Tao and words
The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
The Way of Chuang Tzu
The banner photoLooking north: Chesterman Beach, Tofino, BC. See Storm watching.
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Travel and wisdom
It is experience that is the ultimate teacher. That is why wise people travel constantly and test themselves against the flux of circumstance.
A Random Quote/Thought
The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.
Category Archives: Tao | Zen
A week ago today, one of the people I follow on Twitter — Tom McLaughlan (@daruma) — caught my eye with these 76 characters, quoting someone else to be mentioned below: “I wonder how many writers get together to compare the pencils they use…?”
I should say, as only a bit of an aside, that the aforementioned Mr. McLaughlan is a superb photographer. You can see his “ministracts,” a concatenation of “minimalism” and “abstraction” of his own coinage, on his his website of that name and as daruma* on Flickr, which is where I first found his work several years ago. If you have glanced at the first two bullets on my About page, you will understand why his user name and his “wallgazing” set, respectively, got my attention.
More than twenty years ago, I was a member of an amateur choral group that performed a Mozart Litany (K. 125). While it may have lacked the grandeur of the Verdi Requiem or the Beethoven Choral, it was the most challenging piece I ever attempted in my limited career as a utility bass. I have a very good sense of pitch, but rhythm and I are not always in sync, so the snappier passages were problematic in rehearsals, often leaving me in a cone of personal silence as I tried to figure it out. Then I had an insight: This was Mozart, after all, so rather than fret, I could put my trust in him, follow the notes on the page in only the most general way, and just sing what seemed right in the surrounding sound field and the flow of the moment. Astonishingly, it worked. I can remember feeling surprise, humility, gratitude, even a touch of ecstasy, both in rehearsal and in our sole performance one springtime Sunday afternoon.
This photo and the following bulleted paragraph are from my About page, which deconstructs the title of this blog, in this case the middle word “garden”:
What is performance but our best rebuttal to mortality? — George Sheehan