Ain't life strange .... statement, not question
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.
So began T.S. Eliot in his poem, "Burnt Norton," the first of four in what became known as "The Four Quartets." The first was published in 1936, and the fourth in 1942. My favorite segment, if it even is appropriate to label one of the four as such, is "East Coker," which appeared in 1940.
I would love to discuss any and all of these poems with you, but not in this format or context or medium or this place or this time .... hmmmm .... time is the central issue here, is it not ?? Well, if you read the quartet, you might agree and might wish to discuss it at the appropriate time and in the appropriate place.
Back on point: In my beginning is my end. This, in effect, is what Elliot was thinking about in "East Coker," the second published of the four elements. Here is some of it:
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.
As a romantic by inclination and an English major by choice (history major, also, please remember .... sort of a dual sin, some have told me, while recommending that I return to college and study something useful), I tend to enjoy and to pronounce my enjoyment of poets such as Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson .... and, well you get my drift.
But, while I adore their talent, way, far, deep within me I consider their work to be child's play, sometimes silly, without scratching the surface of what it truly is to gaze through and beyond the eyes to within the mind maze of humankind. No genius in them, you see. Simply pretty words and the ability to count meter. No melody, only emotional lyrics.
As someone wrote, long before Eliot, "beginning and end are dreams" .... so, always at risk of "repeating myself," I might convince myself to take an antithetical approach to the abstraction and think of it as my end as my beginning -- and, it all is a dream anyway, right ?? Well, maybe .... but, that thought leads down another road toward another unknown ....