December 11, 2020


Fall Canopy 05 11/08/2020 — Indian Land, South Carolina
What fills us?
Where are we "filled to the brim"?
Filled with life--
with the experience of being fully alive?

Where has that--where does that--happen to us?
How do we respond?

Those moments are "transparent to transcendence."
They are "thin places" (Parker Palmer)
where the world of The Mystery at the Heart
of Life and Being
breaks into the world of normal, apparent, reality,
to transform everything,
and we forget to breathe.

Then it all snaps back into place,
leaving us to wonder if that just happened,
and long for a return engagement very soon.

But the memory lasts always,
and we know we are that close
all the time,
that it could happen anywhere,
but it doesn't happen everywhere,
so we live between the times of its epiphany,
hoping to be present again
when it is present with us,
knowing our life can't be 
more meaningful than that.

Putting ourselves in the position
to be filled--
opening ourselves to the wonder of being
here, now,
wherever we are,
looking with fresh eyes
to see past appearances,
to see what else is there,
draped in the garb of the everyday,
concealing the truth of the Other World
just beyond reach...

We live in an optical illusion.
Now we see it, now we don't.
We have to look knowing what we are looking at,
knowing what we are looking for,
looking for how to master the shift
by not staring at it,
but just past it,
out of the corner of our eye,
not quite focusing,
seeking the wonder,
the radiance,
just out of sight.



Cullasaja River Panorama 02 04/12/2011 — Nantahala National Forest, Highlands, North Carolina
Our destiny is among the strangest of things.
It can use anything to bring itself about.
Whether we cooperate or refuse,
it is all the same to our destiny.
From its standpoint,
"Anything can happen,
but nothing can go wrong."
Because nothing can happen
that it cannot fold into its idea
of how things need to be.

The advantage of cooperating with our destiny
is entirely our boon to embrace,
if we choose,
though it will seem to us at times
to be more of a curse than a blessing.

We have to trust ourselves to
That Which Knows more than we know,
and open ourselves to the times that are upon us--
"And when," in the Native American way of doing things,
"we come to the chasm,
and it is dark,
and we are afraid for our life,
we jump,
trusting that it is not as wide as it seems."

The Hero's Journey comes down to 
trusting ourselves to our destiny
time after time.
Not willing,
not forcing,
not pushing,
not shoving, 
just listening,
just looking,
just waiting,
for the door to open
where we think there are no doors,
for the blessing to be bestowed
when we think there are no blessings 
in this mess for sure,
ready to act when the time for acting
comes upon us,
and trusting (that word again)
that we will know when it arrives.

It is a different way of going at life,
and it is the only way 
of being in accord with the Tao



Mud Cracks 03 06/30/2011 — Mud Volcano, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Living from the center,
aligned with the source,
at one with our original nature,
waiting for the mud to settle
and the water to clear,
for what arises in the silence
to speak for the Tao
flowing through all situations
and circumstances
in the service of balance 
and harmony,
and life,
enables our virtues--
the gifts that are ours from birth--
to come forth
as blessing and grace
to heal the world
through the way
we respond
to what is called for
in each moment,
the fulcrum shifting the future
into place,
and making all things
what they need to be
over time.

Do here and now right
as best you can.

That is the difference
that makes a difference
in the way things are
always and forever.

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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