In an era of lockdowns and silence between humans, I was inspired enough to dig out my ancient copy of T.S. Eliot's FOUR QUARTETS and write a few verses from it in a public space.
THE DRY SALVAGES
Where is there an end of it, the soundless wailing,
The silent withering of autumn flowers
Dropping their petals and remaining motionless;
Where is there an end to the drifting wreckage,
The prayer of the bone on the beach, the unprayable
Prayer at the calamitous annunciation?
There is no end, but addition; the trailing
consequence of further days and hours,
While emotion takes to itself the emotionless
Years of living among the breakage
Of what was believed in as the most reliable -
And therefore the fittest for renunciation.
There is the final addition, the failing
Pride or resentment at failing powers,
The unattached devotion which might pass for devotionless,
In a drifting boat with a slow leakage,
The silent listening to the undeniable
Clamour of the bell of the last annunciation.
I chose these verses as they spoke to me of a time without memory of time passing, just another imposition upon freedoms, just another lockdown to endure.
Yet we knew at the beginning and at the present time that this ship captaining a crew of suspended belief will shipwreck itself upon a shore when a final bell clamours loudly, and we know then it was all wrong all along.
I took a photo today when I walked past the verses, overjoyed to see a dialogue had begun. Anonymous we may be, yet how deeply we long to converse with each other!