Recently, I was listening to a podcast by Tara Brach talking about the impermanence of life. This theme continues to come up, in songs, and books and it seems, everywhere. With my quickly evolving skill of “pay attention dumbass,” I started to pay attention. The song “Live Like You Were Dying” came on the radio. A book I’m reading called “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson repeatedly points out the changing nature of earth and the insignificance amount of time of humans have been wandering around upright.
Impermanence is at the core of our nature – it’s fundamentally human. No one is immune from our shared and ultimate fate and nothing any human being can do will be remembered more than a few generations. In the context of personal accountability, it is critical that we find ways of living in the present moment. Personally, I think that I finally understand that the journey is the destination and that any destination I choose can only disappoint me in the end – the destination isn’t the point. It’s the getting there part that matters. It’s a fucking head-spinner, I know.
“It all goes away. Eventually, everything goes away.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Meanwhile, I continually search for what to do about all this. Meditation is great, but the application of being present in a given moment is still a bit of a mystery to me. At a certain age (or maturity), the idea of impermanence becomes tangible and I’ve reached it. I can see through the fog a little bit and am asking myself what it is that I want to accomplish in life.
Impermanence is scary, right?
I just picked up a copy of the “War of Art” by Pressfield which is giving me some critical tools and knowledge about understanding “The Resistance” a bit better. Now that I know in part what’s blocking me (fear, as per usual), I can do something about it.
I’m not trying to become immortal or change the world, I’m just trying to live in the moment and understand myself a bit better because I know that sooner, rather than later I’ll be gone. My clock is ticking and so is yours so get to it.