October has begun showing its cards. There is a nip in the air, a whiff of restfulness, a coat of pink on everything in the evenings. And with this change in season, I sense my heart quieting down further. Lost in the daze of comfort, I do not wish to go out of my way for anything. The path I walk in this life, regardless of how banal and ordinary it is, will lead somewhere eventually. There has been good, and there has been bad, and somewhere between them, I’ve learned not to hold onto things too tightly.
The other day, my mother told me about a man from our city who, in his second wind, had decided to buy a small store, spending every penny he had in the process. Then, a week later, to the dismay of all who knew him, the government had declared some land theirs, and I do not know the specifics of it, but that was the last thing he ever experienced. They say he died of a heart attack from the shock of losing everything, but when I heard this story, all I could think of was how he could have still managed to do something had he lived. Still, what is sad is sad, and we must mourn people who come to unfortunate ends.
But there is a lesson in it, I believe. I would prefer to be alive even if I experienced some great misfortune. I wonder if this is what all the Zen monks and rich people mean when they talk about detachment. I reckon that is it—we must not hold things too close, even if they seem valuable and important. We must try our best to protect them, but when things happen and if they are out of our control as things often are, we must not let them get close to the crucial organs of the body—the heart, brain, or even the liver.
As long as we are alive and able, we are capable of dragging ourselves out of things. We must manage even when things seem impossible. Most things always seem impossible. And yet, we must manage somehow.