The Central Calm

by Edward Carpenter


Original Language English

Drawing back for a moment from Time, and its superficial claims and conclusions,
Realising for a moment the artistic nature of the utterance of the Universe:

That all is for expression, and that for this end commencement and finale, first evolved and latest evolved, are equally important;

That Progress is a word which may be applied to any world-movement or individual career in the same sense as it may be applied to the performance of a musical work,
Which progresses to its final chord, yet the conclusion of the whole is not in the final chord, but in that which runs beneath and inspires the entire web--in that which from first to last the whole complex succession of chords and phrases indicates:

Realising this--

Realising--thus for a moment withdrawn--that there is no need to hurry, no need to dash against the bars;
But that Time itself rushing on with amazing swiftness in its vast and endless round, with suns and systems, ages and geologic epochs, races and tribes of beings, mineral, vegetable, animal, and ethereal, circle beyond circle, infallibly fulfills and gives utterance to the glorious whole:

Like one in the calm that is the centre of a cyclone--guarded by the very tornado around--
Undisturbed, yet having access equally to every side,
I drink of the deep well of rest and joy,
And sit with all the gods in Paradise.

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The Central Calm