So I’m definitely a little obsessed with T.S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’, and I will continue to mine these poems for T.S. Tuesday content.
Today’s excerpt comes from East Coker, No. 2 of ‘Four Quartets.’
“In my beginning is my end. In succession
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth”
The poem begins with “In the beginning is my end” and ends with “In my end is my beginning.”
What happens in between? In between the beginning and the ending and the beginning again?
Here, Eliot speaks of the building and destroying and restoring of houses. Movement happens. Progress happens in this in-between, this meanwhile, this space between the now and the not yet.
Movements from building to destroying, from knowledge to ignorance, from life to death, which breeds more life.
Our lives are a series of progressions, of movements. We move from children to parents. From students to teachers. From singled to married. From coupled to heartbroken. From employed to laid off and back again to be promoted.
These movements are constant: sometimes they’re life-giving; sometimes they stink of death. Sometimes the moving feels more like shaking, a quivering between growth and retreat.
My spiritual life has followed a series of movements: from unerring confidence to despondent doubts. From running from God’s presence to basking in God’s love. From tearing down dogma to stacking up truths.
Where are you moving? What’s more, where is God moving? Are you moving toward life or are you ushering in death? How is God leading you to give life and grieve death in all of the movements of your life?