A Dharma Glimpse by Frankie Carboni
couple of weeks ago a small petrol station in the middle of town closed down. It was a family business and the owner has retired. It’s something of an icon, the only petrol station actually right in town, situated in an awkward triangle of roads right on the portside. It’s tiny, a couple of pumps, but what made it special was that the operators actually put the petrol in the car for you, no self service, just like the old days when you handed over a note and said ‘fill ‘er up!’. I don’t drive, but for older drivers like my husband it was such a boon not having to get out of the car, figure out the self service stuff etc. That petrol station has been there forever, and it seems unthinkable that it won’t continue to be part of our cityscape.
I’ve always held a personal mantra that All Change is Good. I fully subscribe to the truth of impermanence, yes suffering is inevitable when change happens, but something Good will always be born out of it.
But when I heard the news about the petrol station, I couldn’t summon up my mantra. This particular change wasn’t good for the people who relied on the ease of service, its familiarity, even its iconic status.
It occurred to me that all change isn’t good after all. But neither is it all bad, or anything between. I suddenly realised that I could let go of always being obliged to cheerfully accept change, find the positive, deny the negative.
And far from feeling as if I’d taken a step backward and forgotten all of those lessons about impermanence, I felt liberated by accepting that Change just IS. No more or less than that. It just is.
Namo Amida Bu.