November 5, 2020


Swan Lake 01 10/25/2019 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina
When we live to integrate our opposites
and express/incarnate/bring forth our original nature--
"the face that was ours before we were born--
our identity,
who we are,
our true self,
and not to get something,
attain something,
have something,
possess something,
dominate something,
win something,
have something to show for having lived...

When we live to serve our life
and live the life that is truly ours to live,
we live sincerely,
without striving or contriving
to exert our will upon the earth.

And the trees welcome us,
the meadows and the mountains recognize us 
as one who belongs there,
the birds and the wild things
are glad to see us coming,
and we are one with all the world.



Sourwood 02 11-04-2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Alcohol and pot cloud our judgment,
screw with our perception
and mess with our ability
to know what we are doing.

Nothing like being high
for being out of touch,
groundlessly floating in free fall,
laughing at all the colors
and crying over everything.

Critical assessment
and careful evaluation
take a leave of absence,
and we are enthralled by
the curled beauty
of a discarded popped top.

Or shift quickly into being suicidal at
the empty prospects of our life.

Reality becomes a quick change artist
and we become a yo-yo
and have to make ourselves unconscious
just to keep breathing.
Or stop breathing entirely--
there are times it doesn't matter which.

So the first step 
for letting the mud settle
and allowing the water to clear
is De-tox Now!

That's the hardest one.
Not really.
They are all the hardest one.
That's the second step.
We Have To Do What's Hard.
No one can do it for us.

What's hard is waking up.
Then getting up.
Then facing the day,
and it's hard all the way.

And we have only taken two steps!
Check that. 
We are only taking two steps.
We take all the steps--
and there are many more than 12--
simultaneously all the way
every day.

I don't think we can do it alone.
That's the real blessing of A.A.
We know we are not alone.
Standing Up,
Squaring Up,
Facing Up,
To A New Day
And Doing It Sober Again.
That's still the second step.

If we didn't extend steps,
we would run out of numbers,
lose count
and have to start over,
and it's hard enough as it is.

What keeps us going?
The spiritual side of reality.
Being a drunk is a great way
to find that door!
Everybody talks about God, God, God,
but nobody knows God
as the most intimate aspect
of who we are
who hasn't made that discovery
crawling out of some equivalent of a bottle.

So, I don't use the word "God."
It is too crusted over with rusted layers 
of theology, doctrine, dogma, creeds, catechisms
and other nonsense
to be of any help to anyone ever.

I use the word "Source," 
as in "The Source,"
to mean what I mean when I say "God."
The Source is with us always,
right there,
right here, 
right now.

Is always glad to see us.
Is always ready to get to work,
seeing, hearing, knowing, understanding
what is happening 
and what needs to happen in response,
doing what needs to be done
with the gifts/daemon/genius/spirit/
that came with us from the womb
in the form of our Original Nature,
which we access from the position of
balance and harmony
that comes from living in accord
with the Tao--
the right way of doing what needs to be done
in each situation as it rises--
and being at one with who we are,
and with how things are,
for the true good of the whole
all our life long.

That's the Source.
The Source is the source of Yin/Yang,
which are the vital opposites/dualities/contradictions
at the heart of life and being.
They are also called "The Mystery
at the heart of life and being."
Nothing is more mysterious than the unity--
the oneness--
of the contradictions/dichotomies/polarities/etc.
that comprise our life,
where good is bad and wrong is right,
and the dualities all dance together
like a perfect dance team,
a couple who are two and one at the same time
on a dance floor that could be called Life Itself.

That is the Mystery at the heart of life and being.
Which is the Source.
That keeps us going.
With all of our contradictions dangling
from every pore
daring us to find the courage
to step into another day.

It is possible
to integrate our opposites
after the manner of Rumi's "The Guest House"
and take up the challenge 
of finding the good in this
terrible, awful, no good, very bad mess
we call our life,
one day at a 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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