October 28, 2020


Sumac 02 10/28/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land South Carolina
In any Now, 
we do not know What's Next.

In attempting to soothe our anxiety,
take control of the moment 
and arrange What's Next,
we remove ourselves from 
the flow of Tao--
which is the flow of time (kairos)
and place (dharma),
upset the dispensation of Grace
and Synchronicity,
and operate as a rogue predator
in the here and now of our living.

Better to live aligned with ourselves,
standing on the ground that grounds us,
attuned to the moment,
waiting for the time to act
in the service of what needs us to do it,
spontaneously moving in sync
with what is called for,
with no concern for what is in it for us,
and nothing at stake in the outcome--



Five Geese
Jesus can't do anything for us
that we can't do for ourselves.

Jesus has only one thing to say to us:
"Be who you are
the way only you can be who you are,
the way I am being who I am.
Don't allow anything to keep you from being you
the way I am being me.
Not fear.
Not desire.
Not duty.
That is all I have to say."



Lake Crandall 15 10/22/2020 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina
The face that was ours before we were born
is our Original Nature,
which is who we are when there is no one to please,
or impress,
or oppress,
or dominate,
or constrain.

When there is nothing to lose
or to gain,
and we have no stake in the situation
and no reason to wear any other face
than the one that was ours before we were born.

That is the who we are to be
all the time,
for all time.

What keeps that from happening?
Why not be who we are?

Sit quietly with the question,
and receive what occurs to you
with compassion and grace,
and without judgment or opinion.

Be the mirror
reflecting you to you,
and live self-transparently
throughout the time left for living.



Eno River Reflections 01 11/09/2011 — Eno River State Park, Durham, North Carolina
I trust you to know your own business,
to know what moves you,
to know what is yours to do and to not do,
to know what calls your name,
to know what you need and where to find it,
to know what is striving to come forth
through you into your life
and into the world.

And, if you think you do not know these things,
I encourage you to sit quietly
and receive what occurs to you
with compassion and grace,
and without judgment or opinion.



Lake Crandall 02 10/22/2020 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina
The Hero's Journey is to the heart of who we are.

There, we find the essence of our Original Nature.

We discover the wonder of the Mystery of Life and Being.

We relish and revere the Silence
as the source of our own healing and wisdom.

We embrace our calling and our destiny
as servants of truth
integrating polarities,
bearing the tension of contradiction,
taking up the tasks of balance and harmony,
and doing what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
with the gifts/daemon/virtues/character/vitality/spirit
that are ours to offer
in each situation as it arises
all our life long--
without thought of profit or gain,
benefit or advantage,
but with compassion,
and spontaneity,
dancing with what life brings us
and being sources of goodness and mercy,
"participating joyfully in the sorrows of the world"
(James Joyce/Joseph Campbell),
and being a blessing upon all
who come our way.

May it be so for us all!



Little River at the Sinks 11/04/2006 Oil Paint Rendering — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Liberty, Justice, Equality, Truth
are the grounding values of the Constitution
and the Declaration of Independence.

They are the heart of the Sermon on the Mount,
the parables of the Prodigal's Father
and the Good Samaritan.

They are the center of the 8 Fold Path
and the 4 Noble Truths of Buddhism.

And, they are the Boon the Hero retrieves
from their journey into the depths of the Psyche
to find what we ultimately are all about
and bring it to life in the life
they are living in the world.

We cannot do better than
Liberty, Justice, Equality, Truth.

They are the end to
Racism, Sexism, Misogyny, 
Xenophobia and Homophobia.

And, they are the essence
of who we are as individuals
and as a community of like-minded people.

It doesn't matter what we believe,
who we are,
how much money and power we have,
or what we say is important to us--
if we do not live in the service of
Liberty, Justice, Equality and Truth,
we have failed to embrace our calling
and live out our destiny
as human beings sharing a planet
with one another.

If we are white and privileged
(And what white person is not privileged?),
it is incumbent upon us to live
beyond the appearance of impropriety 
in these four areas
of Liberty, Justice, Equality, Truth.

We must live so that we never feel the need to say,
"Oh, I am not racist, sexist, a misogynist, xenophobic
or homophobic,"
because those things are being said about us
by all who know us.

Liberty, Justice, Equality, Truth
bond us together,
call us forth,
inform our living,
comprise our life.

We owe it to ourselves
and to each other
to live together in ways
that serve, honor, revere and incarnate
Liberty, Justice, Equality, Truth--
and oppose with deliberate vigilance
all threats to these core values
of humanity
in all times and places
throughout our life.

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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