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Lions Roar : March 2017
me to appointments, especially at night. I am eighty years old, officially, although I have been saying, “I am eighty” since we turned into 2016. I am proud to say it—not because becoming old required a particular talent (I consider it the result of good genes and good luck), but because I am happy to tell my age and grateful to all the feminists before me (including my mother with her dangling earrings and progressive politics) for being role models of mature, competent women. When I was a very young mother, my mother-in-law would often say, in Yiddish, in a tone that sounded wistful and a bit sad to me, “One turn around in your shoes and it’s all over.” Probably that was her way of being bewildered by life’s inexorable changes and trying to be clever about saying it. I used to think, “Oh, that’s just some- thing old people say,” but now, because Iamanoldperson,Igetit.Ihavealife- time of memories—some of them very happy, some of them sad, and all of them gone like vanished frames in a movie. I once mentioned to my Buddhist teacher, Joseph Goldstein, that the disappearing nature of all phenomena dismayed me. “Look at all those just-past-their- prime roses outside the window,” I said. “They are dying, and two days ago they were beautiful. It’s so sad!” “Transiency is what is true,” Joseph replied. “Sad is just a story that you are telling yourself about it.” I don’t think it is just a story. Of course sadness is true. And that elicits the realiza- tion that everyone and everything I love is becoming lost to me, as I am becom- ing lost to everything in every moment. Everything becomes poignant. Moments of my life become more precious. Every- thing becomes more dear. ♦ SYLVIA BOORSTEIN is one of America’s leading Buddhist teachers and the author of Pay Attention, for Goodness’ Sake and Happiness Is an Inside Job. simplysitting.com f ind true center breaks down and reassembles in one swift, snappy magnetic motion for easy portability patented pedestal design promotes perfect posture, balance, and breathing the evolution of the meditation bench handcrafted and curved for comfort LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2017 27