”There is a reticence of power beyond the will to power that insists on its own erotic sovereignty. It is more like the solitude of the no-self of Buddhist teaching, or indeed the wu-wei of the Daoist view—true effecting is not interfering (Lao-tzu).” William Desmond, Godsends: from default atheism to the surprise of revelation, 2021, 125.

Where the meanings are,

we say, is relationships.

Meanings end with them.

Yet in solitude,

we cross thresholds and look back

without nostalgia.

We die several

deaths, but death, like the Dao, is

an unborn baby.

It takes a lifetime

to see your difference is


Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

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