Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Tao of Impermanence

Been thinking about a conversation I had some years ago with a wonderful elder.  I's befriended him at a local coffee shop in Oakland and we became fast friends.  Maybe it was the Austrian accent, or the fact that he'd been a teacher.  Maybe just the fact that he was a warm, funny and vulnerable person who depended on me from time to time to accompany him on errands and getting around.  I knew he had a daughter, with issues that remained mostly estranged, but one day I asked if he had any other family.  "I have a son too," he told me.  Where is he, I asked.  "He disappeared," was his quick reply.  "What do you mean he disappeared," I countered.  "People disappear, you know."
I left it t that but figured that they's lost contact somewhere along the way.

Things disappear too.  Sometimes they turn out to be some of your favorite things.  Recently a funky little breakfast place I frequent changed its menu.  Gone were the wonderful home fries that kept me coming back.  Their toast order was diminished and the color of the building had also changed form blue to light green.  No warning, just gone and different one day.
Now this is no great shakes.  Definitely a first world problem that I'll easily get over, but it joins a long line of products, services, and places that seem to be disappearing on a much too frequent basis these days.
Things change.  We know.  But do they always have to.  The makers of the best marionberry scones are still up and running even though their bakery closed without warning.  Ice cream flavors, hair shampoos, restaurants, even coffee shops just up and vanish sometimes.
I know all about the Zen of impermanence, but why does it seem like when some things are no longer available, there is nothing we can do about it?
There are far too many more important items to deal with for me to put any more energy into the rant.  But sometimes, when the rug gets pulled out from under, I just want to have a say in the matter.
Back to the Tao of substance.  Enjoy it while it exists.

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