I found this poem on the back of some writing paper while sorting out stuff to live in the shed. I can only assume I wrote it, as usually I’m better at copying than this. I don’t remember doing so. I expect I composed it a few years ago when I was feeling particularly rudderless.
How could you find a way without a map,
Without a compass and those legs to count the miles?
You could learn to use the sextant,
And hold that fat warm barometer in your hand,
Stand with your legs braced on the heeling deck and read the sun at noon.
How could you find your way without a map?
Storm tossed, running before winds and tides,
Out of sight of land – of breaking waves,
Unannounced shoals, skerries, lagoons.
To float on that unforgiving night time sea
With stars unread, or cloudy moonless skies.
How could you find your way without a map
And having the map find, roads, trade winds; and a destination.
So I got up pretty close and personal with lots of natural phenomena building the shed, not all of it was dead. It was the inanimate patterns that held still long enough to keep my attention as I don’t have a fascinated with invertebrates.
Li is a concept from Chinese philiosophy. It’s often translated as ‘principle’ which I don’t find terrible helpful. I tend to think of Li as the thing-ness of a thing, rather than the ought-ness.
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