from Substance, Shadow, and Space by T’ao Yüan-ming

Old and young alike die a single death,
wise and foolish are not allotted different fates.
Your daily wine may help  you to forget,
but I fear it’s a pasttime that shortens your years.
Doing good, you say, will be your joy?
And who do you think will praise you?
Too much pondering may injure one’s life;
better leave everything to fate.
Go along with the waves in the great process of change,
take no delight in it, have no fear.
When it’s time to fade away, then fade away—
why should you alone be so full of care?

translated by Burton Watson

8 thoughts on “from Substance, Shadow, and Space by T’ao Yüan-ming

  1. I agree with that 100%. I just stare at people who want to leave “something” behind, even if it’s their children. Never made sense and it’s embarrassing to me. Who cares? You come here, live and leave. We don’t leave things behind when we go places, except by accident, maybe. I just don’t get it. Being here, living, is ENOUGH. Thank you. Perfect. Yay!!!!

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