Sunday, October 29, 2017


four folks came together for an inquiry ~

who knows how 
to have the void for a head
to have life as a backbone
& death for a tail?

at this they all looked at one another
saw that they agreed,
burst out laughing
and became fast friends!

then one of them fell ill
and another went to visit.
great is the maker, said the sick one..
who has made me as i am!

i am so doubled up
my guts are over my head;
upon the navel i rest my cheek;
my shoulders stand out
beyond my neck;
my crown is an ulcer
surveying the sky;
what a mess!
my body is chaos
but my mind is in order  -

are you discouraged?
 asked the friend

not at all! why should i be?
if i am taken apart
and a rooster made of my left shoulder
i shall announce the dawn.
if my right shoulder is
made into a crossbow
i shall procure our next meal.
if my buttocks turn into wheels
& if my spirit is a horse
i will hitch myself up
& ride around in my own wagon!

there is a time for putting together
& another time for taking apart.
the one who understands
the course of these events
takes each new state
in its proper time
with neither sorrow nor joy.
the ancients say:
the hanged man
cannot cut himself down..
nature is stronger
than all one's ropes and bonds.

it has always been so ~
where is there a reason
to be discouraged?
             -  chuang tzu