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  • David Carlson

1021:Perhaps it doesn't matter what carries us to and from that well but only that we drink.

Day 1021: Sunday, January 1, 2022. Happy New Year!

Perhaps it doesn't matter what carries us to and from that well but only that we drink.


In Japanese mythology, the crane becomes immortal at the age of two thousand, when it is done being a crane.


And the tortoise becomes immortal at the age of ten thousand, when it starts being a wave.



So perhaps the purpose of experience is to wear us free of our names.


Perhaps, underneath all the distinctions we can imagine—all spiritual paths are one, all philosophies are one, all occupations and passions are one.



Perhaps all our ambitions and desires are like different cups dipping in the same well at center. And every name—every praise and blame—is such a cup, each holding the same sweet water.


Perhaps it doesn't matter what carries us to and from that well but only that we drink.



Could experience be for humans what erosion is for the elements? Is the purpose of experience, over a lifetime, to carry us to what matters and then wear us away till we become part of the sweet water the next generation drinks?


If this is so, then what is the work of being human? There is no tangible answer, any more than we can ask fire why it burns. But like a crane flying steadily till its wings disappear or a tortoise swimming mightily till its shell wears away, we can live our way into knowing.


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