The Sound of Impermanence

The hand

of an old wall clock


chopping eternity

into seconds

The sound of a wall cloc tick-ticking away the seconds in my doctor’s office always makes me acutely aware of impermanance, of transiency of all things and phenomena.

It also makes me a little bit sad for all the moments I had let pass without much awarness or mindfulness. Since I fell severely ill many years ago, this has changed. Any severe illness is a good teacher, maybe it’s one of the best teachers you can get, it’s just unfortunate that it’s also a very demanding one, a very strict one always thinking you haven’t learnt quite enough yet and that what you have learnt you must improve.

The lessons taught by an illness aren’t easy, they can’t be compared with what you learn at university, because in school even if you don’t pass an exam, you’re still alive and well. You can always repeat it, you can work part time…With an illness it’s much more serious: not passing very often means passing away. It means dying or at least getting much, much worse.

If there’s anything the illness has taught me, it’s patience and deep humility, but also a keen awarness of impermanence. The latter has enriched my life in more ways I can enumerate. It’s only when you’re constantly aware of transiency, only when you see decay within the things that look very much alive can you really appreciate them.

You know that every little moment is unique and that once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Never again will it return, if you miss it…that’s it. You’ll never again get a chance to unmiss it, to experience it.


Every sunset is unlike any one I’ve seen until today: the colours are different, the wind on my skin feels different and smells differently, the sounds might be the same, but the quality to them is unique to this very evening, this very moment.

And so, despite a severe illness there are hundreds of things each day to appreciate, to love, to be happy about, to praise and to worship. To write little poems about. 🙂


(Picture not edited in any way.)

This entry was posted in Life is a meditation, Tiny Poems and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Sound of Impermanence

  1. janez says:

    Don’t have much to say, just the post is very thoughtful,the photo is excellent and neither leaves you indifferent.

  2. AshiAkira says:

    So deep and boundless
    Such is the hand that held me
    To stop my ending

    This was how I felt after I had what could be a fatal asthma attack. It happened in December 2012, so it was exactly 3 years ago. Lying on the hospital bed after surviving the attack, I had the “high” and felt inexplicably pleasant. Everything I saw around me then was also inexplicably beautiful. Then I felt I was being held in what I can only describe as an unseen hand. That hand was boundlessly big and I had the sensation of floating in it. I thought then it was the true love that existed by itself. I wrote about this and posted into my blog and if you care to take a look at it and if it’s not too much of trough for you, it’s at: I felt there is no such a thing as time, or, rather, a moment is eternity. 🙂

    • Tanja says:

      I’m grateful and privileged that you shared your experience with me in your comment and in your poem. Thank you. Today I kept returning to your poem again and again. The beauty, honesty and rawness with which you delivered your experience and the profound gratitude that emanates from your every word touched me very deeply.
      I can imagine what a frightening experience it must have been, but at the same time it gave you an insight into the real nature of things, which otherwise you would only know of intellectually. I’m so happy and relieved that you’re still here among your family, friends and among all of us – enriching our lives with your beautiful poems and with your big, kind heart and wisdom. Thank you, Ashi. Take good care.

  3. beeba kae says:

    i am fortunate to have encountered your words and those of commenters
    full of insight
    aids of sustenance amidst lives of
    impermanence and continuous change.
    sprinkled throughout with wondrous moments.

    deep gratitude to you all 🙂

  4. Sabina Vodenik says:

    Oh, Tanja, tudi jaz bi težko kaj dodala. Veliko se še moram naučit…

  5. Florina says:


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