Eating Poetry (XVII) – Metaphysical Darkness

1. Your Majesty, when we compare the present life of man on earth with that time of which we have no knowledge, it seems to me like the swift flight of a single sparrow through the banqueting-hall where you are sitting at dinner on a winter’s day with your thegns and counsellors. In the midst there is a comforting fire to warm the hall; outside, the storms of winter rain or snow are raging. This sparrow flies swiftly in through one door of the hall, and out through another. While he is inside, he is safe from the winter storms; but after a few moments of comfort, he vanishes from sight into the wintry world from which he came. Even so, man appears on earth for a little while; but of what went before this life or of what follows, we know nothing.

Saint Bede, Ecclesiastical History of England

2. This great evil… where’d it come from? How’d it steal into the world?
What seed, what root did it grow from?
Who’s doing this? Who’s killing us?
Robbing us of life and light, mocking us with the sight of what we might have known? Does our ruin benefit the Earth? Does it help the grass to grow and the sun to shine?
Is this darkness in you too?
Have you passed through this night?

Terrance Malick, screenplay of The Thin Red Line

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