Essay by Luke Foster
“I like the scientific spirit—the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine—it always keeps the way beyond open—always gives life, thought, affection, the whole man, a chance to try over again after a mistake—after a wrong guess.”
My friend Beni and his wife took me to the Leopold Museum in Vienna today and I was moved deeply by the Egon Schiele paintings and drawings. He died at the early age of twenty-eight of the Spanish Flu Pandemic in 1918. For some reason as Beni was driving me back to my hotel I began thinking about surrender and then my mother and what she told me repeatedly before she passed when I visited in her nursing home. I was complaining about something, and she threw her arms in the air and said what does it matter and that sunk in tonight and I realised how right she was. It didn’t happen once but several times during the last few visits to her.
“The moment of surrender is not when life is over, it’s when it begins.”
I see now clearly what my mother was trying to teach me as she calmly surrendered and prepared for death and tried to teach me how to surrender and be at peace in this life as well.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buddha
This is excellent advice for myself as my mind is always running off in the future or lagging in what I could have done or should have done syndrome.I am fed up with suffering, sick of worrying about what I should do in my life, so I don’t waste it. You never know when you are going to die, and I have lost quite a few friends at a young age so you can’t just expect to live to a ripe old age.
“I find hope in the darkest of days and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.” Dalai Lama
I am getting a big photo of me kissing my mum on the forehead from just a fortnight before she passed and put it up in my apartment so I can remember her every day.