What IS it about peeling paint? Decay? A moment caught in the flow of time. There is the Wabi-sabi Japanese esthetic which, I’ve discovered, has a basic Buddhist teaching at it’s roots. Namely the Three Signs of Existence: impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha), and non-self (anattā). (Sometimes referred to as the Three marks of existence.) However that’s all very well and good, and one can get caught up in thinking about and analyzing why peeling paint and the like is so…..’beautiful’, but why the attraction? Why, for example, is the wrinkled face of an elderly person so ‘can’t keep my eyes off’ alluring?
This is the The Garden Station, Langley where last Sunday we had tea and scones: that’s after a walk along the old railway line, a sandwich in the lee of a stone wall (the wind was almost gale force), and a pleasant return along a wide and sheltered path through the woods. The station cafe is a delight, the conversation was stimulating and the scones home-made.
The conversation that emerged while we had our tea and scone (and jam) has had me contemplating this question of peeling paint! Or rather the underlying question of consciousness and Being – of self nature. Could it possibly be I’ve a blogging theme lurking here to explore? I certain hope so. For, when day after day I am simply not moved to write here, I find myself bereft. Ah! Perhaps it (the lurking theme) is the sweet-sadness of the passage of time, layer upon layer, showing the flow of….what is that? Being?