March 11, 2021


The Grove 01/29/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge, Hollywood, South Carolina
"It will all be fine
as soon as everything starts
going my way,
and all these people
get out of my way,
and stop making noise
and stirring up dust,
and clamoring about
getting their way!"

This has become the international
creed for all people everywhere.

It is "my way" that is in the way
for everybody.

They blame it on "ego."
"If that damn old ego would only
get out of my way!
Things would be fine.
If I could just get rid of ego!"

Everything is better
with something or someone to blame.

It lets "me" off the hook.
Keeps "me" from having to change.
Enables "me" to go on thinking
the only thing wrong with "me"
is all these people in "my" way.

The only thing that all of our problems ever
have in common is us.
Changing things begins 
with changing "me."

Where do "I" begin?
Sitting still.
Being quiet.
For the mud to settle
and the water to clear.

But that's asking too much.
We want The Fix right NOW!
We want. 
Fix that!
We want NOW!
Fix that NOW!

Nothing happens
until we stop wanting
our way NOW!
Until we stop wanting
our way Ever Again!

Nothing changes
until we change.

Until we change 
our attitude.
Our perspective.
Our point of view.
Our idea of what is important.
Our way of life.

How different
are we willing
for things to be?



Mourning Dove 01 02/12/2017 Oil Paint Rendered — Scenes from my Hammock, Indian Land, South Carolina
Mixed motives,
compelling desires,
competing interests,
misplaced values,
errant fixations,
undisciplined drives,
wandering thoughts,
wavering commitments,
confused directions...
have us where we are today.

It is time for us to do
absolutely nothing
more than sit quietly,
be still,
and watch all that arises within--
noticing how we are pushed
to do the next urgent thing NOW!

We are a yo-yo eternally
at the end of its string,
being pulled back up
for another dose of down.

We can say stop.
And no.
And wait.
And we can sit quietly
and allow urgency to settle.
As we simply breathe,
and watch all the aberrant urges
come and go.
For the mud to settle
and the water to clear.

We are not at the mercy
of our pushes and pulls.
We can wait and watch,
holding everything in our awareness,
not attached to anything,
not emotionally hooked to anything,
not controlled by anything...

Effective working distance
is the distance between
having something to do
and having to do something, anything,
to quell the anxiety
and the emptiness NOW!

Sit still.
Be quiet.
For as long as it takes
for the mud to settle
and the water to clear.

What stirs the mud?
What muddies the water?
What are the sources of upheaval,
complexity and confusion
in your life?

Get something to eat,
or drink.
Go for a walk.
Still waiting.
Still watching.
Still being still
and quiet.

Become the silent observer.
The detached listener/seer.
Notice what is pushing you,
pulling you--
without being pushed or pulled.
Just watching.
Just waiting.

For the shift to happen.
For insight to form.
For realization to occur.
For the light to come on.
For awareness to blossom.
Like that.
Like magic.
Out of madness and gloom. 

See what needs to be done,
and do it.
From your center.
Your source.
Your original nature.
Your heart.
Your soul.
Your self.

At last.
As one.

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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