Opting for second best?

Cyclamens : A reflection 

“Human kind cannot bear very much reality”  TS Eliot


Backed by sunlight

Cerise petals glow and shimmer

Flared butterflies



Poised above

 Undulating leaves below


Pale imitation

On polished table top

Like Plato’s cave

We focus

 On the reflection;


The leaves –

Too vigorous, too abundant, too crowded

The flowers –

Too brilliant, too forceful, too shocking



We settle for the mirror image 


Jill Jacques


Note: Plato suggested that most of us are like people chained in a cave with light behind them, watching the shadows of other living creatures reflected on the cave wall in front of them. The allegory implies that most of us are happy with the shadowland (the impermanent and thus illusory creation) and dare not look directly at the light of truth (which is eternal).

Is there any truth in the suggestion that one of the reasons we allow our minds to be dominated by the fictions of past and future is because we cannot face the stark reality of the present moment? Is reality too much for us to bear, as Eliot suggests?


About Jill M Jacques

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have spent most of my life here doing the usual things - marrying, having children and caring for an array of pets ranging from dogs to silkworms and chameleons. I first became interested in philosphy and its practical application in everyday life in my early 20s and spent many years as part of a group that pursued this goal. Drawing on this experience, I have been running "How to live in the Now" programmes for over 10 years. I wrote this book in response to requests from group members for something "simple and practical". I tend to see the funny side of life situations and enjoy writing humorous back pages as well as short stories and some poetry. Some of these have been published. Being here now is what really matters.
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