A grain of sand  

Friday, 16 February 2007

I guess there are as many reasons why people start blogging as their are blogs. In my case, what really spurred my interest was a piece of writing I came across, lurking in the half-forgotten dark recesses of my hard drive. In amongst the mess of everyday living, I occasionally have some quite profund insights, and this was one of those times. Having been moved again by these rediscovered thoughts, I wondered whether others might enjoy them too. Hence my desire to share them.

The inspiration for this paragraph was a tiny novelty "Zen rock garden": Actually no more than half a match box filled with sand. Yet, small as it was, it sparked off some interesting ideas.

Life is impermanence. No matter how carefully the sand is raked, it will change, dissolve and disappear. This is also true of the backdrop against which our lives are performed. People, places, material possessions, good times, bad times: Everything changes. But this, of course is the nature of sand. Without its fluidity and ability to mould itself into new shapes, sand would not be sand. Without its fluidity and its ability to adapt, life would not be life. The sand can accept new shapes only because of its fluidity – the thing which gives it impermanence also breaths life into it. If sand were fixed, like rock, it could not adapt or harmonise with its surroundings. It would become increasingly inappropriate as the scenery changed. Life too can be much like this. If we are too inflexible, we cannot flow and adapt: We cannot mutate to continue to harmonise with the changing environment of our lives. But some might say that even though a rock may be inflexible and not able to harmonise with its surroundings effectively, at least it is permanent. Not so. All sand was once supposedly permanent, immovable rock. Time will simply not allow permanence, so even although some things may seem so from our limited perspective, they are not and can never be.

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