Thursday, July 7, 2011

Life is Short

I’ve been thinking a lot today about impermanence and how often our memories are the only second glance that we get of things. There are many people, places, and objects that I will never again see in my life; even those things that I expect to see tomorrow when I wake up may not be there. I’m thinking about all of this as I’m preparing to leave my home for a year to go to a place where the impermanence of things may be more tangible. Not only do I feel like it’s more tangible in the lifestyle, but I am going into this knowing that the people I meet and the places I see will be around me for a mere 12 months. Rather, I will be around them for a mere 12 months. Does that mean that the relationships that I form there, the food I try, the landscapes I see, or the culture I experience will be any less real? Will the knowledge of that impermanence keep me from fully engaging? I hope that this will never happen. No matter the cost, love and life are always worth it.

So where is the balance there? How do we balance the need to be grounded and the attachment we have to things with the acceptance that they, like us, are impermanent. The only answer I can come up with is not to fret and to enjoy every moment to its fullest. Life is about accepting your own impermanence and living out the mystery of whatever you are. A blade of grass could be here today, gone tomorrow; but that doesn't mean that the grass is any less green now. This house could be gone tomorrow, but people still dwell in it now. You could be gone tomorrow, but you're here now. Make the most of it, because tomorrow it will change. And life will still move on. The cycle will continue. Beauty will still exist. And suffering will still exist. Everything will still be impermanent. And change will keep happening. Trying to change any of that will be the death and heartache of anyone. Clutching to objects, people, and places to find something to keep you afloat will only make the lot of you sink quicker. Instead, flip to your back, float with your own body, and enjoy the passing scenery. None of us know what effect the stream may have on us or where it may take us. The stream may not even have a set path, as every drop that passes is a new and different drop. Trying to control the stream is an uphill battle that you will never win. So just float on and find out the ways in which you too can grow and change.

“Life is short and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us. So be swift to love and make haste to be kind.”

I invite any thoughts any of you may have on the subject. Don't be shy!