July 02, 2020

02

Pine Cones 06/19/2020 04 — Indian Land, South Carolina, June 19, 2020
History is always coming around.
The times are always changing.
Coming and going.
For better or for worse.
For better and for worse.
Better for whom?
Worse for whom?
Only time will tell.

"The more things change,
the more they stay the same."
Time tells that much all the time.
"The poor will be with us always."
Some things never change.

"No matter how things are,
somebody wants it to be different."
"Everything could be 
more like it ought to be
than it is."
The work in the service of the good
is never done.

"The Good is the enemy of the Best."
"The Best is the enemy of the Good."
Perspective shifts see the enemy everywhere.
"Who's on first?"
"NO! Who's on second!"
How do we live together
in ways we all like?
It would be easier to live together
in ways we don't like,
but are, at least, livable for everyone.

How do we live together 
in ways that are livable for everyone?

Tax everyone according to their means.
Pay everyone a living wage
adjustable to the cost of living.
A fair and reasonable tax structure
with no loopholes
and no favoritism
and good faith all the way around,
is the solution to all of our problems today.
And every day.

So, why won't it fly?
Because there are those of us
who want more than we need
to live the life we want to live--
which is different
from the life that needs us to live it.

Greed in the service of unquenchable desire
is the source of all of our problems today.
That is why
"The more things change,
the more they remain the same."
If you want to change something,
change that.

–0–

01

Cypress Pond — On a Private Preserve in Eastern North Carolina around November, 2004
On June, 25, 2014, I wrote,

Our life is up to us.

We actually have to live it.

Why hold anything back?

Why try to save ourselves from that which can save us?

Only one thing means anything: Living our life
the way it needs us to live it!

At the end of the movie, Jersey Boys, 
Frankie Valli, 
reflecting on his career, 
said, “They ask ya, ‘What was the high point?’ 
The hall of fame, 
sellin’ all those records, 
pullin’ Sherry outta the hat?' 
It was all great. 
But the first time the four of us 
made that sound under the street light, 
our sound, 
when everything dropped away 
and all there was, 
was the music…
that was the best.”

The challenge for each of us 
is to find our music, 
and live it—
to let the music live us—
and see everything that happens to us, 
both positive and negative, 
as an opportunity 
to further align ourselves with the music, 
dance with what life brings us, 
and become who we are.

We are afraid to do that,
and think there is something better than that—
like safety, and security, and never stepping out of line—
because we’ve never stood under a street light
and made the music
only we can make.

But the music is there waiting
for us to show up.

That was written six years ago
and the music is still waiting.

What's your music?
What is your life?
We don't have any idea
because we have so many ideas,
all of which
revolve around having money
and having it made.

We want the fame
and the fortune,
but it's the music.

Ask a musician if they know
what Frankie Valli is talking about.
Ask them if they can remember a time
when it all dropped away
and they became one with the music,
and the music was playing them,
singing them,
and they disappeared into the music,
were lost in the music,
were the music.

Ask them how often it happened.
And what they would give
for it to happen all the time.

Can you remember anything like that 
happening to you?

What do you think your equivalent to the music
might be?
Was?
Could be?

What life is waiting
still,
even yet,
even now,
for you to live it?

What's holding you back?

Why hold anything back?

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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