Tao Te Ching – Chapter 11
Thirty spokes join in one hub
In its emptiness, there is the function of a vehicle
Mix clay to create a container
In its emptiness, there is the function of a container
Cut open doors and windows to create a room
In its emptiness, there is the function of a room
Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit
That which is empty is used to create functionality
I love this chapter of the Tao Te Ching. It speaks about Nothing— a very useful and wondrous Nothing. I take this lesson into much of my life and try to see the usefulness and the magical qualities of emptiness and of nothingness. From nothing, I try to create something.
The act of creating something from almost nothing, that is useful or needed, or even pleasing to the eye, is something that is, to me, almost sacred. As a Taoist, nothing exemplifies the Taoist spirit more than being creative and doing creative things. From scratch, wondrous things take shape and are formed. I take this approach with just about everything I do, from cooking to working my tiny garden, and even to art and crafts.
My latest project involves string.
String is a wondrous thing. You can make so much from string that is useful, needed, and yes, even pleasing to the eye. My latest string project involves a crochet hook, and plenty of patience and time. I needed to continue my cultivation of patience, and I needed to take the time to do constructive things, so in that pure unadulterated Taoist fashion, I decided to make a Christmas tablecloth from string. After all, what glorious way to celebrate Christmas than to become a creator, right?
So, filled with the joy of the season, off I went to the local craft shop and bought a huge ball of crochet thread. It was the largest ball of thread I had ever seen, and I have seen plenty of large balls of threads in my lifetime. The label said it was over 1.5 miles long. That’s long!
One week into the project and I realized it was going to take another ball of yarn of the same size to finish. I took comfort in knowing that by the time I was done, the total amount of thread I had used would be three miles long. That is an excessive amount of string to have to finger through. So, off I went again, to the craft shop and got another ball of thread, just as large as the first ball.
The tablecloth is moving along so well that I have moved my tentative finish date a full month ahead of schedule. I plan to finish this table cloth in time for the Thanksgiving feast.
I’ll keep everyone posted on the progression of the tablecloth and will also post the directions as soon as I finish tweaking it so that it actually works flawlessly.