December 03, 2020


Waiting for Breakfast 05/012019 — Bluff Lake, Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Oktibbeha County,
Starkville, Mississippi
 The Dalai Lama, speaking about the Chinese occupation of Tibet, said:

“If, in any situation, there is no solution, there is no point in being anxious. If the forces at work have their own momentum, and what’s going on now is the product of what went before, and if this generation is not in control of all those forces, then this process will continue.”

Some things have to play themselves out.

A lynch mob, for instance,
is not going to be talked out 
of doing what it came to do.

Force is the only valid form of persuasion
in situations like that.
And "if this generation"
lacks the wherewithal to force compliance
with the rules of decency and order,
"this process will continue."

And China remains,
after all these years,
in control of Tibet.

We can wring our hands
and wail,
"Why doesn't anyone DO SOMETHING?"
but the "process will continue"
until it plays itself out,
or something shifts in the situation.

The Republicans in Congress
are the force 
that would put the country
back on track.
But, they demur.
Look away.
Feign shock and consternation.

They disappear.
And become Trump's invisible means of support
in the attack on democracy
and the foundations of government.

Without the force to compel compliance
with customary norms and standards
of behavior,
the country is swept by the current
of the times
into the clashing rocks
and heaving waves
of the wine-dark sea.

And as it is with Tibet,
so it will be with the USA,
without a miraculous intervention
to disrupt "the process."



Angel Oak 11/14/2013 Black and White — Angel Oak Park, Johns Island, South Carolina
This tree is doing all it can--
doing its best--
doing all it knows to do--
with the resources at its disposal
and the gifts that came with it
from the acorn
all those years ago,
without wondering what's in it for it,
or thinking it isn't good enough,
or that it is something really special,
or wishing it were a school bus,
or a diesel locomotive,

This tree is,
as all trees are,
just what it is:
A tree thus come.

Where it is,
when it is,
how it is,
for as long as it is,
as a blessing and a grace
upon all who come its way,
without striving to be more than it is,
or something it is not.

Trees know where to draw the line.

They know the difference between
trusting their luck,
and pushing there luck,
and live to see what they can do
with what they have to work with
in the time and place of their living.

And they exhibit their original nature
in everything they do.

And are content to sincerely be who they are,
with balance and harmony,
through all the days of their life. 



Grayson Highlands Oil Paint Rendering — Grayson Highlands State Park, Mouth of Wilson. Virginia
Each one of us 
is an embodiment 
of The Mystery
at the heart
of life and being.

And it is our place--
our role,
our duty and responsibility--
to consciously,
intentionally and willfully,
incarnate The Mystery
that is who we are.

When Jesus said 
"The Father and I are one,"
and when he prayed,
"And may they all be one,
even as we are one, Father,
just as you are in me 
and I am in you,
may they also be in us,"
he is talking to The Mystery,
calling it "Father,"
as it is, indeed,
the Source of life and being
throughout the cosmos.

We all carry within us The Mystery,
the Father,
and are called to exemplify
the truth at the heart of who we are
in everything we say and do.

Jesus and the Buddha did that very well.
So did Eleanor Roosevelt and Helen Keller.
As are Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift.

Beautiful works of art, every one!

And it is our place to join them
as vehicles of, for and to The Mystery
in the time left for living.

How well we do that determines
the extent to which 
we transform the world
by living in each moment
as conscious,
extensions of The Mystery
in the times and places of our living,
by seeing what is called for
and responding in ways fitting to the occasion
with the gifts that are ours to share,
sincerely and without contrivance, 
and nothing at stake in the outcome,
all our life long.

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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