March 06, 2021


Roadside Cascade 02 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Chimney’s Picnic Area, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Stop thinking about what you want 
and how to get it.
Start thinking about what is called for,
here and now,
and how you might rise to the occasion
and offer what is needed
with the gifts, virtues, genius, daemon, abilities,
interests, aptitudes, etc.
that are yours to share--
without regard for what you stand to gain or lose
in the matter.

Here's the situation.
How can you be of help?
That is to be your focus
in each situation as it arises.

Not how can you exploit it to your benefit,
gain and good,
but how can you be of help.

In each situation as it arises,
for the rest of your life.



Old Baldy 02 Oil Paint Rendered — Bald Head Island, North Carolina
More people have a higher standard of living today
than at any point in the past.
Whether that equates to a better life
would never make it out of the
"It all depends on how you look at it" stage.

What is "a better life,"
with all things considered?
Better in terms of what?
Who says?

Is our life better than Jesus' life?
Better than the Buddha's life?
Would they trade their life
for ours?
Would we trade our life for theirs?

Whose life would you trade for?

My hunch is that most of us 
would be happy to settle for
enough money to pay the bills
that are necessary 
for us to do what is ours to do.

Who needs more money than that?

What are the bills that are necessary
to do what is ours to do?

What is ours to do?

A better life would be one 
that answered those three questions
in reverse order correctly.



Walking the Dog Oil Paint Rendered — Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Greensboro, North Carolina
We wait for clarity
regarding what needs to be done
and the right time and place
for doing it.

And when the "propitious moment" arises,
like the Harvest Moon on an October evening,
we rise and step forward
into the Field of Action
to "will and to do"
according to the pleasure of the time and place
of our living
to do what is called for
for no reason other
than because it is called for,
here and now,
and to not act
would be a betrayal of our place in life,
and a rejection
of all we are asked to stand for,
and do,
and be
in the time that is ours to live,
and do,
and be.

When it is now or never,
let it be now!



Cypress Swamp 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
I get it that democracy
doesn't lend itself 
to the wealth of the few
at the expense of the many.

And I get it that it would be
to the outlandish benefit of the few
to bring an end to democracy
using any and all means necessary
to further their ambitions
and realize their goal
of being wealthy beyond imagining.

And I get it that fascism/white supremacy
is the best available route
to the disenfranchisement of the many
and the ascendance of the few.

And I get that 30-40% of all white people
fancy themselves being a part
of that ascendance just because they are white.

And I get that the joke is squarely on them.
That they are being used 
by the white people destined for wealth and glory
to usher their way to the end they deserve
because they don't care what it takes to get there,
and there doesn't have room enough 
for every aspiring white person
to have a place among the deserving few,
and the undeserving left-outs
will just have to get over it--
after they have put an end to democracy.

What I don't get is why Democrats
don't get that Republicans are solely about
The End of Democracy In Their Lifetime,
and draw the lines necessary to end their dreams
and squash their fat little fantasies
about being wash in money galore forever
while they have the chance
to end the filibuster
and pass laws favorable to Constitutional Democracy,
voting rights,
livable wages,
health care,
college loan relief,

I do not get that at all.

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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