July 21, 2020

03

Spider Web 11/23/2013 02 — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, November 23, 2013
When we do what is called for 
situation by situation,
everything falls into place around that,
and we find ourselves 
in the process of being ourselves
in the day-to-day proceedings of our life.

There is a problem.
We want more 
than being who we are
in the moment-to-moment transactions
one day at a time.

With the lights and action
of Gay Paree in our eyes
we will never settle for the routine business
of life on the farm.

"The best is the enemy of the good,"
and we are off to find our place in the Big Time,
or the biggest time we can arrange,
with our idea of How Things Ought To Be
leading the way.

Except. But. Only. 
We have no idea of how things truly ought to be.
Our idea is how we want things to be.
That's how we think things ought to be.
And that's the problem.

We spend our life trying to hammer our life into shape,
but our life has a mind of its own,
and we learn too late--
if at all--
where our place is in the life we are living:
Looking/Listening,
Seeing/Hearing,
Doing What Needs To Be Done.
One Situation At A Time.

The shift is equivalent to the one that took place
when Obi wan Kenobi placed the helmet
on Luke Skywalker and said,
"Listen for the Force."
That is the shift that changes everything.

–0–

02

Barn on Mormon Row 06/24/2011 03 — Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming, June 24, 2011
Poor Donald Trump cannot take "No!" for an answer.
He missed that initial induction into the Developmental Tasks.
And there is no moving forward
without moving back
and starting over
with learning to take "No!" for an answer.
That is elemental.

Poor Donald Trump does just what we wants to do,
and nothing that he doesn't want to do.
No one explained to him
that we grow up against our will
all along the way,
and learning to do that
is essential to everything that follows.

That we bear the pain of "No!" uttered in 10,000 ways
throughout the long course of our life.
That we die again and again
in the service of rising to the occasion
and doing what needs to be done
for the sake of the good of the situation
in each situation as it arises
all our life long.

"Death and resurrection, Kid.
Death and resurrection."

No one ever said those words
to Poor Donald Trump.
Or, if they did, they were never heard
as they needed to be heard,
with full comprehension,
absolute acceptance
and resolute obedience 
in compliance with the task at hand,
namely, dying to himself
in service to the situation 
and a good greater
than his own personal good.

And, here we are.
Awash in the refusal of Poor Donald Trump
to grow up
and do what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
whether he wants to or not.
Because nothing worth happening
can happen
until that does.

–0–

01

Lotus Blossom 04
"Go in search of your father--
your mother--
your life!"

The instructions are opaque,
obtuse,
muddled,
contradictory.

Contradiction is everywhere.

Our work is making sense of the contradictions
that clog our day.
We do that best by saying,
"That, too! 
That, too!"
To every one.
And dancing with them all.

Is it our father,
or our mother,
or our life 
that we are to find?

Yes,
yes,
and yes!

And then what?

"Kill your father!
Kill your mother!
And let your life eat your life!
For breakfast,
lunch
and dinner!"

You are kidding, right?

"Of course, I'm kidding!
Nothing is literal!
It is all metaphorical!
Metaphors are the only way
to deal with the contradictions!
If you take it all too seriously,
you curl up and die!
It's metaphor all the way down!"

If you don't die,
you will never live.

Death and resurrection, Kid.
Death and resurrection.

And the Kid walks away,
shaking her/his head.

"Come back here, Kid!
I'm not through with you!
Sit down!
Count all of the ways you have already died
to live to this point in your life!
There have been many,
don't tell me there have been none!
And there are many more
yet to come!
Embrace them all!

Go in search of your father--
your mother--
your life!

And do the work of finding,
killing,
dying,
living,
again and again.

It's death and resurrection
all the way down!"

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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