A glorious reputation handed down by leaves

If you’ve immersed yourself in the principles of truth, the briefest, most random reminder is enough to dispel all fear and pain:

. . . leaves that the wind
Drives earthward; such are the generations of men.

Your children, leaves.

Leaves applauding loyally and heaping praise upon you, or turning around and calling down curses, sneering and mocking from a safe distance.

A glorious reputation handed down by leaves.

All of these “spring up in springtime” — and the wind blows them all away. And the tree puts forth others to replace them.

None of us have much time. And yet you act as if things were eternal — the way you fear and long for them. . . .

Before long, darkness. And whoever buries you mourned in their turn.

[Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 10.34]

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