Be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world. – Dōgen
21 April 2019
So, I write this not because I find it easy, but because I don’t. It’s bloody uncomfortable actually.
I saw a YouTube video this Easter weekend. It was asking if we associated the terrible loss of Notre Dame with other similar events in recent human history; like Grenfell and before that the Twin Towers?
Was it a sign of armageddon?
What did Notre Dame mean to us?
Did Notre Dame symbolise something greater than itself?
What will the Notre Dame fire ultimately mean?
..and I wanted to reply. (For the record, I’m not religious and I have no bias.)
Regardless of our feelings, theories and emotions, one thing underwrites them all.
With the most powerful of images, Notra Dame serves to remind us of impermanence.
NO-THING is forever.
We are born & we die. We construct & we destroy. Things live & then decay.
NOTHING is permanent & I grow increasingly frustrated as I write this, for some badass reason.
So, rather than develop armageddon theories or question what Notra Dame means to us. Rather than ask what Notre Dame stood for or enquire what it symbolises. Why don’t we step back a little?
Ask, what is Notre Dame communicating to us today? Let her not burn in vain for trivia & scaremongery.
Personally, I see evidence of impermanence. Stark reminder of how all of life is precious and vulnerable.
Perhaps that’s the gift of Notre Dame, the reason she stood so proud for so long. That in our hour of need, the hour that she crumbled, her bells rang out to tell us all to take this event to heart. To listen..
Is it time to wake up yet?
To realise impermanence while valuing our gift of life, to cherish our loved ones without over attachment or dependency. To remind ourselves how precious opening a hand of sincere kindness is..
Does what we think or thought of Notre Dame even matter?
Truly, is asking what she stood for pre-fire, as important as asking what she’s telling us today?
Symbolism and theories of doom.. Notre Dame isn’t screaming this at me.
Notre Dame will always remind me of impermanence and fragility. While we re-build for the future to find their symbolism and fresh perspectives – let’s not miss our opportunity to listen to her today!
Let Notre Dame always remind us now to love, cherish and be kinder to one another.
This life is as fragile and precious as Notre Dame. We must try to make better of it before it’s gone!
That’s what Notre Dame IS, to me. It’s the firm kick in the balls I needed, to remind me to listen.
More serious a post than I would like to publish (perhaps that’s what twanged my strings)? but some things, sometimes, just need saying.