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Lions Roar : January 2017
HOT OFF THE PRESS I was back in Chicago growing up, when cab drivers liked to say, “Hey, if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.” There’s profound wisdom in these words. Impermanence is a precious insight: like my boat, it helps me surf the waves of change and avoid getting swamped when they arrive. There’s value in remembering the unique preciousness of this moment without clinging to it. Contemplating the impermanence of a thing or moment isn’t morbid—growth and the potential for transformation are rooted in the real- ity of change. If the world stayed just as it is, then there’d be no such thing as possi- bilities, learning, or justice. I want to keep the experience of impermanence alive and live fully from this place of insight, even when I’m on land and my days feel ordinary and routine. Perhaps when I sit in meditation I can reflect upon how things around me change: thoughts, trends, relationships, and this aging body. Maybe I can touch impermanence when I read reports about shifts in Earth’s cli- mate. I can also spend time outdoors and intentionally find evidence of seasons in transition in the migration of birds. All at once, the bright moon escapes from behind a cloud, and Wild Hair and I glow in blue light. “Who am I kidding? Moon, you are my friend. Knowing you has severed me from my species and I have no interest in going back. I want to be with you.” The moon doesn’t flinch but listens deeply to my words. I am maladapted to humankind. If I re-immerse myself in a civilization con- vinced it will go on indefinitely just as it is, if I mingle with people who cling to fixed views of right and wrong, us and them, have and have not, wealth and poverty, safe and unsafe, I’ll forget the lesson of the Great Atlantic Teacher: that absolutely everything is in flux and noth- ing is solid. Distracted by society’s trap- pings, I’ll get complacent; my thoughts will grow small and selfish and my body comfortable and flabby. I’ll slip into my old ways of being and once again become a driven, frustrated, exhausted woman determined to change the world without really knowing the world. This thought makes my hide itch. Screw it. I can’t go back. I’m going to continue sailing, living in the present moment, experiencing the Atlantic, rid- ing endless waves of impermanent cloud patterns, sea states, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Life is clear out here. What’s broken, Dave and I fix. What’s pleasant, we relish. What’s unpleasant, we wait out. What’s dangerous, we amend. I’m going to keep letting go of ideas around well-being and derail my stub- born determination for things to be just so. I’ll stay free of the limitations of form and perceptions and live from a place of transcendent endurance. “Atlantic, beloved ocean, you are my true home. I will veer off and keep 䰀漀挀愀琀攀搀 椀渀 琀栀攀 䜀爀攀攀渀 䴀漀甀渀琀愀椀渀猀 漀昀 嘀攀爀洀漀渀琀 圀圀圀⸀䬀䄀刀䴀䔀䌀䠀伀䰀䤀一䜀⸀伀刀䜀 吀漀 琀栀攀 搀攀最爀攀攀 琀栀愀琀 眀攀 氀漀漀欀 挀氀攀愀爀氀礀 愀渀搀 挀漀洀瀀愀猀猀椀漀渀愀琀攀氀礀 愀琀 漀甀爀猀攀氀瘀攀猀Ⰰ 眀攀 昀攀攀氀 挀漀渀昀椀搀攀渀琀 愀渀搀 昀攀愀爀氀攀猀猀 愀戀漀甀琀 氀漀漀欀椀渀最 椀渀琀漀 猀漀洀攀漀渀攀 攀氀猀攀✀猀 攀礀攀猀⸀ 縀倀攀洀愀 䌀栀搀爀渀 匀瀀攀挀椀愀氀 昀甀渀搀椀渀最 洀愀礀 戀攀 愀瘀愀椀氀愀戀氀攀 昀漀爀 愀爀琀椀猀琀猀Ⰰ 栀攀愀氀琀栀 挀愀爀攀 瀀爀漀昀攀猀猀椀漀渀愀氀猀Ⰰ 攀搀甀挀愀琀漀爀猀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 瀀攀漀瀀氀攀 漀昀 挀漀氀漀爀 䄀瀀爀椀氀㘀ⴀ(ᄀ) 䠀䄀䰀䘀ⴀ䐀䄀吀䠀Ü一 吀愀欀攀 漀渀攀Ⰰ 琀眀漀Ⰰ 漀爀 愀氀氀 昀漀甀爀 眀攀攀欀猀 䨀愀渀甀愀爀礀 㜀 ⴀ 䘀攀戀爀甀愀爀礀 㐀 䐀䄀吀䠀Ü一 䴀椀渀搀昀甀氀渀攀猀猀 䴀攀搀椀琀愀琀椀漀渀 刀攀琀爀攀愀琀猀 LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2017 72