Now, here in the beginning of April, we witness "shelter in place", more sickness, restrictions of visitations and public gatherings, and massive unemployment. In our city alone, 1/3 of the city work force has been laid off. Contrasted with the past winter, the current situation is bleak. Yet, we look forward to an end to this crisis and a return to some degree of normalcy symbolized seasonally, metaphorically, and historically by "summer". In between these poles stands April.
While Eliot can be depressing, his insights can give voice to modern problems and are paradoxically soothing. Ultimately, Eliot's critique is a critique of the modern world devoid of spirituality and the creativity that springs from depth of our consciousness based on a connection with the transcendent source of our being. Both capitalism and communism neglected this dimension of the human person which has led to a malaise and diminution of depth in journalism, popular media, and politics.
The entire poem, The Wasteland, is a critique of the contemporary world narrated and brought to life wonderfully by Alec Guiness in the clip below.
This crisis is an opportunity to change the trajectory of history and usher in a new era of compassion, spirituality, and an expanded consciousness that can alter and change our economic and political landscape in a truly revolutionary movement. One thing is certain, we cannot, as Einstein said, solve the problems of today by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.