Watercolor

No. 78/Tao Te Ching

Soft water goes around hard rock.        Who wins?
Hand-watercolored, Destroyed SINTRA Block Print
13 x 9 in.
Edition: 10/10 – $120 – 9 available

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I was dissatisfied with my words on the first piece, so here’s the final version. From an ongoing mental series – Interpretations of the Tao Te Ching – Verse 78 speaks to one of the underlying threads of the Tao Te Ching – water. Water is ubiquitous – we are made of it, our planet is covered in it, without it there would be no life. Though its nature is yielding, it always prevails. A slow drip will eventually carve out a stone. Though it naturally sinks to the lowest levels, it remains unchanged. These are valuable lessons, lessons that master negotiators know well and lessons that true leaders utilize in caring for their people.

No. 78

Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water,
Yet nothing can better overcome the hard and strong,
For they can neither control nor do away with it.

The soft overcomes the hard,
The yielding overcomes the strong;
Every person knows this,
But no one can practice it.

Who attends to the people would control the land and grain;
Who attends to the state would control the whole world;
Truth is easily hidden by rhetoric.

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