April 18, 2021


Dogwood 02 2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina
Live from the center--
seek the source.

To have any idea of what
I am talking about,
you have to sit still,
be quiet,
enter the silence,
and wait for the mud to settle
and the water to clear.

How long that will take
depends on how open you are
to the silence.

How attentive you are.
How present you are.
How alive you are.
To the silence.

The silence is the doorway--
the portkey--
to life and light and peace,
inner peace,
the peace required
to live from the center
and to seek the source.

How much silence can you take
before the monsters there
chase you back 
to the bright lights
and loud noises
of the real world?

We meet everything in the silence.
The silence is not silent at all.
In addition to the monsters
are the memories,
the shame,
the fear,
the guilt,
the remorse,
the anger...
arising from what you have done
and failed to do,
and from what has been done to you
and not done enough, or at all...

And beyond the din of confusion and chaos 
is "the still small voice,"
which may not be a voice at all,
but more like recognition,
how things are
and what needs to be done about it,
in response to it.

Something is being asked of you,
and you are seeking clarity
regarding what that is,
and the courage to do it.

Sitting it out in the silence
takes courage.
And patience,
and curiosity,
and playfulness,
and good humor,
and hope,
and trust,
and faith--
in what, we do not know.

And it doesn't matter "in what."
Trust in the silence.
Faith in the silence.
Trust in you.
Faith in you.
Start with that.

Everything comes down to this,
and flows from this,
and falls into place around this:

Sitting still,
being quiet,
and waiting for the mud to settle
and the water to clear.

In order to live from the center,
and seek the source.



Aspens 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Jasper National Park, Alberta
I play Orr to your Yossarian,
and you play Orr to my Yossarian,
and we dance together through all eternity.

Conversation is communion in the making.

We have to talk.
To each other.
To the point of hearing what is being said--
what we are saying
and what the other is saying--
and understanding what it all means,
and being right about what is being called for,
and doing it,
the way it needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
where it needs to be done.

Self-transparency is essential.
We cannot be kidding ourselves.
Particularly about our good-faith,
our sincerity,
and our openness to all that is going on
within and without
moment to moment
in each situation as it arises.

Candor is essential.
Trust is paramount.
Liberty, Justice, Equality, Truth are foundational.
No contrivance, no exploitation, no hidden agendas
are entry level requirements.
No judgment, no opinion, no emotional reactivity--
just listening, just hearing, just looking, just seeing,
just seeking together who we are,
what we are about,
what we have to say,
and how we can help each other
find our life and live it.

The making of a Community of Innocence.
Innocent in the sense of 
having no designs on the other
beyond seeing, hearing, knowing, understanding,
being and doing
what needs to be done
to improve and sustain our life together over time.

What do we have to say that needs saying?
That's what we talk about
throughout the time left for living.

No arguing.
No debating.
Just saying.
Just listening.
Just hearing.
Just knowing.
Just understanding.
Just being.
Just doing
what needs to be done
to improve and sustain
our life together over time.

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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