All That Is IntroductionAll That Is Introduction by almcdermid
In the famous opening passage of the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu warns us that the Tao that can be named is not the Eternal Tao, that the Eternal Tao is elusive and beyond language; that being the case, why expend 5000 plus words trying to explain it?
The answer I discovered is that he wasn't; in part what Lao Tzu has provided (assuming he was in fact a historical figure) is a roadmap for an inward journey, a guide book for the seeker, the pilgrim. To facilitate that journey, I created my own map, All That Is: 81 Meditations Inspired by the Tao Te Ching.
While there are many fine translations of the Tao Te Ching on the market, All That Is differs in that, as a guide to a personal journey, it addresses individuals pursuing spiritual development rather than offering advice to governmental officials, as Lao Tzu had primarily intended (although on this count, some of the Old Master's intent remains). And so, while grounded in Lao Tzu's ancient wisdom, All That Is
When Love is a Habit You Don't Know How to BreakWhen Love is a Habit You Don't Know How to Break by almcdermid
She had wanted to surprise him, to prepare dinner and get everything ready. He had wanted to go out, but she had a better idea. What idea, he had asked, but she told him he’d have to wait. And so, she had taken a half-day off and left work early, but the freezing rain had come unexpectedly, and the roads had not yet been salted. He wasn’t sure that anyone at the time knew it was needed since the temperature had dropped so suddenly.
He left the college late, unaware that his wife was not yet home. He usually called her before leaving, but had been distracted by a student wanting a last minute conference. He didn’t think much about it since he’d home soon enough.
The ambulance was gone by the time he arrived at the spot where her car had skipped into a tree, an old maple that stood skeletal against the fading light, but the sheriff was still there. The red and blue flashers on his cruiser had cast alternating shadows as he walked toward the professor, who waited i
Never Marry an Artist: A Tokyo Love StoryNever Marry an Artist: A Tokyo Love Story by almcdermid
He was hunched over his coffee, looking grumpier than usual, which was quite a feat. He hadn’t seen me yet, so perhaps I could make good my escape. I hesitated a half second, but it was all it took. He’d seen me and now I was trapped. I had assented to being here by showing up. I guess I should follow through. I walked to his table and placed my knapsack on one of the vacant chairs.
“Bloody hell,” he said by way of a greeting.
“I’m going to get a coffee,” I said. “You good?” He waved me off and returned to his glowering. Apparently his skinny latte had committed some great offense and was receiving the full brunt of his icy stare. Perhaps he was trying to convert it to a Frappuccino. Perhaps he had mis-ordered and this was the source of his urgent gloom. He had called me ten minutes earlier, simply saying, ‘Can you meet me?’ ‘What? Now?’ I had asked, but he had already rung off. He knew I’d
Still Life without HenryHis glasses are there,Still Life without Henry by almcdermid
on the open book
(is it Baudelaire?),
next to the empty bottle,
but Henry has gone somewhere.
Must have gotten bored
with the book,
finished the booze,
and went off to look
for another drink,
or chase some skirt.
At a quarter past ten,
that would explain it,
though hes left
one of his shoes,
so who could say?
RememberRecall reflections, rippled waters
now bone-bare dirt and sundried sand.
Remember yellows, blues and reds
whose silken surface softly skimmed
cool water, beneathe trembling hands.
Rethink the way your waters run;
flow with yourself, your soul, your skin.
Renew that day you fell in love
with something better than you'd known,
tango with rain, waltz with the wind.
Remember now, as you did then;
The Crossroads at Forgotten Lake 1I had just passed the smallest dot on the map, a crossroads with a diner and a gas station, when the car started to overheat. I pulled over and looked under the hood. Once the steam cleared, I could see that the water pump belt had snapped. Strange. I'd check everything before starting this trip. I closed the hood and looked around. The road stretched out ahead of me, woods on either side. Looking back the way I came, I couldn't see the crossroads, but I knew I could not have come far, and I'd seen a tow truck parked next to the gas station, so I headed back. I soon passed a sign naming the town. It was shot up and rusting, but I could still read it:
Space CampHe found himself standing in their daughter's room, staring at the dusty mobile of the planets, unsure of how he's come to be there. He looked at her bed, her desk, the unfinished homework. He considered opening the window, but the thought slipped away before he could act on it.
He wandered into the living room, looked out the window. The grass needed cutting. Did it? He wasn't sure. His wife would know, but she'd already left for work. Seems she left earlier every morning and came home later each night. Another thought occurred to him, something about each in their own way, but he couldn't hold it. Perhaps she was having an affair. He wondered at how he might feel about it if she was, decided he wouldn't feel anything.
He went into the kitchen, looked at the table, littered with unopened mail. He took a bottle from the cabinet and sat down at the table. Was he starting later than yesterday or earlier? He wasn't sure it mattered. He opened the bottle, but found he'd forgotten to get a
I'm a novelist (who also writes short fiction and poetry); I take a few pictures as well. |
Current Residence: Tokyo, Japan
Favourite genre of music: ambient
Favourite photographer: numerous
Favourite style of art: conceptual, abstract, Dada
Skin of choice: deep-fried chicken
Favourite cartoon character: me
Personal Quote: If you're taking it seriously, you're doing it wrong.