Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
~William Butler Yeats from “The Second Coming”
The city orbits around eight million
centers of the universe
and turns around the golden clock
at the still point of this place.
Lift up your eyes from the moving hive
and you will see time circling
under a vault of stars and know
just when and where you are.
~Billy Collins “Grand Central”
At the still point of the turning world.
Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards;
at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered.
Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline.
Here is a place of disaffection
Time before and time after
In a dim light: neither daylight
Investing form with lucid stillness
Turning shadow into transient beauty
With slow rotation suggesting permanence
Nor darkness to purify the soul
Emptying the sensual with deprivation
Cleansing affection from the temporal.
Neither plentitude nor vacancy.
~T.S. Eliot from “Burnt Norton” The Four Quartets
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25
Which shall it be?
Billions of people orbit the center – or – each of us strives to be our own center of the universe, but cannot hold on there.
We’ve been to Grand Central Station, a relaxed rest stop compared to the moving hive we navigated at Shinjuku Station and Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo, a city four times the size of New York.
Try as I might to picture train stations constituting a “center” holding a great city together, such works of man – like political leaders – have only a tenuous hold on those who come and go. We each desire to do what is right in our own eyes.
As a result, there is no glue; things fall apart.
The Center only holds when it constitutes the Source itself-
the origin, the beginning and the end and everything in between.
Starting from there, no matter how far you may feel from the Center,
you have no doubt about who and where and when you are.
Then and only then, you know what is right to do.
More photos and words of encouragement are found in this new book from Barnstorming, available for order here:
One thought on “The Center Cannot Hold”
Achingly, desperately relevant for the time(s) in which we are living. There is no place that
has not been touched, no soul that is not silently weeping. We know by faith that THE SOURCE
is present among us per His Promises. Our eyes are dimmed, our hearts turned to stone, as we are deluged by the sounds of suffering and despair among our brothers and sisters – not just in our nation, but in the entire earth as each human soul, each living entity seeks peace and the end
of our collective nightmare..
Maranatha, Lord Jesus! In your mercy and compassion, show us the WAY — once again.
We are lost, blinded, listening to the wrong voices that will only lead us to destruction and
the dimming of His Light to lead us – once again – out of our darkness.
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