Sarah Marakos

I was walking home from the gym Monday night while it was lightly snowing, and the snow on the street was glistening under the street lamps.

The street lamp

Makes every flake sparkle —

A glimpse of bliss in the bitter air.

This week in class we discussed the inevitability of failure in one’s life. Wherever there is success, it will be followed by failure. This sounded like a very negative outlook at first, but then if failure always follows success, then success must always follow failure (Inouye 49). This unavoidable cycle provides me with some hope; knowing that things will always get better when life seems to be at its worst. In Tale of the Heike, there is a large series of failures of the Heike because they simply cannot hold onto their success forever. This idea follows along with what we’ve been learning all semester— nothing lasts, everything is always changing.  In reading Kamo-no-Chomei’s story, he talks about how we are temporary and even our houses, which we think will be around forever, are temporary. It never occurred to me that I might go home one day and my house will no longer be there until hurricane Sandy destroyed many of my friends’ houses and they returned from college to flooding and wreckage. Kamo-no-Chomei is absolutely right in his description of impermanency of everything. He compares a person’s life with the lifetime duration of a bead of dew, “A house and its master are like the dew that gathers on the morning glory. Which will be the first to pass?” (Chomei 33). Because everything in life is fleeting, Kamo-no-Chomei suggests that people should stop spending their time doing things they don’t want to do just because they think it will get them what they want in the future- but what if there is no future for them past tomorrow?

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