Wesak Day for 2015 on May 3 has come and gone. But the wisdom of its teachings is everlasting.
A friend sent us this story from the Dharmafarers site. The realisations provoked are on so many levels, we decided to share it with more readers … yes, including the Archies of the world. 😉
May we add that comments and feelings about David’s career, or no-career, are so rampantly negative, that we Archies, once close, perhaps presently lost, and hopefully to be found once more, ought to perhaps think of this archu-life of ours in a slightly different light. 😉
“This moment forever
This is a story that could have been told by anyone who cares about our happiness, and it is a joy to be able to re-tell it. Once, after work, I was having dinner in a coffee shop. An elderly couple – clearly a man and his wife – walked in holding hands. The man had a cane and his wife was leading the way. After making their orders, they settled into a corner, and they were absolutely adorable.
The man was obviously blind, but he would casually stroke his wife’s hair telling her that she was beautiful. And he did this a couple of times. It was really sweet, especially for an old couple. Then, she helped him to the door of the men’s room, which I was already in.
As he and I were washing up, I asked him, since he was blind, how could he tell how beautiful his wife was. He smiled and told me that he had been blind for 50 years, and that the image of his wife in his head was from 50 years ago. She would always be that beautiful person in his mind!
Many of our childhood friends and school-mates age and go their own way, just as we, too, age and go our own way. We always have some happy memories of them, young, good-looking and happily active, enjoying life as if we didn’t age. The reality is that we do age, finish school, find jobs, get rich, even famous, have a family – and lose touch with our old friends.
When we do meet again, often by chance, over the decades, after the initial shock of seeing how old, ugly and sluggish they have become, we notice that they have also become rich and famous. After an overture of catching up (“How many rooms does your flat have?”), we realize that we are now really out of touch, out of class – they have aged with wealth and fame, while we still remember only the happy days.
The point is that people do change; we change, too. However, we need not feel disenchanted or bitter because our old acquaintances have forgotten the good old days, and gone down the road with the crowd they have chosen. We all need to travel this part of the journey on our own. Meantime, we should keep those memories of our youth, goodness and happiness of the early days alive – simply because they make us happy.
In fact, this is a vital Buddhist practice called “lovingkindness.” We recall happy times and things gone by. We do this not because we want to live in the past, but because they are a source of joy that brightens us up and enriches us in a way which none of these present realities can.”
Well … we are not exactly saying David has reached a ripe old age (even though I sometimes feel he has begotten the mentality and spirit of someone which we normally associate as “being old” … or should we describe it more kindly and call it “maturity”? 😉 … what the heck, let’s be real and call a spade a spade and just say: he seems to have found the “himself” that he wants and unfortunately, for us, the “himself” which we, as fans, don’t want)
And that’s not a bad thing. Not at all.
Spending 2 years away from a limelight which caused him a fair amount of discomfort – something changed – and he found the courage to be himself. Yes, without any warning to us and right behind our backs too! I may sound a little facetious … but only because I’m trying hard to absorb the wisdom of the words posted above :
“The point is that people do change; we change, too. However, we need not feel disenchanted or bitter because our old acquaintances have forgotten the good old days, and gone down the road with the crowd they have chosen. We all need to travel this part of the journey on our own. Meantime, we should keep those memories of our youth, goodness and happiness of the early days alive – simply because they make us happy.”
And the comforting part is David is still making music, though not at the pace we want; nor is he living up to the “style” of a rockstar to satisfy our hunger, whatever that is.
But it is the way he himself has chosen to “change to be courageous” and “age to live as himself”.
As for us, like what the article says, “we recall happy times and things gone by not because we want to live in the past, but because they are a source of joy that brightens us up and enriches us in a way which none of these present realities can.”