I woke up this morning with a line from Ash Wednesday by T.S. Eliot floating in my thoughts:
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word
I don’t know why. Maybe it was just a bit of dream flotsam, but it was hard to shake the hunch that it was supposed to mean something. Maybe it’s a sticky note from my unconscious mind. So all day long I’ve let it hang there in my peripheral awareness, along with the fact that it’s New Year’s Eve, in hopes of decrypting the meaning.
Now an Eliot scholar might tell us that the larger stanza is a metaphor of the incarnation in the world of God. The divine condescension of Infinity. The Word, as in the first lines of Genesis – a prefigurment of nativity – possibly connoting the repudiation and crucifixion of Christ by an unhearing Mankind. But that’s not why it was buzzing in my brain as I woke up.
By Jove, I think I’ve got it. The whirling, the unstillness – My mind was groping for an image of Time whirling around the center of eternity. Because I have wasted too much time this year. I’ve wasted too much time every year. And it seems to me that time is precious. We should endeavor to avoid wasting it, or allowing others to do so.
Hasn’t it been truly said that there are no ordinary moments? Then let’s make our moments, hours, and days count for all we can in the year to come. Let’s try to spend as few moments as possible almost writing, almost doing, almost loving, not quite living.
And let’s forgive ourselves for not quite living up to that. God is with us and we are loved.
For me, 10 minutes until the ball drops. So it goes.
Happy New Year.