February 08, 2021


Smoky Mountains Morning 04/11/2015 04 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee, North Carolina
We are never far away from,
"Here we are.
Now what?"
But, we are rarely there 
long enough.

We rush past "Now what?"
to "Anywhere But THIS!"

It's the not-knowing we despise.
Or fear.
Or despise because we fear.

Not-knowing is the worst imaginable torture.

We are here, now
because we could not bear the pain
of all of the "Now what's?"
in our past,
and we jumped for the first possible
(The worst possible)
way out of there,
to where we did not care--
it had to be better than there.
Not-knowing what.
Not-knowing anything.

In in all of the places like those
remaining in the time left for living,
we have to wait,
bearing the pain 
of not-knowing,
for the mud to settle
and the water to clear.

We have to wait
to get a feel for the flow,
for the drift of the current of life,
for the movement of pace and timing,
here at the transition point--
"the still point
of the turning world"
(T. S. Eliot).

What is leading us,
calling us,
asking us to listen,
to feel
in our body
the shift happening,
meeting circumstances,
looking for the door to open,
waiting for the door?

How long can we wait for the door
to open?
Before we have to do something,
door or no door,
even if it is wrong?

How long do we have?
How long can we wait?

We owe it to ourselves
to find out.



Yellowstone Canyon 09/15/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
The inner guides are easily dismissed,

Their essential strength
is their refusal to quit
or withdraw.

They are forever 
calling us to wake up,
grow up,
stand up,
face up,
square up
and meet the moment
every day.

Regardless of how we 
have treated them
in every moment prior
to this one,
they are right there,
right here,
offering what they have to give
in terms of wisdom
and courage,
and hope.

If we are breathing
there is still a chance
of doing 
the right thing
in the right place
at the right time
in the right way--
redeeming and atoning for
all the other moments
we met with less
than the best we had to offer.

Here is another now
needing what we have to give.
The guides are ready and willing.
We only have to sit still
and be quiet
and listen
and look
and wait for the mud to settle
and the water to clear--
for all of the noise
of the 10,000 things
to shift to the background,
and the whispers
of the still, small, persistent voices
to be felt, heard, sensed and seen.

Our place is to clear a space
for the guides to speak
with feelings, sensing, 
realizing, knowing,
beckoning, urging, 
calling, compelling...
and then to follow
in a "thy will, not mine
be done" kind of way.

in each situation as it arises,
seeking the rhythm,
finding the flow,
of balance and harmony,



Country Cemetery 02 05/16/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Lancaster County, South Carolina
Doing the right thing
in the right place
at the right time
in the right way
requires us to be present
with what is present with us,
to know what's what
and what is called for
in the unrelenting service
to Freedom!
in light of the true good 
of the whole
in each situation 
as it arises.

This is where our focus 
needs to be,
where our attention 
needs to be,
where our concentration
needs to be,
where our devotion,
and utmost concern 
need to be.

the questions are,
"What is happening?
What is called for?
What needs to be done about it?
How can I help the sitution
for the good of the situation?"

Do you have any sense
that this is being done
At any time?

How about we letting
it start with us,
right here,
right now?

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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