I struggle with the Tao. Greater scholars than I have tried to explain it, discuss it, I'm not about to try. This is in the tradition of the kentparkstreetblog, we avoid research and difficult things at all costs.
The idea of pursuing art for no other reason than it is in me sounds wonderful, my culture and my business tell me to seek fame, hence the struggle. The idea of romantic love being two souls drifting together, like two white clouds on a perfect blue sky, sits well with me, then I feel I should be a real man and be able to offer wealth and status to my woman. My natural inclination and the place and time I live in are in constant conflict.
The Tao tells me that to live purely, sincerely, authentically, is all I have to do, flow with my own nature. I can see the loneliness this will lead to. Being unsuccessful in my culture is to be outcast, there is no understanding of other ideals. Watching the light change over the bay is considered doing nothing, writing without financial return is seen as doing nothing, playing music for the joy of it is seen as doing nothing. Doing nothing is seen as bad.
My desires are of my culture. Are they really? Do I really want all the things I say I want? Perhaps I say I want things because I feel I should, not because I really do? When I take the time to think and feel I know that all I really want is to express myself with words and music, to lie beside the woman I love, nothing more. When I strip it back to this simplicity it all seems so . . . simple.
This struggle has gone on long enough, must be resolved. I've often advised struggling friends, and strangers, to ignore the ignorant, seek out company that is sympathetic to their pursuits, let the culture roll on, influence it for the good when they can.
It is time to take my own advice, to end this struggle between the Tao, dharma, and me, to be myself.