at his death, firm and strong.Look at the plants in your garden as summer wanes and autumn gets into full swing. The leaves lose their vibrant green color, turn brown and then fall off. Many plants seem to wither before your eyes!
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
At his death he is hard and stiff.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
When dead, it is hard and rigid
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
A corpse is hard and stiff.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
What was once a green and supple flower, now is a brittle stalk that you can easily snap with two fingers. When the winds come -- as they certainly do on the Washington coast -- many of the plants are easily toppled. Their flexibility is gone!
To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.