Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Joys of Impermanence

Here's our street, which is why I wont be running on it anytime soon.

More from our street.

These are pics of my front yard. The patio table is where I go to meditate.

Some teachers could tell you that impermanence is a terrible thing. After all, Impermanence, by it's very nature, suggests endings, destruction, loss. But impermanence has another side as well. It is the blessed relief that you experience after having a terrible bout of fever. Its the coming of spring after a harsh winter. It's the release a pregnant woman feels after a long exhausting labor.

But there are people who don't like looking at the good side of impermanence. It is more important (to them at least) to gaze full face into the dark side of impermanence. That dark side that states that everything that comes together must eventually be pulled apart. Like marriages, families, and friends. One's health, one's money, perhaps ones own mind.

You can go crazy looking too deep into that.

And I know of people who live in this state of mind all. the . time. He or she could recieve a million dollars, but, oh woe! They'd have to pay taxes on it, the children will squabble over it, they could get robbed, the enconomy could tank. And instead of enjoying their bounty and even sharing it with those less fortunate, they lock it up, sit on it, pack mattresses full of money, or bury it in mason jars out in the back yard during a full moon.

He or she could complain, yes, I have good health now, but oh woe! I'll be old soon. What if I break my hip, get cancer, lose my job to a younger person?

Such is impermanence. It's nothing to be afraid of. It's the nature of everything. And how you look upon it depends on how much you choose to suffer.

There are times, especially during times of trouble, that I find impermanence to be a comfort. Sure, something is going on right now that sucks, but so what? Impermanence, by its very nature is, after all...impermanent!

Just remember that whatever happens. It ain't gonna last. Everything ends.

Like rain, for example.

Sure, having days of nonstop rain sucks. Not being able to get out sucketh it as well. But I know, as I have said before, that this will not last. Above the dark and gray skies, the sun still shines above, and although I know too that the sun is impermanent, I can take comfort in knowing that I'll be long gone from this incarnation when the sun finally gets put out by the great candle snuffer in the sky.

And during some point in time, I'm going to look back on these chilly autumn days, when the roaring Texas heat finally returns, and bakes the ground so hard it swells and bursts like a scab, that dust devils scurry across a sunscorched parking lot while hot exhausted people hurry from the blessed coolness of the grocery store to the blessed coolness of their cars, when driving through the country on a sunblazed day with the sky so blue it hurts to look upon it, and rows and rows of corn looking like charred fists raised toward the sky, I will think upon this cool blessedly cool autumn day, and despite the fact that my yard is ankle deep in water, and the storm drains are full to capacity--so full in fact--that water is running over the road, and think, gosh, I wish it were cool and raining again.

And I will know too, that even blazing hot drought stricken summers are also impermanent. Everything, thanks to impermanence, can have a positive angle to it.

If you know where and how to look.

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