Friday, December 24, 2004


The dictionary defines ephemeral as "lasting a remarkably short time." Its Greek root means, "lasting only a day." I tend to think of ephemeral as something fragile that disappears quickly into nothingness. A vision is ephemeral. Life is ephemeral. A moth is ephemeral.

It bothers me that a blog is ephemeral. I would like to have a permanent record of my blog somewhere, so that when it disappears, the energy I put into it would not disappear. I want to save every piece of my life, every moment, however it manifests itself, in some kind of permanent record. I want my creativity to be a record of my life that lasts beyond me. I especially want my writing to last.

I love origami. I have been doing origami since 1997 -- eight years. I virtually stopped doing origami when I started stitching. I wanted to do something more permanent. It bothered me that origami is made out of paper. Paper is easily crushed. It gets dirty -- dust settles on it if you leave it out for a while. It fades in the sun. It is easily blown over. Eventually, after a long time, it crumbles. Origami is ephemeral.

I suppose it is very Zen to make something that lasts only a short time, and then to let it go. Some Buddhist monks make intricate mandalas out of sand, and destroy them when they are finished. There are no earthly attachments. The mind is trained to be always in the present. Each moment passes, is comprehended in its fullness, and then there is a new moment. It is always "now."

The ephemerality of human life doesn't bother me so much. I am bothered, though, when a life is cut short. I am bothered by the fragility of the human body, that in a moment it can be destroyed. I am saddened that rats live only two or three years, that so quickly their sweet faces are gone. We have had many rats, and are heartbroken by the death of each one. They are small objects of love. Human beings, on the other hand, can live long enough to fulfill their lives, and when they go, there can be a kind of joy in that.

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