Sometimes words stalk me in the middle of the night. There’s some stuff I have been mulling over for a while now and I suppose that the subconscious pools bubbled up to the surface and woke me up. So, I wrote. In the end all art is theft (I think I stole this line as well), and this piece is the byproduct of my sources, so I owe this to the artists and philosophers who have blazed this trail before me. For those of you who are in the ad fontes kind of mood, these are my sources:
TS Eliot’s Four Quartets
Lisel Mueller’s In Passing
Henri Bergson’s An Introduction to Metaphysics
* Apologies for the formatting, I still haven’t been able to get WordPress to behave
Zeno’s Nocturne Hymn
The moment freezes the arrow in midair,
the black oak leaves encased in the amber afternoon
remain still while the cold breezes between
autumn and winter blow.
Time and motion cease at the still point
and point to the beginning of motion and time
and their end.
Emptiness and fullness are the child
of the same mother,
who was with the LORD before all worlds
when the Word was spoken in the beginning.
She is ours in fear and the end of fear
when at last fools learn wisdom and renounce
the poisoned fruit of our first garden.
Knowledge is regained in unknowing and
trembling ceases when we learn to tremble.
The autumn rose shrugs off her mysterious bud
at the thorned end of her ascent,
still, ever and always still the blossom lingers
in the eternal moment,
and what is precious is lost upon the frosts of winters morning.
Her petals make the slow descent
to the barren soil and blanket the sepulcher
when time begins again at its Lenten end.
Calm midnight is forever still and
starlight frozen in unceasing circuit.
Orion ceases in the moment
between past and future and forever shines.
The oaken leaves in November’s amber afternoon
are called and recalled into the ceaseless night by memory;
where the past is made immortal in the present,
where future leaves rattle in tomorrow’s breeze
under the same still starlight.
Oak and rose, Advent and Lent
are the same child of the same Mother,
ascending and descending on the still point,
sharing the same seed of Eden and Gethsemane.
The thorned bud ascends from the same Sepulcher.
Midnight and afternoon
stand forever still in the same memory.
By: Jedidiah Paschall