Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The past above, the future below


"The past above, the future below
and the present pouring down..."
wrote Dr. Williams. Is that
correct? Or is the future above
and the past below?

The stream
that is departing from itself as
it was is above and is the past.
The stream that is coming to itself
as it will be is below and is
the future. Or:

The stream yet
to come is above and is the future.
The stream that has gone by
is below and is the past.

In its riddles in the world
in the mind in the world
the stream is the stream
beyond words, beginning nowhere
ending nowhere.

It falls as rain.
It flows in all its length. It enters
finally the sea. It rises into the air.
It falls as rain. To the watcher
on the shore, it comes and it

The immeasurable, untestable,
irrecoverable moment of its passing
is the present, always already
past before we can say that it is
present, that it was the future
flowing into the past or is
the past flowing into the future

or both at once into the present
that is ever-passing and eternal,
the instantaneous, abounding life.

~ Wendell Berry