09 April 2006

Other echoes inhabit the garden. Shall we follow? (First Quartet)

Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence.

Cups of tea stacked up on old books, curling steam. We have turned out all the lights. Why are holy places dark places?

Samantha says the wind sounds like the Harpies, screaming along the corners of the house, and speaks of the dancer, at the still point of the turning world.

David says that England is covered by time, a beautiful and oppressive history, English pride and resentment, pressing down.

We agree that Love has no time – and Nathan mentions the Boethian Wheel, the Primum Mobile - Love is the centerpoint.

Katie talks about eternity, set in the hearts of men. We will always be longing, frustrated by the limitations of our lives and our words.

Like Derrida said, Matt reminds us, we're all watching words slide around eachother, clumsily.

And Dr. Mitchell quotes Plato – because music touches the soul of children – and prepares them to behold true beauty. There are children in this poem. Who are they? Who are we?

We play music for one another – Simon & Garfunkel, Addaggio for Strings, Over the Rhine, and Tu Se Morta - we've all chosen music for our objects of beauty.

And all is always now. Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Will not stay still. Shrieking voices
Scolding, mocking, or merely chattering,
Always assail them. The Word in the desert
Is most attacked by voices of temptation...

We are speaking exactly of this: that this moment in the dark is something we will never ever get down well enough for ourselves or for others to behold again fully. It exists only in memory and memory is fleeting. It is expressed only in words and words are too imprecise. Even as we sit here, in the dim borrowed house, creaking in our chairs, speaking in quiet voices, we are loosing everything we have to the tyranny of time.

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing dust on a bowl of rose-leaves

I do not know.


Sarah said...

soooo glad it was good. i love the dark. we need to pray in the dark more. i want to hear about it all tonight :-)

(i think i've already listened to "anna" at least 20 times today...)

jules said...

sounds divine.

i'm reading deuteronomy and pondering the desert.

Matt Zehnder said...

Hello Hannah,
Glad you had fun; I was very glad that you came, it was fun to have you along.

So I have this idea for espesso, I'll tell you next time I see you....


Matt Zehnder said...

I really like what you wrote....

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