November 10, 2020


Crepe Myrtle 01 11/10/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
When this all started,
there were no natural laws.
No law of gravity.
No law of inertia.
Laws and rules hadn't been invented.

Then there was this really big BANG,
and everything started flying in all directions
at once,
and it took several years
for it to get sorted out
and into stars and planets,
constellations and galaxies.

The universe figured it out
by letting things bang around 
until order appeared,
and now we have clocks and calendars,
physics and chemistry,
scientists and mathematicians.

It's amazing what can happen
just by letting things happen.
That is pretty much what happened 
with each of us.

None of us knew what we were doing,
most of us still don't,
and not one of us planned to be where we are,
or got here by making all the right moves.

We are here by virtue of the same process
that got the universe here.
We knocked around,
got knocked around,
and here we are.
Still getting knocked around,
and are on our way to somewhere else.

We don't comprehend any of it.
It is all such a mystery.
Yet, we pretend everything is well in hand
and completely under our control.

We are masters of our destiny, you know.
Captains of our ship.
And all that.

We are the biggest mystery of it all.
And we think getting what we want 
is all it takes.
What we want is our way,
at all times,
in all places.

That is such a laughter.
Give us our way--
we don't know what to do with it!
We find our way to where we need to be
by taking one wrong turn after another.
And, poof, like that,
we wind up in exactly the right place.
Or not.
Either way, it's a mystery how it works out.

It is as though something
knows more than we do.

But, how could that be?
It's a mystery.
There is no one here but us,
but there is more to each of us
than meets the eye.
Even our own eye.

WE are the mystery!
You might think 
we would be more interested
in getting to the bottom of us
than we are.
But we are more interested
in watching re-runs of sitcoms.

And that's another mystery.
Mystery is everywhere!
And we are the biggest one anywhere!



Carolina Thread Trail 06 11/09/2020 — Swinging Bridge, 12-Mile Creek, Lancaster County, South Carolina, Union County, North Carolina
Living in accord with the Tao
is laying aside all ambition,
all aspiration,
all agendas,
all aims,
all purposes,
all goals,
all objectives,
all desires...
other than and contrary to
living in accord with the Tao.

It is trusting the Tao,
trusting ourselves to the Tao,
beyond all logic and reason,
with liege loyalty 
and filial devotion,
doing what is called for
with complete sincerity,
and non-contrivance,
in each situation as it arises
all our life long--
with the Tao understood to be
doing the right thing
in the right way
at the right time
and being right about
what is right--
living so in tune with the here and now,
the time and place of our living,
that we are at one with what is happening
and what needs to happen in response,
that we do what is called for
without hesitation
and without thinking,
time after time after time.

Like a stream flowing downhill,
adjusting its flow 
to take boulders,
fallen trees,
cattle in the water,
and dams being constructed
into account on the fly
on its way to the sea--
and being right about
what needs to be done
in every moment of the journey.



Walnut Creek Trail 02 11/09/2020 — Union County, North Carolina
Fine is the balance,
thin is the line,
between having it made,
and having nothing at all.

Everything about democracy
depends on the willful cooperation
of all those involved in the work
of democracy.

Depends upon the good faith 
of those promising 
to "preserve, protect and defend
the Constitution against all enemies,
foreign and domestic."

If those so promising 
are themselves Domestic Enemies
of the Constitution
and Participatory Democracy,
well Who Is Going To Stop Them
from initiating a hostile takeover
of the government from within
the government?

The GOP has succeeded in placing
itself in the position
of destroying democracy
without a shot being fired.
Vladimir Putin has bought himself
a country
for less than one air craft carrier
would cost.
Talk about a coup!

All Trump has to do between now
and January 20, 2021
is fire all of the government workers
--the head of the Department of Defense 
was the first to go--
who might be disloyal
and replace them with "acting" loyalists,
and have them all refuse to obey
the norms and procedures
for transferring power to Joe Biden.

The government then would obey Trump.
Democracy would be kaput.
And the take-over would be complete.
Then it would just be a matter 
of cleaning things up,
with the ouster and martyrdom
of all of his political enemies,
at home and abroad.

What could go wrong?

That's the question that turns the future.

And however the future turns out to be,
it is sickening
that the fortunes of democracy
depend upon the willing and willful compliance
of all the people doing what is truly right
in upholding the principles of democracy
throughout the long generations of people
taking their oaths of office
and serving the country to the best of their ability
so help them God. 

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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