July 31, 2020


Athabasca River Valley, Jasper National Park, Alberta, October 2, 2009
There is what happens,
and there is what we do about what happens,
in response to what happens.
And then, something else happens.

And that's the way it goes all the way. 

With luck, we learn from what happens
when we respond to what happens,
and we get better at what is ours to do.

But we must never, ever,
close our eyes to the truth
of what's happening!

Our only chance is seeing what's what,
knowing what our choices are,
and trusting ourselves to know
how to make the right ones over time.

The national park motto always applies:

Your Safety Is Your Responsibility!

We come into the world with all we need
to find what we need
to do what needs to be done
in each situation that arises.
It is up to us to learn to use 
what we have to work with--
the gifts, genius, daemon, virtues, character
that are unique to us,
and are our Super Powers,
unique to us,
and ready to help us find the way
through all of our trials and ordeals.

Trust yourself to what comes built into you,
and let yourself show you what you can do!



Lake Andrew Jackson 07/26/2020 10 Panorama — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, July 26, 2020
I don't know where the line lies between 
intimacy and vulnerability.
I don't know if there is a line.
I think it may be one thing.
I don't know what to call it.

I don't know where the lines lie among
and psychological
and physical
and emotional
and spiritual.
I don't know if there are lines.
I think it may all be one thing.
I don't know what to call it.
"Me," perhaps.

But then, where does the line lie between
and "you"?

I don't know where the line lies between
and logical.
Or if there is one.

It feels like it would be easier 
to draw lines separating these last three entities
from the others,
but there is mutuality among them all,
and we all sort ourselves out
along a continuum containing all people
from all times and places
in a way that enables us to recognize one another
and not confuse ourselves with any one.
We all are different but remarkably similar.

And how trustworthy are the lines
separating these aspects of ourselves
within ourselves,
and separating ourselves
from all other selves?

How do we "get it all together"
in all of these ways,
as individuals,
without being "together"
with one another, 
with each other,
throughout the continuum of humanity?

And, could it be,
that the things that keep us separated
into categories of "me" and "you,"
and "us" and "them,"
also keep us separated/cut off/isolated/apart from
all of these aspects of ourselves
within ourselves?

So that the more we identify ourselves 
as "us" and not "them,"
the less integrated and whole we are
within ourselves--
and the more whole we are 
within ourselves,
the less able we are to think of ourselves
as "us" and "them"?

And that we will not be safe,
individually or collectively,
without being whole 
individually and collectively?

So that the work to be safe and secure
in an environment that is trustworthy and dependable,
is the work of becoming healed and whole and one within?

Until we can be an "I"
we cannot be a "We"?

What do you think?

Could it be?

That the work of being safe
is the work of leaving home
and finding our father
and our mother
within ourselves
through the trials and ordeals
of life on our own
in the world?

That growing up
is developing all of the tools of life
mentioned above
in order to be who we are
and be okay
with not knowing 
where any of the lines lie--
or even if there are lines?

What do you think?

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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