And That's A Pain I Can Do Without: Fall

As I've written about here before, I have what I call (in a tongue-in-cheek fashion) Chronic Existential Pain Syndrome.

By which I mean the very keen awareness of the fragility and specialness of life, which is often expressed as the fear of death but actually means its inverse, the fear of not living life well.

I'm in my Eastern philosophy phase at the moment (it seems to be a rite of passage), and in my Eastern philosophy phase I came across this well-known haiku by Kobayashi Issa, which is meant to express a dueling knowledge: of comfort with the temporary and beautiful nature of existence, but anguish at what that means when you get it down to brass tacks.

It goes like this:

The world of dew --
A world of dew it is indeed
And yet, and yet. . .

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I know this is a facet of my personality that may be found morbid, or depressing, or uncomfortable. But it's not something I'm willing to change, even if I could, because my existentialism is the engine that gives my life meaning. When you don't believe in God, you should still believe in something. For me it's the terrifying and exhilarating thought that life is an IKEA cabinet -- you build it yourself.

*

These thoughts are always very pressing to me in the fall, because fall is my favorite season and because the nature of its beauty is change and death.

Very often I see songs in colors, although I don't know if that's an aspect of my reaction to the song or whether it's something more mundane like the color of the album cover or the dress I was wearing when I heard it one time.

This song that I am about to play is a very beautiful color, reddish-brown. Like an autumn evening.

The song: Rod Stewart, "Maggie May"; 1971

Yrs,
AW

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