The Dead Rose Bush: A brief Dialogue between a Student and Teacher

The Moorish Cafe by Jean Raymond Hippolyte Lazerges (1882)

“Dear, Mentor. Thine heart continues to drag me through the pains of past memories. Every day I wake, I am greeted by sadness. Every night I seek rest, I am haunted by agony. Everywhere I go, every pilgrimage I take, I’m stalked by the shadows of those whom I loved dearly; the gentle yet fiery spirits who had once illuminated thy life and restored thy youthful vigor. The sadness grows intensely, however I am weary to cry, for thy tears are spent. I cannot love another, for thy candle of passion was smothered from thy own self-pity. I abhor such misery! What must be done? Lest I be consumed from absolute destruction?”

“My strong student, thou art bravely facing the very pains that no man or woman should ever avoid. If thou choose to ignore, ye are only abandoning your position as overseer of the very fortress thou art constructing. Thou must live to bear such pains, so that ye may live to see the fruits of thy labor, and to pass on what ye had learned to the future generations who will face the same trials. Therefore, you must not waste so much of your days toiling in sorrows and regret. For what has come to past, is already gone. Ye cannot change it. Look upon the sun now. It has past midday. The time you may have had to spend on building your own kingdom is now lost, but that does not mean it is too late, for ye are still alive. Conscious. Breathing. Yet there are no guarantees that you will have another day to do your work on this earth.”

“Good teacher, thy mind knows what you speak is truth, therefor leading to what I need to accomplish. Lest I neglect what needs to be done as a living being. But thine heart is foolish and deceitful. How can I overcome it? How can I drive off such negativity? I feel trapped inside. Paralyzed.”

“Remember thy teachings I had expressed to you all from Plato? As he stated ‘The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile.’ Therefore, my disciple, you must not let your fears, your pains, your sorrows, your vices control thee. Why pine over the dead rose bush, when ye have an entire living garden which requires thine attention? The plant is dead. There’s no wrong in mourning from time-to-time, however do not let that keep thee from nurturing and enjoying the rest who are just as special. With each new day, rise up and ready thyself for war. Lay down to rest with the blade at your side, and soon thou shalt see the days when ye can wake up greeted by peace, and sleep away the night in love. I will say to you once more, neither the sun nor moon continues to move based on our consent. Time will not wait for you to get on with life. For our lives are as a brief as the spring flower. We grow, we rise, we bloom, then we die. Don’t waste your moments to rise, don’t hesitate to bloom. Marcus Aurelius also wrote ‘waste no time arguing on what a good man should be. Be one.’ Therefore, ye must also fight your battles, establish the realm within thine soul and life. Live with dignity, patience, courage and grace.”

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