Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Impermanent as thinning hair

I’m bald. I mean, I shave my head, but lately there isn't as much to shave as there used to be, if you catch my drift. When my high school students ask me, “Is it by choice?” I just nod. Yeah, let’s pretend that’s the case.

yesterday my four-year-old daughter Julianna was seated at the table, picking at a slice of bread, deep in thought. Lately, she’s been pondering a lot about the Buddha’s teaching of impermanence.

“You know what, Daddy?” she said with pride.

“What ‘s that?” I said. My wife turned in the kitchen to hear.

“You used to have hair,” Julianna said.

I nodded. Yep, I sure did.

She went on. “And now you don’t.”

“Right,” I said, unsure of where she was going with this.

“Well that’s impermanence.” She beamed. “You had hair and now it’s gone, that’s impermanence, right?”

My wife and I burst out laughing. Of all the examples she could have chosen, she picked my receding--or receded, I should say--hairline.

“Yes, that’s impermanence,” I said. “But next time concentrate on Mommy’s impermanence, okay?”

Photo borrowed from Creative Commons flickr user: licorice medusa.

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