“The whole park was astir with the sound of weeds, bushes, and trees growing, all shattering ceaselessly。” This was all true: the park was a wasteland, but far from going downhill.
Aside from some buildings that I had no way to enter, aside from the altar that I had no way to reach but could only gaze at from every possible vantage point, I had been under every tree in the park, and my chair’s wheel-prints were left on almost every meter of grass. I had spent time in this park in all seasons, all kinds of weather, and all times of the day.
Sometimes, I stayed only a short time and then went home; sometimes, I stayed until the entire ground was alight with moonbeams. I don’t remember which corners of the park I was in then.
For several hours in a row, I was totally absorbed in thinking about death, and just as patiently, I pondered why I had to be born. This kind of thinking went on for quite a few years until I finally understood: a person’s birth isn’t a question for debate, but is the reality handed to him by God. When God hands us this reality, he has already incidentally assured its end, so death is something one needn’t be anxious to bring about; death is a festival that is sure to befall you.
After thinking this through, I felt greatly relieved: nothing would ever be so frightening again. Let me put it this way: just think, when you get up early and stay up late preparing for an exam, and suddenly it occurs to you that—just ahead—a long vacation is waiting for you, don’t you feel a little better? And aren’t you happy and grateful for this arrangement?
All that’s left is the question of how to live, but this is not something you can think through in an instant, not something that you can solve once and for all: you have to think about it your whole life, however long that is. It’s a demon or a lover who is your lifelong companion.