October 03, 2020


Two Barns 08/10/2019 Panorama — Kershaw County, South Carolina
Our life forms itself around us,
reflecting our choices and decisions
exhibiting our preferences and inclinations,
expressing our degree of creativity and courage...

We are content seeking shape and form.
Our life becomes us so.

And we blame our circumstances.

"If we had had more of this
and less of that!"

If this! If that!
Easy to say.
Maybe. Maybe Not.

What we know is that
we are the one constant
through all of the times and places,
chances and opportunities,
contexts and circumstances
of our life,
and here we are now.

We are the content,
and this is the shape and form.

If we would prefer a different shape,
a better form,
we only have the content to work with.

How different can we be in the time left for living?

If you are serious about finding out,
sit before a mirror
and see who looks back at you.
Consider the content of you,
and what is revealed/concealed 
by your appearance,
body language--
including posture
and facial expression--
tone of voice
physical shape
and overall demeanor.

Take up the practice
of changing your content
and seeing what shifts
your shape and form
take in response 
to the shifts made in content.

It will be a game 
you play with yourself
for the rest of your life.



Goldenrod 01 10/01/2020–22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
We could make a list--
and probably should--
of the people who know the truth
when they see it,
as a source of encouragement
and motivation
in our own work
to see what we look at
and know what's what.

George Carlin
Claudia Conway
Dolly Parton
Linda Ronstadt
Eddie Murray
Richard Pryor
Jon Stewart
Stephen Colbert
Al Franken

Who stands out for you?
Let them be your soulmates,
your guides,
your gurus,
your spiritual family,
the people you turn to 
in time of trouble.

Nobody can do it for long alone.
Not even the people on your list!
Live to be on somebody's list--
and keep going!



Water Rock Knob 10/29/2014 — Blue Ridge Parkway, Maggie Valley, North Carolina
The old adage gets to the heart of the matter:
"It's all grist for the mill."
What are we milling is the question.
What are we working to get,

What is it going to take 
for us to be 
at absolute peace
with the life we are living?

What are we milling?
Putting together?

What is guiding our boat
on its path through the sea?

How we discern a favorable wind
from and ill wind?

A good place to be
from where we have no business being?

What is our business?
What are we about?
What are we milling?

Where are we going?
How will we know when we arrive?
Who are we trying to please?
How do we know what is pleasing?
Who says so?
How did they become the voice of authority
ruling over our life?
What makes us think they know what is pleasing?
Our life is based on what?

What is guiding our boat
on its path through the sea?

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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