November 15, 2020

03

Walnut Creek Trail 07 11/09/2020 — Lancaster County, South Carolina
Everything hinges upon,
flows from,
falls into place around
living meaningfully.

Living meaningfully
is living with your heart in
what you are doing.

What keeps that from happening?

There are no substitutes for it.
No stand-ins.
No reasonable facsimiles.

All of the distractions,
like money,
sex,
alcohol and pot,
can't erase the emptiness
or disappear the truth
that your heart isn't in
what you are doing.

The only fix 
is for you to sit down
with your heart,
and listen.

Then find ways of putting
yourself in accord with your heart.

Living meaningfully 
is the solution
to all of our problems today.
And tomorrow.
Forever.

–0–

02

Fall Leaves 34 11/10/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
You can be trusted to know
what is good for you and what is not,
where you belong and where you do not,
what is "you" and what is not,
what is reliable and what is not...
and to learn how to know what you know,
and trust yourself to know it
as you go along.

You are born with what it takes
to know what you need to know
to find what you need
to be who you are
and do what is yours to do
in doing what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
situation-by-situation.

That is all there is to it.

But.

You cannot do it 
without sitting still
and being quiet
on a regular basis
all along the way.

–0–

01

Adams Mill Pond Reflection 02 11/09/2014 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina
Joseph Campbell said,
"Bliss is that deep sense
of being present, here and now,
and doing what you absolutely 
must do to be yourself 
in the time and place of your living,"
(Or words to that effect).

And if that is also the way
it should be done,
the way the situation is calling
for it to be done,
you are transparent to transcendence,
which is as close to God
as we are going to be in this life.

Here's the problem:
There are multiple layers
to every situation.
What is allowed on some levels
are anathema on other levels.
What can you get by with
is the question.

Can you get by with being true
to yourself here and now?
This is your role in the process.
Only you can determine 
what you can get by with,
and what has to give,
what has to go,
for you to be true to yourself
in each situation as it arises.

Your problem is finding places
where it is safe to be you,
and finding people around whom
it is safe to be you--
and, even then, you will be 
risking everything,
every now and then,
in being who you are
and doing what is called for
in the situation.

This is called dancing
across the slippery slope,
traversing the dangerous path,
along the razor's edge.
It is not for the faint of heart.
And it will require dying
again and again,
and being born again
again and again.
All the way to the end of the dance.

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, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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