You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
“If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies…. It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it.”
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
~T.S. Eliot, Excerpt from The Waste Land, 1922
Amidst the refuse of The Waste Land, buried in the rubble of hopelessness and of meaninglessness is a small sense of hope; A shelter from the storm. This secret place of solace seems to be something that is hard to find in this vast, desolate waste land. Yet we are encouraged to seek it out.
We must step out of all the despair; remove ourselves from the chaos and destruction to be able to see what exactly is happening on the inside of the waste land. To remove our self from the world, so that we might gaze upon it from a whole new perspective. Not as our self and the rest of the world, separate entities; but as our self, part of this world. Belonging to it; as though we are a limb upon an immense body. Our actions rippling across our body, reshaping it, moving it and changing it.
It is no waste land, devoid of life, emotion and meaning. As one side of a coin cannot exist without its opposite, we exist in a world of paradox where “life at its highest moments of meaning and intensity resembles death.”1
1. Brooks Jr., Cleanth. “The Waste Land: An Analysis.” Eliot 185-210.
2. Bartleby.com, The Waste Land
3. Yahoo! Voices, Analysis of a Passage from T.S. Eliot’s the Waste Land
Everything you take for granted is a blessing. Everything you fear is a friend in disguise. Everything you want is a part of you. Everything you hate you hate about yourself. Everything you own does not define you. Everything you feel is the only Truth there is to know.
Everything you wish for is already on its way to you. Everything you think creates your life. Everything you seek for you will find. Everything you resist will stick around. Everything you let go of stays if it’s supposed to. Everything you need is right where you are.
Every time you bless another you bless yourself. Every time you blame another you lose your power. Every time you think you can, you can. Every time you fall you must get up and try again. Every time you cry you’re one tear closer to joy. Every time you ask for forgiveness, all you have to do is forgive yourself.
Everyone you see is your reflection. Everyone you know mirrors you. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to live in joy. Everyone seeks a higher purpose. Everyone breathes the same breath. Everyone needs love to survive. Everyone has a purpose to fulfill.
Everyone’s the same as everyone else. We just get caught up in labels, names, skin color and religion. Everyone’s the same as everyone else. No one wants to feel the pain. Everyone’s the same as everyone else. Everyone is dying for love to remain.
~Jackson Kiddard, Everything, every time, everyone…