A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Saturday, 16 February 2008


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...

Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to 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 porpoise. In the end is my beginning.

East Coker from T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from...

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always -
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Little Gidding from T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets


cbb said...

Oh my - what a coincidence! I just wrote about TSE, and then worried it was too obscure for any general audience interest. I take comfort in knowing you wrote of him also.

The Solitary Walker said...

I quoted those pieces at the end of my Camino account. It's what I felt and it just seemed right. And I've always loved 'Four Quartets'.

I'm getting around to saying something on your last two posts which I found most interesting...