ENDS AND BEGINNINGS

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'Coker'
In my beginning is my end. In succession
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth
Which is already flesh, fur and faeces,
Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf.
Houses live and die: there is a time for building
And a time for living and for generation
And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane
And to shake the wainscot where the field-mouse trots
And to shake the tattered arras woven with a silent motto.

In my beginning is my end. Now the light falls
Across the open field, leaving the deep lane
Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon,
Where you lean against a bank while a van passes,
And the deep lane insists on the direction
Into the village, in the electric heat
Hypnotised. In a warm haze the sultry light
Is absorbed, not refracted, by grey stone.
The dahlias sleep in the empty silence.
Wait for the early owl.

T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets, Coker

Edinburgh's Reid Memorial Church with its cloister and sculptures is quite reminiscent of St. Conan's Kirk at Lochawe, a more refined Edinburgh version of the Highland kirk. Its tempting to see Carrick as coming full circle in the final years of his career. He began carving the curios and gargoyles at Lochawe in the years before the Great War, and in the late 30's he is carving lions and angels in the Edinburgh church.

Above: High on the tower an angel with pipes.

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