More on the coronavirus pandemic.
I am usually a very optimistic person, but this feeling of isolation gets on one’s nerves. In the words of a wise philosopher, “This too will pass.” Nevertheless, going through a time of trial is no fun.
For some reason these current events caused a writing of Edgar Allen Poe to come to mind. In his hauntingly beautiful, yet gloomy and somewhat morbid poem, The City in the Sea, Poe wrote “While from a proud tower in the town, Death looks gigantically down.”
I recall that Barbara Tuchman used this poetic phrase to introduce her excellent book describing Europe on the eve of the Great War. Indeed, her book was titled The Proud Tower. She described a time when confidence and progress was in the air, and for the privileged classes of Western society life had never seemed sweeter. Yet much of the wealth and grandeur of that society was built on the backs of the working poor and the exploitation of colonial empires. Living in their proud towers in the town, who knew that Death, the horror of 1914-1918, was looking down upon them from an even higher tower?
What is the moral? What can we learn from our past experiences? For one thing, we must remember, “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord abides forever.” We never know what is waiting for us around the corner, except we know that God is there.
And what does the Lord require of us “but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.”