Monday, May 8, 2017
Impermanence Sucks: Coping with the Cosmic Dance
Impermanence sucks, it just does.
In our humanness, it seems we all want consistency and predictability; we rely on habits and patterns even when we know that nothing lasts forever. Knowing that longevity is only a dream, why do we get sideswiped by loss and change? For me, this is why:
I feel sad when I see the fallen leaf turning to lace, holding on to a skeleton of the past.
I feel empty when a rainbow dissolves.
I feel melancholy when I hear the coo of a dove whispering a distant melody.
I breakdown when the ghost of a time come-and-gone is tainted by my undependable memory.
Life. Death. Life….
Yeah, yeah, yeah—this is all too flowery? Sorry, but I need the aroma. I mean life goes on and then it dies. It renews, reshapes and reinvents itself to conform to the current situation. It goes round and round, and every inch of my being understands that there is something else, but there are times when I would like to hold on to the fragrance a little longer.
So I breathe in the cosmic dance that is so intricate and unyielding it can’t possibly stay still, and maybe that’s the point: maybe by accepting a metamorphosis that soothes the restless mind and lets us strive for the impossible, impermanence will give us a means to an end?
Or maybe it can help assimilate a deep long look into internal and infinite movements that “appear” to die. Or maybe, just maybe, it can help us find solace in, “There is a time and place for everything.”
“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”
― Rabindranath Tagore
But my questions as to what really happens after death can be so heavy. Many people have so many theories. I can’t help but think there is a bigger purpose to life than birth-taxes-death. Also, attaching too much emotion to people, places and things that will be stripped away from me is nothing short of brutal.
Such is life.
But when we really get to that edge—that sharp and cutting edge—a new view might reveal things about love, how love is taken for granted. And while the thoughts of loss hover in the head and make us weep, I wonder if holding life a little gentler in our hearts makes a difference.
I decided, instead of crying for the pain, I can cry for a moment-of-pain because that pain is now transforming into something else; that’s what it does. So remembering that nothing lasts forever in its original form is a good place to start.
We get only get one chance, one time, one moment. That’s all there is, even when possessions look and feel familiar; they are fleeting.
“Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realize that nothing really belongs to them.”
― Paulo Coelho
And this is something else I ponder: after it is all said and done, after the last seed has been returned to the dirt and the last song has been sung… all of it—all of It—has the propensity to be something other than it was before. That’s kind of cool.
So when I sat with this, “impermanence” sucked a bit less and I finally understood it is a truth laced in change. Then I embraced that ol’, “Change is good,” phrase and let the “truth” simply die to be reborn again and again and again.
All of that helped, but… impermanence still sucks.