Sunday, April 20, 2014

Meditations in Fast Times: 40. We may come out of the desert

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. This entry completes the series.


We may come out of the desert
or down from the mountain
thinking the end is the end,
but truly I say unto you:
the end is only the beginning.
From the time we are born,
we learn about sound.
By forming words
and attaching meanings,
by the twin arts
of speaking and singing,
we experiment in order
to discover the ways in which
words can be formulated, just so,
to make bridges
that connect
every last to every next,
binding past to future
by way of now.
We hope to speak properly
—just as we hope every bridge we build
will be firmly welded and bolted—
with phrases begun and completed
properly, meaningfully, even tunefully.
Even so,
despite all best intentions and pronouncements,
the avalanche will fall,
the boat will sink,
the plane will crash,
the land will slide,
and in each case
the dead go before us.
We hope that they help
to prepare a place for us;
truly, that is faith
—and that is how time is both timeless
and redeemed,
for it never ends.
This can never end,
our seeking and our striving;
our experience here is everything,
even when nothing can come of it.
Every path to elsewhere leads nowhere,
leads home;
home is where we start from
and where we return.
While we are about it,
whatever it is,
there is always the chance
that the earth will quake,
that the stone shackle
will be cast aside,
and an Angel will appear,
saying that all shall be well.
The Angel would be right,
of course,
for the Angel’s voice
is the voice of God
telling us that,
in the end,
there is no end.

© 2014 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen

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