In the End

In the end
It is not sharpened claws that tear us apart
Nor a flow of blood from our freshly torn flesh that draws the life from our bodies

It is not dagger teeth that consume us
Nor the acids of a churning stomach that digest our decaying forms

No we do not stagger forward from this life to the next thinking of the bodily pain that we endured
Any more than we wake each day once more looking instantly to the world for physical pleasure

Rather

What breaks us down
In the end
Is time
The slow onslaught of which beats against our presence in this world like drops from a leaking tap
Steady
Barely noticeable at first
Perhaps amusing or even calming in our earlier moments
Running down our surface and slowly falling away with little fanfare
Taking with it specks of dust and dirt
Cleansing
Or so it seems

As the procession continues
We grow more aware
Not only of the persistent repetition
But of what accumulates between the pulses
Of the value ascribed as such
And of how quickly and callously the passing waves are prone to wash whatever is cherished away
Of the immaterial but likewise irreplaceable treasures that are love and friendship
And the inexplicable and immutable impermanence thereof

With age and
– Fortune provided –
Wisdom
We learn to abide the steady stream
To appreciate the reliable nature of the mystery
Drinking in the cycles of loss and gain
Birth, death, and rebirth
Never truly understanding why or where from
But likewise seeing elements of an overarching schematic and grasping if only in the most minute manner
Purpose and place

Nevertheless
In the end
Though it comes not in a flood
The waters wash free the last of our tethers
Taking with them at last fragments of all we are
Until there is nothing left to fall upon
And the void beneath consumes even time itself

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