Sunday, January 29, 2017

Walks and Little Violins

New sealing wax

Grilling in the winter weather

Happy lunches :) 

Cold, cloudy walks

Letter writing 

Adorable new students

Fresh fruit treats

An afternoon at the range with Ronald and Kristin

AMAZING hot chocolate with Daniel courtesy of Lindsey and Emily *eyebrows*

Little Violin Making

A very happy little boy with his Christmas mandolin

Finally a sunny morning and a cozy cup to go with it!

Beautiful bits of nature from a morning walk

New rosin

Friday Night Pie

Saturday afternoon walk with a stop at the point for some reading

More little violin luthier-ing

A long Sunday afternoon ramble through Windsor Castle Park

Thirsty and a contented sort of weary, I spent the rest of the afternoon at one of my favorite spots in Smithfield, Wharf Hill, for reading and writing and a happy phone call. 

Treasure Shelf Week III & IV

Treasure Shelf Week III & IV

These past two weeks have been full of so many wonderful words, some lighter and some more serious in nature, but all delightful. Included were Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, the last 18 chapters of David Copperfield and the first 10 chapters of Phantastes by George MacDonald. There are far too many quotes to type out all of them here, so take the passages as tasty little crumbs of the delights and riches these books hold. Happy Reading!!!

5) Meditations
Marcus Aurelius

*Note: It is astonishing (as many have observed) how close Aurelius comes to the doctrines and practices of Christianity without espousing them. The Meditations are, in many ways, a stoic Ecclesiastes. With this in mind, there is much to be gained by reading his practical wisdom through the lens of Christianity, not hesitating to substitute the fuller truth of the Christian scriptures where Aurelius stops short.  The resulting riches are a lifetime of comfort and strength.*

"Every moment think steadily as a Roman and a man to do what you have in hand with perfect and simple dignity and feeling of affection and freedom and justice; and to give yourself relief from all other thoughts and you will give yourself relief if you do every act of your life as if it were the last, laying aside all carelessness, passionate aversion form the commands of reason, hypocrisy, self-love, and discontent with the portion that has been given to you."

"How quickly all things disappear: in the universe the bodies themselves, but in time the memory of them; what is the nature of all sensible things, and particularly those that attract the bait of pleasure or  terrify by pain, or are noised abroad by vapory fame; how worlds and contemptible and sordid and perishable and dead they are - all this it is the par too the intellectual factually to observe ... To observe, too, how man comes near to the deity, and by what part of him, and when this part of man is so disposed."

"These two things you must bear in mind; the one, that all things from eternity are of like forms and come round in a circles, and that it makes no difference whether a man shall see the same things during a hundred years or two hundred, or an infinite time; and the second, that he who lives longest and he who will die soonest lose just the same. For the present is the lonely thing of which a man can be deprived, it if is true that this is the only thing which he has, and that a man cannot lose something he does not already possess."

"...even the smallest things should be done with reference to an end."

"We ought to observe also that even the things which follow after the things that are produced according to nature contain something pleasing and attractive. For instance, when bread is baked, some parts are split at the surface, and these parts which thus open, and have a certain fashion contrary to the purpose of the baker's art, are beautiful in a manner, and in a peculiar way excite a desire for eating. And again, figs, when they are quite ripe, gape open; and in the ripe olives the very circumstance of their being near to rottenness adds a peculiar beauty to the fruit."

"...dyed deep with justice, accepting with all his soul everything that happens and is assigned to him as his portion..."

"Casting aside other things, hold to the precious few; and besides bear in mind that every man lives on ly the present, which is an indivisible point, and that all the rest of his life is either past or is uncertain. Brief is man's life an dismal the nook of the earth where he lives..."

"For there is no retreat that is quieter or freer from trouble than a man's own soul, especially when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquility; and tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind."

"Note that everything that happens, happens justly, and if you observe carefully, you will find it to be so, not only with respect the continuity of the series of things but with respect to what is just as if it were done by [O]ne who assigns to each thing its value. Observe than as you have begun; and whiter you do, do it in conjunction with goodies, in the sense in which a man is properly understood to be good. keep to this in every action."

"Accordingly on ever occasion a man should ask himself, Is this one of the unnecessary things? Now a man should take away not only unnecessary acts,, but also unnecessary thoughts so that superfluous acts will not follow after."

"You are a little soul bearing up a corpse, as Epictetus used to say."

"It is no evil for things to undergo change, and no good for things to subsist in consequence of change."

"Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break; but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.
'I am unhappy, because this has happened to me.' Not so: say, 'I am happy, though this has happened to me, because I continue free from pain , neither crushed by the present nor fearing the future.'"

"Remember, too, on every occasion that leads you to vexation to apply this principle: not that this is a misfortune, but that to bear it nobly is good fortune."

"In the morning, when you arise unwillingly, let this thought be present I am rising to the work of a human being . Why then am I dissatisfied if I am going to do the things for which I exist and for which i was brought in to the world? Or have I been made for this, to lie under the blankets and keep myself warm? But this is more pleasant. Do you exist then to take your pleasure, and not at all for action or exertion? Do you not see this little plants, the little birds, the ants, the spiders, the bees working together to put in order their separate parts of the universe? And are you unwilling to do the work of a human being, and do you not make haste to do that which is according to your nature? But it is necessary to take rest also. It is necessary: nature, however, has fixed bound to this, too: she has fixed bounds both to eating and drinking, and yet you go beyond these bound, beyond what is sufficient; yet in your acts it is not so, but you stop short of what you can do."

"As a horse when he has run, a dog when he has tracked the game, a bee when it has made the honey, so a man when he has done a good act, does not call outdoor others to come and see, but he goes on to another act, as a vine goes on to produce again the grapes in season."

"For two reasons then it is right to be content with what happens to you; the one, because it was done for you and prescribed for you and in a manner had reference to you, originally form the most ancient causes spun with your destiny; and the other, because even what comes separately to every man is to the power that administers the universe cause of felicity and perfection, even of its very continuance. For the integrity of the whole is mutilated if you cut off anything whatever from the conjunction and the continuity either of the parts or of the causes. And you do cut off, as far as it is in your power, when you are dissatisfied, and in a manner try to put anything out of the way."

"Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts"

"Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear."

"Think of a universal substance, of which you have a very small portion; and of universal time, of which a short and indivisible interval has been assigned to you; and of that which is fixe by destiny, and how small a part of it you are."

"Let the part of your soul that leads and covers be undisturbed by the movements in the flesh, whether of pleasure or of pain; and let it not unit with them, but let it circumscribe itself  and limit those affects to their parts."

"Let it make no difference to you whether you are cold or warm, of you are doing your duty; and whether you are drowsy or satisfied with sleep; and whether ill-spoken of or praised; and whether dying or doing something else. For it is one of the acts of life, this act by which we die: it is sufficient then in this act also to do well what we have in hand."

"Take pleasure in one thing and rest in it: in passing from one social act to another social act, think of God."

"When you have been compelled by circumstances to be disturbed in a manner, quickly return to yourself and do not continue out of tune longer than the compulsion lasts; for you will have more mastery over the harmony by continually recurring to it."

"Some things are hurrying into existence, and others are hurrying out of it; and of that which is coming into existence, part is already extinguished. Mottos and changes are continually renewing the world, just as the uninterrupted course of time is always renewing the infinite duration of ages. In this flowing stream, then, on which there is no abiding, what is there of the things that hurry by on which a man would set a high price? It would be just as if a man should fall in love with one of the sparrows that fly by, when as already passed out of sight. Something of this kind is the very life of every man, like the exhalation of the blood and the respiration of the air."

"...what remains that is worth valuing? This, in my opinion; to move yourself and to restrain yourself in conformity to your proper constitution, to which end all employments and arts lead. For every art aims at this, that the thing that has been made should be adapted to the work from which it has been made..."

"If any man is able to convince me and show me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change; for I seek the truth by which no man was every injured. Be he is injured who abides in his error and ignorance."

"All things are little, changeable, perishable. All things come from that universal ruling power either directly or mediately. And accordingly the lion's gaping jaws, and that which is poisonous, and every harmful thing, such as a thorn or mud, are byproducts of the grand and beautiful."

"Adapt yourself to the things with which you lot has been cast; and the men among whom you have received your portion, love them, and do it truly, sincerely.

"...for he who rules all things will certainly make right use of you..."

"When you wish to delight yourself, think of the virtues of those who live with you; for instance, the activity of one, the modesty of another, the liberality of a third, and some other good quality of a fourth. For nothing delights so much as the examples of the virtues when they are exhibited in the morals of those who live with use and present themselves in abundance, as far as is possible. Hence we must keep them before us."

"Do not be ashamed to be helped; for it is your business to do your duty like a soldier in the assault on a town. What if, being lame, you cannot mount up on the battlements along, but with the help of another it is possible?"

"Al things are mutually intertwined, and the bond is holy; and there is hardly anything unconnected with any other thing. For things have been coordinated and they combine to form one universal order. For there is one universe made up of all things, and one God who pervades all things..."

"Be upright or be made upright"

"Is any man afraid of change? What can take place without change? What then is more pleasing or more suitable to the universal nature? And can you take a hot bath unless the wood for the fire undergoes a change? And can you be nourished unless the food undergoes a change? and can anything else that is useful be accomplished without change? Do you not see then that for yourself also to change is just he same, and equally necessary for the universal nature?"

"Think not so much of what you lack as of what you have: but of the things that you have, select the best, and then reflect how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them. At the same time, however, take care that you do not through being so pleased with them accustom yourself to overvalue them, so as to be disturbed if you should ever not have them."

"About pain: The pain that is intolerable carries us off; but that which lasts a long time is tolerable; and the mind maintains its own tranquility by retiring into itself, and the ruling faculty is not made worse. But the parts that are harmed by pain, let them, if they can, give their opinion about it."

"Indeed in the case of most pains let this remark of Epicurus aid you, that pain is neither intolerable nor everlasting if you bear in mind that it has its limits, and if you add nothing to it in imagination and remember this, too, that we do not perceive that many things that are disagreeable to us are the same as pain, such as excessive drowsiness, and being scorched by heat, and having no appetite. When then you are discontented abut any of these things, say to yourself that you are yielding to pain."

"If you are pained by an y external things, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgement now. But if anything in your own disposition gives you pain, who hinders you from correcting your opinion? And even if you are opined because you aren to doing some particular thing that seems to you to be right, why do you not rather act than complain?"

"Everything that happens either happens in such way as you are formed by nature to bear it, or as you are not formed by nature to bear it. If, then, it happens to you in such way as you are formed by nature to bear it, do not complain, but bear it accordingly. But if it happens in such way as you are not formed by nature to bear it, do not complain, for it will perish after it has consume you. Remember, however, that you are formed by nature to bear everything whose tolerability depends on your own opinion to make it so, by thinking that it is in your interest or duty to do so."

"...magnanimity is the elevation of the intelligent part above the pleasurable or painful sensations of the flesh, and above that poor thing called fame, and death, and all such things."

"But as to what any man shall say or think about him or do against him, he never even thinks of it, being himself contented with these two things, with acting justly in what he now does, and being satisfied with what snow assigned to him; and he lays aside all distracting and busy pursuits, and desires nothing else than to accomplish the straight course through the law, and by accomplishing the straight course to follow God. "

"In everything that you do, pause and ask yourself if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives you of this."

"The healthy ought to see all visible things and not say, "I wish for green things"; for this is the condition of a diseased eye. And the healthy hearing and smelling bought to be ready to perceive all that can be hearted and smelled. And the healthy stomach ought to be with respect all food just as the mill with respect to all things that it is formed to grind."

"You will set little value on pleasant song and dancing and the pancatium, if you will analyze the melody of the voice into its several sounds, and ask yourself as to each, "Am I mastered by this ?"

"...begin at last to be a man while you live."

"And let this truth be present to you in the excitement of anger, that to be moved by passion is not manly, but that excitement of anger, but that mildness and gentleness, as they are more agreeable to human nature, so also are they more manly, and he who possesses these qualities possesses strength, nerves, and courage, and not the man who is subject to fits of passion and discontent. For in the degree to which a man's mind is nearer to freedom from all passion, in the same degree also it is nearer to strength..."

"...and if you shall strive to live what is really your life, that is, the present - then you will be able to pass that portion of life that remains for you up to the time of your death, free from perturbations, nobly and obedient..."

"What shall be a complete drama is determined by Him who was once the cause of its composition, and now of its dissolution; but you are the cause of neither. Depart then satisfied, for He also who releases you is satisfied."

6) David Copperfield
Charles Dickens

7) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll

... 'I wonder what latitude and longitude I've got to?' (Alice hadn't the slightest idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but she thought they were nice grand words to say.) Presently she began again. 'I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downwards! The antipathies, I think --' (she was rather glad there was no one listening, this time, as it didn't sound at all the right word)

It was all very well to say "Drink me," but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. "No, I'll look first," she said, "and see whether it's marked 'poison' or not"; for she had read several nice little stories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts, and other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them: such as , that a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it too long; and that, if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked "poison," it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.

"Come, there's no use in crying like that!" said Alice to herself rather sharply. "I advise you to leave off this minute!" She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it), and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into her eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her own ears for having cheated herself in a game of croquet she was playing against herself.

"The game is going on rather better now, " [Alice] said, by way of keeping up the conversation a little.
"'Tis so," said the Duchess: "and the moral of that is - 'Oh, 'tis love, 'tis love that makes the World go round!'" 
"Somebody said," Alice whispered, "that it's done by everybody minding their own business!" 
"Ah well! it means much the same thing," said the Duchess, digging her sharp little chin into Alice's shoulder...

"I quite agree with you," said the Duchess; "and the moral of that is - 'Be what you would seem to be' - or if you'd like it put more simply - 'Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.'" 

"I only took the regular course." 
"What was that? " inquired Alice.
"Reeling and Writhing, of course to begin with," the Mock Turtle replied; "and then the different branches of Arithmetic - Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision." 
"What else had you to learn?"
"Well, there was Mystery," the Mock Turtle replied, counting off the subjects on his flappers - "Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography: then Drawling - the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come once a week: he taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils. 
"What was that like?" said Alice.
"Well, I can't show it you, myself," the Mock Turtle said: "I'm too stiff. And the Gryphon never learnt it." 
"Hadn't time," said the Gryphon: "I went to the Classical master, though. He was an old crab, he was." 
"I never went to him," the Mock Turtle said with a  sigh. "He taught Laughing and Grief, they used to say." 

"No wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise." 
Wouldn't it, really?" said Alice, in a tone of great surprise.
"Of course not," said the Mock turtle. "Why if a fish came to me, and told me he was going a journey, I should say, 'With what porpoise?'"

Here one of the guinea-pigs cheered, and was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it is done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the mouth with strings; into this they slipped the guinea-pig, head first, and then sat upon.) "I'm glad I've seen that done," thought Alice. "I've so often read in the newspapers, at the end of trials, 'There was some attempt at applause, which was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court,' and I never understood what it meant till now." 

8) Phantastes (Chapters 1-10)
George MacDonald

"I walked listlessly along. What distressed me most--more even than my
own folly--was the perplexing question, How can beauty and ugliness
dwell so near? Even with her altered complexion and her face of dislike;
disenchanted of the belief that clung around her; known for a
living, walking sepulchre, faithless, deluding, traitorous; I felt
notwithstanding all this, that she was beautiful. Upon this I pondered
with undiminished perplexity, though not without some gain."

"I cannot quite tell," she said; "but I am sure she would not look so
beautiful if she did not take means to make herself look more beautiful
than she is. And then, you know, you began by being in love with
her before you saw her beauty, mistaking her for the lady of the
marble--another kind altogether, I should think. But the chief thing
that makes her beautiful is this: that, although she loves no man, she
loves the love of any man; and when she finds one in her power, her
desire to bewitch him and gain his love (not for the sake of his love
either, but that she may be conscious anew of her own beauty,
through the admiration he manifests), makes her very lovely--with a
self-destructive beauty, though; for it is that which is constantly
wearing her away within, till, at last, the decay will reach her face,
and her whole front, when all the lovely mask of nothing will fall to
pieces, and she be vanished for ever."

"Why are all reflections lovelier than what we call the reality?--not
so grand or so strong, it may be, but always lovelier? Fair as is the
gliding sloop on the shining sea, the wavering, trembling, unresting
sail below is fairer still. Yea, the reflecting ocean itself, reflected
in the mirror, has a wondrousness about its waters that somewhat
vanishes when I turn towards itself. All mirrors are magic mirrors. The
commonest room is a room in a poem when I turn to the glass. (And this
reminds me, while I write, of a strange story which I read in the fairy
palace, and of which I will try to make a feeble memorial in its place.)
In whatever way it may be accounted for, of one thing we may be sure,
that this feeling is no cheat; for there is no cheating in nature and
the simple unsought feelings of the soul. There must be a truth involved
in it, though we may but in part lay hold of the meaning. Even the
memories of past pain are beautiful; and past delights, though beheld
only through clefts in the grey clouds of sorrow, are lovely as Fairy
Land. But how have I wandered into the deeper fairyland of the soul,
while as yet I only float towards the fairy palace of Fairy Land! The
moon, which is the lovelier memory or reflex of the down-gone sun, the
joyous day seen in the faint mirror of the brooding night, had rapt me

"From this I was partly aroused by a glimmering of white, that, through
the trees on the left, vaguely crossed my vision, as I gazed upwards.
But the trees again hid the object; and at the moment, some strange
melodious bird took up its song, and sang, not an ordinary bird-song,
with constant repetitions of the same melody, but what sounded like
a continuous strain, in which one thought was expressed, deepening in
intensity as evolved in progress. It sounded like a welcome already
overshadowed with the coming farewell. As in all sweetest music, a tinge
of sadness was in every note. Nor do we know how much of the pleasures
even of life we owe to the intermingled sorrows. Joy cannot unfold
the deepest truths, although deepest truth must be deepest joy. Cometh
white-robed Sorrow, stooping and wan, and flingeth wide the doors she
may not enter. Almost we linger with Sorrow for very love."

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Treasure Shelf: Week II

The Treasure Shelf: Week II

This week I listened twice to T.S. Eliot reading through his Four Quartets and read bits and pieces of it a dozen or so times more. I want so much to just copy it all down here because it's been exploding into color in my mind this week, but I'll try to constrain myself to a few passages (update: this wasn't very successful). Please forgive how broken up the result is. It seems an injustice to take any one part of this poem away from the whole and I've ripped out many sections from their rightful place in context. 

I also read and listened to performances (by the author) of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Wasteland, by T.S. Eliot. I'm newly processing these and therefore have no quotes to add yet. 

My dishes and driving book this week was David Copperfield, chapters 30-45. 

3) The Four Quartets
T.S. Eliot

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.  

Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?

Into our first world. There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.

Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children, 

Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.

Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present. 

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;

Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,

There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where. And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

The inner freedom from the practical desire,

The release from action and suffering, release from the inner 

And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded

By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving, 

Erhebung without motion, concentration

Without elimination, both a new world
And the old made explicit, understood
In the completion of its partial ecstasy,
The resolution of its partial horror.
Yet the enchainment of past and future
Woven in the weakness of the changing body,
Protects mankind from heaven and damnation
Which flesh cannot endure.

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. 

Only a flicker Over the strained time-ridden faces 
Distracted from distraction by distraction 
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning 
Tumid apathy with no concentration 

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. Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, 

Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,

Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place, 

Will not stay still. Shrieking voices

Scolding, mocking, or merely chattering,
Always assail them. The Word in the desert
Is most attacked by voices of temptation,
The crying shadow in the funeral dance,
The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera.

Desire itself is movement

Not in itself desirable;

Love is itself unmoving,

Only the cause and end of movement, 

Timeless, and undesiring

Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation 
Between un-being and being. 

...Keeping time,

Keeping the rhythm in their dancing
As in their living in the living seasons
The time of the seasons and the constellations

The only wisdom we can hope to acquire

Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless. 

And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen

Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing—
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

...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.

The wounded surgeon plies the steel That questions the distempered part; Beneath the bleeding hands we feel

The sharp compassion of the healer's art Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

Our only health is the disease

If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam's curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

The whole earth is our hospital

Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

The chill ascends from feet to knees,

The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

The dripping blood our only drink,

The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood— 
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

...And so each venture

Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. 

And what there is to conquer 

By strength and submission, has already been discovered

Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope 

To emulate—but there is no competition—

There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions

That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business. 

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

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

There is no end, but addition: the trailing 
Consequence of further days and hours, 
While emotion takes to itself the emotionless 
Years of living among the breakage
Of what was believed in as the most reliable— 
And therefore the fittest for renunciation.

We cannot think of a time that is oceanless

Or of an ocean not littered with wastage

Or of a future that is not liable

Like the past, to have no destination.

We had the experience but missed the meaning,

And approach to the meaning restores the experience
In a different form, beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness.

Now, we come to discover that the moments of agony 
(Whether, or not, due to misunderstanding,
Having hoped for the wrong things or dreaded the wrong things, 

Is not in question) are likewise permanent

With such permanence as time has. 

We appreciate this better
In the agony of others, nearly experienced,

Involving ourselves, than in our own.

For our own past is covered by the currents of action,
But the torment of others remains an experience
Unqualified, unworn by subsequent attrition.
People change, and smile: but the agony abides.
Time the destroyer is time the preserver

At the moment which is not of action or inaction

You can receive this: "on whatever sphere of being 

The mind of a man may be intent

At the time of death"—that is the one action
(And the time of death is every moment)
Which shall fructify in the lives of others:
And do not think of the fruit of action.
Fare forward. 

Men's curiosity searches past and future

And clings to that dimension. But to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint—
No occupation either, but something given
And taken, in a lifetime's death in love,
Ardour and selflessness and self-surrender.
For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning

Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply

That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses, 

Hints followed by guesses; and the rest

Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.
The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation. 

Here the impossible union

Of spheres of existence is actual,
Here the past and future
Are conquered, and reconciled,
Where action were otherwise movement
Of that which is only moved
And has in it no source of movement—
Driven by daemonic, chthonic
Powers. And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying;
We, content at the last
If our temporal reversion nourish
(Not too far from the yew-tree)
The life of significant soil. 

In windless cold that is the heart's heat,

Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier, Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing The soul's sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time's covenant. Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
Not in the scheme of generation.

And what you thought you came for

Is only a shell, a husk of meaning
From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled

If at all. Either you had no purpose

Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured
And is altered in fulfillment

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.

There are three conditions which often look alike

Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:
Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment
From self and from things and from persons; and, growing between them, 


Which resembles the others as death resembles life,
Being between two lives—unflowering, between
The live and the dead nettle. This is the use of memory:
For liberation—not less of love but expanding
Of love beyond desire, and so liberation
From the future as well as the past. Thus, love of a country
Begins as attachment to our own field of action
And comes to find that action of little importance
Though never indifferent. History may be servitude,
History may be freedom. See, now they vanish,
The faces and places, with the self which, as it could, loved them,
To become renewed, transfigured, in another pattern.

Sin is Behovely, but
All shall be well, and
All manner of thing shall be well.

If I think, again, of this place,

And of people, not wholly commendable, 

Of no immediate kin or kindness,

But of some peculiar genius,
All touched by a common genius,
United in the strife which divided them; 

If I think of a king at nightfall,

Of three men, and more, on the scaffold 

And a few who died forgotten

In other places, here and abroad,
And of one who died blind and quiet 

Why should we celebrate

These dead men more than the dying?
It is not to ring the bell backward
Nor is it an incantation
To summon the spectre of a Rose.
We cannot revive old factions
We cannot restore old policies
Or follow an antique drum.
These men, and those who opposed them 

And those whom they opposed

Accept the constitution of silence
And are folded in a single party. 

Whatever we inherit from the fortunate 
We have taken from the defeated
What they had to leave us—a symbol: 

A symbol perfected in death.

And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive 
In the ground of our beseeching. 

The dove descending breaks the air 

With flame of incandescent terror

Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error. 

The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre of pyre— 
To be redeemed from fire by fire.
Who then devised the torment? Love. 
Love is the unfamiliar Name

Behind the hands that wove

The intolerable shirt of flame

Which human power cannot remove. 
We only live, only suspire 
Consumed by either fire or fire. 

An easy commerce of the old and the new,

The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, 

Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat 
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start. 

We die with the dying:

See, they depart, and we go with them.

We are born with the dead:

See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree 

Are of equal duration.

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, unremembered 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. 

4) The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The Wasteland
T.S. Eliot