Fandango’s Provocative Question #209

Let me begin this by saying I don’t think I have any claim to fame. This is not to say I’ve done nothing with my life. I think I’ve done quite a bit, but I don’t think future generations will remember me. Like most of us, I will pass on and disappear.

I’m not even sure I was ever seeking fame. Respect, appreciation and love? All of those I hoped for and I believe I got. But fame? Short of writing the great book I thought I might create when I was 15 and the future belonged to me — and I knew I’d be young forever? Maybe that would have given me a claim to fame, had it happened.

Even the truly famous ultimately fade as the years and centuries march on. Who remembers the great Roman orators other than some scholars and historians? Or, for that matter, many of the great authors of earlier centuries? Time is the enemy of everyone, famous, infamous or humble.

And given the current state of the world, it’s entirely possible no human will be around to remember anything. These days, I’m happy to enjoy life to the degree I’m able and I hope for the best.

Sonnet 29: When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes

William Shakespeare

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

Categories: Anecdote, Celebrities, poem, Poetry, Provocative Questions, Word Prompt

Tags: , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. It’s a sad commentary on life, Marilyn, but so true. I think at one time I wanted to make a mark on society, improving it as best I could, and to some extent I did that in Woodlake. But I agree, that once, gone, there will little to remember me by other than hopefully I fulfilled my purpose and let God know that I am grateful for the opportunity to be alive and enjoy it.


    • I think we all need to make a clear differentiation between “wasting your life” and having a “claim to fame.” I think I did pretty well with my life. I made mistakes, but I also did my best and helped where I could — and I’m still helping when and how I can. Fame is fleeting anyhow. How many renowned authors of the past are unknown now? How few of the great cinema stars of the 30s and 40s are remembered by anyone who isn’t a movie buff?

      I’m okay with the life I’ve lived. Imperfect, but I did my best and continue to do my best. I think that’s one of the things that most of the people who blog seem to share: we tried to make a difference. Many of us made a difference but not a difference anyone will remember in 100 years — or probably, even 20. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very wise, my friend. I agree with you, I don’t think I wasted my life. I wish I could have done more sometimes, but it is what it is. You have an offspring, who will keep your memory alive a little longer. But how important is our memory in the grand scheme of things? Very deep thoughts.


  2. I would think that Garry’s answer to this question might be different from yours, as he achieved quite a lot of fame as a TV newsman.


  3. I have to admit I didn’t read that much Shakespeare, but I do like that sonnet. I can quote Cicero on rare occasion and my favorite is “I freely admit I am ignorant about things of which I know nothing”. Possibly paraphrased since it has been a day or twenty since I first read it, but it gets the idea across. As for fame, I’m with you there. It is fleeting under the best of circumstances. While listening to some favorite music this morning I had to wonder what ever happened to those artists I was so crazy about way back when. Ed Ames, John Davidson, Bobby Goldsboro? Such is the fate of us all.


    • I remember standing in a Roman castle in Israel. It was in ruins, of course, but still used for storing seeds and fodder — apparently the roof didn’t leak. I wondered aloud what happened to those who created it and my partner said “Like everyone else, they died.”

      We never know the future, not even tomorrow or the day after. It’s all a crap shoot. Some of us — we amateur (or professional) historians remember more, but overall? Most people forget and forget quickly. That’s just the way of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am all too aware that we can be here one minute and gone the next. Than’s amazing about the roof not leaking in that Roman castle. Not many places in this country are built to last these days. When I went to Germany several years ago it was amazing to see all those centuries old buildings, some with marks made by the gunfire of WWII, but each one repaired and so well maintained..

        As for remembering things, I can remember the day WWII ended. It had to be VJ Day in August because my younger brother was born in June and he was lying on a blanket in the front yard while my older brother and I were playing in the yard. Mother was sitting outside reading a book while watching all of us when all the bells in town began to ring and our paper boy ran down the street yelling “The war is over, the war is over!” Some things seem to stay in my mind longer than others, but that one is like it happened yesterday. Not sure what we had for breakfast today but that is something I have never forgotten.


        • Garry was born in 1942 and for him, the war was over when his father came home. I was born in ’47, but the war was still a living presence in our world. And yet now? How many people remember anything other than that there WAS a war and some folks aren’t sure about that, either.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I had three uncles and one aunt in that war. The youngest of the uncles started in North Africa and fought his way to France where he met up with one of his brothers, then to Germany where the three all met and celebrated the end of the European part of the war. My aunt was in the Pacific so she was still involved for a couple more months. They all came home and seemed okay, but the uncle who started out in Africa suffered nightmares for the rest of his life. He was a machine gunner and the only survivor after three battles where everyone else was killed. He never got over that and died young of alcohol poisoning. They just didn’t treat men for that back then. I’ll probably write a post about that later in the year.
            All three of my uncles stayed to help with the “cleanup” after the shooting stopped and they could actually see what had gone on in the concentration camps. It was not a good thing, with the people who had to go in and bury the dead while helping the few survivors looking for links to the rest of their families. And now to hear all the crap about the Holocaust never happening? BULL S**t


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