the uses of not

Thirty spokes
meet in the hub.
Where the wheel isn’t
is where it’s useful.

Hollowed out,
clay makes a pot.
Where the pot’s not
is where it’s useful.

Cut doors and windows
to make a room.
Where the room isn’t,
there’s room for you.

So the profit in what is
is in the use of what isn’t.

Lao Tzu
Ursula K Le Guin’s version

From Le Guin’s commentary:

One of the things I love about Lao Tzu is he is so funny. He’s explaining a profound and difficult truth here, on of those communicative truths that, when the mind can accept them, suddenly double the size of the universe. He goes about it with this deadpan simplicity, talking about pot.

I’d never really thought of it this way, and it kind of stuns me to silence, to be honest.

I recommend you read that poem again, then read it again before you go to sleep.

The utility of absence and the absence of utility is where this is leading my own thoughts, but it may lead me in newer directions as the day goes on.

The truth and beauty in humor.