I came upon these two Calvin and Hobbes comic strips the other day. The one about death popped up on my feed first. Which is humorous to me in that “oh Universe, you are so ‘you’” kind of way because I had just been talking to a friend about another friend of his that is ill. As in, in hospice ill. And we were talking about the possible loss of this friend of my friend.
And then, that next day, up pops this Calvin and Hobbes strip about death.
Because this is how the Universe works. She pops things up. Sometimes after the fact, like this Calvin and Hobbes comic strip about death where she is basically saying “hey, I know you were talking about this and here is a little something for you, because I’ve got to get you moving along.”
That’s how she works. She drops things in to get me moving.
And so the comic strip about death, it pops up and gets me thinking, “what other Calvin and Hobbes messages of enlightenment should I know.”
And I google best of Calvin and Hobbes and this butterfly one comes up as the first image in my search. “These are the same, aren’t they?” I laugh to the Universe. She’s so witty and smart.
I am playing around a lot these days with the idea of impermanence. Not just the idea. The beauty. The beauty of impermanence. I’ve been playing around with this idea of this for a long time now.
Rolling it like clay. Wading in it as if in a pond. Tasting it like jelly on my tongue and dancing with it in song. Trying to get to the bottom of it. Trying to see what is just beyond it.
And I couldn’t get there. It had been elusive. Until now.
And then these two strips, the death one and the butterfly one, both of them, they show up.
The death one is clear. It is the “don’t forget that this is all just so fleeting. Even in long life. There is a fleetingness to it all.” The death one is a reminding of this.
And when we are reminded, when we are faced with the loss, it causes us to reflect for that moment. And we see the beauty. And we recognize it is fleeting. Life. Life is fleeting. Which makes it beautiful. The beauty of impermanence.
The other end of the spectrum of this message of impermanence, the butterfly end, this is easier to miss. Because in this, we are in action. It is us.
“This is important, isn’t it?” I begin to ask the Universe and before the thought is even clear in my mind’s conversation with her, she drops in the wisdom I seek.
When we are loss in action—when we let go of the butterfly, rather than in reaction of loss—grieve the loss of a friend, we are the beauty of impermanence.
We are it. It’s us.
And once we are this, once we see that we are impermanent, well then, then we last forever.
This is the cosmic joke of it all.
“Oh my fucking god.” I say to the Universe, and God laughs, too.
Because they have been trying to get me here. For, oh God, a really long time.
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.