As Open As the Sky

“Colors blind the eye.

Sounds deafen the ear.

Flavors numb the taste.

Thoughts weaken the mind.

Desires wither the heart.

The Master observes the world

but trusts his inner vision.

He allows things to come and go.

His heart is open as the sky.”

(Tao Te Ching, A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell, 1988)

I had a conversation the other day concerning the passivity of Taoism.  I suppose that on the surface, this quoted passage conveys a sense of submission.  However, I see it as urging the reader to remain actively open and receptive.  Trusting in one’s inner vision takes determination.  The strength to allow things to come and go without becoming entangled in tedious nuances that drag you down requires an active mind and an exercised will.

So, since today creates the border between two different years, rather than being weighed down by the countless scenes of tragedy and despair that we’ve been subjected to throughout 2016, I’m trying to find solace in what remains honorable, nameless, and forever giving.