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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Today is September 11 and a sad day. I am going to share with you a poem by the German poet, Herman Hesse, that has been haunting me all week. Hesse lived from 1877 to 1962.

Stages of Life

As every flower fades and as all youth departs,
So life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age,
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send us
Speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.

-Herman Hesse
Quoted in Peter van Breemen’s “Summoned at Every Age” pp. 14-15

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