Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Dried Tubers and The Third

Read The Waste Land after many years today. The first few lines were like meeting a dear friend after many years. So familiar and undiminished

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers

The part about feeding a little life with dried tubers has changed in meaning for me. Indeed April was the cruellest month once and made me want to seek shelter in the anonymous blandness of
Winter - a time of limited need or want. Dried tubers kept me alive but never quite fed the soul. In time April would not be so cruel anymore. Memory could mix with desire and not turn into pain.

In today's reading, these lines made me pause, read again and wonder about the many way in which to think about the mysterious third on the other side of you.

Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
—But who is that on the other side of you?

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