Friday, June 13, 2008


Now I'm NOT saying I'm a sage - no way, not even close, but the verse quoted below, taken from the Tao te Ching rings true. All the acupuncture and major life shifts of late have helped me get underneath my storytelling apparatus. I have been drinking the living water at the source of my personal ongoing plotline (the one that usually runs through my mind in a nonstop loop). I thought my plots were "real", existing in a freestanding state. But no, there is a source, a river that comes up from my subterranean depths. It's a river of insufficient Qi that creates my mental banter.

Just this week I've been realizing that my mother, who of course smoked cigarettes, drank coffee and probably alcohol, and ate horrible 1950's American food while she was pregnant with me, was unable to give me the boost of robust energy I could have used in utero. Not her fault - everyone smoked, etc. in 1953. Still, it didn't do me any good. I was "sickly" as a little girl, which is exactly when the mental habit of worrying began. Over time, it became entrenched until worrying seemed normal to me. Though I became healthy as an adult, and am now healthier than I ever was as a girl, the mindset remains. It's all as clear as a bell. Astonishing!

The result of this revelation is that I have no stories to tell myself at the moment. Every time I try to launch into one of my Tales of Personal Doom and Disaster, I see right through it, after which the story evaporates like dust in the wind.

Without my usual anxious gnashing of teeth I've had time to reconnect with friends and dear ones, a Very Good Thing. Yesterday I took a nice long bike ride, visited some of my non human friends, too, like the Washington Monument (he's da bomb!) the fountain at the WWII memorial, and the Potomac River.

What I'm wondering is, once a person gets beneath the grid of storytelling, well, then what? What's a human life without drama? I can't imagine. Can you?

Final Verse from Chapter 38 of the Tao te Ching

So the sage only looks at what is really real
He doesn't just look at the surface
He blows away the dust and drinks the water
He doesn't just go for the flower
But also for the roots and fruit

Blow away the dust, now:
Come to the living water.


d. chedwick said...

What's human life without drama? I love this post. I can't imagine life without drama, without intuition, without thoughtfulness...
dust in the wind and
experiencing little pools of satisfaction during a heatwave.

Ernest de Cugnac said...

"... I've been realizing that my mother, who of course smoked cigarettes, drank coffee and probably alcohol, and ate horrible 1950's American food while she was pregnant with me ..."

We'd need to replace "Amereican" and twiddle the dates a bit, then you're talking about me.

Low birth weight, sickly child, failure to thrive etc etc. Anyway, onward and upward; on balance I have liked my life, especially as I grow older (strangely enough).

lacochran said...

You may have to be happy for a bit. :) Don't worry, the universe will always provide the drama, you don't have to volunteer it.

hele said...

Oh, the photo. Just right.

I had the same realization. Right in the middle of imagining myself standing next to a grave wearing a little black hat with a veil I suddenly realized just how funny I was.

After that I was never again able to take my tales of woe seriously.

Why without drama one has more energy to ponder the meaning of a leave dancing in the sun.

Washington Cube said...

I guess I'll be re-reading some Tao Te Ching this summer. I think everything I write has roots sunk deep into my past.

Steve said...

Of course, your story about not having a story is, in itself, a story. :)

dennis said...

Dennis has many kitty traumas and dramas.

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve I thought about that, too. I would have put it in a comment but it was time to go to work.

Lochochran? Oh yeah!

Ernest, me too. Liking life better the older I get, even though aging is truly humbling.

Ched: I love you. You and Dennis are the best cats in the world.

Ms. Cube: What I'm seeing is the ground the roots are anchored within. It's truly amazing.

Reya Mellicker said...

I love the second pic. It captures that weird quality the WaMon has of sometimes looking like negative space. Sometimes the monument stands out boldly, but when sun is not shining directly on it, it can suddenly look like a rift in the time/space continuum.

Either that, or when I perceive it that way I'm slightly dehydrated and need to stop, get off the bike and drink water.

Squirrel said...

I was looking at the second pic earlier and trying to figure out what to say about it. That monument is really something. The whole town is something. So many things to look at and ponder.

Bob Dylan said...

In the third pic, well the building takes on a surreal look. the sky is perfect.