Sunday, June 24, 2012

Action = Eloquence, Freedom

"Ascend to summer in the tree
We move above the moving tree
In light upon the figured leaf"

from T. S. Eliot's The Four Quartets
Part I, "Burnt Norton"

A couple of days ago, Gerry told me that he had come across a really good quotation about action.

I got all excited and jumped the gun: "Oh is it the one about "right action is freedom"?

No, that wasn't it. Gerry's new quote was new for me also:

"Action is eloquence."

from Shakespeare's Coriolanus

I read Coriolanus once years ago but can't recall ever learning this passage. Thus, I'm counting it as a new -- and intriguing concept -- to think about. Or, even better, to act upon!

Still, though I couldn't quite put my finger on it, that other line kept echoing through my head: "Right action . . . right action . . . right action."

Then yesterday, in a completely unrelated search (or maybe not so unrelated after all!), I was browsing through my posts to find an Eliot passage that I wanted to share with a friend: we "are only undefeated / because we have gone on trying." As I got ready to cut and paste, can you guess what words came into my line of sight?

Let's hear it for connection and coincidence! Suddenly it all fell into place:
"And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying . . . "

from T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets:
Part III, The Dry Salvages
Central Park in June

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