Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Meditations in Fast Times: 30. There is a time for building

Note to Readers: “Meditations in Fast Times” is a devotional writing experiment for the Season of Lent. Each day during the season, I am writing a poem as a meditation on, taking as my inspiration and intertextual basis, T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”, as well as incorporating the daily office, current events, and other readings—some the same as those Eliot used while composing his seminal work and others.


There is a time for building,
a time for collapse,
a time of reckoning,
a time for remembering,
a time of forgetting,
a time for forgiving
a time of returning;
all these times are the same time,
past, present and future,
all apparent in the blooming eglantine,
all apparent in the salt clinging to each blossom,
all apparent in everything awaiting its due season.
We rise, we fall, we crumble;
Our old wood burns quick, hot
cinders into ash; we return to earth
and the wind carries us, like seeds,
to every corner, every place—
we are the song on the wind
as sunlight fills the empty pool;
neither shadow, nor light,
but we are there, in due season.
We are in the running rivers,
we are in the waving grain,
we are in the slowness of trees,
in the speed of the hummingbird,
we are the cries, smiles, laughter and dance
that turn to mourning and remembrance,
we are silence and sound, which together are music,
we are the songs of sadness or rejoicing—
we are the time and seasons,
and we await our due,
our return.
We are quietness at rest,
if we could be content so to be.
We are the dream,
if we could be content so to be.
The house of mirth and the house of mourning
are one and the same dream;
the clinging salt does not harm the beauty of the rose,
and the rose does not rebuke the embrace of the salty spray—
they are content to be thrown together,
for it is grand to be;
being is the grandest dream of all.
© 2014 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen

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