The Paradox of Union and Separation

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Today, January 28, 2015, was supposed to be one of the brightest days for one of our high school colleagues as it is his wedding day, but sad to say, it turned out to be one of the gloomiest days for him and his family as his beloved father passed away last night (January 27).

This melodramatic incident unambiguously speaks about an often neglected slice of life – that our life is nothing but a paradox of union and separation. The birth of a baby is obviously a panorama of union and a joyous addition to a family. Yet, we rarely realize that it is also a moment of separation for him from the world of the womb to which he was too much accustomed for a period of nine months or so. Death of a senior family member is obviously a source of grief and sorrow as it signals his departure from our realm of corporeality. Yet, it hardly dawns upon us that it is also his rendezvous with his long-deceased loved ones, say, his parents and grandparents.

Every moment of ours is a moment of union and separation. As a pre-school pupil goes to school for the first time, she actually bids goodbye to her familiar playmates in the neighborhood, and at the same time, it is saying ‘hello’ to classmates and schoolmates. As the Grade 6 pupils melodiously sing their graduation song, the song is actually a hymn of separation and union – separation with elementary classmates and friends, and an impending meeting with new classmates and buddies in high school. As the high school graduates throw their togas’ caps, they know pretty well that it is a gesture of bidding farewell to the memorable high school life. At the same time, it is an opening vista to a universe of friends and colleagues in the university. This double-bladed sword of life (union and separation), a person continues to carry, as she obtains her bachelor’s degree, enters the corporate world, gets married, begets members of a football team, becomes old, retires from work, and finally soars high into the sphere of eternity and her Beloved’s Domain.

In short, as the sun sets in the west, it is actually a sneaky goodbye kiss to one’s day and a most exciting embrace to another day with the breaking of the smiling dawn.

Given this life’s paradox of union and separation, Ernesto, your batchmates sincerely congratulate you on your wedding day today!

Let the caravan move on after every momentary sojourn.

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