Friday, March 11, 2011

In my end is my beginning

T.S. Eliot -- poet, playwright, teacher / 1888 -- 1965
Robert Frost -- poet, journalist, farmer / 1874 -- 1963


What is life, other than repetition?
Part 1 of 2


There are things in our lives that seem to have happened before. These events are called "déjà vue," and they are common and well known.

There are things and events in our lives that are similar, but different. Like the sense of meeting someone and feeling like he or she is an old friend, like encountering someone known somewhere, but where or when? Like running into someone we are completely comfortable with and at home with and relaxed with and who we have known absolutely forever.

There are rings or watches that we buy which feel like they have been on our fingers or on our wrists forever, that we look at and have seen there forever -- but, that we know are only recently acquired in our lives and cannot have been from our current lives, from our contemporary pasts.

What about places? Have you ever been somewhere new to you -- in a building or in a piece of woodlands -- and known where to walk because the rooms or the grounds, strangely, were familiar?

I have felt this with a place, with a person with a piece of jewelry and -- probably unfamiliar to most -- with a particular handgun in my grasp.

It not only is mine now, it has been mine in the past -- not necessarily in ownership -- but, in the sense of affection or love or simple knowledge. Everything in and about life is transitory. Whether we accept that notion or not, it is as true as the air we breathe.

Some religions express the thought that beginning and end are the same. It might be a simple matter of definition. Maybe, there is no such thing as beginning and end, and time has always been -- sort of an atheistic "first cause" argument. Whatever ....

In a world of repetitive motions & thoughts

I am not an ardent fan of poetry, particularly that which passes for poetry since the early years of the Twentieth Century. In other words, T.S. Eliot barely passes the test in a chronological sense, but otherwise, he is among my favorites. Despite my admiration, his words have appeared in my posts only once or twice, as I recall.

The poetry of Robert Frost, who sits atop Mount Olympus, in my mind, and whose life and work span a portion of two absolutely amazing centuries during a period which claims possession of the "golden years" of America, has been mentioned a number of times on my pages.


Today, I want to take "a string" from Frost and a "loose end" from Eliot and tie them together.

First, Robert Frost. I have posted this poem before:

"The Road Not Taken"

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Now, some random lines from a work by T.S. Eliot:

"Burnt Norton"
(The first of "Four Quartets")


Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.


My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know ....


Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered ....

Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
That blows before and after time,
Wind in and out of unwholesome lungs
Time before and time after ....

Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,
Not that only, but the co-existence,
Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now ....


Tie the knot between these pieces, if you have the inclination to do so -- and, if you have a restless, searching soul.



13 comments:

Anita said...

God..what insane good music you have!!Thanx!!

i will come back later after thinking about your post..you know i will.

Fram Actual said...

Thank you, for the visit and the comment, Anita.

Anita said...

I cant belive it..where is all your blog friends commeting on this very good post?It is stange i think..Many people we consider friends..when a little storm shows up..they just cant hanlde it..for me friends stand it ttrough both in bad times and in good)

I got a very bad telphone last night.a good friend of me is in hospital with some cardiacial problems only 25 years so i am very worried about him..Have no time to be on the blogs ..But For me your post is very exlusive.About if ,when you meet someone you may be thinking we have met before..i have not experienced that..But i think if you have a problem inlife and you can not solve it..the person or the feeling will show up in very different persons until you have solved the problem or the way of behave inside you.thats for me about love affairs.Iam going into the same trap everytime i meet a quy i like.And it go to pieces.so it must be something i do wrong and have to learn.
I dont know if you understand any of this what Iam saying..because it is thinking stuff..Okey see you later

Fram Actual said...

I have written here a few times that -- in my opinion -- the terms "friend" and "love" are two of the most misused (even abused) words in any language. I suppose it depends on how one defines words like "friend," and most of us have varying definitions and concepts of what the word means.

I think the word "acquaintance" better suits our encounters on the sea of blogs. Our encounters might eventually lead to actual friendship and even more, in a very few instances, but that is not how meetings here begin.

You, yourself, Anita, have written that most people on the blogs are looking for entertainment of sorts -- for fun -- and, are not very interested in discussions or conversations, especially about the abstract in terms of past, present and future.

Anita said...

yes..i have..and that i do mean..but i think sometimes it is strange..people one has been intereacted with alot of post..shared many discussions suddenly disapears.Well i think there is much jealousy and pride going around..I know..because ihave been there myself..And learned!!

i agree with you that friend s and lovers is a word that is beening misused.

today is really bad weather again.we are stuck with the flu my son and myself..40 in fever..and not good..Yesterday I was a t the hospital The boy has got a lung emboli..not very good..but we hope for th best..Life is sooo tender..we dont know when the time has come to go..yes i have thought muvch about death lately..may you have a peaceful sunday fram

Fram Actual said...

It seems most people I know have been experiencing some manner of health issue during the past few weeks. Me, too. But, in my case, it only has been a reoccurring cold and, now, a sore throat for the past few days. More of an annoyance than an illness in my case.

Daylight Savings Time began in America today, which means I am an hour closer to Europe today than I was yesterday. I am assuming that in Europe it will not take place for a few more weeks.

As for appearances and disappearances of people on the sea of blogs, I enjoy exchanging thoughts, ideas and opinions, but communication is a two-way street. I think those who disappear for some length of time do so because they have found new places or new people with whom to communicate who they find to be more interesting than we who are here.

You and your son get well soon, Anita.

Anita said...

oh..that was a nice post to read.Thank you..i needed that.

Yes.we are a little bit more better now..I mean from the flu..

And you have right..it is not because people doesnt like us..it is just that they finds something else to do..very simple and logic!!And not unfriendly at all

Now..i will try to read those interessting writers Frost and Eliot..Thanx for sharing!!

Fram Actual said...

Thank you, once again, Anita, for your kind thoughts and words.

Between feeling lazy and being a bit under the weather with this cold, I have spent the day doing little more than dozing and watching films on television. Not every day can be memorable.

By the way, I think you (and most people) would prefer Robert Frost's poetry to that of T.S. Eliot.

Anita said...

Sorry.i have not read anything yet..Iam to lazy!!like you..i only watch series on television..and today i got a heada che..But there is sun and may be go out for a walk..

and yes..there are many boring days..but it is life!1those boring days too..

ok..iam in a little hurry..have to do the laundery..see you later..May you have a good day too:))

Fram Actual said...

All right, Anita, so we both are lazy. Whatever .... do not worry about reading these fellows or any poetry until it beckons you.

Poetry is only good when a person is in the mood for it, when a person is feeling emotional about life, when a person is happy or sad or wishes to influence a mood. Poetry is like liquor.

Now, I will go and look at your photographs.

Anita said...

well then i have to read the books sooner or later.bec..as you know i like to fill my head with good vibrations.

About the photoes.i really dont know..Iwas thinking of the minnesota lake when I was thinking of my dream a house where you can seethe birds fly away in the autumm and fruit trees and flowers and the smell of nature..well it is a dream, i know..

the last years ihave been on the move and changed houses soo many times..it is time to settle down i think..at least have a house which i own to come back too:))

Today is the last day of beeing home from school and work..the fever has gone and much better..Still the weather is very grey and cloudy.I dont know what to do today.The television is only telling about the tragidy in Japan.Well speak later!!

Anita said...

I have been to the place i spent mch time after coming back from Spain..god..it was very strange to be there..What do you think?

ok..may you have a very good night..iam off to bed!!

Fram Actual said...

I know how you feel in a way, Anita. I lived in seven places during 2010, and will undoubtedly live in a few more this year, too .... but, not so many (I do not think), and I will have a "base camp" (Fire Base Fram) set up in the Twin Cities to come and to go from when I choose to travel.

I had sun and a warm breeze today, and I made the most of them.

Good luck, at work tomorrow.

Now, I will go and look at your photographs of the place where you spent so much time after coming back from Spain ....

Something special ....