Yin-Yang symbol

Yin-Yang symbol

My shell resembles the yin-yang symbol.

My shell resembles the yin-yang symbol.

My moon snail shell reminds me of the yin-yang symbol and its associations with the paradoxes of opposites and inter-dependencies.  I do find that few things are strictly black and white.  So often a good thing contains the seed of decay.  For example, one of my husband’s best virtues is his generosity, but that means he finds it hard to save money.  He gives so much of himself to others that his family sometimes gets short shrift. Or think of someone who is loyal.  She might stay too long in failed relationships.  Or someone who is good at planning who might be too rigid and closed to the joys of spontaneity.  Turn the virtue you most love about a person on its side, and what is revealed is the thing you hate and drives you to the edge.

The Identity of Relative and Absolute
by Shih-tou

Within light there is darkness,
but do not try to understand that darkness.
Within darkness there is light,
but do not look for that light.
Light and darkness are a pair,
like the foot before and the foot behind in walking.
Each thing has its own intrinsic value
and is related to everything else in function and position.
Ordinary life fits the absolute as a box and its lid.
The absolute works together with the relative,
like two arrows meeting in mid-air.

Moon Snail Shell # 86, watercolor sketch

Moon Snail Shell # 86, watercolor sketch

Moon Snail Shell # 87, ink and watercolor sketch

Moon Snail Shell # 87, ink and watercolor sketch

Moon Snail Shell # 89, ink and watercolor sketch

Moon Snail Shell # 88, ink and watercolor sketch

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