the Lonesome Death of Giants

It is the nature of life and society on this world that the titans of today become the obscure and antiquated relics of tomorrow. It is unavoidable, though some keep a vigil and a respect for the past. The dinosaurs reigned supreme in this world, and then they were gone. The Egyptians and the Mayans were the most advanced civilizations of their time and now they are not. The proud warriors of the Native Americans were overcome by the Europeans who invaded. The list goes on. It happens in the microcosmic sense as well; the strong man brimming with strength and vigor will eventually falter in the later years, the intellect of another could be erased by dementia.

It is the way of things.

To accept this is inevitable and logical, but it is still melancholic to witness or imagine. I feel that sadness every time I behold a beast in a zoo. The Lion, the king of the jungle, as he is considered, reduced to a prisoner in a paddock with throngs of visitors leering at him.

This piece is about the passing of our stories from belief into myth or legend.

The gods of Greek mythology or any mythology were once regarded as real - temples and shrines were built in their honor. As the years passed and as science revealed the "why" of things, those gods were relegated to the realm of myth and superstition. They became stories, tall tales. For everything we gain in modern society, we lose something too. Our connections to the titans of the past, the lessons and edicts of history, blunt and lose their intensity over the seas of time. Profound revelations of yesterday become quaint and debunked. There are no more giants, no more gods on Olympus, no Prometheus, no Odin or Zeus, no unicorns or nymphs. These wondrous and vibrant creations are no longer believable, and that, to me, is sad.

As we age, this sense of being overcome by the future becomes more and more tangible - we can feel ourselves fading slowly into inevitable obscurity - a coming twilight and the deepening night. It is a profound yet personal experience, and no one in the bright light of their life's morning can understand it or even want to.

We all have our time, we all have our peak, and we all have our slow fade at the end.

So why mourn the passing of the giants or the fantastical creatures of our myths? Because, like everything else in our stories, the truth of our lives is at the heart of them. Just as the gods and titans of yesterday have faded into fiction, so shall we fade into history and memory.

Michael Bilotta