Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ancient Dream

I am craftsman in the Roman Empire. I have been given the rather daunting task of making a statue of the Emperor. His days are counted which does not leave me with much time.
I need to bring out the most of my experience and skill to accomplish this.
I get working and in the course of the next days, I am on the verge of successfully finishing the challenge. However, with the least level of expectancy, I am faced with some questioning by the emperor. It appears I have made some crucial mistakes. There is a flaw. I have made the statue perfect.
I do it all again as ordered by the emperor whose enigmatic criticism keeps me awake during the night, all in the hope of finishing it to his satisfaction.
Another perfect statue is “flawed”. I am drained of all my energy but I continue with a new statue. The intensity of my work is overwhelming my ability to do it right.
Finally, the emperor talks to me. His quiet tone clearly showing his age.
“You are the most gifted craftsman, I have ever seen”. He softly mumbles.
“And I am sure you are wondering why I am making you do the statue over and over again”. He continues, almost breathlessly, “Look at me. Do you really see me as one of those statues? Where are the deep wrinkles on my face? The menacing scars on my arms? The old, crooked gaze of my shadowy eyes? It is not on the statue. This is why”. A pause, he is looking straight in my eyes. “I want my people to remember me the way I am, not the way I used to be. Here, on my death bed, I am not the man who conquered the Mediterranean. I am not the hero who defeated millions of men on the battlefield. I am only human, as God wanted me to be, and people should see that I am one of them, that we are all the same beings. Nothing more, nothing less but equal.
Now… the statue I desire from you is one that portrays me as a human being, not a hero or a God. Someone who is mortal, closer and closer to a hug from the inevitable death”.
The wisdom in his breath is emanated throughout the room. Suddenly, I am engulfed by a burning energy field. Gone is the fatigue.
I continue my work.

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