what are we?

taken by your music

to a land of loss, bare, stark,

it dares me enter places i would shun,

deep in a heart of terror where the sun

burns or vanishes. hear the cries of realisation,

the recognition that lies in those extremes

we bear within us. you have voyaged to fearful places

and returned to speak of what you saw,

unsurprised at our incomprehension.

trembling on the edge of loss, of death

and dread, we try to follow, but our legs refuse

to carry us. reflecting on this paradox,

you whisper first, then come those sustained notes.

speak to us, speak for us now, show us the path.

do we dare follow? humanity’s abysses

lie in wait, so we must tread this thread of sound

stretched high over them, a fragile bridge – of hope?

easy to fall – down, into darkness.

where are we going? where are we now?

if you ask you must expect an answer,

but are you ready for it? the notes reach out

to show us a different world…

time has ended. time has yet to begin.

we must live between those paradoxes –

there is no other habitable space.

crying out for rescue from the abyss

unable to believe that all is lost,

that what is lost? and what will now be found?

and in the end, can there be resolution?

Quartet for the End of Time – Olivier Messiaen