August 25, 2020


Day’s End 10/27/2008 03 — Pamlico Sound, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
In light of what do we live?

I think it was Frederich Nietzsche,
I know someone was quoted by Joseph Campbell
as describing a mature person being
"like a wheel rolling out of its own center."
I imagine a gyroscope turning out of its own center,
maintaining its own balance and harmony,
choosing its course
and moving through its life
in light of its own sense of what matters most,
rising to every occasion
and seeing and doing what is called for
in ways consistent with its view
of what is good/proper/fitting/necessary
in each present moment of its existence.

Mature individuals know who they are
and what matters most,
and live to express that,
to incarnate that,
in each situation as it arises,
in all contexts and circumstances,
throughout their life.

They know in light of what they live.

In light of what do we live?

You will have to answer for yourself.

I live to honor and serve my Original Nature--
in collaboration with my Inmost Self--
within the circumstances of my life,
with mindful awareness 
of what is happening on all levels,
and what is called for,
and how I can best respond to that,

That is what guides my boat 
on its path through the sea.

And you?



Fishing Shacks 09/25/2008 Watercolor Rendering– Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia
"The human predicament" is what to do 
with our time.

We are born without purpose or direction.
"Food, clothing and shelter"
take care of the basics,
but so does solitary confinement for life.

"Here we are, now what?"
is the perennial question of the species.

"Sex, drugs and alcohol"
seem to be perennially favorite answers.

Anything to take our mind off the problem.
Of time--
and what to do with it.

Here's an all-weather,
option for you:
Take it to the silence.

Silence is the last place we would ever go.
Silence is reserved for the grave.
Until then,
all we care about is action.
Any kind of action.
Something quick to take our mind off the problem.

We don't solve any problem
without bearing the pain of the problem.
Without bearing the pain.

Pain IS the problem!
The pain of not knowing what to do with ourselves
in the time we have left to do it!

Nothing happens without bearing the pain
of nothing happening.

Sit in the silence,
bearing the pain,
and waiting.

The silence is the solution
to all of our problems today/tomorrow/ever and always.
Sit in the silence
long enough
aware enough,
and we find exactly what we need
to do what we need to do
right here,
right now.

Disclosure time:
The silence is not good for five year plans.
Long range solutions are impossible
given the chaotic nature of our circumstances,
with everything at the mercy of something else,
and nothing having any mercy on anything.

What to do with our time
depends on too much
for there to be much more
than provisional,

The over-all purpose/direction of our life
is a function of our Original Nature
and Fundamental Attitude
toward ourselves and our circumstances--
and it depends exclusively 
on our ability to face up to what is happening now,
and adjust ourselves accordingly,
in conjunction with our Nature and Attitude.

We are going to spend a lot of time 
in the silence
over the full course of our life.

If you cannot bear the thought of that,
sex, drugs and alcohol,
or some variation of that version
of escape, diversion, distraction and denial,
are all that is left to choose from.

The paradox at the ground level of our life
is that we have to be willing to grow up
in order to grow up against our will.

And everything turns on our ability 
to bear the pain of being alive.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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