Infinite expanse, sleek ocean teeming with life,
Turbulent, virile, ever-moving spread.
Seamlessly laid to the brilliant sky.
I float on you in my fashioned womb,
Sustained against your green-black depths.
Those on land never understand maritime life.
Those of the sea are intimate with your moods;
They navigate but are ultimately helpless.
Destinations become useless, drifting the sole reality;
A sailor’s fears dissolve into acceptance.
Tao is sometimes compared to the ocean. Its depth is immeasurable, its power rules all who enter it. We seek to sail it with our knowledge of knots, direction, mathematics, and charts, yet our understanding is incomparable to its vastness. The young have great ambition about exploring both above and below the surface, while the old have given in: They know that there is no other alternative than to accept the ocean and float upon it. One who accepts is sustained. Those who go beyond its terms meet death. Thus the wise say that they float here and there without care; they trust in the overwhelming power of Tao.
I guess I’m still young enough to want to dive beneath the surface and explore what’s there. Snorkeling in Hawaii last summer was pretty awesome, and it was nice to share that experience with the kids. I’ve always liked to explore the depths, but am starting to become more at peace with floating along and just drifting. But I don’t think I will ever be content to just sit in the harbor.