It’s autumn again and the leaves are getting ready to drop. Just as it takes a colossal unfolding of energy in the spring for the trees to gather up force from the earth and sprout leaves in all their green fullness, so it takes a huge amount of energy for the trees in autumn to prepare their leaves to drop: the stupendous changes of color, the loosening, the downward spiral to the ground. And once again, but not for the last time, bareness. For dust you are and unto dust you shall return. That has always been inconceivable to me. I simply can’t accept it. What I’m saying is not that it can’t be so or that it shouldn’t be so. What I’m saying is, it isn’t so. An incredible life force of the trees forms that mass of leaves from the earth, the air, their bodies. A life force just like that of human dust. Then it drops off. But underneath them, the trees, the human dust, the elements are reassembled and the trees and the dust are in the same situation the next spring. They start in again, like a fertilized egg, like Sisyphus, who was once a fertilized egg. A new spring brings its rapture, a new autumn . . . . . . . and again it’s a failure. All that labor gone to waste. What has been achieved? What has happened? The tree spent its summer being a tree. The human spent its life being a human. That’s all you can say. We pass our time just like the trees. They pump water and elements out of the earth, make leaves, let them fall off. A year goes by and it’s the same the next; and all the bounding movement of life that it takes to form those leaves and those humans has no other purpose than to pass the time, for a tree to fill up half a year or a human a lifetime. That means that the whole question of living comes down to, what do I do to pass the time?
Well, why not? You have to do something. Yes, sometimes it’s boring, but every now and then wonderful things are strewn across your path. And you get involved with them, and later you remember your involvement fondly, even lovingly. And time passes almost by itself, sometimes much more quickly than you want, and you stop asking such questions.