What Treasures Lie Buried Just Beneath the Surface?
by Douglas Clark
I was reading an article about Mayan ruins in Guatemala where archaeologists are exploring the intricacies and wonders that lie within the pyramid walls. In these ruins a frieze was found carved in great detail. Apparently about 1400 years ago, Mayan artisans carved out their beliefs and cultural identity in the rock used to build their temples. If you know anything about Mayan civilization, their culture and identity died out almost a thousand years ago. Fascination took over as I read the article. Imagining those archaeologists uncovering the amazing artwork, which sat covered in jungle growth, unknown, untouched and undisturbed for centuries, amazed me. Think about it. The skill and dedication that went into crafting such wonderful work went unappreciated for so long. Empires rose and fell, cultures flourished and died, the lives of countless people marched on, and still not a soul knew of the amazing work, just out of sight. But it sat there and waited, just beneath the jungle foliage.
It makes me wonder what’s just underneath the veneer of our lives, that mask that hides our true selves from the world and ourselves as well. What do we have to offer, that is just under the surface, but of which we’re totally unaware? One of my longest held fears, for lack of a better term, is that I won’t live up to my own potential. It’s a curious thing to think about how much you might accomplish compared to how much you have accomplished. Every once in a while, I sit back and remember the dreams I dreamed of in the yesteryears of my life. In some ways, I am totally and woefully off track and behind schedule. We all know my book isn’t published yet. I haven’t been around the world (thanks to the Navy I’ve made it half way), and a whole host of other things not yet achieved. But, I managed to accomplish much in the last decade or so. In just the last year I actually Finished my novel, which is light years ahead of where I was just two years ago. I set out to write that story, and wrote it I did. Which brings me back to potential; I always knew I could do it; the trouble was actually Doing it. It may very well be that my novel could sit undiscovered for years, centuries in fact like our Mayan friends’ stellar work. But does that really matter?
What are we here for? Fame, adoration, validation from others? Okay, maybe that would be cool for a while, but how meaningful would adoring fans and platitudes be if we truly didn’t have our heart in what we were doing? To me fame without substance is a hollow endeavor. What do you think?
Thanks for reading.
Questions and Comments are welcome.