The Beginning and The End


The Beginning and The End

Do your duty and live well--hard to understand yet easy to do.
Live with your duty and do well--easy to understand yet hard to do.

We are often presented with this conundrum.  The search of a whole lifetime comes down to what is right, but what is right changes infinitely over a lifetime.  When I finish my day, sometimes there is a noble aspect that looms over what I have done, giving me a confidence to carry on in my endeavors, then at other times everything seems worthless, things happen and I am just a part of some growing confusion.

'The rain, 
Once the light has restored 
Its nature to the leaves, 
Forgets the joy of its burden 
To leave the rest of us in peace...'
(Excerpt from Day-Keepers published in The Uninitiated)

Light and dark, rain and sun, good and bad, the extremes of everything that is imaginable take place here on this earth; their consequences, their moral aspect, take place in us; we are at once a part of the earth and of the things that happen in it and the whole idea of self-indulgence or self-negation is tied up in this.  If we walk into an antique shop and there is a sign that says 'no touching', we take care to leave things as they are, almost with an aspect of awe, and yet all of it could be junk.  When perfume comes into contact with the skin, it changes smell.  Food tastes different in another's mouth.  We cannot stop the chaos of what is happening, so why seek chaos when something happens?  We do not remember our birth, so how will it be possible to remember our death?

Douglas Thornton


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