October 09, 2020


Muscadine and Moss 10/07/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Waiting for the mud to settle
and the water to clear,
it is important to exhibit
the kind of stillness
and confidence in the process
that creates the atmosphere
in which the mud can relax
and trust itself to gravitational forces
it cannot understand,
but can allow to work its magic
in assisting things seeking to find their place
and give themselves to doing 
what they do best.

The forces at work in our own life
are not different from the gravitational force
at work in the service of clarity.

We belong to the things that stir us to life
and call us forth
to find what best suits our gifts
and interests,
and our deepest love--
a love we know noting of
until it claims us
and graces us with its call to service
in devotion and loyalty to its needs
and interests.

We find our way to what owns us
bit by bit,
allowing "one book to open another,"
and always listening for what calls our name
in each situation as it arises,
allowing ourselves to be led--
even when we don't know we are being led--
to sacred places
"transparent to transcendence,"
with nothing special about they
that would set them apart,
or suggest the wonders hidden
from those who look without seeing
what we behold.

Swaddled in amazement,
we feel ourselves carried
from one wonder to another
in a life that is merely following the flow
from one day to the next,
without a plan in mind,
or an agenda directing the action.

All we need do is listen and look,
as we wait for the mud to settle
and the water to clear.



Adventure Road 01 10/07/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Faith has nothing to do with belief.
Faith is faithfulness.
Keeping faith with oneself and one another.
Being faithful to one's center, core, foundation--
in the company of those 
who are being faithful to themselves,
to their center, core, foundation--
and to one another.

Faith as faithfulness is the center, core, foundation
of ourselves 
and of the right kind of community.

It has nothing to do with what we believe,
and everything to do with what we know to be so
because it forms the ground of our experience,
and is the very essence of our being/doing.

"Thanks be to God I am who/what I am!"
(Paul of Tarsus)

"What I do is me/for that I came!"
(Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Belief is a substitute for faith,
a surrogate for the lived experience
of ourselves in the world.

"Know Thyself!"
(The Delphic Oracle)

"To Thine Own Self Be True!"
(William Shakespeare)

Our faith is in who we are
and what is ours to do.
Our faith is our life.
Our life is our faith.

The content of our faith
is the body of work
we create/produce
as a testimony to who we are
through the way we live our life
and bring ourselves forth
within the context and circumstances
of the times and places of our living.

The content of our faith
is how we live our life.



Around Price Lake 10/17/2016 19 — Julian Price Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Purity is the great enemy of truth.
Purity is truth to the far extreme.
Truth without contradiction.
Truth without contraries.
Truth without truth.
A mockery of truth.
An imposter of truth.
A pretender of truth.
A sound-alike.
A wanna-be.
A Lie.

Watch the flow of the game
over the next 10 to 20 years.
Keep your eye on the ball. 
The truth is that
"extremes beget extremes."

Those who remain steadfastly in the center
become the enemy 
of the opposite poles.
Yet, the center is the fulcrum,
the pivot point,
"the still point of the turning world"
(T.S. Eliot).

The center is our only hope.
The cross of Christ
bearing the pain
of his own self-realization.

"You shall know the truth,"
he said,
"and the truth shall set you free."

The truth of what?
Free from what?
Free for what?

The truth of the moment.
Of this moment.
of this here-and-now.

Free from/for what?
Free from denial/mindlessness/unawareness/blindness/stupidity...
Free for doing what needs to be done here and now,
in this moment just as it is.

Free for responding appropriately
to the moment as it is being lived
in seeing/hearing what is called for
and providing it, 
doing it,
regardless of what you might have said/done
in the last moment,
or any previous moment--
or what you ever imagined that you would do
in any moment.

Freedom to be who you are,
living out of your own center
in response to the craziness--
the madness--
of a world gone to the extremes,

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity"
(W.B. Yeats, "The Second Coming").

Freedom to be what is needed 
even there,
especially there,
in the heart of anarchy 
amid the Clashing Rocks
and the Heaving Waves
of the Wine-Dark 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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