His eyes were sunken. “Notice the immutability of the laws you have learned,” the dying man said to me, “and the impermanence of your life. Spirit has been here. You have not. Stones have been formed over millions of years; you, over 9 months. Animals, plants, the elements and this earth have assailed existence over what we only perceive to be time. Yet our walk here is hilariously, impossibly short. Although you are young, and believe yourself eternal, one day you will see that your hands have become grey, splotched, veiny. You will be bald. You will smell. Yes gradually, awfully, your body will fail you.” He cleared his throat.
I was studying his words like the patterns in his green eyes, trying to remember them, knowing I would forget inflection, punctuation.” I know because you are young you will forget this. But it is when your hands look like mine feel, it is then I hope you will remember this: do not be afraid. If there is no room for anything, at any age, in any situation, EVER, please, young ‘un, remember: there is NO ROOM FOR FEAR. Do not be afraid. I beg of you. As you move through the world with less terror and more solidity, you will find peace.”
I stood very still. I said nothing. He continued in this moment of lucidity. “When you begin to quell this irrationality of fear, I believe this: merely your existence will loosen and challenge those around you to do the same. To live freely. To be happy. Young ‘un, if you do this now, you will be full. You will be joy-full, even through your sorrows.”
-The Thousand Mile Thumb