Friday, January 25, 2008

At the Still Point of the Turning World ...

Another photo I took at King's Cross today. Amid all the blurry hustle and bustle of the station concourse, one chap serenely sat in quiet contemplation. I'm desperately trying not to sound too drippy here but I immediately recalled some lines from T S Eliot's Burnt Norton. Like many of Eliot's poems it was seared into my adolescent brain by Mrs Carr during A Level English years ago. I didn't remember it word-perfect so I've lifted it from my tattered old copy of Four Quartets:

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.

As it happened, it was really only the first line that suited my photo. Amazingly, my 30 year old school book is stuffed full of pencilled notes I made as a student. And I have no idea what any of it means any more. Dark nights of the soul? Oyster shells and bowls of rose leaves?

Pretentious, watashi?

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