Saturday, May 19, 2007

Fleetingness

I called a friend last night to celebrate his 45th birthday. He's one of my best friends. We've known each other since the third grade. I was walking around the building because my cell phone is blocked inside. I spied a young, yet mature cottontail rabbit nibbling on the fresh grass. It went around the corner before I did. I eventually walked past it and it fled in the opposite direction from me, disappearing into the hedge bordering the north side of the building. I made several more circuits of the building while talking to my friend, never again spying that young rabbit. As I pulled out of the parking lot this morning, I saw it lying in the road behind the building seemingly asleep. My heart went out to it. Why? Why did it have to die at this particular place in time and space? Several thoughts ran through my head. I even chided myself about thinking of God as a human God, a rabbit God, or even as consciousness that I and the rabbit share. Whatever God is, it is more than I can ever conceive or understand. What foolishness! I see sunbeams pouring through the morning clouds, spy a hawk flying towards a perch behind a highway sign as I think of the stupidity of man - we destroy something beautiful such as tigers that took millions of years to perfect, actually 2 billion years to perfect, and we can destroy all of that in a geological instant. As I am almost home, I think of the loss of wildlife and how the wilderness is rapidly disappearing to become lights and concrete seemingly everywhere. I park my car and spy my two cats peering at me from the window of the apartment. I am happy, because I know that I am loved and I love them as much as they love me. Yet, they both might as well be as fleeting as that rabbit. We are all as fleeting as wisps in the winds of existence.
Comments:
Is it really dead, though?
 
Any answer I give you will be relatively true and not absolute. I can say that that rabbit is dead from a medical and scientific perspective, From a Buddhist perspective, the rabbit's consciousness will live on, but then life goes on. Can I perceive that it was never dead? That answer is a negative. I perceived that it was living in one instant and dead in another. It's physical state was determined via observation and a judgement of that observation. Was I right or wrong? I suppose that it really doesn't matter, does it? If I can't perceive something that exists because I lack the sensory apparatus, that just means that I am blind or handicapped. I lack enough information to say one way or another. I could say that since consciousness is energy that it can't be destroyed, but I don't KNOW that fact from conscious experience, do I? So, the best I can do is say that I don't know. Sometimes it's best to admit one's ignorance.
 
That's all true.

It amuses (in the sense of a detached engagement, I guess) me to consider such alternatives. But as far as I can tell, Crazy Girl is gone. I never really understood her. A blip that's disappeared, wavelet sunken back in... how long until I stop noticing that "her" cage is empty? Just things I think about.
 
If you were touched in some way by that animal, then she will never be gone in your consciousness, will she? Just as my former cat, Baby, will be remembered by me. There was a personality there with that cat. She had her own unique specialness and intelligence. I am poorer without her in my life, but I am glad we had those years that we did have.
 
Great post and comments.

Our 23-year old Siamese cat passed two years ago -- it really tore us up.

I'm reading this on Memorial Day, which seems significant to me.

Thanks,
Myke
 
Reminds me of "it's not gone until it's forgotten" or whatever the saying is.
 
Memories and thoughts seem the most fleeting, but even civilizations forget. Witness people trying to figure out how the pyramids were built or figure out the Incan record keeping system or rope bridge building technology. But isn't that the paradox, life is precious and fleeting just like the Earth is precious and yet, insignificant in the cosmos.
 
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