“A flower that blossoms for only a single night does not seem to us, on that account, less lovely.”
The reason for this being my favorite quote, is that it is by far the hardest one to live by.
Almost every day I think about it, and how I would love more than anything to fully implement its lesson into the practice of my life.
All things in life are ephemeral. There is nothing that lasts forever. Oftentimes knowing this truth makes it hard to fully accept and appreciate something that is beautiful or dear to us, as we know that it will only exist temporarily. That one day, we will be forced to let go of our attachment to it, and it will cease to be present in our lives in the way that it once was. That is why things that are beautiful, are also sad. We are afraid to grasp onto something that is transient, because then we feel vulnerable. We are scared to lose what we love so much.
Some would say to never get attached in the first place. That when something amazing reaches its demise, it loses all of the value that it ever had. It is useless, and meaningless if it exists no more.
I don’t agree, and neither does Freud. The idea instead is to cling tighter to the moments that are near and dear to us. To live entirely in those moments, because that is what makes life beautiful. The things that take our breath away are the very things worth living for. And when they inevitably end, there will still be something to be said for them. They will still eternally hold value and meaning to us. Something can still be regarded as beautiful even though its duration was short.
It is imperative to live life moment by moment. To not get caught up in the past, or paralyzed by expectations for the future. Present-moment awareness is key. When we experience life right now, nothing gets tainted. Allow yourself to be captivated without fear of what the future might bring. Once you have mastered this, you have mastered the art of living happily.
*The above quote was extracted by Freud’s “On Transience” in Requiem for a Dream.
It is, without question, the best piece of literature I’ve read, and by far the most stimulating. View its full entirety by clicking this link: http://www.freuds-requiem.com/transience.html