Old men ought to be explorers
Here and there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.
– T.S. Eliot, East Coker
Beginning at the end as I do in quoting this masterpiece is admittedly the easy path, but seems appropriate given the context. I’m roughly where TS Eliot was when he wrote East Coker – middle of life (hopefully). Or maybe just past the middle. But who’s counting? Days are days, and here and there does not matter. Time will tell, as it always does.
This blogger has settled into this rhythm of still and still moving. Moments of quiet contemplation, deep reading and exploration interspersed too infrequently with mountaintop adventures and faraway places. Thoughts of past exploration and schemes of future possibility fill the mind, and are betrayed by more than a few posts. We aren’t sharks, always moving, but humans immersed in life in all its complexity. The thoughtful wrestle with the same ideas, the masses distract themselves with media and games.
Old folks ought to be explorers. And us not-so-old folks too. We ought to be out seeing the world, exploring vast waters and rounding bends. Bridging gaps in language and understanding and toasting the folly of it all with old and newfound friends. Catching a sideways glance and throwing it back. Dancing in celebration and settling into deep conversations. We will again, we see that now. Where will you go? What will you do with the time you’re given?
This human journey leads to another, more intense place, or perhaps merely to stillness. Who are we to know, really? Do you choose logic or faith? Which is the real leap? Our path is one of tapping our potential, to struggle and explore the darkest and brightest days alike. To make the best we can of ourselves. To turn it all over and understand where we came from. This seems to me the way, for the end is the beginning. In some ways, we’ve known that all along, haven’t we?