8. February 2013
I’ve been reading Four Quartets by T.S. Elliot, which I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone with an interest or knowledge in Quantum Theory, or temporal philosophy, or just straight out beautiful, compressed prose. It was recommended to me by a Physics professor friend of mine. If you haven’t read poetry before, then just remember to take it slow. Just like a question on a test, you won’t get the whole answer without going back over the problem to verify your accuracy. Unlike a test, the answer you get will change depending on where you are in your life when you read the poem.
Anyway, here’s the story for today. It’s the shortest one so far. Hopefully it’s also the best.
by Heydon Hensley
In the rose garden, sun streaming between the knit blanket of clouds, T.S. Elliot came to him. “That which is only living/ can only die. Words, after speech, reach/ into the silence.” Somehow these words comforted him, as he cupped a scarlet rose in one hand and snipped the stem, just below the throat. Like this rose, he was only living, could only die, but see how beautiful the rose was in death: head full of crimson, youthful, green arms still frolicking, still reaching for the sun. Surely this was better than growing – blooming too much – into a flatness, only to drop beauty petal by petal until, naked, freezing in the winter and dying, withered, ugly, detested. But see how, chopped from the rest, it stands out – vibrant always in the mind. No one would remember it drooping, being thrown out. The vigor, the vibrance – these would be remembered and in the remembrance, achieve immortality.
If a rose could achieve immortality in death, then how much more so himself? Yes, certainly. If that which lives, dies, then that which dies while life still burns brightly… These wrist – his stem… what a trifle to pay for immortal youth, vigor.
He reached down and snipped another rose.