theparisreview
theparisreview:

The Lessons of Water
The best way to conduct oneself may be observed in the behavior of water. —Tao te ching
When given a place to wait, it fills that placeBy taking the shape of what contains it,Its upper surface poised and level,Absorbing, accepting what it can as lightlyOr heavily as it does itself. If pressedDown, it will offer back in all directionsEverything it was given. If chilled, it will shatterDaylight and whiten to stars, will harden and sharpenAnd turn unforseeably dazzling. Neglected,It will disappear, being transformed and liftedInto thin air. Or thrown away, it will gatherWith other water, which is all one water,And rise and fall, regather and go on risingAnd falling the more quickly its path descendsAnd the more slowly as it wears that path away,To be left awhile, to stir for the moon, to waitFor the wind to begin again.
—David Wagoner. Art credit David Moses.

theparisreview:

The Lessons of Water

The best way to conduct oneself may be observed in the behavior of water. —Tao te ching

When given a place to wait, it fills that place
By taking the shape of what contains it,
Its upper surface poised and level,
Absorbing, accepting what it can as lightly
Or heavily as it does itself. If pressed
Down, it will offer back in all directions
Everything it was given. If chilled, it will shatter
Daylight and whiten to stars, will harden and sharpen
And turn unforseeably dazzling. Neglected,
It will disappear, being transformed and lifted
Into thin air. Or thrown away, it will gather
With other water, which is all one water,
And rise and fall, regather and go on rising
And falling the more quickly its path descends
And the more slowly as it wears that path away,
To be left awhile, to stir for the moon, to wait
For the wind to begin again.

David Wagoner. Art credit David Moses.