Thursday, December 11, 2008

From East Coker

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
the world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
There is a time for the evening under starlight,
A time for the evening under lamplight
(The evening with the photograph album).
Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.
Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

From The Four Quartets by TS Eliot (East Coker) & thanks to CTJ for reminding me.


2 comments:

Alexander Chow-Stuart said...

Bumble, you cannot understand how much the entire Four Quartets means to me. I read portions of it daily when I meditate, along with The Dhammapada and the Bhagavad Gita (which was a clear influence on Eliot, among so many others). I think the Quartets is the most beautiful spiritual work written in probably two or three centuries, at least. I read the final passage, "We shall not cease from exploration" at my father's funeral. My personal favorite, aside from the "still point of the spinning world," is, "Dawn points, and another day prepares for heat and silence..." I think about that as each day begins.

Alexander Chow-Stuart said...

Bumble, you cannot understand how much the entire Four Quartets means to me. I read portions of it daily when I meditate, along with The Dhammapada and the Bhagavad Gita (which was a clear influence on Eliot, among so many others). I think the Quartets is the most beautiful spiritual work written in probably two or three centuries, at least. I read the final passage, "We shall not cease from exploration" at my father's funeral. My personal favorite, aside from the "still point of the spinning world," is, "Dawn points, and another day prepares for heat and silence..." I think about that as each day begins.