Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sakura: Mono No Aware

Mono no aware: literally "the pathos of things", also translated as "an empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera", is a Japanese term used to describe the awareness of impermanence, or the transience of things, and a gentle sadness or wistfulness at their passing. ~wikipedia

One of my most enduring memories of Toykyo: a late evening walk by a river watching groups of people sitting on small patches of grass drinking, quietly looking up into the drifting petals of white and pink. It was mid April, nearing the end of cherry blossom season which all the better exemplified the palpable 'mono no aware'; a bittersweet fullness of knowledge that all things pass. Empathy for the transitory nature of the tree's beauty and cyclical nature of living...a openness to being --- as creatures of the earth --- ephemeral and temporary.
I've never thought so much about the concepts internal to 'mono no aware' as I have in the recent months. (Sparked by personal transitions and having completed training to be a hospice patient care volunteer.) There's so much vulnerability in flux. A reminder to allow one's self a "gentle sadness" at the impermanent nature of all things, including your own sense and definition of self, is really quite critical I'm thinking in times of transition.
[images by/belong to: 1) yuki_september, 2) yuki_september, 3) Kim Cofino]

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