All paths will this traveler meet
They pass by woods and roses sweet
They pass through town and rising city
Never more the stars to pity
For their loneliness has given way
To obscurity in night and day
And paths that lead not to the sky
Can only move on with a sigh
And worm past tilled and untilled dirt
And along the sea and ocean skirt
Until they come to where all do
As eventually, they meet Death — you.

10 thoughts on “Paths

  1. Your writing is both elegant and eloquent, Rachel. You express concerns common to most, but with most uncommon style and grace.

    Naturally, the same fate awaits us all, making the real concern what each of us does with those years between now and then. Not just to look back with honeyed satisfaction when our time comes, but to leave gifts for generations hence. A legacy to those we never will meet (at least not in this world, anyway). Just as we ourselves benefited from those countless billions among centuries past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
      and people who will see a world that I shall never know.”
      From “I Sit and Think” by J. R. R. Tolkien. Lovely poem, though those two lines persist in my head particular, and came to mind here.

      Heh. I think you have a corner on elegance and eloquence, Keith.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wonderful selection, Rachel!

        Poets lift feelings and yearnings baffled in most people’s internal cotton, and they express them with wit, style and clarity. Not that you would know, well, just about everything, about that.

        By the way, what gives? I though Tolkien wrote only about elves. 😲

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What! Just about elves? Well then you’re in for quite a surprise: he wrote excellent drinking songs too! And bath songs. And traveling songs. Elves may get most of the glory, but you can’t count out those hobbits. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I always remember the song the dwarves sang when they first visited Bilbo’s home. Something about being careful with the plates. So that would make it, what, a dishwashing song?

            Didn’t Tolkien write “The Hobbit” during the war, from an Underground (subway) station which was used as an air-raid shelter? The lighting wouldn’t have been very good, but no doubt it was wonderfully atmospheric for the imagination. That would explain all the caves, secret passages and hidden lairs.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ha! Yeah, it would. Can’t believe I neglected that one.

              I’m afraid I don’t actually know much about the background of the book(s). That’s an interesting story, though; and yes, it would explain all the caves and lairs and such. 😆

              Liked by 2 people

  2. You have to figure, everything Tolkien wrote after “The Hobbit” was just a continuation of that original theme.

    At first it seemed odd, as much of “The Hobbit” is sparkling, bright, whimsical or fantastic – think of the original (and concluding) time in the shire, as well as time spent among the elves.

    Seems strangely wonderful a topic for someone cowering underground, hiding from a world in conflagration. Maybe it isn’t, though, as so much of “The Hobbit” may be seen as escapist yearning for happier times before everyone went mad.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That would certainly make sense. There are some things we cannot escape entirely, though; all we can do is rewrite them. And a mundane, bookish, comfort-loving person thrust into danger and fire and war, ultimately returning to places of peace no longer quite the same person who left it? It may be spoken lightly, but I suspect there is some grim truth in that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Quite astute, Rachel, and naturally, I agree. Trauma does change a person, both in terms of allowing him/her to appreciate the good moments as never before, and also of changing the way in which “neutral” situations are viewed. Indeed, one’s subsequent priorities and ideals also are forever different.

        “There are some things we cannot escape entirely.” Yeah, some things, like, um, Life, right? In fact, isn’t that entirely what our existence here accomplishes, rewriting things? Obviously, Trauma manifests for some with a particular viscousness, but we all have to mitigate it.

        All those “re-“s – rewriting, revision, and reform – make things more tolerable here and now, but also are our gift to the future. To people we never will meet, if you want to get philosophical (and we do).

        Likewise, how much better are things today because of rewriting people did in Caesar Augustus’s time? Pretty impressive authorship for a people who largely were illiterate. ✍

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s