Our Impermanent Homes

Our Impermanent Homes

Impermanence teaches us to cherish life's fleeting moments. Like a brief stay in a perfect hotel room, recognizing the transience of life urges us to appreciate every moment and find beauty in the ephemeral.


Imagine you’re staying in a beautiful hotel room. It’s not yours; you have only one night here. You know this room, with its perfect view and comfort, is temporary. You might take extra care to savor the softness of the linens. The morning light as it spills across the floor. The birds chirping and the quiet moments of dawn. 

Impermanence and Attention

Impermanence is the hotel room we never own and only briefly experience. It’s easy to conceive of the kind of special attention we might offer to such a room. It is harder to conceive of maintaining this kind of attention throughout life. 

Yet change is our only constant. Everything around us, including our very bodies, and the homes they inhabit, is in constant flux.  Just as winter inevitably releases its hold to spring, so too do the features of our lives evolve and fade away.

Every moment we have in our homes is that last time we will ever know this particular moment in this particular space. No matter how mundane. It's the last time you'll ever wash these dishes this way. The last time you'll ever have dinner with your wife 1,307 days into your partnership. The last time you'll ever see your parent seated in this position on your couch.

Yes, sometimes memories rhyme. Even still, they are never the same.

Everything You Will Lose

We will lose our physical strength, our clear memories, our untouched photographs. Just as all before us have. The love we hold dear, the friends we laugh with, the mentors who guide us—like stars in the night sky, even they will one day fade.

It's hard to face squarely. And it does no good to dwell. Nevertheless, this fact always gob-smacks me. And inspires new appreciation.

The Sacred Now

This moment, right now, is sacred. Your life today is not a rehearsal; it's the live show. You don’t watch the sunset with sorrow because it will end, but with awe because it is beautiful. Every day, we stand on holy ground. The ground isn’t holy because it will last. It is holy precisely because it won’t.

The Altar of Life

Our morning coffee, the book on your nightstand, the hug from my daughter—all offerings on the altar of this day. To embrace our impermanent lives is to practice gratitude for the blessings that grace us each and every day. 

Acknowledging impermanence need not beckon us to despair. Instead it invites us into a deeper, more vibrant relationship with life. We build our lives on a transient earth, not to anguish over its instability, but to celebrate a seemingly impossible ever-changing beauty. 

The Impermanent, the Beautiful

Everything is more beautiful because it's temporary, like the cherry blossoms that bloom spectacularly (fleetingly) each spring. Even the awe the blossoms inspire.

So too our homes.

Your kitchen is holy. So is the entryway that you've crossed a thousand times. The bathroom tile where you drop your towel. The desk where you sit and work. One day, when this home is lost, you or someone you love will remember it as sacred.

Living like a Traveler, at Home

May we live like a traveler who knows they are just passing through, awake to the beauty of each stay. By loving fiercely in the face of transience, we turn our impermanent homes into profound places of meaning and beauty, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. 

Recently I saw a photo of my daughter and me in the kitchen. It was a casual photo, taken when she was 1 year old. We were having dinner while my wife was out. I knew then that the time we shared was special. Though when I look at the photo now, sitting in the very same kitchen, I see the time and space as precious.

I wish I knew, then, how to more fully embrace just how special it was. I'm sure I'll feel the same way about the morning we just now shared, the way she said goodbye as I walked out the door to embrace my day.

I wrote this piece in honor of 2 dear friends recently diagnosed with cancer, and several other loved ones who recently departed this earth.


Geoff Abraham

Co-founder & President of Spoken

Geoff is the co-founder and President of Spoken. He is a Dad. He holds a BA from UT Austin (Plan II) and an MBA from Stanford. Geoff has built several successful businesses, including a bicycle taxi business in San Francisco which he ran for 10 years with his wife, Mimosa. He is an executive coach, and he actively invests in seed-stage startups via The Explorer Fund.

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