In the good old days,
things were better.
It was better back then,
on winter mornings we’d open the blinds,
fingers crossed in mind,
excited upon seeing the first snow,
our faces would glow.
Grabbing snow suits,
and snow boots,
outside we’d run.
We’d play and jump,
just being happy and dumb,
throwing ourselves into the snow.
We’d smile at the sky,
without being shy,
extending our hands and smiles,
to all the other young and wilds.
Building igloos, snow angles and snowmen,
over and over again,
sledding and sliding,
screaming and fighting,
there would be snowball fights,
and we would quickly reunite,
reconciling in minutes,
there were just no limits.
nothing could come near.
We would just be,
We would stand on that swing,
dance, and loudly we’d sing,
rocking higher and higher,
until some poor kid fell over.
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Want to know what the passing year is like?
A snake slithering down a hole.
Half his long scales already hidden,
how to stop him from getting away?
Grab his tail and pull, you say?
Pull all you like–it does no good.
The children try hard not to doze,
chatter back and forth to stay awake,
but I say let dawn cocks keep still!
I fear the noise of watch drums pounding.
We’ve sat so long the lamp’s burned out.
I get up and look at the slanting Dipper.
How could I hope next year won’t come?
My mind shrinks from the failures it may bring.
I work to hold on to the night
while I can still brag I’m young.
translated by Burton Watson
Memories are thoughts that arise. They’re not realities. Only when you believe that they are real, then they have the power over you. But when you realize it’s just another thought arising about the past, then you can have a spacious relationship with that thought. The thought no longer has you in its grip.