The little book the Tao makes me calm and it is sitting near my bed. I sit down on my bed and I open the book at random and I start to read. Fifteen. Be as careful as crossing frozen water, alert as a Warrior on enemy ground. Be as courteous as a Guest, as fluid as a Stream. Be as shapeable as a block of wood, as receptive as a glass. Don't seek and don't expect. Be patient and wait until your mud settles and your water is clear. Be patient and wait. Your mud will settle. Your water will be clear.
Sixty-three. Act without doing, work without effort, think of the large as small and the many as few. Confront the difficult while it is easy, accomplish the great one step at a time. Don't reach and you will find, if you run into trouble throw yourself toward it. Don't cling to comfort and everything will be comfortable.
Seventy-nine. Failure is an opportunity. If you blame others, there is no end to blame. Fulfill your obligations, correct your mistakes. Do what you need to do and step away. Demand nothing and give all. Demand nothing and give all.
Twenty-four. Stand on your toes and you won't stand firm. Rush ahead and you won't go far. Try to shine and you'll extinguish your light. Try to define yourself, you won't know who you are. Don't try to control others. Let go and let them be.
As I read this book it calms me without effort, fills in the blanks of my strategy for survival. Control by letting go of control, fix your problems by forgetting they're problems. Deal with them and the World and yourself with patience and simplicity and compassion. Let things be, let yourself be, let everything be and accept it as it is. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing more.
James Frey: A Million Little Pieces
Friday, 1 January 2010
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