This Lord Of The Rings Sand Castle Makes Me Feel Things

By Gabe Delahaye / March 14, 2013

A young man in California, although I have no idea how young or where in California, named Joseph Alvenaz, but that’s hardly the important part, built this sand sculpture of the Minas Tirith castle from the Lord of the Rings movies. That’s somehow important, that it’s from the movies. I’m looking at this thing, via FilmDrunk, and it is giving me all of these feelings! Like, obviously, this guy is very skilled at stuff. I could never make a thing like this! (Well, not never. Give me some credit. I could do this eventually. A thousand monkeys typing on a thousand sand castles would eventually write this sand castle.) But so at first you are like, sure, neat, good job. Then you get a little twitchy. You are like, OK, but if you can make something like this, why don’t you make something better? I mean, sorry, it’s your life to live and you should do whatever you want, but this kind of seems like a waste of your talent. But then you take a look in the mirror and you realize that maybe you’re just talking to yourself. Maybe you have your own fears and insecurities about the great unspooling of time, and you lie awake at night with this deep existential panic about “doing something great” with your life, as if people who have done things that you consider great were ever any less distraught or sad or worried or messed up. If anything, the people who do something great are the ones most likely to put a shotgun in their mouths (miss you Papa!). And this reminds you of the Tibetan buddhist practice of Mandala art in which they use sand (HELLO! SAND?!) to create beautiful and impossibly intricate mosaics that can take months to complete, and the moment they are finished, the sand is blown away, to remind us all of the impermanence of things, and the Sisyphisean struggle to make what we can while we can and then let it all go. So, you know, I don’t even know anymore. Did we solve it? Is there anything to even solve anyways? Ha. Ha. Ha. Life is a many funny things.