January 06, 2021

03

Around Bass Lake 10/13/2014 07 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
When the Commander in Chief assumes no responsibility
and incites riot and rebellion,
the Commander in Chief has to be relieved of duty.
This is fundamental "how to do it" procedure.
The problem is that those who would
initiate the procedure
themselves need to be relieved of duty,
because they are incapable of doing their job.

This is where the country is
between now and January 20. 
That is an interminable amount of time
for bases to be not covered
and things to be not done
that cry out to be done--
for aimless wrong
to run the nation,
untethered,
unrestrained.

–0–

02

Abbot Lake 09/27/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Bedford, Virginia
My childhood was spent amid people who were 
careful to be who they were supposed to be,
doing what they should be doing,
thinking what they should be thinking,
believing what they should be believing,
saying what they should be saying,
being a walking, talking, contradiction
to who they were.

Authenticity, creativity and originality
were nowhere to be found.
Genuine human beings lived somewhere else.

Each day's conversations were repeats
of the day before. 
My grandfather prayed
the same prayer before every meal.
Our Heavenly Father
was watching every move we made,
making notes,
keeping score.
There was nothing new under the sun.
And no one was enjoying
anything they did.

I have lived my life
redeeming the sins of my ancestors.
I rise every day thinking,
"What will I go to hell for today?"
Looking forward to finding out.

If you don't have something 
in your life 
that you are willing to go to hell for,
why not?

We have today--
at least we have this present moment today.
What is worth living for here and now?
Regardless of whom is taking notes,
keeping score?

My ancestors had nothing worth living for.
They were all living to stay out of hell.
They should have been living to go to hell,
and to make the sentence worth their time.
As it was, they might as well have been in hell
all their life long,
for all the good living was doing them,
or anyone else.

–0–

01

Around Bass Lake, 10/13/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Taking care of ourselves,
taking care of the moment,
taking care of one another...

That's about it, isn't it?
The entire scope of our lives
comes down to 
these three things
and how well we do it,
and how right we are
about what taking care
of these three things
asks of us.

Taking care of people, 
for instance,
without making invalids of them.

Taking care of the moment
leaves a number of things
ignored and neglected in every moment.

Taking care of ourselves
means growing up
and getting over it
more often than not.

The common thread running through
all of the three areas
of our personal responsibility
is listening and looking,
seeing and hearing,
knowing what's what
and what is going on.

Tuning in and turning on
to the here and now,
moment-by-moment-by-moment
means being present
as a full participant
in what is happening
and what needs to be done
in response.

It means being awake,
aware,
alert
and alive
to who we are
and what we are about
in all times and places.

It means knowing what
makes that difficult,
or rules it out altogether.
What keeps us from being
here, now?

Hold it in your awareness,
and attend what needs to be attended.
In each situation as it arises.

No one can do more than that.

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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