April 28, 2021


Dawn on Hunting Island 12/06/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Hunting Island State Park, Beaufort County, South Carolina
Goes the saying,
"Discretion is the better part of valor."

And another saying,
"Look before you leap."

Which is to say,
"Know what you are doing."

All of which are wasted
upon those who are all into
"Making hay while the sun is shining,"
"Seizing the moment,"
"Striking while the iron is hot,"
Not letting opportunity pass them by...

Which gets us back
to the relationship
between discretion and valor.

Courage is required from the start.
Courage is the ground floor of discretion.
We have to have what it takes
to look,
to see,
to know,
and to do what needs to be done,
which may be saying,
"I'm not going there."

Courage is the foundation. 

Without the courage
to draw the lines
that need to be drawn
from the start,
we are left 
with having to draw them
when it is too late
"to save the day."

"A stitch in time
saves nine."

Which leaves us wondering
where courage comes from,
and how to find it 
when we need it.

"The silence," of course,
is my answer to everything.

Sit quietly contemplating courage
and see what arises in the silence.
What occurs to you.
What comes to mind.
What appears.
What emerges...

It takes courage to sit
with the silence.
Just like it takes courage
to draw the first line.

We don't have to manufacture it.
It is already there.
For us to know that we need it
and invite it into our life.

Where do you need to be courageous?
Get out of the way,
and let yourself surprise yourself.

Surprising ourselves is what we can do best.
But it takes getting out of the way.



Beaufort Fall Panorama 11/16/2017 06 Oil Paint Rendered — Beaufort, South Carolina
Regaining our sense
of our place in the moment
resets us in our position
of a wheel turning 
out of its own center,
like a gyroscope
moving through each here and now
with balance and harmony,
seeing what's what
and what needs to be done in response
out of its own inner sense
of what is most appropriate
for the occasion.

Each of us is a gyroscope
balancing the needs of body and soul
in harmony with the needs of here and now.

Integrating opposites,
honoring all perspectives,
listening to all views,
resolving all conflicts
that can be resolved,
exploring contradictions,
respecting the importance
of polarities,
and maintaining the creative tension
of life and being
on all levels,
in all ways.

This is essential consciousness,
crucial to the movement and flow
of every moment.

It is the work of healing,
restoring, revitalizing,
reimagining, and revolutionizing
the world,
one moment at a time,
in a "Here we are, now what?"
kind of way.

And it depends upon us
being fully present 
as mindfully aware human beings,
open to who we are and what we are about
in the time and place of our living.

We cannot do that
and be looking for how 
we can exploit the moment
for our gain,
our good,
our pleasure and glory.

Our choice in every moment
is the choice of Adam and Eve
in the Garden of Eden,
and the choice of Jesus
in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Here we are, now what?



The Tipton Place 04/18/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, Tennessee
The Silence is good for the right answers
to the right questions.
It doesn't care who is governor of North Dakota,
or how to spell Minneapolis,
but it comes alive
to who are we and what we are about,
what's happening and what needs to be done about it,
when and how.

The Silence is well-suited
for helping us find our life and live it,
to know what our shtick is
and ride it like a witch's broom
through all of the contexts,
and circumstances 
of our life,
in being true to ourselves 
and perfectly appropriate
in our response
to what the moment is calling for
in each situation as it arises.

Waiting in The Silence
"for the mud to settle 
and the water to clear,"
is, itself,
a centering, grounding,

We breathe ourselves back to life,
just sitting,
just watching,
just listening,
for whatever The Silence has to offer.

The Silence is home for our soul.
It is our origin and our goal. 
Living in right relationship
with The Silence
positions us to be what is needed
through all of the noise
of the 10,000 things.

And The Silence is always with us,
present for our good
and the good of the time and place
of our living.
It only takes being quiet
in the right kind of way
to know that it is so.

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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