October 10, 2020


False Fox Glove 10/08/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
The work is ours to do alone.

We grow up on our own.
Against our will.
Because it is called for.
And is the best
of all our available options.

All that we have been told
about how things are
is not how things are.
This is how things are:
There is the way things are,
and there is what we can do about it,
and that's that.
And that is how things are.

Part of what we can do about it
is squaring ourselves up
with the difference between
how things are 
and how we wish they were,
or how we want them to be.

Coming to terms with how things are
is being okay with things
not being okay.
And letting things be
because they are.

Within any context and all circumstances,
there is what we can do
and what we cannot do.
Refusing to let what we cannot do
keep us from fully exploring what we can do
is the creative response
to our situation,
no matter what it is.

Always the strategy is:
Ask all of the questions that beg to be asked!
Say all of the things that cry out to be said!
Listen to everything!
See what we look at!
Feel what we are feeling!
Know what we know!
Bear the pain
and keep on going!



Fence Post 10/07/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Martha Graham's dance, "Lamentation," says what words cannot
and in reflecting on her performance,
she said about it and all of her performances,
"The is always one person to whom you speak
in the audience. One."

That took me straight to the one disciple of the Buddha
who "heard" his Flower Sermon.
Mahākāśyapa is in every audience,
as male or female.

Do not think,
"No one hears"
(Or cares).



Muscadine and Sourwood 10/10/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Believe in what you are doing
and do it!

If you are going to believe in anything,
let it be what you are doing!

Why would we do anything we don't believe in?
Yet, how many of us are doing things we don't believe in?
Going through the motions.
Paying the bills.
So we can go through the motions.

Time Out!!!
It's one thing to go through the motions
to pay the bills--
but we can't pay the bills
to go through the motions!
We have to pay the bills 
to do what we believe in doing!

Are we doing anything we believe in?
Anywhere in our life?
If no,
that's a problem.

How can we live without believing 
in what we are doing?
Without believing in the life we are living?

We can't just go through the motions!
Our heart has to be in something 
we are doing,
else our life is a sham,
a lie,
an empty balloon on a stick
and we are dead people walking around
blank-eyed and soulless. 

Sound like anybody you know?

The cure is to get our life back
by finding something we believe in
and doing it
while we pay the bills any way we can.

Where do we start finding something
we can believe in?
What was the last thing you believed in?
What happened to that?
What are some things you think 
you might be able to believe in?
If you were going to believe in something,
what would it be?
What would it take to be able to do it?
If you can't do it,
start dreaming about doing it.
Imagine doing it.
Watch videos about doing it.
Pretend to be able to do it.
Start collecting items that are related to it.
Read about it.
Write about it.
Build a fantasy life around it.
Believe in your fantasies!
If you can't go to the moon,
make a life around studying everything
about going to the moon!

Work something you believe in into your life!

Without something to believe in,
we are just marking time until we die.

We may as well be in prison.

Do not die before you are dead!

Promise me you won't!



Sourwood 10/09/2020 09 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
This is my credo,
my statement of faith in what I am about:
"I do not know what the hell I'm doing,
and I am going to do it to my dying breath!"

Two things flow from this.
The first is the old saw/observation
that people spend their entire lives 
climbing the ladder of success
only to discover at the end
that it was leaning against the wrong wall.
I have every confidence that my ladder
is leaning against the right wall.

The second thing is my essential belief
in the importance of muddling around in the middle,
holding all of the extremes,
all of the opposites,
all of the contradictions,
all of the polarities
all of the variant points of view
in view
and bearing the agony/anguish of that tension,
waiting for the mud to settle
and the water to clear
to see what happens.

I'm not here to make anything happen,
but to assist the happening
of whatever needs to happen.

If you bear the tension long enough,
something shifts,
the mud settles,
the water clears.

The worst thing is to push for a solution
that solves nothing
and only temporarily eases the tension
of mutually exclusive opposites.

No pushing!
No forcing!
Wait to see what needs to happen,
and assist its happening
by calling attention to it
and maintaining the tension
of irreconcilable polarities!

Give equal voice--
equal attention--
to all concerns.
Do not dismiss,
ignore anyone's rights,
and bring the weight of realization--
of clarity--
to bear on the issues at hand.

The issue of abortion,
for instance,
would take on an completely new shift
if all of those clamoring for an end to abortion
suddenly became pregnant.
That is making the heart of the matter
painfully apparent.

When all of our polarities
become painfully apparent,
and perspectives shift,
and things change.

Muddle around in the middle long enough
to be clear about what's what,
and things change.
Of their own accord.

There is nothing like clarity
for illumining the way.

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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