Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Only Love Is Appropriate

My friend and fellow blogger Maya Dammand (The Familiar Home) responded by email to my most recent post with a touching story about talking to her own children about death.

She's a brave woman raising two strong, intelligent girls. Her story reminded me of a quote from a Thai meditation master I found in Stephen and Ondrea Levine's book Who Dies?

You see this goblet? For me, this glass is already broken. I enjoy it. I drink out of it. It holds my water admirably, sometimes even reflecting the sun in beautiful patterns. If I should tap it, it has a lovely ring to it. But when I put this glass on a shelf and the wind knocks it over, or my elbow brushes it off the table and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, 'Of course.' When I understand that this glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious. Every moment is just what it is, and nothing need be otherwise."

Almost every time I drink from a glass now, it occurs to me that it's already broken. It's my reminder that the only thing I really have is this moment. It's a reminder that the only thing I have to do is to love the people I am with by listening to them and helping them. I've found that young children are naturally much better at staying in the moment than adults and it's one of the most important things I learn and re-learn from them.

The Levine's go on to write:

If we lived our life as though we were already dead, as though our children were already dead . . . Only love would be appropriate . . .


1 comment:

Maya Catching Butterflies said...

Brilliant Tom. Thank you.