Saturday, February 16, 2013

Living With Impermanence; I Hate It


"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark."
~ Agnes de Mille
I hate this. I really do. I want my life to be exactly how I wish it would be, with few surprises and the fulfillment of my every dream. I want my life to be a movie that has a familiar beginning and a predictable but happy ending.

But, of course, this is not the way it works. At least not for most of us. Most of us are thrown for quite a few loops through the years, whether it be through tragedies such as the death of people we love, or personal sickness, or unemployment. It's almost so sad as to be funny, where Groucho Marx or Robin Williams should play every one of us.

I don't have any answers in this short blog entry, just an acknowledgement that pretty much nothing about life is sure. It is when we attach ourselves too tightly to our beliefs about ourselves or about life that this life will often rise up like a wave and knock us sideways, leaving us soaked and barely hanging on to the ship.

So what is there to hang on to? We hang on to change, to impermanence. This doesn't mean that we can't have important friendships and relationships in our lives, but we must realize that at any time those could be taken away from us as well.

We find ourselves thrown into the middle of quicksand. The more we fight it, the more (and quicker) we will suffer. The more we relax, the quicker we will be pulled into another chapter of our lives and find ourselves on dry land.

Only to begin again.

Mark Andrew Alward