Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tao # 21

The Master keeps her mind
always at one with the Tao;
that is what gives her her radiance.

The Tao is ungraspable.
How can her mind be at one with it?
Because she doesn't cling to ideas.

The Tao is dark and unfathomable.
How can it make her radiant?
Because she lets it.

Since before time and space were,
the Tao is.
It is beyond is and is not.
How do I know this is true?
I look inside myself and see.

photo by moonchild1111

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tao # 20

Stop thinking, and end your problems.
What difference between yes and no?
What difference between success and failure?
Must you value what others value,
avoid what others avoid?
How ridiculous!

Other people are excited,
as though they were at a parade.
I alone don't care,
I alone am expressionless,
like an infant before it can smile.

Other people have what they need;
I alone possess nothing.
I alone drift about,
like someone without a home.
I am like an idiot, my mind is so empty.

Other people are bright;
I alone am dark.
Other people are sharper;
I alone am dull.
Other people have a purpose;
I alone don't know.
I drift like a wave on the ocean,
I blow as aimless as the wind.

I am different from ordinary people.
I drink from the Great Mother's breasts.

photo by patty cake melting

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tao # 19

Throw away holiness and wisdom,
and people will be a hundred times happier.
Throw away morality and justice,
and people will do the right thing.
Throw away industry and profit,
and there won't be any thieves.

If these three aren't enough,
just stay at the center of the circle
and let all things take their course.

photo by Karen.Strolia

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tao # 18

When the great Tao is forgotten,
goodness and piety appear.
When the body's intelligence declines,
cleverness and knowledge step forth.
When there is no peace in the family,
filial piety begins.
When the country falls into chaos,
patriotism is born.

photo by C. H. Paquette

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tao # 17

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

If you don't trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.

The Master doesn't talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, "Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tao # 16

Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don't realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.

photo by hndrk

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tao # 15

The ancient Masters were profound and subtle.
Their wisdom was unfathomable.
There is no way to describe it;
all we can describe is their appearance.

They were careful
as someone crossing an iced-over stream.
Alert as a warrior in enemy territory.
Courteous as a guest.
Fluid as melting ice.
Shapable as a block of wood.
Receptive as a valley.
Clear as a glass of water.

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?

The Master doesn't seek fulfillment.
Not seeking, not expecting,
she is present, and can welcome all things.

photo by Moonchild1111

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tao # 14

Look, and it can't be seen.
Listen, and it can't be heard.
Reach, and it can't be grasped.

Above, it isn't bright.
Below, it isn't dark.
Seamless, unnamable,
it returns to the realm of nothing.
Form that includes all forms,
image without an image,
subtle, beyond all conception.

Approach it and there is no beginning;
follow it and there is no end.
You can't know it, but you can be it,
at ease in your own life.
Just realize where you come from:
this is the essence of wisdom.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tao # 13

Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that success is a dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
you position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don't see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?

See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.

photo by zhanmou

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tao # 12

Colors blind the eye.
Sounds deafen the ear.
Flavors numb the taste.
Thoughts weaken the mind.
Desires wither the heart.

The Master observes the world
but trusts his inner vision.
He allows things to come and go.
His heart is open as the sky.

photo by ink in the well

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tao # 11

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.

Photo by C H Paquette

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tao # 10

Can you coax your mind from its wandering
and keep to the original oneness?
Can you let your body become
supple as a newborn child's?
Can you cleanse your inner vision
until you see nothing but the light?
Can you love people and lead them
without imposing your will?
Can you deal with the most vital matters
by letting events take their course?
Can you step back from you own mind
and thus understand all things?

Giving birth and nourishing,
having without possessing,
acting with no expectations,
leading and not trying to control:
this is the supreme virtue.

photo by neil krug

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tao # 9

Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

photo by carmizvi

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tao # 8

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.

photo by Leah

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tao # 7

The Tao is infinite, eternal.
Why is it eternal?
It was never born;
thus it can never die.
Why is it infinite?
It has no desires for itself;
thus it is present for all beings.

The Master stays behind;
that is why she is ahead.
She is detached from all things;
that is why she is one with them.
Because she has let go of herself,
she is perfectly fulfilled.

photo by Naomi Rose

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tao # 6

The Tao is called the Great Mother:
empty yet inexhaustible,
it gives birth to infinite worlds.

It is always present within you.
You can use it any way you want.

photo by J Randall Updegrove

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tao # 5

The Tao doesn't take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.
The Master doesn't take sides;
she welcomes both saints and sinners.

The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.

Hold on to the center.

photo by Moonchild1111

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tao #4

The Tao is like a well:
used but never used up.
It is like the eternal void:
filled with infinite possibilities.

It is hidden but always present.
I don't know who gave birth to it.
It is older than God.

photo by Gabri

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tao # 3

If you overesteem great men,
people become powerless.
If you overvalue possessions,
people begin to steal.

The Master leads
by emptying people's minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know.

Practice not-doing,
and everything will fall into place.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tao #2

When people see things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she let's them go.
She has but doesn't possess,
acts but doesn't expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

photo by Jordi Gual

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tao #1

The Tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.

photo by C H Paquette

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The rewards of sweat and dirt and mud and persistence in the garden.... Harvest time is approaching!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Lady in Waiting by C H Paquette (2008)

I have an ever growing passion for bird photography, and I am slowly trying to collect one great photo of every bird species in the world.... I've got about 12 so far. (stop laughing!)

Saturday, July 19, 2008


an nice dreamy view of Montreal...

Scrim by Durruti Column

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

the beauty of blur....

more and more often my favorite photographs are blurry and out of focus...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

the beauty of death....

Finding beauty in a faded dying flower....

Untitled image by Jerrett Taylor

Friday, July 11, 2008

The gloaming...

The gloaming is the magical time just before darkness, when the last precious bits of light seem to glow off of every flower. This is the Coreopsis in my front garden.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Old Time Religion

Driving through Amish farm country yesterday.... glanced over and saw this. This tent is vivid yellow but I like this black & white version.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer Time....

Some recent photos taken by friends .... each of them reminds me of the essence of Summer. I love them all, and even more so as a group.

Saturday's Child

Patty Cake Melting


Sunday, June 29, 2008

June Rain

girl.x has been here before....she creates visual magic. This is Polaroid at it's expressive best. It is warm summer rain... indeed.

Old Friends...

I had been miserably sick for the past week, and yesterday I was finally feeling normal again, and suddenly it was a warm sunny late June Saturday morning and a walk through the garden was like visiting old friends. It had rained the night before and everything seemed clean and fresh and growing right before my eyes. My tomatoes and basil that I started from seed in March have grown into large expansive plants loaded with flowers and tiny green tomato beings and large leafy basil leaves. Rejuvenating.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Zen of Gardening

A friend of mine is a gardener in London and her garden space is what I dream about when I long for old brick walls and worn down potting sheds and ageless English garden style. Her garden has all of this and more....even a resident family of Foxes!

She was describing the process of removing snails from her lettuce beds....removing one and tossing it out of the way....finding another and tossing it as well..... another...another.... and next morning, tossing another. All very Zen-like she thought.
And I agree. Much of gardening has a Zen like quality to it. Hard and persistent work. A patient attitude. Birth, death, and re-birth. Tossing snails out of the way. Playing with the baby foxes. Mothering the tomato plants.

I love everyday in my garden, and in the gardens of my dreams.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Wow..... Have I neglected this blog or what? It is a photo/literary project, and the project has been temporarily dormant, to say the least. Time to get re-energized in this season of new growth and color and freshness...

One thing is for sure....the lack of posts has nothing to do with a lack of wonderful images being put on the Wabi Blogi flickr group. They have been very inspiring and I want to thank everyone for continuing to add photos to the group.

I have looked at this photo again and again over the past is so beautiful and soothing...

Love's Blue by Hichako

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Winter Ocean

I'm often more impressed with the beauty of the shoreline in the Winter than at any other time of year...

Brigantine Beach, NJ (C H Paquette 2008)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wabi Photo Contest Winner

We are about a week late in announcing the winner of the Wabi Winter photo contest. The Juror, J Randall Updegrove of Missoula Montana, had a very difficult time selecting from what were all excellent entries. After very careful consideration, he has chosen this entry, submitted by Short Shaman

Randall was impressed by the warm light of this photo captured on a cold Winter day, and felt it represented the search for the transition into Spring that we seek during the bleakness of long Winters

Thursday, January 24, 2008

10 minutes more.....

I once dreamt that all life was black and white.
The good stuff, the right stuff, was white. And that, that should be avoided, the black, was clear and distinct. In the dream, my life was a circle neatly divided and all the right things were to the left; shining and white. Then there was the divide into those things that were the other side. Regret, despair, and disappointment. What a clear and organized dream.
But, as I walk through each day with my eyes wide open, my life is not so easily divided.
Left and Right.
Black and White.
Instead it is a stripe here, abutted to the shadow. The white so narrow – the black so wide. And the texture too … drifting grains of black sand, bleeding into the white; the white fading to black.
Oh how I wish I could return to my orderly dream. That the white was wider, and easily kept to; and the black so thin, it was easily skipped over or brushed away.

Photo by C H Paquette 2007
Writing by Leslie Hobbs 2008

Leslie Hobbs lives in Raleigh North Carolina. By day she works with one and zeros, helping customers to decipher their meaning. By night she types away in her blog, trying to make sense of her world and telling a story or two along the way.

(This is from a 10 minute writing exercise practiced by a small writing group in Raleigh, North Carolina. Each person selects a photograph and has 10 minutes to write something using the photo as a creative prompt.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Winter Wabi Photo Contest......

Don't be left out in the cold! There is one week left to submit your Wabi Sabi Winter themed photograph to the contest. Add up to three photos to the Wabi Blogi Flickr pool and tag them Contest. Winner gets a very nice book.... The Tao of Photography by Tom Ang.

more 10 minute exercizes.....

I once dreamt I was standing near the road. My printed, calf length dress blowing against my body as cars whisked by and wisps of hair blew gently against my face. Sometimes I was afraid the skirt would blow up and I would reach down and hold it against my thigh. I mused, maybe if it did blow up that would bring business to my lonely roadside stand.
“Marilyn Monroe didn’t need talent, she was a business woman in her way”. I snorted a sigh as I looked up at the sign above my head, “so much for advertising my eggs, melons, tomatoes, and other tantalizing gifts of sun, soil, and toil.”
Swish, another car, another look, but no buyer. I rearrange the honey, smile – “good business you know”, looked up the road with hope swelling in my chest. This time I see a car coming over the hill, two minutes until – swish. Maybe, maybe not, I say to myself as I hike my sun browned leg up on the chair and tighten my shoe laces. The car slowed – my leg wobbled the chair as I brought it slowly down in the dust and straightened up just as the car pulled off the road into the grass. At that moment I knew I could do business like Marilyn Monroe. I straightened my printed dress skirt, smiled the best southern girl smile I could give and asked the gentleman, “would you like to buy some fresh melons from the garden?”

Photo by C H Paquette (2007)
Writing by Cynthia Dowdy (2008)

Cynthia Dowdy, Licensed professional counselor in private practice.Arboretum volunteer gardener, Book club member, Swing Dancer (East and West), Hiker,Beginning writer – feeling and finding my way through words.

(This is from a 10 minute writing exercise practiced by a small writing group in Raleigh, North Carolina. Each person selects a photograph and has 10 minutes to write something using the photo as a creative prompt.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

10 minute exercize...

The Sky is Big

I once dreamt I was a bird.
I was high over the mesa.
The sky was over me, under me, holding my wings.
The sky was big, but small as I
was, I was bigger, bigger than when I was tied to the earth.
I was a hawk in the daytime.
I was an owl at night.
My brothers were scared of me, hooting in the tree outside their bedroom window.
My grandmother talked to me in an old language that no one else understood.
But I did.
I could hear her thoughts.
She knew I was a bird sometimes.
I thought maybe she was too.

Photo by C.H. Paquette (2007)
Written by G. Fitzgerald (2008)

G. Fitzgerald lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, is editor of the annual Sertoma Writers' Anthology, was very impressed by her one visit to New Mexico.She is the author of 3 novellas and is working on one from which this dream is an excerpt.G Fitzgerald

(This is from a 10 minute writing exercise practiced by a small writing group in Raleigh, North Carolina. Each person selects a photograph and has 10 minutes to write something using the photo as a creative prompt.)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

wabi winter photo contest

There is at least two long cold months of winter's the perfect time to get out and walk in snowy woods or fields and take some photographs. Or sit quietly by the fire and write some poetry. With that in mind, it's time for the first ever Wabi Winter Photo Contest. The theme is open for your individual interpretation, but should relate to wabi sabi in some way. If you want to include some text or a short poem to help explain your photograph you are welcome to do so.
Photos will be judged by J Randall Updegrove
a highly experienced nature photographer who lives in Missoula, Montana.
The winner will receive a copy of The Tao of Photography by Tom Ang.
Please submit your photos to the Wabi Blogi group on Flickr.You may submit up to three photographs for consideration. Please tag your entry Contest. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2008, and the winner will be announced on this blog on February 7th, 2008
Good luck!


Time to start the new year and get back to posting on this little blog. I gave up drinking coffee about two years ago. Most people assume it was because of the caffeine.
This was not the case because I continued to drink green tea. I got into the habit of making a pot of really nice green tea in an electric percolator every morning and then drinking most or all of the pot of tea throughout the day. Thats a lot of tea! And a lot of caffeine. I was recently told that my blood pressure was elevated when I had some minor surgery, so I decided then and there to eliminate my caffeine intake. No more pots of tea. I am now drinking herbal teas and chinese medicinal teas by the individual tea bag. Boiling the water takes time and patience. I can no longer just walk into the kitchen and instantly pour myself another mug of tea. Slowing down and taking the time to prepare an individual cup of tea is much closer to the traditions of teaism. I feel the difference in my body and mind without the caffeine surging through my system.