There once was one who desired “to make his throne higher than the clouds over the earth and resemble ‘My power’ on high.” This one, who called himself special, built a throne as high as the eye could see, yet his grasp never reached his vision. Frustrated. Troubled. His hubris weighed him down, tumbling to the Earth on broken wings. And landing in the Serie A.
Yet an ideal can also fall.
Ideals. Principles. Morals. Values. The desire to speak for an eternity of echelons, to convert the material into the ideal. Yet what happens when the carefully constructed mental image meets the harsh confines of reality? When happens when the painter’s loft is bombed by German warplanes? Guernica inspires introspection but wouldn’t stop a bullet. Ideals meet deaths. Often of their own making.
Temptation. Why be a stick in the mud? Why be so stubborn? Why try to fly a flag in a hurricane? The alternative is easier. Hoof the ball forty yards up field. Bypass the midfield with a switch to Messi. Ibrahimovic is so much taller than the central defenders. Alves whips in such dangerous crosses. Is it really that different? A slight tactical adjustment never hurt anybody. Just this once.
Adversary. Enemy. Accuser. Beelzebub. Belial. What Raphael will stand up to the Great Dragon? We’ve seen this battle enacted and re-enacted a thousand times before our very eyes. The lightbearer becomes archdeceiver. The risen falls.
Humming along on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, everybody is cordial and nobody doubts the abundances of life and goodness of man. But what happens on a lifeboat in open sea, when the sky blurs into the ocean, the sun beats down like a club, and you only feel the ripples of the waves and the pangs of hunger?
Now comes the true trials, temptations, and tribulations. The Cules will blink and swear they see twelve men huddled in the box. The lurking Swede’s head will appear tallest and easiest to hit. But for all the talk of rebellion, betrayal, and darkness, this time last year a flashing, blinding beam of hope shot through the Chelsea net like the first rays of dawn. Will we see another?