‘Tis Life

Photo copyright: Jelli

Photo copyright: Jellico’s Stationhouse

The Brough Superior sped to its fate. Its driver unaware of the two boys playing on the road. History cannot not tell us what might have been. What Thomas might have gone on to do. This man of letters, of war, of speed and dreams was no more.  Many wept tears as cruel fate carried away T E Lawrence. A man who dreamed with his eye open, making history for good or bad. What he might have gone on to do and write. Yet all life is finite, for even mountains crumble and fall to become the sand of dreams.

I dreamed with my eyes open

I dreamed with my eyes open

T E Law

T E Lawrence

T. E. Lawrence wrote. “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible”. From the Seven Pillars of Wisdom

This Post Has 62 Comments

  1. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    You’ve shared a piece of history that I didn’t know. You left me wanting to know more about the man. Love the quote.



    1. Michael Humphris

      Your post this week was my inspiration- it does seem that Lawrence lived life to the full. I am pleased you approved of my humble attempt to tell a little about his life.

  2. Snow's Fissures and Fractures

    What a beautiful last sentence.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much. This interesting individual inspired me.

  3. writelindy

    I agree. That last sentence – I wish it had been mine. Well done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much, Lawerence’s early life inspired this sentence.

  4. Clare Hempstead

    Very sad, but well written.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Clare. He would I think say that he lived life to the full. I am glad my attempt to illustrate part of his life came across OK.

  5. jellico84

    Very nice. Have never seen a pic of T.E. Lawrence before. Very good read. 🙂 <3

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you. His is an interesting story, I have wondered what he would make of what is happening in the Middle East today.

  6. Martin Cororan

    …The trick, Mr. Humphris, is not minding that it’s finite (to plagiarise the film)…

    1. Michael Humphris

      At the present that is true. But who knows what the future brings. It appears that Lawrence dreamed of a vast united Arab state, without any religious divides. He would be sad to see how the Arab people are tearing themselves apart.

  7. justjoyfulness

    The last sentence is so wise and poetic. This is Deep!

    1. Michael Humphris

      That is very kind of you to say so. Lawrence’s story is interesting and inspired me. Thank you

  8. Jane Dougherty

    It was a waste of a life, but then some would say that about Marc Bolan too.

    1. Michael Humphris

      That is so true. Any life which is ended early due to an accident leaves questions about what might have been. I have known it to often.

      1. Jane Dougherty

        I suppose what we have to live a life such that when we die, there is still so much more we could have done.

        1. Michael Humphris

          I think if I lived to be a thousand years old, there would still be things that i would like to try.

          1. Jane Dougherty

            You are obviously not going to turn into one of those old men who do the same things every single day, and when the slugs get their dahlias, that haven’t a clue what to do instead.

  9. trentpmcd

    Nice story and great quote. I don’t know how accurate the movie was, but, seeing these photos, Peter O’Toole certainly looked the part!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you. There are a few things in the film that were questionable to me, but sadly my knowledge about Lawrence is fading.

  10. Magaly Guerrero

    One of my favorite quotes, and it’s wonderful to see it bloom in your tale. The things who have written, indeed…

    1. Michael Humphris

      As a child I read many books by individual who had known T E Lawrence, but sadly his story did not appear in my education until much much later… Rochelle story about the Harley boys has rekindled my interest in Lawrence.

  11. Lynn Love

    He was quite a man, TE Lawrence, a real ‘Boys’ Own’ adventurer, the kind of man you rarely find now. Lovely tale and well written, Michael

    1. Michael Humphris

      As a child I read books by John Buchan, Captain William Earl Johns and Winston Churchill, they all knew Lawrence. And perhaps drew inspiration from him. Thank you for your kind comment

      1. Lynn Love

        He was almost the perfect hero of that era, wasn’t he? He might not fit into today’s world, but he was a product of his time

        1. Michael Humphris

          I do find myself wondering what he would do in today’s world. Perhaps I will find an opportunities to write about that one day.

  12. Sandra

    You’ve surpassed yourself this week, Michael.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Sandra, I was unsure about posting this narrative, but Rochelle’s story inspired me. Thank you for the vote of confidence.

  13. Alicia Jamtaas

    Lovely! That last line is most excellent!

    1. Michael Humphris

      You have made my day, thank you.

  14. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

    There was an ethereal feeling of loss in this piece. Nicely done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you; in a way I felt a link with T E Lawrence…!

  15. TraceyDelaplainMD.com and WhatsForDinnerDoc.com

    Lovely writing Michael. “the sand of dreams” My favorite FF this week,

    1. Michael Humphris

      Tracy: I was rather unsure of whether to post this piece about Lawrence: so I really thank you for your comments. Rochelles story this week inspired me to try and write a semi factual piece. You have made me glad that I did.

      1. TraceyDelaplainMD.com and WhatsForDinnerDoc.com

        Write what you feel Michael. There’s no judgement at FF. But this was very good. I’m glad you wrote it.

  16. lingeringvisions by Dawn

    I always enjoy some historical fiction. it makes you think!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Dawn, I enjoy writing historical fiction, and the challenge of attempting to get the facs right.

  17. rgayer55

    Excellent piece, Michael. One of your best.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I am grateful for your comment Russell, for this was a piece of writing I was unsure about and so nearly did not post.

  18. Rowena

    Thanks so much for this, Michael. I loved your last line: “Yet all life is finite, for even mountains crumble and fall to become the sand of dreams”. Like a few others, I wish it was mine!
    I have also made a note to go and buy: “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom”. I thank you very much for putting me onto this as I love “The Prophet” and books like this. On the other hand, books are falling off all surfaces throughout my house and I’m desperately needing to rehome an army of them. So far, only about 20 are heading to the Church fete.
    Hope you have a great week!
    xx Rowena

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Rowena. I have far to many books and regularly take some to my local Oxfam bookshop. Yesterday I looked at several books with the intention of disposing of them; however in each of the books I found great sentences. So all the books ended up back on my bookshelves. I cannot remember reading “The Prophet” I will check it out.

  19. neelwritesblog

    Michael, this is brilliant writing, especially the last line.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Neel. It was good to put a sentance on the screen that resonated.

  20. Liz Young

    Excellent, Mike – a neatly presented piece of hitory.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Liz. The comments about this story have taught me to be more confident. I so nearly binned this post!

  21. Rosemary Carlson

    A beautiful, informative post!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you for your comment Rosemary, T E Lawrence was a interesting individual, so was good to write about

  22. Sarah Potter Writes

    Ah, I remember the 1962 movie titled “Lawrence of Arabia” starring Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence. When I watched the film, I thought what a silly way for him to die, after all those incredible heroic exploits. I think that maybe he had come down off all his wartime adrenaline and was feeling too relaxed, so lost his focus. That can happen.

    You have written this so well, Michael, encapsulating a great deal into your 100 words.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Sarah. Lawrence in his later life seems to have been addicted to speed, he crashed avoiding two children on the road. Luckily for me I to was also addicted to motorbikes, but not for there speed, but the freedom that they gave me.

  23. Stephanie Pitcher Fishman

    I love the direction you took with this. I wouldn’t have thought to turn it into something so beautiful. Well done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Stephanie thank you for your kind comments, they encourage me to continue writing.

  24. gahlearner

    Beautiful writing with a lot of wisdom in there, Michale. I know very little about Lawrence, but you piqued my interest.

    1. Michael Humphris

      There have been so many interesting individuals in world history. They are a rich source of material for the writer. Thank you for your positive feedback, it was appreciated.

  25. yarnspinnerr

    Wah. Great tribute and a lovely quote.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, Yarnspinnerr.

  26. Amy Reese

    Nicely done, Michael. Loved the last line too. So eloquent.

    1. Michael Humphris

      My teachers at school would never have called any of my work eloquent. Thank you Amy.

  27. Michael Wynn

    He was certainly a brilliant man with a deep knowledge of and understanding of the Middle East. I wonder how he would have advised us about today’s situation.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Now that is a question. I understand that he wished to see the Arab states and the various religions united and working together. I think he would be so sad to see the current situation.

  28. magarisa

    Love the philosophical tone of this piece. Learned something new through your story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I am so pleased, thank you Magarisa.

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