it’s an ephemeral life

into the fog

“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open.”

~ Pema Chödrön

When I discovered that Friday’s WordPress photo challenge was the word ephemeral, I knew I wanted to post some cool photos I took one foggy day. Then I started to think about fleeting moments. Then impermanence. Which led to the pondering of Buddhist concepts. And finally, my head burst into flames.

(My head is always doing strange and unpredictable things, like the time it fell off and rolled around on the ground. Well, I don’t need my head to write this post. Truth be told, I was barely using it for my previous posts anyways.)

I don’t consider myself a Buddhist. I believe and don’t believe in a lot of things. I simply decide what feels right and then try to apply it to my life. Intellectually, I get the ideas within Buddhism, but they can be difficult to practice for someone who likes permanence. When Joy enters the room, I want her to stay awhile. I ply her with wine and chocolate and the gyoza she likes from Trader Joe’s. But she always has somewhere else to be. She has a very busy schedule, that Joy.

i heart fog

Enter, Gratitude.

Photography is a wonderful way to practice gratitude. If you’re like me (oh, lucky you! the sweet realization!), you capture these moments in time and then – everything changes. You feel gratitude because what you saw and experienced will likely never happen the same way again. And if you’re like me (oh, dear. poor you.), you get secretly giddy over the fact that while you were living in the moment, you captured it and made it permanent. Take that, Buddhism!

In case you’re wondering, Buddhism can take this kind of ironic taunting.

Joy, pain, gratitude, disappointment…they flow in and out, in constant motion, and sometimes they are tangled up together. I suppose that’s what happens when you stay open – you allow more of everything to enter. It definitely helps to keep your sense of humor and perspective intact. So that’s why I’m going to end with the photo below, because photography also causes you to notice things in a different way, which is, like, totally awesome, Dude.

If you’re like me – twisted, easy (…careful…), head falling off all of the time but knowing how to play it off, and willing to laugh at yourself, then…Joy!! I proclaim that we can be friends!! Because honestly, this has all been a test of our potential friendship. Okay, okay…here’s the photo:

when trees photobomb each other

when trees photobomb each other

 

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6 thoughts on “it’s an ephemeral life

  1. Pingback: April Fooled.. Last of the Literary Fest | litadoolan

  2. Great to see the Pema Chödrön quote — have not seen that (and I don’t know about Pema Chödrön) but I’m all for keeping my heart, mind and eyes open.

    I always look forward to seeing your photographs and post, Jane — and I think I know what you mean about Buddhism. Sometimes I get it, I like it, then I say, well…does anything matter then? Then I have to stop thinking because my head might fall off, too.

    What I do know is that meditation — a practice I am reinstating in my daily life — helps to keep me open to the joys of life. And I agree with your thoughts on photography :).

    I couldn’t decide on a photo for this theme, because as much as I like the word ephemeral, I realized all my photos were ephemeral, and so are we, here on this planet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m totally with you – there are parts of Buddhism that scramble my brain. It’s the “care” but be “unattached” part where I think, oof! this is hard to do!!

      I don’t consciously meditate – except about chocolate cake – but I find it naturally happening when I’m out in nature. I have to get out there more…

      Liked by 1 person

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