November 03, 2020


Tree Pans 02 –10/25/2019 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina
Heart and meaning are our guides through the wilderness.
Does it have heart?
Is your heart in this?
Does it have meaning for you?
If things start out full of heart and meaning,
notice if that changes--
not just because things become difficult.
No just because hard things are being asked of us.
Every track asks us to see something through.
A war comes along.
Or someone close to us dies.
Or we have a health crisis.
We have to work through 10,000 opportunities
to quit.
What is it you can't quit?
I am a writer,
so I write without an audience. 
I write to hear myself think.
I write to know what I have to say.
To quit writing would be an immense 
betrayal of self.
I take photographs in the same way.
I have to take photographs.
My heart demands it.
Meaning and purpose hang on it.
What do you do "the way a dog wags its tail?"
(Alan Stacell)
Do more of that.



The Path 10/25/2019 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina
I don't care what happens to us--
how we respond to it
is what matters.

We are built for reversals,

If it isn't the clashing rocks,
it is the heaving waves!
If it isn't a catastrophe,
it is a calamity.
If it isn't a disaster,
it is a debacle.

Look at what we have been through 
as a species
to be here, now!
What keeps us going???

Whatever it is,
it can be counted on!
It and gravity are the most reliable 
things this world has to offer!

And it comes tucked away
in each of us,
to be used as needed
throughout our life
in dealing with circumstances
beyond control,
and events that are completely
out of hand.

There is an adamantine core
running through the human spirit
that is "a very present help
in time of trouble."

Our original nature
includes resilience and durability.

Grounded upon the rock of our character
and the flexibility of our spirit,
we are more than a match 
for the daily deliveries.
It only takes standing on our own two feet
and living out of our center
to know that it is so.

The stream finds its way to the sea.
We have what it takes
to find what it takes
to do what needs to be done
about all that comes our way.

The confidence that this is so
is waiting in the silence
to console and sustain
and call us forth to meet the day.



Black Australian Swans 02 10/25/2019 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina
Jesus came reinterpreting everything
that had gone before.
"You have heard it said,"
he said,
"but I say unto you..."

"The old has passed away!
Behold! The new has come!"

How we did it then does not
take precedent over
what is called for now!

With Jesus, what once was the case
is no longer the case,
what we once could assume was so,
can no longer be assumed to be so.

"It's a new world, Golda!"

We look.
We see.
We listen.
We hear.
We decide what is being called for.
And we respond with the gifts
that are ours to share.

We say what is so,
and act out of our own perspective.
We take the appropriate action
in each situation as it arises,
and are the person responsible 
for knowing and doing--
in living our life as it needs to be lived

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

The truth is the truth of how things are,
the truth of what's happening now,
the truth of what needs to be done about it.
Seeing the truth
is being set free
to do what needs to be done about it
with what is ours to offer
in each situation as it arises
as a spontaneous response to the moment
with no thought for what is in it for us,
or for what we stand to gain,
or how we might profit,
or what the advantage to us might be
with this response or that one.

We simply do what needs to be done.
We simply say what needs to be said.
We simply are who we need to be--
who the situation needs us to be--
one situation after another,
day by day,
all our life long.

No one can do better that that.
And it needs to be done all the 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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