Some occupations require us to remain on the bank and see the current of river flow. Teachers are the obvious one. Kids come and go, come and go, never the same kid, but the life flows in front of their eyes continuously. And the teacher him/herself never stays the same. Therapist might be another such occupation.
Whenever you are the one who remains on the bank, you will see the flow of the current. One leaves, another comes, and leaves. Seeing off people helps me to be aware that it was once a life time encounter with that particular person. And it was once a life time encounter with that particular person I was.
The current of the flowing river does not cease, and yet the water is not the same water as before. The foam that floats on stagnant pools, now vanishing, now forming, never stays the same for long. So, too, it is with the people and dwellings of the world. (Hojoki, Circa 1212)
I’ve been going to the same gym everyday for the last 2 and half years. Trainers know me well. It’s like a family. I realized younger trainers were nomads. They come and they go. I am the one who remains on the bank seeing them come and go. It makes me feel sad when one of my favorite coaches leaves. And I realize that I also was the one who came and went.
For the Boys
I am sad because I know I will never see you again. I already miss you because I know I have missed the opportunity to know who you are and who you will be.
You say you might drop by when in the city. I might happen to be there to see you coming down the stairs.
But I will never see you again in the way I see you today.
I see you moving out of the country as I did long time ago, with emotional devastation leaving behind, with anxiety and excitement in front of you. Then, Young Man, you will be who you will be there in the land you have chosen even before I saw you for the first time.
Thinking about your youth and the path you are about to take fills my heart with a painfully raw love of life, cruelty and grace of time, and preciousness of the moment: any single moment of my transient presence in your life.
You are not my child or my love. You are one of the beautiful young men I happened to know. (All young men are beautiful as all young women are.) And I love you all as I love my child.
And I love who I was and who I could be at your age, leaving everything behind and flying out to the country to be my home. I didn’t know I would never see her again.