This is a piece I wrote for my Advanced English class based on a quote from a poem by T.S. Eliot. Not my usual content, but eh. Thought I may as well put it up.
"I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker."- T.S. Eliot, The Lovesong of Alfred J Prufrock
I stare at the image plastered on the wall. It looks like me. It is not me. Not anymore.
The photograph is from another time. A time when people looked to the rulers for inspiration, a time when being royalty was tantamount to being a God. For when this photo was taken, I was on the verge of becoming a God among men.
Those who had the throne before I, who had ruled the world before I, were immortalised in history. Once one was dead, one was invincible.
When I came to the throne, new concepts had swept the nation. There was a faithless feel to the people, and when Gods no longer had power, what hope had men like myself?
So while those from the past became glorious, I was portrayed a pretender. I barely had a chance to realise my potential, before my future was stolen.
I was a priest whose congregation had been accepted into heaven. A parent whose children had grown to be adult. I was no longer required.
My riches taken, my power made inept, my people defiant, I was to be no more than a mere dog, kicked and disowned despite loyalty and care to its owner. They should have seen me soon after. I was made mortal, wearied and weakened, a young man whose life was taken.
The picture I stare at mocks me. I was on the verge of invincibility, and it is a constant reminder of what I no longer possess. Alas, I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker. What was to be done? I had no more chance than a blind man in a minefield.
Tho ghosts of my predecessors speak to me. The tell me it is my fault. I am to blame.
I accept this.
They tell me I am a curse inflicted on our family. They tell me I am the ruin of a nation in a frail form.
I accept this.
But these ghosts, these ghosts do not see the world as I see it. These ghosts see a world in ruin. I see a world in splendour. I see everything I had missed. I see strengths that I was not aware of. I see people downtrodden, dulled, despised by those above them. And they have risen. They have encapsulated greatness. They have seen the past. They have changed the present. They are the Gods of the future.
This picture mocks me, and it mocks my past. This picture shows the values of a family but not a nation.
For now I can see. My family ruled the world. But my family were not the world. In seeing that, I see everything. In accepting that, I revolutionise human nature. I can see without bias in a position where bias is inescapable. I am not a God of old, I am not made a God by crown, or by blood. I am the first of the Gods made by omnipresence. I see everything.
This picture mocks me, but I mock it right back. It is filled with colour in a time the world was nothing but gray. And now I am gray, and my hair is gray, my eyes gray, my life gray. But the world is a rainbow. Life has never been more beautiful. I am the saviour, I take the sin of my family. I take the gray from the world, and in taking it, I save my family, I give the world colour.
The ghosts tell me I am the ruin of a nation embodied in a frail form. They tell me I am a curse inflicted on our family.
I see the ghosts and I tell them. Yes. I am not filled with the strength I could have had. I have become frail.
Yes. I am the curse of a family. But I am the saviour of a nation. I take what you have done, I suffer for it. In suffering, I release you. In acceptance of my crime of being near to becoming you, I release a nation.
Those around me tell me I am the only one who sees the ghosts.
I accept this.
They tell me I must be mad.
I do not necessarily accept this. I see the ghosts, however madness is debateable. I see ghosts. I hear ghosts. But with them I truly see the present.
The ghosts give me madness. The madness gives me sight. And the clarity with which I see is mine, and mine alone. I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker. And I see the greatness of the world begin.