Be alert

I finished reading Howard’s discussion of “Burnt Norton in Dove Descending.”  Thinking on it will take longer.
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….time is the form (the shape; the frame) in the very limited dimensions of which we catch the fleeting hint of eternity.  We are perched, so to speak, on the cusp between un-being and being.  Between that “time” when we weren’t, and the state of affairs when we will have fully arrived at “being”, that is, at the fullness of being for which we mortals are destined.
   “Sudden in a shaft of sunlight…”  In the next five lines Eliot augments the picture. The thing–our fugitive, partial, intermittent grasp of the eternal–may occur, say, in a moment as fleeting as a shaft of sunlight slanting through the window, illuminating the little dancing dust particles (what my infant son once called “sunshine crumbs”)…Be alert (“quick”) to apprehend it.  It’s “here, now, always–“.  That is, if you stay alive to the whole enormous business addressed in Four Quartets–the teasing mystery of being mortal while all the while you are made for eternal Joy–there won’t be a moment or an event or a place where you won’t find your sleeve plucked by this mystery.  And, in the light of this, how dismal, even ridiculous, is my lot if I merely shuffle along through time, blind, deaf, and shrouded by ennui, which is is precisely what most of us do…

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