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April 4, 2015

Nowhere To Hide

I come home from the funeral and sit and stare at the walls. I look over to the corner of the room. What good is that candle? What use is that incense? Will it relieve my pain? It is only the understanding of the teachings that can ease my mind; knowing what is and knowing that as one journey ends, another begins. Decay and renewal. Death comes to all of us. Perhaps it is not death itself that scares us, but knowing that it is inevitable. We see signs all around us. We see it in nature, and then when we grow old we begin to see it in ourselves. The wind blows a little fiercer, the river to cross grows wider, the colors become muddled. We know it is coming for us and we can run, but we can't hide.

In autumn rain, the grasses rot and die,
Below the steps, the jueming's color is fresh.
Full green leaves cover the stems like feathers,
And countless flowers bloom like golden coins.
The cold wind, moaning, blows against you fiercely,
I fear that soon you'll find it hard to stand.
Upstairs the scholar lets down his white hair,
He faces the wind, breathes the fragrance, and weeps.

-Du Wu          Sighs of Autumn Rain