When I was a child, I collected stuffed animals. I decorated a section of my room to make life good for them. I thought they might like butterflies since most of them came from the forest, so I placed a lot of butterfly stickers on the wall around their heads, showing them the world was beautiful. I went to school and asked my teacher for materials to take home, so I could teach my animals how to spell, how to write, and then I would read them fables so that they understood what it was to be good. I breathed a life into them, a life of love.
As I got older, these animals made their way from closets to hefty bags to attics to thrift stores. They were my first example of how love fades, and the painful knowledge that there is no form to anything, a lesson surfacing again and again. Our bodies, emotions, friendships, nature, everything changes in form. When I meditate on this, I can comfort myself in these waves of constant decay and impermanence. That bear was my everything but today I can't remember his name. I remember looking into his eyes and thinking: why don't I love you anymore? And these questions would evolve: why don't you love me anymore; why is this dying; why is my body deteriorating; is there something I can keep?