Sunday, 26 June 2011

Exegi Monumentum...

"Exegi monumentum aeris perennis"* - I don't know why but this line is always coming to my mind when I'm thinking about my father, who passed away more than 2 years ago. Just because he was fond of classical studies and Latin?

He also cherished that other lines of poetry, in a language that you can't possibly know, but which, as I can assure you, are work of a genius (I cite form memory):
"Wsrod takich pol przed laty, nad brzegiem ruczaju,
na pagorku niewiekim, we brzozowym gaju,
stal dwor szlachecki, z drewna, lecz podmurowany,
swiecly sie z daleka jego biale sciany,
tym bielsze, ze odbite od ciemnej zieleni,
topoli, co go strzegly od wiatrow jesieni."
You're right, that's a single sentence. And he could recite one after another in the endless flow of the language. Yes, you are right again, this is a hommage to my late father, which I'm writing 2 years too late. The first thing I'll always associate with him will be the classical poetry. The another one, linked via the above phrase of Horace, is a story of an interview and things which it revealed to me in retrospect.

It was my school appointment to interview someone and I choose to interview my father. I remember just a single question I asked: what do you want to be remembered for? The answer was somehow unexpected to me: he cited the line of  Horace, and said: I want to be remembered for the things I accomplish. And he did, he was working in local political bodies and was involved in building roads and water supply lines in our rural neighbourhood.

So when it came to finding a vocation, I wanted to build things! Not maths, physics, literature or music (things I was interested in), but engineering!

As for us in life there are 2 things which are worth of pursuing: for yourself, trying to understand the great scheme of things in that world (for practically minded, if you are more ambitious it's the universe then). But secondly, you owe it to the others, those before you and those to come after you, to keep the world running smoothly, and build new smootly running things to replace old ones.

I think, that's my father's heritage. And that's why I cannot be a geek - because I grew up listening to poetry, looking at nature of the rural coutryside and experiencing very practical achievements in very real world.

* fom Horace, translation mine: "I build a monument [to stay] for perennial ages"

1 comment:

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