September 28, 2020


First of Fall 01 09-28-2020 — 22 Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
I would like to sit down one-on-one with everybody,
and hear what they had to say.
I think that is all anybody needs.
Someone to hear what they have to say.

Everybody wants to tell people what they need to hear.
Nobody wants to hear what people have to say.
I would like to change that.
I've been doing it all my life.

I've also been saying what I have to say.
I don't hold anything back.
I'm doing it here, now.
I do as good a job listening
and speaking
as anyone I know.

It's what I do best.
Along with seeing.
Not that I don't miss anything.
Yesterday, I moved the butter out of the way
looking for the butter.
And last week, I left a crutch at the nursery
(I was one crutching it--
I use crutches to get about because of osteoarthritis 
in both knees,
but my left knee is worse than my right one, 
so I can manage for short distances
with a forearm crutch on my right arm,
and got distracted with buying the plants
my wife and I purchased,
and left my crutch behind).
I didn't miss it for a couple of days
(Don't use it around the house),
and had no idea where it was.
So, today, it occurred to me to ask
at the nursery if it were there.
And happy the reunion was.
All of which is to say I miss things all the time.
Without thinking anything of it.
I keep looking and seeing,
and not seeing.
Listening and hearing,
and not hearing.
It's what I do best,
and enjoy most.
And I look forward to continuing
to do it for long years
into the far distant future.

Holding the butter looking for the butter
was great.
I am very Zen-like some days.



Reelfoot Lake 11/04/2015 50 — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Tiptonville, Tennessee
All religious wars are fought
between/among disciples
of a particular idea of religion.

They are fighting over their understanding
of theology, doctrine, dogma, creeds and catechisms.
Over words about their religion.

They disagree about what words are true
and what words are false.
They disagree about what they believe to be so--
to be factual, actual, real and, thus, true!--
because someone has said so.

All of this changes like that (snaps fingers),
when we shift from talking about belief
and start talking about experience.

Separate yourself from everything
you have ever heard about God
from all other sources including the Bible,
and focus exclusively 
on what you have personally experienced of God
in your own life.
What do you know to be so 
because you know it is so,
and not because you believe it to be so,
or have heard it to be so?

When we talk of our experience of God,
we do not speak of the God of theology and doctrine,
but of the Numen beyond all words and reason,
beyond all logic and intellect.
The experience of the Numen
sits us down and shuts us up.
Wonder and awe,
amazement and fascination,
do not lend themselves to words.

Lao Tzu said all that can be said:
"The Tao that can be said
is not the eternal Tao!"

There are neither wars
nor disagreement
among those who experience the Numen
in art, music and nature,
with childbirth and falling in love,
or being smitten by the encounter
with another human being,
all being as natural as nature can be.



Jasper Wetlands 09/29/2009 03 Watercolor Rendering — Jasper National Park, Alberta
Friedrich Nietzsche said the goal of the maturation process
is to become "a wheel rolling out of its own center."

I envision a gyroscope turning out of its own center
as it moves in a direction suited to its purposes,
stabilizing itself in tune with its own balance and harmony,
and serving its own Original Nature
with sincerity and compassion
in all that it does.

We are our own authority.
We govern our own actions.
We evaluate our own values.
We live to ask the questions that beg to be asked
in each situation as it arises.
To say what cries out to be said.
And to do what needs to be done
here and now--
without contriving
or deferring,
seeking to please
or fearing repercussions,
but living to express
our own heart and soul,
and being true to ourselves
in all times and places.

We stand on our own feet,
live out of our own center,
with loyalty and devotion
to our own nature,
and let the outcome be the outcome.

To do this,
we have to devote time and attention
to cultivating our relationship
with ourselves
so that we know who we are
out of our on-going experience
with what is deepest, truest and best about us
all our life long.



Sanctuary 10/24/2006 — Big Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Waterville, North Carolina, Watercolor Rendering
What keeps you going?
You live in the service of what?
What is your shtick?
Your thing?
Your art?
Your genius?
Your gift?
What are you here to do?
To bring forth?
Love with all your heart?
Who are you here to be?
No matter what?

Do not stray from that!
Do not wander away from the center!
The core!
The essence!
The qualities that constitute
your Original Nature!

Be you wherever you are!
Regardless of your circumstances!
Bring your perspective forth!
Dance your dance!
Love your life!
Love being alive!
Let your love for life show!

Why hold anything back?
Let your little light shine!
Let your little toes dance!
Let your little heart love what it loves!
While it can!

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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