April 03, 2021


The Tree on Roan Mountain 06/26/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Roan Mountain National Forest, Carver’s Gap, North Carolina
The impulse of our original nature
comes to us in the silence
of watching, listening--
which characterizes the Aborigines' walkabouts,
and the Native American vision quests,
and our own search for the source
of life and being--
to guide our boat on its path through the sea.

"The path that can be discerned
is not a reliable path,"
said the old Taoist Sage.
Such is every path through the sea,
and the way of every life lived
in accord with the Tao.

"The spirit," said Jesus,
"is like the wind that blows where it will."
Not knowing itself what it will do next.

Thus, we wait and watch,
listening, looking
for the impulse of our original nature
to signal what is needed now, here,
one situation at a time.

This is prayerful living--
praying without words,
by being quiet
and listening for "the still small voice,"
which is more of something occurring to us
than something talking to us--
something being realized,
not something being said.

And off we go,
with the wind that blows where it will,
and no idea of what's next,
and then what,
and where it's all going.
It is enough to ride with the wind
of the Tao
propelling our boat 
on its path through the sea.

The adventure of a lifetime
from one moment to the next.



Crepe Myrtle 05 03/27/2021 Oil Paint Rendered
Being centered,
at one with ourselves
and the moment, 
in harmonious accord
with here, now,
for the propitious
time to act
in the service
of what is being called for,
of what is needed--
the right action
in the right place
and the right way
at the right time--
spontaneously arising 
in us and through us
without thinking of ways
to exploit the occasion
for our gain/good,
or figuring out the best course
to some achievement,
we have in mind--
just seeing,
just knowing,
just realizing,
just doing,
here, now,
moment to moment
situation by situation,
day by day,
one at a time,
all our life long.

Dancing with time and place 
and Tao
all the way.

Who could do more?

"Do your work and step back,
let nature take its course,"
said the Sage,
doing his work,
and stepping back.



Blue Jay 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Scenes From My Hammock, Indian Land, South Carolina
The Tao can be summed up as:
"The Flow of Pace and Timing, Kid,
the Flow of Pace and Timing."

Some people are naturals
at the flow of pace and timing.
They live in accord with the Tao
without knowing what they are doing.

They come in on cue
and depart
when their work is done.

They read the situation,
sense what is called for,
respond with what is needed,
and are known for making things right
wherever they are.

There is an air of grace and peace,
balance and harmony,
about them,
and they are a blessing 
upon all who come their way.

At the far extreme,
there are those who create
disturbance and chaos 
in every situation they enter.

One group is sensitive to,
and live as servants of,
the flow of pace and timing,
and the other group
lives to demolish and destroy
anything resembling it.

This is yang and yin in real time.

In a world of yin,
yang comes along
as the gift it is,
and people relish 
the experience of its presence,
and dream of its hoped-for return.

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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