Leave All Behind

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"On a voyage, when the ship is anchored, if you go on shore to get water, you may gather a small shellfish or cuttlefish along the way as a side issue for yourself, but your thoughts must be directed at the ship and you must be constantly watchful if not the captain calls. And if he calls, leave all of it behind, so you won’t be thrown into the ship bound like cattle. It is the same in life: if instead of a small shellfish and cuttlefish, you are given a wife and child, there is nothing against that. But if the captain calls, rush towards the ship and leave all behind without looking back. And if you are old, don’t even go far from the ship, so you won’t default when you are called."  (Epictetus)

Enchiridion 21: In A Vapor Trail

"Let death and exile, and all other things which appear terrible be daily before your eyes, but chiefly death, and you will never entertain any abject thought, nor too eagerly covet anything." (Epictetus, Enchiridion 21)



Stratospheric traces of our transitory flight
Trails of condensation held
in narrow bands of white
The sun is turning black
The world is turning gray
All the stars fade from the night
The oceans drain away

Horizon to Horizon
memory written on the wind
Fading away, like an hourglass, grain by grain
Swept away like voices in a hurricane

In a vapor trail

Atmospheric phases make the transitory last
Vaporize the memories that freeze the fading past
Silence all the songbirds
Stilled by the killing frost
Forests burn to ashes
Everything is lost

Washed away like footprints in the rain

In a vapor trail

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