August 1, 2020

02

After Sunset 07/27/2010 02 — Blue Ridge Parkway, West Jefferson, North Carolina, July 27, 2010
There is how things are,
and there is how we feel 
about how things are.
And that is how things are.

And that is where we have to get to work--
being conscious of how easily two things
become one thing
in their impact on us,
and intentionally preventing that from happening.

How we feel about how things are
is different from how things are.
It is up to us to separate them,
and deal with two things,
not one thing.

Emergency room personnel 
have to keep their feelings
from interfering with their response
to what comes through the door.

What's happening
and what needs to be done
about what's happening
has to be realized and done
on a level different from
how we feel about what's happening
and what needs to be done about it.

The same thing applies
to the dog throwing up on the carpet,
or the baby's diaper
needing to be changed,
or all of the 10,000 things
happening at once.

Our response to what is happening
has to be to what is happening,
and not to how we feel about what is happening.

We process the impact of what happens
at a time and place
different from the time and place
in which what is happening happens.

At the time of the happening,
we realize the horror,
or the inconvenience,
or the outlandish absurdity, etc.,
without being sidetracked by any of it--
in order to do what needs to be done about it
here and now.

We note it and tuck it away in our awareness
to be revisited when that is appropriate,
in order to give our full attention
to the present moment
and what is called for now.

This is called
"Walking two paths at the same time."
It is a life skill we all need to master
by the time we are, say, six years old.

–0–

01

Spiderweb 07/31/2020 — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, September 3, 2006
Adjustment and accommodation,
Negotiation and compromise,
Acceptance and realization,
Growth and recognition,
Peace, balance and harmony--
Are all stages on the way,
Hallmarks of The Way.

Growing up is the only form of growth.
We grow by growing up.
We grow up against our will,
in recognition of how things are.

"This is the way things are,
and this is what can be done about it,
and that's that.
That is how things are!"

Letting things be because they are--
letting come what's coming 
and letting go what's going,
and bearing consciously the pain
of realization and acquiescence--
is the price of being alive.

When Jesus said,
"Pick up your cross everyday
and come along with me,"
this is what he was talking about--
bearing consciously the pain
of being alive.

Conflict,
contradiction,
polarity,
dichotomy,
dissonance,
duality,
incongruity,
antipathy, 
opposition,
agony,
anguish,
and pathos
constitute the lived experience
of incompatible,
mutually exclusive,
wants,
interests
and needs.

Life Eats Life!

How's that for the fundamental refutation
of all we consider to be good and right?
Yet, that is the basic requirement
for life in the world.

Growing up is coming to terms 
with the terms required for life and being--
and consciously bearing the pain of being alive
in acquiescence to the realization at the heart of life:

"When you meet an elephant coming toward you on the path,
Get off the path!!!"

Do not insist on your principles
in the face of necessity,
or accept the fact that some principles
require us to die on the cross we carry.
And let it be so,
because it is.

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, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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