Sitting with impermanence

The fern in the front porch hanging basket makes a pattern in the brightening sky. It’s a funky one—not quite right, like crooked teeth—my kindergartener would scold it for its inconsistency. But I like it. There’s comfort in imperfection.

As I write this, wrapped in blankets, the wisps of early clouds to the east turn a shocking neon. It’s Day-Glo Orange, straight out of a box of Crayola Brights. Marvelous. I look around for my phone to snap a picture, but it’s upstairs, next to my bed and my lukewarm coffee.

For a minute I consider dashing up there to grab it—this color is astonishing!—but I know that by the time I get back out here, the moment will have faded, and the day-to-day blue will have soaked all the rebellion from the clouds.

So I stay and watch it, heavy with my helplessness to capture its beauty on a screen. Discomfort shifts me in my seat. I am tied down to face this impermanence head-on.  

That’s the thing about moments: they are always leaving, and there is never enough.

I’ve always tried to hold onto them—with photos, with words, with memory. I’m so worried that no one is witnessing them, worried that they are slipping through undocumented, worried that the freeze-frame has escaped. 

Someone must account for these moments! my anxious mind frets. There are so many in life worth cataloging and displaying.

Who will miss them when they’re gone? Who’s erecting statues in their honor? What will become of them when they are frayed and yellowing in a stack of boxes forgotten in an attic? 
The moments, 
the moments,
the moments…

Argh. I know it is the resistance that causes me to struggle—my grasping at the unholdable. How challenging it is to simply be the observer of time—measured out in clicks of earth’s rotation, in shifting astral hues, in the sharpening clarity of a crisp and dying fern.

Moments pass, plain and simple. Time marches, day turns into night, babies grow into kids, (and then cynical and sentimental adults). Blah, blah, blah…

Change is the only constant, I know. It’s the Universal Truth. But so hard for us mortals to embrace.

Blink once and the clouds have turned a soft yellow. 

Blink twice and the mystery of morning has given way to the bustle of another dawning day.


Thank you for reading and following my blog! This fall I have been hard at work putting together my first book of collected works of poetry, Unexpected Alchemy. Follow this blog and connect with me on Facebook for updates on my progress. You can also find more of my poetry on Medium.com

Read my latest poem: HUNTER’S MOON

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