Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Way of Water

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.

Nothing in the world 
is as soft and yielding as water. 
Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, 
nothing can surpass it.

The gentlest thing in the world
overcomes the hardest thing in the world.
That which has no substance
enters where there is no space.
This shows the value of non-action.

All streams flow to the sea 
because it is lower than they are. 
Humility gives it its power.

- Tao Te Ching                                         


Something about the above painting always reminds me of the Toa Te Ching so today I decided to go through and see if I could figure out why. Certainly the carved walls of Johnston Canyon speak to the powerful forces of water over time; nevertheless I can't help remembering the roar of water that didn't seem to have anything to do with softness or humility. Maybe the fact that the painting is very serene despite its lively subject, is what makes it interesting.

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