May 08, 2021


Virginia Hay Field 05/29/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Hwy 58, Floyd, Virginia
We all are carrying a load.
Complexity, conflict and contradiction
have their way with us.
Balance and harmony are rarely present for long.
Making peace with our life 
was out of the question years ago,
and we have settled for
making it through another day,
one day at a time.

Finding our life and living it
doesn't make it into our top 100
things to think about,
and going through the motions
is the best we can manage most days.

It is the same old same old
everywhere we look,
and all we look for
is something to take our minds
off the business of being alive.

We turn things around
by being quiet for five minutes
five times a day. 

Silence is the sure cure
for what ails us,
but first the pain and anguish,
sorrow and sadness.

We meet it all in the silence,
waiting for us to reconcile 
ourselves with everything that has been.

We don't live this long
without stacking up grief
beyond measure in the quiet darkness
of memory and remorse.
And we live to forget 
what can't be forgotten.
And won't go away.

Jon Kabat-Zinn recommends
gathering it all into our awareness
(without addressing everything at once,
or being hijacked or kidnapped by any of it),
in a "This, too. This, too." kind of way. 

Acknowledge it as it comes up,
and welcome it to its rightful place in your life.
Promise it its time with you in due course,
and return to the silence
of here and now,
and what now,
and what next.

Learning to be still and quiet
with the all-ness of our experience
is the turning point 
from the past as it has always been,
to the future as it might yet be.

We are the fulcrum between old and new.
Being quiet and open,
present and receptive,
is the key to the door to our life
as it still might be.

"Here I am.
I'm sorry to be late.
Let's see what we can do,
even now, even so,"
quiets the accusers,
the remember-ers,
the grudge-bearers,
the critics,
and all those who want their time with you,
and puts you all in the present
with "Here we are, now what?"
to deal with at last.

All that has been has its rightful
and necessary place
in the work to create what can be.
Nothing is to be dismissed, ignored, forgotten.
Everything is of value 
in doing what needs to be done.

We have been nurturing wisdom into being
all this time,
and now for its realization and application
in the service of what lies ahead--
to be revealed and revered in the silence
of wonder and amazement,
moment by moment,
day by day
the rest of the way.

Sit still, be quiet
for five minutes,
five times a day.



False Hellebore 05/13/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Floyd, Virginia
Relax into your life
and go with it
as though it were
your own idea.

Stop striving to control
and direct,
to compel 
and prevent.

Look for ways to cooperate
and assist,
to participate
and take part.

What is being called for?
What would be helpful?
Most fitting to the occasion?

Do that!

Help things become
what they are trying to be!
Live--not to serve your way--
but to be a source
of grace and blessing
for the time and place
of your living--
of each here and now--
without judgment or opinion,
but with a genuine desire
to be good for the things
and people that come your way.

Such is the mark
of a life well lived!

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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