I picked up a flower — a beautiful, living, fresh rose. It smelled wonderful. It revealed a lovely rhythm in the swirl of its petals, a rich and dazzling color, a soft, velvety texture. It felt good to touch it, to hold in my palm.

But the rose dies. Its petals fall. It shrivels up. It turns brown and returns to earth. What I loved about it is soon completely gone, as it becomes something else…

Such a simple truism. These thoughts are based on readings of Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philosopher who taught the impermanence of everything. There is nothing like spending a long night wrestling with my first love, pre-Socratic philosophy, and in particular, Heraclitus.

“You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.”

“Everything flows and nothing stands still.”

“When is death not within ourselves?… Living and dead are the same, and so are awake and asleep, young and old.”

“Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony.”

“Character is destiny.”

– Heraclitus