Last night, I went to Milwaukee to see one of my favorite bands (and the first band I ever “got into”), Streetlight Manifesto, for the fourth and final time. Sadly, this is their final tour, and as far as I know, I’ll never have another opportunity to see them live.
When I woke up today, I listened to this song:
And then I wept. I cried like a little girl for about ten minutes.
As much as I didn’t want to admit it before, I can’t get away from the reality now. That was it. They were here, and now they’re gone.
But when you get down to it, that’s what everything is like. Bands disband, food spoils, our bodies age, friends leave, and times change. That’s just the way it is, and we all better learn to get used to it.
Homer Simpson once said “everything lasts forever.” This sums up the way we perceive most things, including ourselves.
Our ego convinces us that we are permanent, and that we are separate from everything else. Then we get attached to things, lose them, and become sad.
The world around us is in a state of flux. Everything is constantly changing, regardless of whether we can perceive those changes or not. Nothing is “real” but that which exists in the here and now.
By realizing that an experience is impermanent, we can relax and accept it for what it is. By realizing that change is inevitable, we can stop clinging to how things are. And by realizing that we all age, we all get sick, and we all eventually die, we can be more compassionate to each other.