for in the first place.
Posted by S Kehoe at 8:58 AM