paradox

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What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.

A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Excerpts from T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding”

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2 responses »

  1. I forgot how much I loved this. Thanks for sharing, Sarah. I reposted a stanza on Facebook. I have two nieces who attended Christian schools all through college and now have left the faith, but I hope that they will not cease from exploration, and the end of all their exploring will be to arrive where they started and to know the place for the very first time.

    – Maggie, your CR buddy

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