Impermanence (permanently)



The other day a friends pup was attacked by a couple of bulldogs and he nervously texted—in the midst of his worry she might not be okay—asking about an essay I wrote on impermanence.

And perhaps the gods of Comedy and Irony shine more powerfully these days for all but I immediately delved into the impermanence that I supposedly wrote about, for I had no goddamned idea what he was talking about. I probably did write something like that—that seems like something I would do—but even when I went back to search Facebook for it (both accounts; because wtf: obviously people who hate Facebook need more than one account) I could neither find it nor access any memory of it at all. He called it an “essay” and somehow it had made an impact on him and yet, for me, living in a zone of permanent impermanence (and engaging the Now Moment so stringently that it basically amounts to losing my fucking mind), I cannot claim such things as mine for even my own memory let’s them not be.

And it’s funny how life is. I’m watching Shari’s girls (the three Jack Russells) because they’re on their trip to England—their annual trip 3 week trip; they’re total Anglophiles; could go anywhere in the world each Fall but always go to England—and they have every historical movie, documentary, and TV series about or set in England and (choosing poorly) the other night, the girls and I suffered through “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” then decided to go in a totally different direction: a documentary about The Grateful Dead.

I normally don’t watch TV (I think the insanity of my own life is much more entertaining and in your face) but I continued watching it at home and in it, Jerry describes an experience in which he was viewing the Watts Towers—a huge 33 year patchwork of creativity from an artist who had passed and which, after a fire, were unable to be removed from their spot —and he found himself reflecting on that circumstance of these towers toppling the giant crane the city had sent out to remove them, and he summed up the eventually-abandoned removal efforts of these artist’s towers as: just goes to show if you dedicate your life to your art and work hard enough, you can make something huge and unchangeable that will last forever. Which, he immediately followed with, “and that’s absolutely not at all what I want.”

And I’m with him/I don’t want that either. I’m OK with impermanence and with not leaving a legacy; I’m okay with forgetting things and with letting stuff go out to the universe and continually evolving until you don’t recognize where you’ve been.
Because when you sit with the natural order of things, impermanence is the only logical state of being to entertain, for the temptation of the human heart to desire things to be static is simply just the worry that we’ll be unable to create something from change that’s even more beautiful.
But I guess there is also something magical in being able to witness our own journey (and so it is that I find myself writing these words) which is why in the documentary about the Grateful Dead, a roadie mentioned once-looking up at Jerry performing Morning Dew (a regular at their concerts; a song about post-nuclear winter) and seeing him weeping with the emotions of the song while doing so. [Have to listen to Morning Dew on repeat now and then because it truly is a beautiful song so I feel him in those emotions]

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