On August 18th Gregory Nash of Yonkers NY died in his sleep. I first came to know Greg in art school way back in 1995. I remember Greg was always so much fun to be around. His personality lit up the studio. He was a flamboyant man who loved sculpture and art. Over the years, we drifted apart as classmates do. It was only the last couple of years that we regained contact via Facebook. We always spoke about meeting for drinks, but like these things go, it never happened. It was only three weeks ago that Gregory messaged me on Facebook and suggested we meet the following weekend for drinks. I planned to respond, but never did. Yesterday I received the news of Greg’s death. I regret not having that drink with my old friend.
Greg was a talented artist who had a passion for sculpture. He spent many years at the studios in Westchester Community College. He was well known and highly regarded in the art department. He had recent aspirations of teaching at WCC but sadly that never came to pass.
I’m a Buddhist. I dont believe in a god in the conventional sense. As a Buddhist I am very much aware of the impermanence of all things. Nothing stays the same. Every couple must suffer the loss of a spouse. Every child the loss of a parent. Everybody dies. We are taught not to cling. Attachment leads to pain and suffering. We know that there is no tomorrow and there is no yesterday, those are merely concepts made in the mind. There is only NOW. Right here, right now. We also understand that the “self” or the concept of “me” is imaginary. There is no me or you. When one thinks in terms of a me, as a separate person, then everything else is “out there”. The me becomes separate from everything “out there”. This is false. There is only the universe. It is one. We are part of the universe and in fact we are the universe. When people die, they don’t pass away, pass on, or go to heaven to be with the angels, nor do they “rest in peace”. In fact, they don’t go anywhere at all. They simply change form in such a radical way they we cant see them any longer. But they are still here. Every molecule and atom since the beginning is here. Greg’s death reminded me of all these things; the importance of living in the moment. We must live in the moment, right here right now. What other choice do we have?