July 20, 2020


Great Blue Heron 04/20/2014 02 — Audubon Swamp Garden, Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina, April 20, 2014
Schopenhauer said that when we look back over our life
it seems as though everything fits together
like a life-size jig saw puzzle,
with all those chance meetings
and events
working together to create
the harmonious whole
that has us right here,
right now.

And he posits that the director,
the choreographer, 
of the wonderful whole
that is our complete life
is none other than
the mysterious center of ourselves,
pulling rabbits out of a hat,
dancing this way with that,
and that way with this, 
in producing the opus we have lived
without being aware
of what we were doing.

"There is a center,"
he would say,
and 10,000 others with him,
"at work to coalesce a lived history
around itself
through our choices
and reaction to events
and circumstances
that have only us (and our center)
as the one influential constant
responsible for the majestic creation
of the life we have lived.

Our life is the product
we have produced without intent or purpose.
Joseph Campbell, thinking about this, said,
"None of us has lived the life we intended." 

But, we can trust ourselves to The Mystery
of our own unfolding.
We can rely on the center of our own being.
There are at work within us
forces we cannot imagine,
or begin to control--
but we can pledge ourselves to them
with filial devotion
and liege loyalty,
letting what happens be what happens,
and looking forward to how that
 contributes to the marvel of the whole
in response to the prayer of the people
throughout the ages:
"The work of our hands--
establish, Thou, it!"



Duggers Creek Falls 07/06/2014 01 — Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls Visitor’s Center, Linville Falls, North Carolina, July 6, 2014
Carl Jung thought we live
to bring ourselves to life.
Joseph Campbell would say the same.
And, he would say that all the mythologies
from the beginning say the same.

We are forever seeking ourselves.

T.S. Eliot, in "The Four Quartets," said,
"We shall not cease from exploration, 
and the end of all our exploring will be 
to arrive where we started 
and know the place for the first time."

The Old Taoists held that the Quest we are on
is to find our Original Nature,
and know "the face that was ours
before our parents were born."

Jung saw the task before us
as one of "Individuation,"
whereby we become who we are
by the life-long process 
of "circumambulation,"
an ever tightening spiral
around and around
the center that is the Self,
gradually realizing,
who we are
over the full course of our life.

We think we are here to make a lot of money
and "pass a good time."

We are living on one track
when we need to be living on another track.
We are going in one direction
when we need to be going in a different direction.

I don't know how 
we are going to get things
turned around.

I do know the old Taoist Masters
understood their sole task to be
"turning the light around."

Now it is our turn
to do the turning.

Turning, turning, turning,
along the path Jung laid out before us:
"We are who we always have been,
and who we will be."

Happy trails,
fellow travelers!
I'll keep an eye out for you
along the way!



Blueberries 06/30/2019 06 — The Vine Place, Van Wyck, South Carolina, June 30, 2019
Only those who can bear the pain of,
and dance with,
the contradictions
of life as it comes
have what it takes 
to see what's what
and do what can be done about it
with the gifts/genius/daemon/virtues/character
that comes with them from the womb
in each situation as it arises
all their life long.

Everybody else takes refuge
in their dreams
of how life should be,
or retreats into their favorite way
of dismissing,
the reality of the way things are,
and lives in denial,
dead to the world as it is,
all their life long.

If you are going to be alive
in this world,
and it is the only world there is,
you are going to have to live your life
on your life's terms--
without pausing to curse,
or complain.

Coming to terms with life's terms
and accepting the fact of:
This is the way things are,
and this is what you can do about it,
and that's that,
every day.



Lotus Blossom 01
We cannot see/hear/know/understand/do/be/become
before the time for seeing/hearing/knowing/understanding/


We can delay seeing, etc.
long past the time for seeing, etc.
by being distracted/lost
in pursuit of the wrong goals
in the service of the wrong ideas
about what is important
and worth our time.

Quoth the prophets:
"O Land, Land, Land!
HEAR the Word of the Lord!"

"How long am I to bear with you?
How long do I have to put up with you?"

"There are none who do what is right!
Not ONE!"

And so it is said by those who know,
"Neanderthal got it.
Cro Magnon didn't.
And here we are."

for those who can hear
what is to be heard,
and do what must be done.

Like Obi wan Kenobi
wondering what is keeping
Luke Skywalker.
And Master Yoda
napping in the swamp
between Jedi's.

We cannot hurry the time 
of its arrival.
And we must be ready 
when it comes.

That is the paradox of the times.

The time between times
can seem eternal,
but it is the most important time.
How we spend it
tells the tale.

And the joke of all jokes is on us,
waiting for the day of the Lord's return
while the Lord is waiting for us
to show up--
seeing and hearing
what has been right before us
all along.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: