being obscure

My words are so easy to understand,
so easy to follow,

and yet nobody in the world
understands or follows them.

Words come from an ancestry,
deeds from a mastery:
when these are unknown, so am I.

In my obscurity
is my value.
That’s why the wise
wear their jade under common clothes.

Lao Tzu
Ursula K Le Guin’s version

What’s hidden shines bright. This poem calls back to previous ones. Previous images. Even to the very first poem in the text.

There’s power in what’s hidden. In what’s dim. In what’s modest. In what’s relaxed and moderate.

The Tao is a deep pool, and sometimes the answers are where the sunlight no longer reaches.

Sometimes the brightest jewels are hidden under the coarsest garments.

We use metaphors to get at the unexplainable, but we act to demonstrate the Tao.

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