Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday Salon ~ funny faces and a happy face

My great-granddaughter Raegan is paired up with her mom (my granddaughter), making funny faces.

And here's one where Raegan is in disguise as a man with a handlebar mustache.  Yeah, right!  So convincing, that dark mustache with the long blonde hair.  Do you think she's having fun?

Jaxon's got a happy face, as his mother reads to him on Thanksgiving Day.  My great-grandson, who will be three in a few days, loves books.

Here he is, nearly two years ago, surrounded by books and reading one I gave him.  Can you tell we're a bookish family?


Tao Teh Ching ~ by Lao Tzu, translated by John C. H. Wu, 1961
Written more than two thousand years ago, the Tao Teh Ching — or "The Classic of the Way and Its Virtue" — has probably had a greater influence on Asian thought that any other single book.  It is also one of the true classics of world literature.  Traditionally attributed to the near-legendary Old Master, Lao Tzu, the Tao Teh Ching teaches that the qualities of the enlightened sage or ideal ruler are identical with those of the perfected individual.  Lao Tzu's words are useful in developing a sense of balance and harmony in everyday life.  To follow the Tao or Way of all things and realize their true nature is to embody humility, spontaneity, and generosity.
I took various translations of this book to class when my Religions of the World class studied Taoism.  There are only 81 "verses" or sayings, and number 11 is probably my favorite.  I gave you Ursula K. Le Guin's version of verse 11 back in March.  Here's the translation by John C. H. Wu, from this newest version.
Thirty spokes converge upon a single hub;
It is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges.
We make a vessel from a lump of clay;
It is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful.
We make doors and windows for a room;
But it is  these empty spaces that make the room livable.
Thus, while the tangible has advantages,
It is the intangible that makes it useful.
So which of these two translations most appeals to you? I think I prefer Ursula K. Le Guin's version. As you can tell from the title of her version's post, I like the phrase "where the pot's not."

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Helen's Book Blog said...

It sounds like you guys had a good family-oriented Thanksgiving holiday. I love to see kids who are really young surrounded by books!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I meant to add links to when I gave that book to Jaxon at Christmas 2011.

Raegan is reading HER book from me in those photos, too. And here are two more bookish photos from that Christmas Day, again of Jaxon reading that same picture book.

Off hand, I'd say the animal book was a hit with that little boy!