This week I've been given reminders of impermanence. I lost a really important item in class this week. I keep my notes on novels, essays, and plays that I've taught in class in an old composition book. I've added notes to it and dog-eared it for years. I don't know if someone took it or if -- for the first time in ages -- I somehow laid it down, forgetting how important it is. I feel really lost as a classroom teacher without it. Since missing it, I feel like I only have whispers of insights in my head that I know were written down before.
I also broke my phone's screen this week. I've carried a smartphone for almost 8 years, and I've never gotten more than minor cosmetic scratches on it. This week, after a difficult meeting, I dropped my phone as I was getting up to leave, cracking the screen from top to bottom in a spiderweb pattern. It functions, but pieces of glass come off in my pocket, and I have to strain to read the characters on the screen.
I'm not thankful for either event, but I think it's good to be given reminders how easily we come to take things for granted.