May 19, 2021


Peach Trees 11 Oil Paint Rendered — Springs Farm, Fort Mill, South Carolina
Shel Silverstein nailed it
with his,
"Some kind of help 
is the kind of help
that help is all about--
and some kind of help
is the kind of help
we all could do without!"

I miss Shel Silverstein.
He was the kind of help
we need in our life.

What we don't need
is the kind of help
that flows from 
Those Who Know Best
(That is a Truman Capote term
that never got enough press--
from his book,
"A Christmas Memory,"
which you should look up
and read right now
because I know best about 
things like this).

But, I'm going to get out of your way,
and leave it up to you,
which is something those who really
know best never do.

And it is up to us to hang out with them
or give them a wide berth.
We help ourselves most 
by choosing the right kind of people
to hang out with.

Or, maybe they are choosing 
to not hang out with us.
We all have to be worth hanging out with,
and if we are not,
we need to work on that.

To be worth hanging out with,
we need to be mostly invisible.
Not loud.
Not intrusive.
Not invasive.
Not prying.
Not muddying the water.
Not directing/insisting/demanding.
Just putting it out there
in a "take what you need
and leave the rest behind" kind of way,
and letting people 
make their own choices.

Nobody can wake anybody up,
and being awake
is all everybody needs to be.
So, what good are we to each other

We are all Passersby. 
Respecting each others' boundaries,
ways of being who we are...
Working on being a safe,
place to be,
and letting that be enough,
because it is.

It also helps to be worth talking to.
And, a light touch goes a long way.
If you know what I mean.



Moon 04-26-2021 Oil Paint Rendered
See what you look at.

Hear what is being said.

You can't do those things
without getting out of the way.

Getting out of the way means
seeing your seeing
and hearing what you are listening to,
tuning into how you are interfering with
what you are seeing and hearing.

That is all it takes
to know what's what
and how to respond to it
in ways appropriate to the occasion.

Do that in every situation as it arises,
and you will have done as much
as anybody ever could do.

And that is all 
that is ever asked
of any of us.

Know what is happening
and respond to it appropriately.

Jesus couldn't do better than that.
Neither could his father.



Octoc Road Dairy 02 Panorama — Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, 05/14/2021
Optimal is always coming and going,
never staying,
moving on,
passing through,
hello goodbye in a single greeting.

Or, maybe,
we are the ones on the move,
always looking for something better,
somewhere else.

Adam and Eve were stuck in paradise
for a while,
until the notion of a better life
struck them out of the blue,
and moved them on
in the endless search 
for improvement
and happiness ever after.

We're all looking for something better.
That's the rock we push
like Sisyphus
up and down the hills of time.
Whatever it is,
this isn't it.
Move on, move on, is all we know.
Here we go.

Every religion that has ever been
has sold something better
to all buyers.
Without the promise of something better,
where would religion be?

Without desire,
not as preference,
but as constant craving,
where would we be? 

We are addicted to something better!
To the escape from boredom!
To the unending flight away from this!
We don't know what--
just Not THIS!

Make it a source of meditation.
Become fascinated with your yearning
for what, you do not know.
Sit with it.
Observe it.
Get to know it.
Become curious about it.
Lose yourself in it knowingly.
Get to the bottom 
of our incessant restlessness,
our unending quest
for equanimity,
peace and contentment. 



Field Road 02 11/14/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
What's your specialty?
Your shtick?
Your forte?
Your thing?

About what would you shout:

How often do you do it?

Have you built your life
around that?
In service to that?
With that at the heart and center
of what you do?

If not, why not?
If so, take a bow!

It all starts with and flows from
what we do best.
What we do with all our might.

What makes our little feet tap
and our little toes dance,
and our little heart sing.

How long has it been 
since your little heart sang?

Your sole goal in life
is to live in ways
that make your little heart sing
every day.
From now until you stop breathing.



Currituck Lighthhouse 10/26/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Corolla, North Carolina
The right kind of conversation 
is the doorway to reflection
and realization by way of articulation.

As we work to say what needs to be said,
we struggle Truth into verbal form,
are guided by the resonance vibrating
in our body,
and words that leap into consciousness,
from the dim world of mystery
and creativity,
and something new comes forth
into the world,
just because we moved beyond
what has always been said,
known, understood,
in order to search out for ourselves
new meanings
and found new questions
that demanded different

Nobody is the Teacher
in the right kind of conversation.
Everybody is the Student,
the Learner,
the Seeker,
on the Quest for more than we know,
more than is known,
more than can be known.

And we help each other along The Way
to "more than can be asked, or thought,
or imagined," for now, 
but not forever,
if we keep talking. 

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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