Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mono no aware

Mono no aware (物の哀れ?), literally "the pathos of things", and also translated as "an empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera", is a Japanese term used to describe the awareness of impermanence (無常 mujō?), or transience of things, and a gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing.

A gentle sadness. This is how I feel this week. A gentle sadness. For a niece, a brother, a brother-in-law, a sister, a friend.

An awareness of impermanence.

An awareness of mortality.

An awareness that life does not always unfold as we would like it to.

But it is unfolding.

As it should.

And through it all I am struck by the tenacity, the courage, the valiant will of the human heart.

The heart that can find healing in the laughter of children, in a rainbow shining through a tree, in the company of family, in the solace of a church pew.

There was a book I read a long time ago entitled: When bad things happen to good people. A few years ago another book: The Blessing of a skinned knee.

It is not about bad things, or good things, happening to bad, or good, people. It is just that things happen. They just happen. Sometimes there is a reason, sometimes there is not. Things happen.

This is what it is to be human. Things happen, and we have to deal with them, cope with them, overcome them, and carry on.

We have to carry on.

But first, perhaps, we have to cry, wail, get angry, become despondent, or succumb to that gentle sadness.

A gentle sadness.

That is how I feel today. That will have to be ok for today.

Mono no aware.

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