An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of September 11, 2011
issued Mayan Beach Garden Inn 20 km north of Mahahual
on the Yucatán Peninsula's eastern coast just north of the Belize border,
in the state of Quintana Roo, MÉXICO

ON NOT SAYING ANYTHING

The Tao Te Ching says, more or less, that the master teacher says nothing. When I first read that back in the 60s I couldn't imagine what Lao Tzu was trying to get at. If a great teacher has insights into the world's problems, shouldn't he or she share them by speaking up?

During these months of horizon-gazing on the beach, every day online radio has enabled me to listen to Public Radio in the US as the rest of the world conducted its wars and scandals, its economic summits and political campaigns. I'm left noticing that after months of saying nothing, the sea remains as powerful, poetic and inspirational as ever, while the verbose world beyond hasn't improved at all.

Praised be the wave, how it comes and goes, but says not a word.

And yet, here on the beach with sea-breezes and salt spray, ocean sounds and odors and hidden worlds beneath and beyond the waves, it seems to me that certain words are almost impossible NOT to say:

"Oh, look at that pretty thing," one can say without contributing to the muddle, the clutter, the miserable discomposure of things. Or, "Oh, and how interesting!" and "Oh, and how good it all is!"  Facebook Icon.