Eternal Flames

“Death is not extinguishing the light;
it is only putting out the lamp
because the dawn has come.” Rabindranath Tagore

Though we who breathe and live
Our small time on this ground
By dawn we need to forgive,
The dead who must surround
Us all with constant flames,
And pass out keys and clues
And prompt us with their cues,
And traces we cannot name
Of memory, hope and desire
That consume us in their fire.

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8 Replies to “Eternal Flames”

  1. On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.

    The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.

    They build their houses with sand, and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.

    They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl-fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.

    The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, even like a mother while rocking her baby’s cradle. The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.

    On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams in the pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.

    ― Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali

  2. This is a very special quote for me. When my father passed away just over a year ago, this is the quote that came to me just when I needed it. We live in a finite existence yet I know that within us is infinity. Thank you for this post – it warmed my heart.

  3. Rebecca, I’m glad this piece spoke to you. I feel intuitively that finite and infinite worlds overlap, like a mandorla (the ancient christian symbol of the fish).

    I’ve been meaning to ask you if you found The Road Less Traveled, the book your Dad recommended?

  4. I did find “The Road Less Traveled.” And I found it in audio form which is always more meaningful for me. When I go for my walks I have my iPod with me. Hearing the voice of the author, M. Scott Peck, is like having him walk beside me. Thank you for remembering!!! So glad that we connected….

  5. Yes I share the same opinion, listening to the author is different, there authenticity is carried over somehow… I have some of Joko-Beck’s lectures on my media player. Just her voice speaks volumes. I feel it prepares me for the day ahead.

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