November 27, 2020


Crepe Myrtle 08 11/27/2020 Panorama Detail — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
What is meaningful about your life?
How often do you do it?
How often would you need to do it
to say without hesitation
that you are living a meaningful life?
A life that has meaning for you
is the only meaningful life there is 
for you.

If what do has meaning for 10,000 people,
but now for you,
how meaningful is that?
You could still drink yourself
into oblivion every night
and feel that you had wasted your life
because it was not fulfilling for you.

And it is not self-indulgent to live 
in the service of our highest/deepest
enthusiasm, "it is vital," 
as Diane Osbon has said. 

Do not merely think about 
what is meaningful to you--
do it--as often as possible,
for as long as possible!

Make it your thing
to do your thing,
as often as possible,
for as long as possible,
throughout what remains
of the time left for living!



Boardwalk Panorama 10 10/25/2019 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
Everything is a portal into mystery
and unknowing.

The Hindus, and before them,
the Dravidians of the Indus Valley
(2500 BCE - 1500 BCE)
held that the world as always been
just as it is.

And always means always to them.
It means there has never been a time
when the cosmos was not.

No beginning, no ending--
like the tides on the seas.
The tide comes in
and the tide goes out,
and between coming and going,
the tide turns around.
So it is with the universe,
coming and going always.

It is a different way of looking at things.

We think of the creating event
as the Big Bang.
Before then there was only tiny bits
of matter coalescing over a long
period of time.

We do not ask,
"How many Big Bangs have there been?"
We think in terms on only one.
Why only one?
Before that one, what?

Those of us in the Christian West,
like to think there is only one God
who has always been.
We do not ask,
"Before God, what?"
or, "Where did God come from?"
We grant eternal and everlasting existence
to God.

Hindus grant it to the Cosmos.

And it all is shrouded in mystery.
We do not know where it all came from,
or how we got here,
or by what means there is something
and not nothing.

Our Sunday school teachers
told us a nice, pat, little story
that answers nothing.
That creates more questions
than it resolves.
And leaves us stuck
with not-knowing half
of all there is to know,
or even half of one millionth 
of one percent 
of all there is to know.

We live in mystery.
We swim in mystery.
We are awash in mystery.
And we don't give it a thought.

We should be staggered by the wonder
of it all.
And we spend our time 
complaining about the weather,
or wondering where we can find
a really good pizza.

When everything is a portal into mystery
and unknowing,
and it is wasted on us.

Absolutely wasted.



Scum Panorama 01 10/25/2019 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina
We are ice dancing here.

Dancing with our life,
at one with the music
no one can hear,
to the flow of time and place
and the wonder of everyone,
ourselves most of all--
for the glory of it,
like a moth dancing with the flame,
for the hell of it,
for the joy of it,
for the rapture of it,
and the beauty of
being in sync with the moment,
having the time of our life.

And, if not,
why not?

What are we waiting for?

Step onto the ice,
and dance!

While you can!



Ghost Trees 02 08/21/2015 — A blended photograph with the Ghost Tree from the Anna Zagora Collection and the Beach Sunrise from Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina
There is more to it than meets the eye.

This is the grounding hope
at the bottom of it all.

Karma and Grace and the Tao
are all a part of the More.

Synchronicity and the magic
of Timing,
and the wonder of Flow,
and whatever goes into setting
one Time and Place apart
from all other times and places,
always and forever...

There is Mystery at the Heart
of Life and Being.

Mystery that is to be trusted
and relied upon
past all logic and reason.

To be aligned with the Mystery
is to be on track,
on the beam,
at one with the moment
and in touch with the Unknown
and Unknowable--
without being able to use it
for our personal gain 
or benefit in any way.

The Apostle Paul said it this way:
"Have the same mind among you
that you find in Jesus of Nazareth,
who did not count equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself
and became faithful unto death,
even death on a cross."

To live in this way is
to be the Christ
in each situation as it arises,
in each moment of our living,
by getting ourselves and our interests
out of the way,
and doing what needs to be done
for no other reason than
that it needs to be done,
and having nothing to gain or lose
because we are serving the Secret Cause
beyond sight and sound,
and are glad to be spent in that service,
knowing it is better and more 
than anything we could ever imagine.

If you are going to take anything on faith,
let it be this,
and live in every moment
as though it is so.

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.

One thought on “November 27, 2020

  1. Jim, this photo work is inspired.  It represents The Mystery. Your words are profound & prophetic. So glad to have had you in my life all my life long! I am easing around the edges of it all, at times completely immersed in the life giving breath. Peace & cheers & talk soon & much love, e$

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


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