The five colors can blind,
The five tones deafen,
The five tastes cloy.
The race, the hunt, can drive men mad
And their booty leave them no peace.
Therefore a sensible man
Prefers the inner to the outer eye:
He has his yes, – he has his no.
–Witter Bynner rendition of Lao Tzu’s work
= = = = = =
Youth, with a panorama of choices,
can burn out if one turns every which way.
One may age before savoring the beauty of
what it means to be young.
Skimming the surface,
instead of diving deep would, however,
seem to be the realm of youth.
This presents an insoluble biological dilemma.
Skipping along in merriment
one learns there are choices
that pull one into lifelong commitments, echoes,
and inevitably repetitions until flags are raised.
Deep diving cannot be avoided
if one is to process and move beyond
things that need moving beyond.
The flashbacks go, but the network remains.
At a certain place in life,
bobbing along the lake with a soft breeze
is all that is wanted – or needed.
The colors, tones, and tastes hold no sway.
Glimpses of sunlight,
seen through the trees,
Gently reminds one
that such a place exists.