Posted by: Natalie | June 8, 2011

All Shall Be Well

T.S. Eliot - not my Dad!

For anyone who doesn’t read the comments alongside the posts (well, why would you?) I thought I would share the most recent comment from my Dad on yesterday’s ramble. I was so unbelievably touched this morning as I read the words of T. S. Eliot (not a man I have widely read – or at all thinking about it) borrowed by my Dad to inspire and instil a sense of calm. But it perfectly describes my time a-wandering over the past couple of years – losing my way, exploring and evolving and yet still, by happy chance, returning to the place where I began. It is true, I feel like I see things in a more beautiful clarity than before, as if I am seeing things again for the first time – but with some added extras to the first time around.

Apparently, after a quick Google, I find that this passage is taken from Little Gidding, the fourth section to a huge work, Four Quartets. Not only does the poem represent the changing of seasons, but much deeper, philosophical notions of humanity, time, perspective and salvation. It also suggests that our past, present and future are forever linked; that every end is yet another beginning and only when we can appreciate this can we reach our eternal salvation. I have no idea if this is true – having skimmed through some of the poem I am not entirely sure what it is Eliot is actually saying – he is a complicated man. But this section I get. And I think it feels all the more connected to me and all the more remarkable and poignant because it was sent to me by my Dad. All shall be well, I am going home – in more than one sense.

As, for my understanding of Eliot’s religious connotations and my eternal soul? I think it is a lesson I can learn another day. It will be fine, for now at least!

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.

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