Monday, 24 October 2011

A cloudburst doesn't last all day (even in Ottawa)

I've mentioned in my blog before that I've been reading a couple of "A Poem a Day" anthologies. I've also mentioned that several times, the day's poem has an eerie significance to the week's events.

So yesterday, as you may recall (or not), I was remembering U2's song "Stuck in a Moment" which ends with: "It's just a moment/This too shall pass."

The poem for Saturday, when I was gearing up for yesterday's post and recovering from the trauma of the previous week's miscommunication crisis with younger daughter's school, was Timothy Leary's adaptation (from several English translations into "psychodelese") of this 2700-year-old poem by Taoist philosopher Lao-Tsu:

All things pass
A sunrise does not last all morning
All things pass
A cloudburst does not last all day
All things pass
Nor a sunset all night
All things pass
What always changes?

Earth . . . sky . . . thunder . . .
mountain . . . water . . .
wind . . . fire . . . lake . . .

These change
And if these do not last

Do man's visions last?
Do man's illusions?

Take things as they come

All things pass

And I recognised the words immediately, and thought of one of the most touching moments during the Concert for George, put together by the late George Harrison's son, wife and famous friends, when Paul McCartney sang "All Things Must Pass". What makes this just a tad more bitter-sweet is that the 1970 album "All Things Must Pass" contained a backlog of George Harrison compositions rejected for inclusion in Beatles albums. I wonder if this one was one of them.

Happy times pass away. Luckily, the same goes for sad times.

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