October 06, 2020


Two Mushrooms 10/05/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
The old Taoists recommended
that we "turn the light around,"
and look inwardly
for what we are seeking externally,
which would be something worth living for.

Some reason,
some purpose,
some meaning
for it all.

Life is its own meaning,
but it takes realizing that
and living as though it is so
to turn the light around.

Living as though our life is meaningful
just as it is
is the shift
that opens us to the truth
of the immense value
of the here and now.

This! Is "the still point of the turning world"!
(T.S. Eliot)
This! Is the moment of our Illumination!
It only takes looking
to see that it is so!

Two mushrooms seen properly,
are the bell of awakening.
Any time can be the time of our realization.
How we see what we look at
is more important than what we look at.

Turn the light around!



The Live Oak at Springer’s Point 10/17/2013 — Ocracoke Island, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, North Carolina
Attending what I am doing,
is among the hardest things
for me to do. 

Just knowing what I am doing now--
not generally,
"I'm driving."
"I'm walking."
But specifically.
"My turn is coming up."
"Watch the kid on the skateboard!"

Being here, now, is the hardest thing.
Of course we are here, now.
We know that.
And we miss our turn,
and send the kid on the skateboard
to his heavenly reward.

All because we know what we are doing
without attending it,
without being aware of it,
without knowing what we know,

We live disconnected 
from the time and place
of our living,
thinking about anything,
but the here and now.

So what?

How we answer that question
makes all the difference.

Here and now is all there ever is.
If we are not present and accounted for,
fully here, fully now,
when will we ever be alive?

We do not come to life 
until something in our present moment
commands our full attention
and brings us to life.

Puppies can do it.
And kittens. 
And babies/grandbabies...
We all can remember experiences,
good and bad,
that have grabbed us
and hurled us in to the Now,
but it takes something special.

We can't be here, now,
for no reason.
We are shanghaied by other things,
drag us off into endless walk-a-bouts,
meandering among the possibilities
and the impossibilities,
lost and unavailable
to turns coming up
and kids on skateboards.

Any moment can be "transparent to transcendence"
(Joseph Campbell),
transporting us instantly
into the rapture of awe and wonder--
not because it is obvious,
not because we are whammed by it unexpectedly,
but because we simply sat, 
until we saw--until we see--it.

We can be so present to any moment
that every moment has the potential
of being a portkey,
transporting us from this dimension
into the other dimension
of numinous, ineffable, unspeakable truth.

Bringing that dimension
into this dimension,
moving from this dimension
into that dimension,
is the gift of attentive presence,
bringing us to life
in the life we are living.

Eyes that see
are the same eyes that don't see,
waiting us to open ourselves
to what is here and now
but turning the light around
and seeking within the switch
that turns the light on
and enables us to see what we are looking at
for the very first time.

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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