February 02, 2021

02

Dawn’s Light 10/22/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
Before retirement, 
I spent my time tending matters
that I haven't tended since retirement.
They were all necessary aspects
of my employment,
and I did them well enough
to not know where I stopped
what I did for a living started,
but when I stopped doing it for a living,
my life became my own,
and now I do what I do
for the sake of doing it alone.

Makes a difference.

In one sense, 
I don't get anything out of what I do,
and in another,
I don't do anything I don't get anything out of.

I am free to live in ways
that create/produce
contentment,
satisfaction
and joy
without having to meet production
or make anyone happy.

And I find myself doing
the things I love to do
with a commitment to detail
that I find to be remarkable,
given that no one is going to notice
how well or how poorly
I have done it.

I see it as a testimony
to the degree of importance,
the level of meaning,
the activity has for me,
and my responsibility for doing it well
is a good faith expression of devotion
to myself and the activity
that is an extension/incarnation
of myself in my life.

"What I do is me," said Gerard Manley Hopkins,
"for that I came."

Sometimes we have to live to retirement
to discover what that means.

–0–

01

Bryce Canyon Bristlecone 09/23/2001 Oil Print Rendered — Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
The world is awash in, 
and aswirling with, 
antithetical,
clashing,
irreconcilable,
hostile,
malicious,
realities.

Imagine the Puritans
and their witch hunts,
with the witches hunting back.

The reality is 
that our realities
are increasingly at odds,
and violently opposed 
to one another.

It is as though we all are shouting:
"If you don't see exactly as I do,
I hate you
and have to kill you!"

Peace and Unity
is just another reality
thrown into the mix.

I don't know how we get this sorted out.

The old Buddhists and their
Dharma Battles
have evolved over time
into "Whoever has the most
suicide bombers wins!"

Wins what?
The power to say what's what!
To whom?
For how long?

Never has the entire world
ever been in greater need
of a Time-out than now--
a self-reflective Time-out,
leading to self-realization,
self-transparency,
and mindful awareness
of the way things are everywhere.

Which is just another view of reality.
Or another reality with a view.

It's a mess any way you cut it.

Consciousness as interpretation
of reality
has brought us to the point
of being unable to agree
about the right interpretation
of reality.

We are going to have to revert,
or devolve,
into unconsciousness
to have a chance.

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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