Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Water's Way

As a child, I watched water slowly dripping from a leaky faucet. Waiting between drops, wondering how much a single drop would swell before falling into the white porcelain abyss, crashing onto the brown rust stain formed by countless past drops, finally followed by a hollow drip sound within the sink pipe's chambers. Water became a life metaphor during my senior year high school "Great Books" course which included Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching; on a hot lazy Spring afternoon I read these words from chapter 8:
That which is best is similar to water. Water profits ten thousand things and does not oppose them. It is always at rest in humble places that people dislike. Thus, it is close to Tao [the Way].
One day, I wanted to feel really rich. I decided on taking a hot bath; to soak my body and slow down the mind, finally feeling limp and relaxed all over. The water washed away my drive, my concerns, my worry, my thoughts. A gentle joyful bliss filled with simple appreciation overwhelmed me. An ocean in a bath tub. Water is so passive, so soft; it passes through the fingers. Yet, it can destroy mountains and cities. It's power is in its softness. Every dew drop mirrors the garden around it. We are like water, too; reflecting everything that is.

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