February 05, 2021

03

Trail to Triple Falls 10/14/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Dupont State Forest, Cedar Mountain, North Carolina

Our life is an end in itself.
Life is an end in itself.
We live to be alive--
fully, completely, wonderfully,
fascinatingly, joyfully alive.

We do not live to get anything,
or anywhere.
Where do we think we are going?
The experience of living
is all life has to offer.

We think it is about being happy.
Being happy is about being absorbed
in what is meaningful.
We do not ask if something is meaningful,
we ask if it will make us happy.
Only what is meaningful can do that--
and whether something is meaningful
is up to us.
No one can tell us what is or will be.
We have to find it ourselves,
by experiencing life to the fullest,
and returning to the meaningful experiences
again and again.

There is no steady state of being happy.
Happy comes and goes.
Let come what's coming
and let go what's going,
and do what needs to be done about it,
in response to it,
while it is here, now.

And don't keep score. 

–0–

02

Cornfield Sunrise 07/06/2012 Oil Paint Rendered — North Carolina
Where do we draw the line
between what we want
and what we do?

If getting our way
and having what we want
doesn't guide our actions,
what does?

Should/Ought/Must?

Who says so?

Should/Ought/Must
is a great guide IF
who says so
dwells within!

If who says so
has some outer origin--
our parents,
God,
the Bible,
culture/society...
forget it.

If you aren't doing
what you know must be done
because you know it must be done
and to do otherwise
would be to betray yourself
and your deep sense of what is right,
necessary 
and essential
to being true to yourself
and living in filial devotion
and liege loyalty
to your own center
and grounding sense of direction
and purpose,
you are off track
and wandering lost and alone
in the wasteland
of your own wishes and desires.

There is only one thing to do:
Sit down and be quiet.
Seek the inner source
of purpose and direction.
And wait for the mud to settle
and the water to clear.

How long will that take?
Longer than you want it to,
but not as long 
as you are afraid it will.

Your wants are preferences,
vanilla or chocolate?
You musts are your guide.

What must you do 
without reasons,
without explanations,
without justification
or comprehension?

Do that!

"It's the pirate's life for me,
Gibbs.
I have no say in the matter!
Savvy?"

–0–

01

Lake Jeanette in the Fog 01/11/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Greensboro, North Carolina
Our wants
and our way
are leading us
by the nose
down roads we have no business traveling,
into places we have no business being,
into things we have no business doing.

What is our business?
Why aren't we about it?
It is time we found out.

It is time we took control of our life,
and started doing things our life's way.

Our life has a life of its own.
Our life knows more than we do
about what's what
and what needs to be done about it.

We need to sit down,
shut-up,
look and listen.

What is it going to take
for us to 
sit down,
shut-up,
look and listen?

We have to look and listen
until we see and hear.

Our life has things to say,
our body is trying to tell us
what our life would like to say.

We aren't listening.
We are looking only 
for what is in it for us,
for what we stand to gain,
for how to maximize our opportunities,
for how to squeeze each situation
for its personal benefit
and profit
potential.

All we want to know
is where we are better off
and how we can get there now.

Meanwhile, our life
is trying to get our attention,
our body is telling us
things we don't want to hear.

What is it going to take?

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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