December 8, 2021

A Letter of Non-attachment.


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Editor’s note: The Buddhist concept of non-attachment is defined in Wikipedia as “a state in which a person overcomes their attachment to desire for things, people or concepts of the world and thus attains a heightened perspective.” 


Dear Ian,

We’re dying.

I think of you as the autumn leaves change their colour. Red, yellow, orange.

I think of you as the leaves fall, one by one.

I think of you as the wind rustles through the leaves of the beautiful and grand oak tree outside my window. It reminds me how graciously nature accepts the impermanence of time and how peacefully it transcends into the new. It reminds me that everything is impermanent and that everything will, at some point, change.

It reminds me of the beauty of death. The death of the leaves that fall—how beautifully they exit, first changing colour and then floating down to the ground, carried by the wind.

In a few weeks, all that I will see outside my window is a bare and naked tree. And yet, it will stand there in all its glory, graciously accepting, maybe even embracing impermanence, the natural change.

Can I be that oak tree? Can I graciously accept how you still linger in my mind, but also how with time, you will fade away, changing your colour before gently touching the ground? Maybe.

Dear Ian,

I don’t want to write to you, or even about you. I just want to forget and let go.

I want to put you so far back in my mind that I’ll even forget you’re there. And then maybe on a rainy day let the warm memories that we share bring a smile to my face.

I did love you, and painfully so. And a part of me still does. Maybe it always will.

Nonetheless, I guess this is the part where we declare that we’re dead to each other. Deaths are painful, they always are. But they are also inevitable. As of now, I hereby declare the time of death: Tuesday the 19th of November 2019.

Rest in peace, dear, yet painful situationship.

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