“This too shall pass” (Persian: این نیز بگذرد, romanized: īn nīz bogzarad) is a Persian adage translated and used in multiple languages. It reflects on the temporary nature, or ephemerality, of the human condition. The general sentiment is often expressed in wisdom literature throughout history and across cultures, although the specific phrase seems to have originated in the writings of the medieval Persian Sufi poets.
These are the days of red skies and yellow haze, of cherry red balloon-like suns sinking into the horizon at the close of the day, of endless conflicts and nasty, spiteful leaders. However, I’ve noticed the squirrels are very busy gathering acorns from our oak trees and many birds are gleaning what they can from the trees as well. I wonder if they take notice of the ominous skies that surround them?.Are they sleeping less soundly than usual? Do they even notice? Do they have more confidence in the future of the planet than some of their human counterparts? Like me, for instance?
The young children continue to squeal loudly when they play in the pool. The dogs still beg for treats and the neighbor’s cat continues to call my yard his as he looks for prey. I continue to try to intimidate the cat and he continues to come by on a regular basis, although I do think he keeps an eye out for me.
Neighbors smile regularly at each other, sensing that kindness and understanding should be the order of the day. We are ALL in this together, for sure.
In the background, men curse loudly. Fucking asshole. It is always a jarring note, even though I understand the need for expletives. It does not make our current reality any less threatening.
I remember a song from the 60’s Viet Nam war period. What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love. And of course, it’s on Youtube.
It’s hardly profound, but somehow it’s simplicity sounds ok to me today. Maybe it’s simplicity that the world needs now. It’s knowing that your kids will go back to a classroom at the end of the summer. It’s knowing that it’s fine to invite some friends for dinner, to go to a concert without worrying that your final destination will be a bed in Intensive Care..
When this is all over, maybe we’ll be able to sing, Is That All There Is?with a new and intimate comprehension of the lyrics.
A few decades ago, I visited the Istanbul marketplace. Amidst the sensory overload, I spotted a small shop that looked intriguing. On the wall, was a skeletonized leaf, with an Arabic alphabet printed on an image of a flower. Inquiring as to its meaning, I was told it said “This too shall pass.” It’s been on my bedroom wall for years now but has taken on new meaning and given me some comfort. It does seem paradoxical to want things to pass because it’s your one and only life. As far as I know, the saying could be, “Death to all Jews! ” The joke would be on me. I’ll take my humor wherever I can get it these days.