Reading the Tao

I’m reading about the Tao. It’s kind of a desperate attempt at happiness. So far it’s about as pain relieving as a Tylenol. Quick relief, lasts about eight hours.

Still there’s enough there to keep me thinking, talking and writing about it long after it’s initial effects have worn off. I’m intrigued by the idea that doing nothing is enough and that my life in this body is only a small portion of my existence as a being.

I like the part about all people being as good as each other, that there isn’t a wrong or bad choice or situation, and that we all come here temporarily as some part of the ritual of living. It makes me feel free to be naughty. And who wouldn’t love that?

Then there’s that song:

build your dreams to the stars above
but when you need someone true to love
don’t go to strangers
come on home to me
play with fire
’til your fingers burn
and when there’s no place for you to turn
don’t go to strangers
baby come on home to me

Of course I know the song is written for lovers. But for me right now “home” isn’t the man, it’s the return to my own heart.

I was thirteen when I realized my place in this universe. It was what my psychology professor and master-of-human-insight would’ve deemed a revolution in my mind. I took a walk down to the gas station to try and get cigarettes. The journey was probably an eighth of a mile in eight hours but boy did it change my life. I remember stopping to watch the grass grow and being absolutely mesmorized by the process of it. I remember feeling clearly that I was only half a person and that my friend was the other half. I remember feeling that what I clearly lacked she clearly defined, and vice versa. I remember looking at the sun setting over the freeway and feeling as if every grain of dust in the air was me scattered across the sky. I remember feeling that the world was One, and that that was God. God was me. God was you. God was her and the blades of grass.

I suppose that revelation could’ve gone unnoticed had it not been for a persistent faith and trust throughout my life that it was more than just a dream it was a gift of knowledge. It was as if turning down some of my thinking allowed some of my more important thoughts to emerge. I must have been too young to tell myself those thoughts were crazy so instead I carried them long enough that they became real. And still are.

It really isn’t all that different from the Tao. At least not in the interpretation I’m reading. Thoughts are the enemy really, the cause of suffering, worry and pain. It’s only breath that deserves attention. Breath. The absence of it. It’s return.

Still I’m just an ordinary American woman with dreams and hopes beyond breathing. I hope it isn’t too much to ask but I want love and glory and glory in love. I want joy, purpose, good will and nice things. I like friends, food, family and New York. It’s not very Tao of me. I know. But just remember we’re all the same anyway. We’re all reckless thinkers missing the point left and right. In the meantime I’ll crochet something and take it apart. I’ll put it back together and undo it again until I say it’s just right. And that, I think, is as honest as I can be.

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