This is a continuation of earlier posts. Context is found in previous parts.
Standing in the vestibule of what was, until a few days ago, that place of gathering, of thought, of light … she is empty, like some place of worship looted with only the torn corners and broken pieces left scattered across the floor. There were birds and sun today … it should have rained.
Others got here before me and I, having returned for the last time after the earth moved, the flood seeped and the fire savaged, take what is left. I know where the most precious pieces of my Great Library were stored and whilst some of the smaller items are gone, those that sang most deeply to my heart are safe from the calloused hands of pagan thieves. Those scrolls and leaves are now laid in my wagon, tied down for the journey to a new place of learning, ready to travel to whatever lies ahead. I am a pilgrim seeking my state of beatitude at the base of this vast Olympus.
I look at the cracks in the walls, legacy of one Titan’s spasm. I see the moulding plaster where the sea’s rise seeped between the bricks and ate the mortar. I note the thatching, patched after the fires that almost took the last of what I cherished. This Alexandria can no longer preserve the precious pages of learning. Fight to salvage, on a daily basis is all I have known for season after season since Atlas shrugged under the weight of his load. Now it is time to let my Alexandria pass into the hands of Chronos and Kairos … it is the latter from whom I take solace as I depart.
The door is closed and I kiss the friends I have come to know as I stand beside my laden cart and say goodbye. Not a tear have I shed; this is necessity.
Some say I am utilitarian. A thing can be an item of beauty, but must also have a purpose. It is true, this is largely how I think, especially when there are limits on what can be accommodated or carried. Those things that are purely decorative may be lovely to gaze upon, but if they feed not the body and fail to protect the pages of learning on which all knowledge is built, then beauty by itself must be sacrificed. My Alexandria, was once a place of utility in which aesthetics burgeoned. Having lost her utility, she can no longer protect the pages of learning and therefore cannot foster beauty, cannot build upon dreams. That dream which she once held is no longer so tangible. It is time to follow another dream, another purpose, another path and to find a place to build upon solid foundations once again.
The road has been long, but I realize that I have been leaving my Alexandria now for many seasons, taking a piece here, a fragment there, beginning with the salvage I buried before my first leaving. This last departure from my Alexandria has been inevitable …
A long road is behind me even as I start out from the fractured structure that has been my source of succour for these past several years. The sea around my Alexandria cries for me the tears that have failed to rise in my own eyes, veiling all in a mist that shrouds the path ahead. Poseidon honours my departure with such a rare spectacle as I leave this one last time. Sometimes it is better not to know what lies ahead. I only hope that once the silver orb of night has passed over my head that the mighty globe pulled by Apollo’s quadriga shows me a new field upon which to build a new city, as precious as once was my Alexandria.
It is a closing chapter, a final page in the book that once was my home. Close in behind me, Poseidon and seal the past from the future with your weightless shroud. I will rise on the other side of morn to stand in the dew and see a new field in which to bask beneath the bluest of Zeus’ skies for all of god and man to see.