“The Gentle Sadness of Things”

Finite, a concept that is often forgotten although it applies to everything related to us human. An opened carton of your favourite milk, your red lipstick that always gives you enough confidence to conquer the day, that one doll you always slept with throughout your childhood, those will expire, eventually. Although some of them have more sentimental value than others, those are still just, you know, things. Stuffs. You can purchase the same kind again or have it framed and hanged in your wall for sentimental forsaken.

As a human, our days are numbered as well and it has been unspoken secret that we will die someday and leave everything and everyone behind. Sure, it is sad, but you will move on because you just cannot do anything about it anyway.

Then, what about time?

By time, I mean timeframe in relationship. Some relationships last longer than other, and if we are lucky, some relationships will last until forever. Some will just end, mostly because of ugly fights causing ugly break ups. I think the saddest part is when you just drift apart and all you can see when you look back are the bridges you have separately crossed and you don’t even know how to start fixing it. I think we are just too occupied with our own world that we don’t realize all of our relationships are finite.

Mono no Aware: or “the sadness or pathos of things”.  It refers to the bittersweet feeling of seeing things change, the act of watching time pass, as if from the outside looking in. It is, as Sei Shonagon said in the 10th century, “when one has stopped loving somebody, [and] one feels that he has become someone else, even though he is still the same person.” The diminutive pain that accompanies a flower when it withers, and the finite nature of everything.

People see the finite concept as a chance to not take anything for granted and to maximize the time that we have while it is still a thing. On the other hand, being finite is sometimes what makes it beautiful because we tend to appreciate things that are limited in time, in presence, in beings. What saddens us is sometimes, we do not really know when will it end. We go along feeling that we still have a lot of times while in fact, we can lose someone in just a blink of an eye.

You often see the saying ‘lover is temporary, bestfriend and family are forever’. You will also read about your spouse being your partner in life (and death, according to some beliefs). It is sometimes funny how we act like we know we are in this for life so there’s no way we will ever separate, but it just happens because even though we are not changing, things change. You can try put a bandage on the relationship, you can try to recite or renew the commitment, but what happens if someday you wake up and you just know you do not love that person anymore? What happens if the one you tell stories everyday, you just forget to talk to for a week? What happens if you know a person throughout your whole life suddenly become someone you do not even recognize?

These things happen more often than you might know.

I think the point of all this is to really be present – even in things and relationships that you are sure you would not be losing. Our days are numbered. The thing that I have been trying recently is to tell my mom and/or my bestfriend things first before I post it in social media – if at the end I still want to post it. How much more important is it to be really present — in the now — than to pour frivolous information from a screen through your eyeballs into your brain? 

I want to stop wondering what did I do wrong to cause losing a friend of mine everytime I see their pictures or their posts, instead I am being more active by asking another friend of mine if their posts reek of sadness. I need to stop dwelling on things that are over and start really being present – because who knows what might happen, right?