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11 August 2008 @ 07:36 am
Tao of the Day  
Many stars can be concealed by a small cloud.
- Maori proverb

If you focus on people's foibles and not their qualities, you will find it difficult to find a single good person in the whole world.
There is no one who does not have shortcomings.
It is the human condition.
- Lao Tzu (trans. Timothy Freke)
animaeruption on August 11th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
Er... I was already a-swirl with thoughts processing this morning. Now you come and sprinkle bittersweet all over the top. Its mixing! So beautiful. Cocoa on black coffee.

Kburgunder on August 11th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
I hope you'll forgive my compulsion to quote yet another aphorism! As soon as I read this, all I could think of was a second Maori proverb and a favourite Taoist quote of mine - I'm paraphrasing both of these since I don't have my Big Book o' collected Tao quotes here at work.

Even a puddle can drown you if you immerse yourself therein.
- paraphrased Maori proverb

Can you wait for your mud to settle?
- Lao Tzu (trans. Stephen Mitchell)

Ilsa and I ate a restaurant called the New Leaf Cafe, associated with the Outlook Inn (any chance to say that name...), and I had a "Shot in the Dark".

This is soy milk, chai, espresso and caramel.

It's flavorful, it's spicy, it's layered, it's caffeinated, it's interesting.

But I cannot see the cup, I cannot define all the individual flavors, I have not separated the dregs, I have no clarity. Hedonism and a wild array of experiences, yes. But no clarity. And, an expectation arises as my senses get accustomed to this many-directional assault. I might be at risk of losing pleasure in water.

I guess that's what I felt compelled to say, in my own words. I don't know if it has any relevance to what's on your mind.
animaeruption on August 12th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
RE: Maori proverb. Yes... Very nice. I am wary of focus. Feels like a whirlpool sometimes. Good one.

RE: Lao Tzu. Hmmm... I don't get it... exactly. I'm never afraid to claim ignorance. Care to learn me a thing or two?

All compulsions and tangents are encouraged.
Being lost in hedonism and experiences is also encouraged.


You cannot experience the multi-entity collaboration? Only the final result? Only the interaction between yourself and the moment? The gears and gremlins operating the experience are lost?

Pity. The swirls are very pretty.

Minute granules of cocoa working together to show the turbulent churn of a thoughtful spoon twirl. I don't even LIKE stuff in my coffee but will add it just to watch.

Kburgunder on August 12th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
I pulled the chai thing out of my ass to try to illustrate the mud settling thing and then wound up on a tangent inspired by a conversation I had over breakfast with Jake (nplusm). Hmm, where to begin, to dig myself out of my ineloquence and unexplained leap frogging. Hmm, hmm.

First: breakfast. Jake and I were talking about a problem that arises from being attractive and smart. He read an article that someone coined a term for it in NY relating to the behaviour of NY clubbing women in particular, but I can't remember the term. I think it applies equally though to a certain kind of smart attractive person, regardless of sex. While they're in their clubbing phase, they receive a ton of attention, a ton of praise, a desire from their peers to understand and agree with them to some extent. An audience. Eventually it gets hard to remember to maintain a dialogue, instead of a celebrated monologue. They become accustomed to the attention, stimulation, and apparently it winds up being a big problem when these particular people attempt marriage.

And by they, I mean us, any human who is at last acknowledged for their secret sense of worth. Anyone who has experienced unexpected attention. I think that happens a lot in our community, and it is almost entirely a wonderful thing. I'm still addicted to the kind of attention I got when I moved to Seattle in my early 20s and first began appearing at the clubs, and for the first time in my life, people left and right were acknowledging the particular kind of smart I am as worth reading and listening to.

So, when I was pondering the chai, which was supposed to come to my aid as a bit of mud in water, I totally wandered off because instead I started thinking about all the flavors as being all the kids of attention and stimulation one gets in that smart-pretty context and off I went.

I mixed my metaphors, ironically, like cocoa in coffee ;> (But oh-ho, the swirl of cream is one of my favourites, especially in the transparent little mugs)

In the case of the mud settling... here is a quote on the subject that is more precise.

Trying to understand is like straining to see through muddy water.

Be still and allow the mud to settle.

- Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching #15, trans. Timothy Freke)

I like to know how everything works, what everything is comprised of. I didn't intend to dismiss curiousity. Without curiousity, there wouldn't be much of my personality left, heh. I am a "How?" person, a tinkerer.

I have no idea if I've communicated well, but if I've failed again, well, I'll ponder that bridge if we stand on opposite banks. :>
animaeruption on August 12th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... I meant less to convey "How?" and more to convey "What is going on there?" from the perspective of the individual parts. Outside of the end result. I tend to personify everything but only in so much as I view things interacting. They don't have dialogue and feelings usually... unless its amusing. =)

You're clarification on the mud helped. Thanks. However... I don't know if I agree. It seems there is a lot to be seen in the mud. I certainly wouldn't want to miss anything. I'm hell bent on seeing through and at the mud regardless of how difficult and likely that is. Unsurprising. I've always been a "have your cake and eat it too" kind of person and I will probably die as such.

Smart and pretty: I suppose so... attention makes me nervous though... unless someone *really* gets me. Which isn't often. Not so much because I'm some unique weirdo but more because I don't show my true self often. Still though... attention is wary-making. I've enough natural ego already and people polishing it feels dangerous. Don't people have stuff of their own they are working on? Surely they can come up with something more distracting than the shit I spew. Perhaps that came off as arrogant, cocky, and smug. It kinda is. *shrug* =)

I like those lost in their own minds. Jumping around. With time and effort you can come to know their worlds and they yours. Then the areas of overlap become aware to you and after awhile you find that its exactly the same world. Just interpreted differently. We all speak our own languages. We all have our own UI. Some are just lucky enough to be able to run with it.

Dunno where that last paragraph came from. It needed to be tapped in there as a wedge with my mattock here. Don't ask why. I don't know. *clink* *clink*

Hmmm... and now we've turned an LJ post into delicious banter. Very nice! I certainly hope my words were accurate and glued together enough to serve a purpose past entertainment. If not... I'll take what I can get.

Don't be hatin' I'm just tangentalizatin'