December 13, 2020

02

Lake Brandt Reflection 11/09/2011 — Greensboro, North Carolina
Diane Osbon said, "There is a track for each of us."
A track.
A path.
A way. 
A beam.
A course...

And we know when we are on it,
and when we are not on it.

We know when we are resonating with our life,
and when we are not.

We know when we are in the flow,
in the groove,
and when we are out of it.

When we are in the center of our greatest joy,
and when we are in the wasteland of discontent.

I know a woman in extended care
suffering from a room full of associated symptoms
all connected with excessive alcohol consumption
for twenty or so years.
Her mind is here and not-here simultaneously,
and her body is only somewhat better off.
But.
There is enough of her there mentally
for her to yell out at everyone who enters her room:
"Bring me something cold to drink
with Vodka in it,
and I want some Weed!"

That is a woman who has been off track
for over twenty years,
and knew it,
and drank to forget.

The Hero's Journey is not for sissies,
yet it waits for each of us
to step onto the path
and start walking.
And the basic requirement of that Journey
is that we have what it takes
to live a meaningful life.

Our life will tell us what is meaningful
and what is not.

And when it is not,
if we reach for the Vodka and weed,
or some rough equivalent.
we have chosen poorly,
and need to get ourselves backed out of there
while we can.

–0–

01

Hatteras Sunrise 02 10/31/2011 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
What do you care about?
What do you care-not about?
What is your highest allegiance?
Your deepest loyalty?

I hope you don't know.

I hope you are living to find out.

I hope you are living 
to show yourself who you are.

Otherwise, you are living
in the service of some ideology.
Of somebody's idea
of what you should care about,
what you should give your highest allegiance,
your deepest loyalty to.

As if they know.

You are letting someone else
tell you what is important.
As if anyone but you can know what that is.

It is ours to discover it for ourselves.

No one can tell us what it is.
It is for us to know what it is
because it is.

Our life's work is to know
what grounds us--
not because it ought to,
but because it does.

What is the immovable,
unshakable,
adamantine,
foundation
upon which we stake our life,
and which is our life?

What do we live to serve?

We live to find out.

Let it be a surprise.

We find clues
in how we have lived
up to this point.

What are the questions we can ask?
What are the questions that are not allowed?
Who says so?

When we find the things we don't dare question,
we have to find who says so.
Where did we get that idea?
What keeps it in place?
Where are we not free to go?
Go there.
See what happens.

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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