It has now been two weeks since I graduated from college. Before leaving, I passed down a copy of Siddhartha to a freshman girl who, over the course of just two semesters, I had become very close friends with. She wanted something to remind her of me, and so I tried to leave her with something more than just a gift. On the inside cover I wrote her the following note. It is a consolidation of the most important things I had learned, not been taught, about life over the past four years. For the purpose of this post, we’ll call the girl “Goose”.
This novel has always given me a lot of peace and serenity, and I hope that by giving you this book it will have a similar effect on you. Let me explain.
There is a Buddhist term, referenced but never named in this novel, called “anicca,” which roughly translates to “impermanence.” I just graduated this afternoon, and am moving on to something new, still unsure what that something is exactly. All things move on. The best times end quickly, and horrible times pass as well (probably sooner than you think, even though it may feel much longer). This graduation party will be over soon too. So will beach week, the summer, your sophomore year, and then your college career. That’s as far as I have gotten, but I have a hunch that the rest of life goes on just like that. Nothing is permanent, and be wary of anything that seems like it is. I won’t be around next year, but here are three things that I learned, usually the hard way.
1. Moments are always leaving us behind, and memories are not immortal either. Treat both as though they are the one you love the most staring into the tunnel of life’s final light with only seconds and a few breaths left.
2. Hold each moment deep inside you as if your life depended on it because, well, it sort of does.
3. When the time comes let it go, let it go. Do not try to hold on to it any longer; the brightest stars are formed by the things that we humans cannot possibly hold.
Finally, call me when you’ve finished this book. Re-read it, and call me every time that you finish it. I will always answer.