Interesting quote…isn’t it? I’m somewhat quieted by it…it speaks to me on so many levels and planes…it’s simple enuf that I can read it and digest it’s meaning plainly…but as I read it again it’s like the skins of an onion coming away revealing a new undiscovered layer… The layers are within me, tho…not in the quote…
It’s funny tho…I kno the quote from a movie…a fairly frivolous movie with nearly no intellectual worth…save for that of pop cultural value. The movie is Star Trek: Generations…the character of Doctor Tolian Soran says to Captain Picard, “They say time is the fire in which we burn. Right now, Captain, my time is running out. We leave so many things unfinished in our lives…I know you understand…” The quotes relevance in the movie is simple…but it tugs at my heart strings and causes me to wax nostalgic about the empty yesterdays in my life.
As I am writing this I’ve done my research about the quote…and found that it has a deeper rooting in legitimacy…it’s taken from a poem by a poet by the name of Delmore Schwartz, entitled Calmly We Walk Through This April Day.
Here is the final stanza of that poem…the quote itself sang out with some much clarity to me…but the poem quite literally screams and moans with even more clarity…again here it is:
Each minute bursts in the burning room,
The great globe reels in the solar fire,
Spinning the trivial and unique away.
(How all things flash! How all things flare!)
What am I now that I was then?
May memory restore again and again
The smallest color of the smallest day:
Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn.
Indeed, time is the fire in which we burn…
until next time.