December 18, 2020


Lake Martin Sunset 08 02/07/2014 — Beaux Bridge, Louisiana
One of the first principles states:
"Nothing can happen to us that is so bad
that it cannot be made better--
or worse--
by the way we respond to it.

And nothing can happen that is so good
that it cannot be made better--
or worse--
by the way we respond it."

We hold the key to how well our life goes
by the way we respond to how our life is going.

Our response determines (or strongly influences)
everything that follows.

And so, we
Stop. Look. Listen.
And we 
Look Both Ways Twice.

This means before we act/react/respond
in every life setting.

Because our response to what is happening
is much more important 
than what is happening.

We set-up what happens next
by the way we respond to what just happened.

If you are ever going to believe anything,
believe this--
and act accordingly.



Coming In 03/22/2013 — The Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina
The symbols that are alive for us
have to square us up
with the life that is ours to live,
and the world in which we live,
so that we find ways to be who we are
in the time and place of our living.

Our symbols call us to life,
and guide us in finding ways
to incarnate the deep truth of our being
within the circumstances of life-in-the-world--
to break into the world
as the Transforming Word,
the Sacred Act,
of Life coming to life
and shattering the expectations
and assumptions of life
in so doing.

Symbols are life and death in the making.

What are the symbols that are alive for us?
To what do they point?
They are doorways opening to what?
What are they calling us to do,
to become?

Two of my favorite "living symbols"
are Yoda and Obi-wan Kenobi.
The two are one.
They stand before me 
as projections of my own Inner Guides,
my Mentors within,
reminding me that I have all I need,
if I will be still and listen,
and look, 
and write!

When I write it out,
there it is--
exactly what I am looking for!
Calling me to incarnate it
in the way I live



Cabot Trail 02 09/27/2007 — Nova Scotia
Life at its best
has an organic flow about it.

There is a time to sleep,
and a time to eat,
and a time to work,
and a time to refrain from working...

A circadian rhythm governs
the planets in their orbits,
and the tides in their cycles, 
and the seasons in their traces...

To live in accordance with the times
is to be on track and in tune with the Tao.
In the ancient Greek way of thinking,
this is kairos, the opportune time,
the right time,
the time for acting. 

Our lives tend to be more orderly,
more routine,
more predictable,
and are run by the clock
and the calendar.

We eat at noon 
whether we are hungry or not.
We go to bed at 10:30
whether we are sleepy or not.

We live buy Chronos, clock time,
calendar time.
The time bills come due,
and school starts and stops,
and the day begins and ends.

Working Kairos in with Chronos
is a balancing act only humans
have to master.
The rest of the natural world
turns when it is time for turning,
dances when it is time to dance,
and naps when a nap is called for.

Eating when hungry,
resting when tired
is the ideal to strive for.
Doing what is needed--
what is necessary--
in the time and place
the call is issued,
is the sine qua non
of a True Human Being.

How close can we come,
and how often do we dare,
are the questions 
which, when answered, 
tell the tale.



Axis Mundi — From my Symbols of Transformation Collection
The Axis Mundi is the Axis of the World, the center of the world and of the universe, the pole, and more than that, the point–the still point–around which everything falls into place, and upon which all things are centered, grounded, united, and become One. The Central Mountain. The Sacred Tree. The heart of the cosmos and all that is. And it is everywhere. Within everyone. Living from that point, all things are One.
We belong in one place,
not in every place.
We belong to one thing,
not everything.

Knowing where we belong,
and what our "thing" is,
is essential knowing.

Honoring what we know,
and living in accord with it,
is essential wisdom.

Allowing where we belong
and what we do 
to evolve over time
is essential grace.

Living out of essential knowing,
essential wisdom,
and essential grace
is to compose a well-lived life.

No one can do better than that.
And no one can tell us
how to do that.

No one knows what we know.
No one.

We are the teacher,
and we are the student.
We are the chisel 
and we are the stone.

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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