How Can We Define Impermanence?

Everything changes constantly.

Just going for a walk, I notice how the things around me change from day to day.
This lovely crinkly leaf was not against the railings when I passed this way
the day before.

The life cycle of a leaf is an example of impermanence.

Melting ice
illustrates how fast things can change in a matter of moments.

Not resisting change

Life is comparable to a river, or flowing water.
It is a progressive movement, a successive series of different moments,
joining together to give the impression of one continuous flow.
Going with the way things are rather than fighting the natural flow
and wanting things to be something else.
Non-resistance helps us to adapt to constant change and to accept it.

The impermanence of the seasons.
As one season celebrates its plenitude, another lies dormant,
waiting for the moment of rebirth.

Like crumpled tan gloves dropped on the earth, these fallen leaves
seem completely connected to the first snow fall
and in acceptance of their condition.

The fleetingness of shadows
and how their impermanent nature can charm and enthrall us

Their brief and changing presence makes me stop awhile
and enjoy them so much more!

Trusting change

Change can occur in different ways.
Sometimes we seek it out and other times it comes upon us unawares.
There are many crossroads throughout our lives
and important choices to make.
We ask ourselves: "Which ways shall I go? Should I turn left or right or
continue on the beaten track for fear of the unknown?

Whatever changes comes upon us without warning, as much as those
we specifically choose,
putting our trust in the long-term outcome
gives us newfound strength and the confidence to carry on,
come what may.

Slowing down and shifting priorities

Because of recent unexpected events. I have been forced to slow down considerably.
I have always enjoyed reading, but because of other much-loved creative activities,
and of dealing with the practicalities of life, 
I often put off reading-time till very late in the day
when I'm almost ready for bed.

These days, with a plaster cast on my right hand and arm,
I have had to review my priorities.
This has given me the opportunity to incorporate my reading times 
into new and different moments of the day.
I have created new spaces in my daily routine
which reminds me to continue to do this even when my right hand
is free again in five weeks' time.


Although I am not a Buddhist, I feel very much aligned to a great deal
of their philosophy.

"In Buddhism, the term 'annica' refers to the doctrine of impermanence
which asserts that all of conditioned existence, without exception,
is transient, evanescent, inconstant."
(Taken from Wikipedia)

Early Buddhism dealt with the question of impermanence
in a very rational manner.
According to 'annica', impermanence is an undeniable and inescapable fact
of human existence from which nothing that belongs to this earth is ever free.

So, however we feel about the impermanent nature of all things,
seizing the moment as it comes to us
to live it fully
just the way it is
seems like the very best thing we can do for ourselves and for others.

I know this blog entry is much wordier than a simple entry
on photography, but I'm currently following a workshop called:
"Celebrate Impermanence"
which has opened the door to new ways of observing life as it is
which is in a state of perpetual change
made up of
a multitude of moments.

If you are interested to read more about the workshop above.
You can find a link


  1. Blogging has room for, just a few words and pictures. And for thought, musings, dreams, ponderings, everything. And I love both kinds of entries.

    "Go with the flow" Simple. Wise. Do what we can, if we can do something. And after that, just be like the river.

    More reading time... One of those unexpected gifts, of a not happy happening. :-)

    Luna Crone

    1. So glad the wordiness didn't put you off - it just seem to flow on a bit. I don't usually like to drown people in words! Thank you for your comments.
      Yes, more reading time will be a good thing to continue!

  2. What wonderful observations and insights ... and the photography is amazing as well, Sandra.

    1. Thank you, Sue! By studying impermanence, I get to appreciate the fleeting moments so much more - which makes them feel so much fuller and it also seems to slow down time since I'm fully living those precious moments!

  3. Talking of impermanence - I was sitting at the table reading just as the sun was going down and I have never seen a sunset like it, every few seconds it changed first blue and pink, then dark red, then orange - I kept shouting oh wow, oh wow - just having time to watch a sunset that is ever-changing , I felt kind of privileged.

    1. So glad you enjoyed that ever-changing sunset, Elaine. It's all about drinking in the moment, isn't it!

  4. The workshop is good isn't it. Helps me to look at things differently and see that change while hard is a good thing most of the time, makes me work on solutions, use my brain.

    1. Glad you're enjoying the workshop too, Sarah, though I haven't seen you on Flickr. Maybe you are posting on Instagram.

  5. Oh, what a lovely post! Impermanence makes life so much more valuable, don't you think? Beautiful shots and thoughts.

    1. It certainly does, Fi! Being aware of the impermanent nature of all things, allows us to be very much present in the moment! Thank you for your comments and visit!

  6. Beautiful thoughts and images on impermanence, Sandra. Your broken wrist is not standing in your way of reflecting on this subject.

    1. Thank you, Kim. It's amazing what we can do, despite restrictions, when we really love doing something!

  7. WOW - with your right hand in a cast, I'm sure this must've taken a lot of effort to write and load onto your blog Sandra, but thank you for persevering. Another lovely post from you.

    Hugs, Sarn xxx

    1. Hi Sarn! I have a new cast and it's red for Christmas with a white edging! I love the look, but it's more cumbersome and feels uncomfortable. I will need it to be checked out. In the meantime, the Christmas spirit prevails!

  8. what you said is true, change is all around & we either accept them or not, though, I think it's rather hard to not to accept reality when it's right in your face.

    I really like those knitted star doilies (?), they're so cute. & I didn't know you can have colored cast, but I would have gone with the white so people can write messages on them.

    anyway, hope you'll enjoy some quiet time reading. have a happy holiday.

    1. So nice to see you, Lissa! I love having a coloured cast! I just got a new red one. It looks very seasonal!

      I'm glad you like the star garland over my bed! They are crocheted in colours that match the bedspread. I love making garlands and have just put up two more in my home for the Christmas season!

  9. It seems your shift in priorities has certainly produced some deep and reflective thoughts. I really enjoyed this post and hearing about what you are learning in your class. Sometimes, when those unexpected things come into our lives, we get to see many things we would have missed otherwise....Merry Christmas...

    1. Hi Nancy! It's always so uplifting to learn new things and to explore the philosophic nature of life in more depth. It allows us to live each moment more vibrantly than before and with more awareness.

  10. It's good to see you images and words all complied here together. There's always such a beautiful flow to your words. You could never write too many words as far as I'm concerned. This is one class that I'm really going to hate to see end. It has meant a lot to me. It has me more focused on each day, each hour, each minute.

    1. Cathy, thank you for your kind words. I think that the very nature of our class, in celebrating impermanence, is allowing us to focus more attentively on each precious moment we are given!

  11. I like how you are being inspired to find new ways, to explore change and impermanence. I do hope you heal swiftly and completely.

    Sometimes I move a trashcan in my house to a new location and see how long it takes me to adjust, quite often I go to throw trash in the old spot. It is an interesting thing.

    Your photos are lovely and your banner is sweet as can be.

  12. Thank you, Tammie. Exploring different avenues in life is always mind-broadening and interesting! Bunting and banners are really fun to do, especially when crocheting is concerned!

  13. Lovely thoughts on impermanence. The photos you have chosen really stand out as examples of impermanence!