January 13, 2021

03

October Flow Oil Paint Rendered — Little Pigeon River, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Chimneys Picnic Area, Tennessee
Accepting our vulnerability
without allowing it to slow us down
or keep us from living the life
that needs us to live it
is the sine qua non of the Hero's Journey
and the Spiritual Quest.

Living to be safe,
to never suffer,
to avoid all pain
and refuse to risk loss and defeat
is a childish refusal to be human.

The whiny old Psalmist lamented,
"We are born to trouble as the sparks fly upward."
So what?
Pick yourself up and get back in the game!
What's with the moaning and groaning? 
Life is to be lived,
not to be complained about,
lamented,
mourned and sorrowed all the way to the grave!

"When you go out into the world to seek your fortune,
you will come to a great chasm.
Jump!
It is not as far as you think."

Without that astute advice,
we would camp out on the edge of the void
bemoaning our plight
and cursing the fates,
or join the Buddhists wailing,
"Oh suffering, oh suffering!
All of life is suffering!"

Well, not all of it evidently.
A good portion of it is complaining about suffering!

Just get over it!

We are vulnerable!
What's the problem?
Accept it like you accept clouds in the sky
and raindrops on your head,
and live on!
Live on!

Without stopping,
or even slowing down!

Nothing can happen to us
that growing up (some more again)
won't make better.

–0–

02

Midnight Hole 11/03/2001 Oil Paint Rendered — Big Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Waterville, North Carolina
It is up to us
to live out of our own center,
Following, in the words of Carl Jung,
"that will and that way
which experience confirms to be your own."

It is up to us to be right
about what is important--
about what matters most--
and to live grounded upon 
that adamantine conviction
in each situation as it arises.

It is up to us
to nurture our relationship
with ourselves
and with our life,
and live with self-transparency
and mindful awareness
moment-by-moment,
day-by-day,
in a "Here we are,"
now what?"
kind of way.

–0–

01

Little Pigeon River Fall 10/28/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Chimneys Picnic Area, Tennessee
If you have an agenda,
you have an ulcer,
drink too much alcohol,
prop yourself up with medication
and power shots of caffeine,
and wonder what's wrong with your life.

You have an agenda-driven life style.
You care about the wrong things.
You need to change your mind
about what is important.

But.

You can't change your mind
about what is important--
because it is crucially important.

And,
there you are.

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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