Sometimes, I find good poetry superior to everything else. Tonight is one such night. These are T.S. Eliot, except where otherwise noted.
In my beginning is my end.
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 [German for elevating] 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.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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.
You’ve got to walk / that lonesome valley / Walk it yourself / You’ve gotta gotta go / By yourself / Ain’t nobody else / gonna go there for you / Yea, you’ve gotta go there by yourself.—TRADITIONAL GOSPEL SONG
Old men ought to be explorers
Here and there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise.
In my end is my beginning.
This is how a human being can change. There is a worm addicted to eating grape leaves. Suddenly, he wakes up, call it grace, whatever, something wakes him, and he is no longer a worm. He is the entire vineyard, and the orchard too, the fruit, the trunks, a growing wisdom and joy that does not need to devour. – Rumi
Have a great night.