cover image The Tao of Sailing: A Bamboo Way of Life

The Tao of Sailing: A Bamboo Way of Life

Ray Grigg, Author Humanics Publishing Group $16.95 (172p) ISBN 978-0-89334-138-1

According to the introduction, this book is an attempt to represent ``the connection between the Western activity of sailing and the Eastern philosophy of Taoism,'' and in doing so prescribe ``a metaphor for a way of living.'' Grigg ( The Tao of Relationships ) tries earnestly, in more than 130 prose poems, to provide readers with a method for achieving a stable inner peace amidst the disorder of a constantly changing universe. Unfortunately, his language is numbingly bland and the philosophical concepts he espouses are painfully banal. This collection, based on Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching , created in the sixth century B.C., is written in such overwhelmingly abstract terms--like ``wholeness,'' ``emptiness,'' ``stillness,'' ``whatness,'' ``thatness''--that the more concrete theme of sailing is lost in a miasma of meaningless generalities: ``Everything knows. Ship knows its shipness and does just-so. Rock knows its rockness and does just-so. Sea knows its seaness and does just-so.'' The text is accompanied by William Gaetz's lackluster drawings of the bamboo plant, which, like sailing, is a metaphor for inner balance and resourcefulness. (July)