A Sobering Thought

Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash

This weekend I decided to tackle a little cleaning, emptying drawers and organizing my home office. It’s hard to believe how things accumulate.

On the upside I always enjoy finding lost files, notes and quotes, and this one made such an impression that I felt compelled to share it.

“In the middle of life it happens that death comes to take man’s measurements. The visit is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit is sewn on the quiet.”

What an interesting word picture. When you first read the word measurements, you are not thinking of a tailor. It’s a sly little trick. When you carry it forward to the last part, you can picture a body in a coffin. Or this was the image that came first to my mind.

Like all great poetry, measurement has multiple meanings. Likewise the suit can be a metaphor. The wording is exquisite in its simplicity.

The quote is by Tomas Tranströmer, a Swedish poet and psychologist who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2011.