England, Death & the Void

I have so little interest in the England game tonight I have swapped a shift so I could work during the game, and be off tomorrow for the Summer Solstice--though again this year my plans for celebrating the Solstice properly have come to nothing: I was planning a trip to Stonehenge, as I have been planning to do for at least half a decade (and I've never made it yet). So much seems achievable when the old year turns into the new; and then six months have gone like sand falling through your fingers.
The death of my friend's friend has been one of the many unexpected obstacles to achieving my goals. It has depressed me deeply; and made me reflect on my predicament--and my life. To think that on the penultimate day of her life she worked a twelve hour shift in that place which she loathed so much, leaving at the end of the day with her mind in rags because of the tough nature of the work, the malicious workplace politics that made her last hurrah in the world an argument with someone who had heard something she was supposed to have said (really just people spreading gossip to cause hurt and discord for whatever reason). And then within 24 hours she was dead.
If you only had 24 hours to live wouldn't you want to spend it with the people you love? or in a comfortable chair listening to your favourite music, with sunlight streaming in through the window? or walking in the fields? or fulfilling every sexual fantasy you'd ever had? Certainly no one would want to spend it toiling at a job they hated to pay for a roof they wouldn't need before midnight the following day. And yet that is the predicament nearly all of us are in, the crisis that confronts us daily and which we ignore like dumb animals not recognising their own reflection in a pool of water.
"All composite things decay," as Buddha said. "Work out your salvation with diligence."
And in the meantime, we need to recognise the thousand problems that we face every day for what they are: temporary little squalls of rain that the local climate whips up, but which pass over as quickly as they arrive. The Void yelling insistently in our ear of emptiness.

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