Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Tao Of Tahoe

Okay, bear with me for a moment. 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

My wife and I were out on a hike. We talked as we often do. But we also were silent for a few miles, she no doubt pondering the mountains, forests, lake, and art, while I ruminated on the same, mountains, forests, lake, and writing. Yeah, I know, it sounds pretty trippy.

But many times there is an amazing thing that happens in the mountains where swirling clouds that one would never notice on the flats are given dimension as they wrap around the mountains, drop some snow flurries, and then evaporate into the blue. Just as quickly, the snowflakes evaporate, never pausing for that middle step of melting into water drops. They even have a word for that, ice crystals evaporating. It's called sublimation.

When it happens - the clouds, the snow flurries, and other phenomena that is beautiful to the point that words are insufficient to describe it - and then that beauty disappears, it leaves you at a loss. At once, you are so impressed with what you've seen that you want to tell the person next to you.

But a moment later, you can't point it out to anyone because it has disappeared. 

Life is full of ephemera. Beautiful ephemera.

Half way around the world, there are Chinese monks that have taken the ephemera of life - the Tao of Life - and made it into something bigger. So when I saw the picture above, I was frozen for a moment. Here's a guy who is painting calligraphy with water on stone. The work is beautiful, striking, impressive. And in just fifteen minutes, it will be gone forever. Like those spectacular clouds hugging the mountains. In a fit of huff and puff, they hurl a soft, downy, white rain that blankets the world and entices us for two minutes.

Then it's gone. Beautiful ephemera.

The Tao of Tahoe.


  1. Todd, your posts always delight, but this one goes beyond delighting straight into inspiring. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Mary Beth! I'm honored that you think so!