Cross My Heart and Kiss My Elbow

Knowing others is wisdom;

Knowing the self is enlightenment.

Mastering others requires force;

Mastering the self needs strength.

He who knows he has enough is rich.

Perseverance is a sign of will power.

He who stays where he is endures.

To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.

Thirty-Three – Tao Te Ching

I have three books on my coffee table: the Tao Te Ching, Art Forms in Nature, and The Meaning of Life. These three books inform more of my decisions and ideas and thought processes than probably all of my other books put together; I am almost constantly referring to this or that within their pages.

Yesterday I went driving with a friend out to Sullivan, a town about 45 minutes from here on the mainland.As we drove we saw open fields and barns, strange houses that are the pet projects of their owners, and Canadian geese lying in meadows. We drove past an overlook on Frenchman’s Bay and saw the mountains of our island off in the distance…bubbly like huge navy blue marshmallows on the horizon. We saw ancient houses of the rusticators and talked about living here two hundred years ago in those giant places….how cold they must have been all the time! We saw ponds and lakes and both had the still surfaces of autumn. The grasses at the side of the road are slowly dying, changing colors from the bright greens and pinks of summer to rusty browns, tan, gold, and white. Soon they will be darker brown, and then, covered with snow.

I love this part of Maine; I love its isolation, its uniqueness, and its refusal to join contemporary times.  It seems that you could turn back the clock here and drive along those same roads and only the cars would be different.

 

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