Tao Te Ching, book 1, section 1: illustrated

I can become exceptionally zealous and fascinated with a subject for a matter of time, upwards of a year.  This quirk of mine has helped me develop a, ‘jack of all trades’ repertoire of skills: I can cook and clean and look after a lot of kids at one time (and of course have fun with them to boot!)–but I can also build barbed wire fences, run large scale printing presses, make a mean _”(enter cocktail name )”, put a tent up quickly…play numerous instruments and at least can hold my pitch well enough…draw, illustrate….an absolute clutch member of a trivia team…fairly well travelled and read.

It is probably easy to observe that I have been going through some old luggage I’ve been schlepping about for the last couple decades and it has really escalated this obsession thing.  Everyone has their distractions, I just like mine to make something in the end.  Like I have something to show for all that time and effort.  I quit TV when I was 18.  The Internet is sometimes a mighty temptress.  So perhaps my drawings and artwork arediversional distractions to focus nervous energy elsewhere, but it’s better than just fretting about.

The last couple days I wanted to draw out verses of the Tao Te Ching.  I’m not particularly any more reverent to this book compared to any other book of metaphysical and existential philosophy and actually only just picked it up a few days ago.  In the moment I had thought to myself, “I’m gonna illustrate the whole dang book!”  We’ll see:  will other interests develop or return?  Life has been awful exciting lately for me, that’s for sure!

Here’s what I have thus far, I’ll put the text from the book right next to it so you can try to translate my gloop.

The way that can be spoken is not the constant way
The way that can be spoken is not the constant way

The name that can be named is not the constant name
The name that can be named is not the constant name

The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth;
The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth;

The named was the mother of the myriad creatures
The named was the mother of the myriad creatures
Hence rid yourself of desires in order to observe its secrets
Hence rid yourself of desires in order to observe its secrets
But always allow yourself to have desiresin order to observe its manifestations
But always allow yourself to have desiresin order to observe its manifestations
These two are the same
These two are the same
but diverge in name as they issue forth
but diverge in name as they issue forth
Being the same they are called mysteries
Being the same they are called mysteries

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