May 21, 2021


Bluff Lake Swamp 02 Panorama 05/14/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Starkville, Mississippi
Getting it right
is crucial for NASA
to fly a helicopter on Mars.

A lot of things 
have to happen precisely
at the right time
in the right way
for that to happen.

Compare that to, say,
going to the grocery store
and coming back with everything
you needed when you left.

Our life is hit-or-miss
and make-do-or-do-without
most of the time.

It is a wonder we are able
to recognize where we are
and function in a reasonably
coherent manner.

We are pinballs being flipped
and ricocheted around the table
by forces we do not comprehend,
complaining about our lack 
of freedom,
thinking we know what we are doing.

And yet, there is breathing.
Breathing and the Bell of Mindfulness
and the AUM at the bottom of it all
bring us back to the here-and-now,
where we can recall
"the most famous reindeer of them all."

That would be us, not Rudolph,
unless your name is Rudolph.
We are here to remember who we are
and what we are about,
in the midst of the context
and circumstances of our life
which are geared to creating levels
of complexity and complication
that make it impossible for us
to know Who's On First,
or even what game is being played,
here and now.

Breathe! Ding! AUM! Recall!

Recall your Original Nature!
Recall your Balance and Harmony!
Recall your Peace and Contentment!
Recall your Thing,
your Specialty,
your Shtick.
Your interests,
your talents,
your preferences,
your art,
your genius,
your gifts,
your Daemon (sounds like "diamond"),
your center,
your core,
your rock...

And focus on ordering your life
in light of those things,
building your life based on those things,
letting your life fall out around those things.

You know who you are.
Or, at least you know who you are NOT.
Start, here and now,
living in light of who you are
and who you are NOT!

It is that simple,
and that difficult.
It is like NASA remembering
how to fly a helicopter on Mars.
It takes focus to recall who you are.
And who you are NOT.
And live in ways that honor those things.

The keys are
At various points
in each day,
bringing you back into focus,
doing the work of being you,
here and now,



Bewicks Swan 09/13/2019 Oil Paint Rendered — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina
Every photograph is a threshold to wonder.
A doorway to eternity.
A moment in time.

Every moment is a threshold to wonder.
A doorway to eternity.
Here and now expands indefinitely
to encompass all things
great and small.

Yet, we walk through each one,
to miracles everywhere.

What we are missing
could fill the cosmos.

Why miss anything.
Why not see everything?
Or, at least,
see that we are not seeing,
if not what we are not seeing?

Why not 

What are we afraid 
we will miss
if we open ourselves
to what all is there?

What is our hurry?
Where do we think we are going?
What do we think we are doing?
Who are we kidding?



Dawn Silhouettes 05 12/06/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina
Let's say you are a pitcher
in a baseball/softball game.

Baseball/softball is a situationally
determined game.

What is called for here and now,
is dependent upon the situation,
which changes with every pitch.

If you can make the right pitch,
in the right location,
at the right time,
in the right way,
over time,
things are going to work out
to your good
and the good of your team.

If you can't, 
they won't.

Your life is that way,
whether you have ever pitched,
or even attended,
or even watched
a baseball/softball game.

Your life is situationally determined,
moment by moment,
day by day.

What you do depends on what's what
here and now.

The better you are able 
to access the situation,
see what is happening,
know what needs to happen from you in response,
and respond as needed,
the better things are going to go
for you and your life over time.

Can you believe that
and devote yourself to it?

Can you assess each situation as it arises
and determine what is happening,
and what needs to happen in response,
and do it with the gifts/resources
you have to work with,
doing the right thing,
in the right way,
at the right time,
moment by moment,
day by day,
your entire life long?

Or, are you concerned only with
doing what you want to do,
when you feel like doing it,
the way you feel like doing it,
and whining, moaning, and complaining
that things are as they are
and not the way you want them to be
your entire life long?  



Field Road 07 11/14/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
What's the problem?
What is it that you don't like?
Let's get some clarity here.

Why don't you have it made,
just as you are?

What would make your little heart sing
and your little toes dance?

What is standing in your way,
keeping you from balance and harmony,
energy, spirit, vitality, life?

Except for what, things are just fine
as they are?

And, if you can't get it out of the way
and will never have things as you 
want them to be,
what is keeping you from coming to terms
with that,
and being completely fine with things
just as they are?



Woods Stream 03 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Who's the boss, the golfer or the ball?

Who is the most important,
the one who speaks
or the one who hears?

As long as we believe 
there is a program,
does it matter 
if there is one?

To whom does it need to matter
for it to matter?

Doing the right thing
may have nothing to do 
with morality or ethics,
and everything to do
with pace and timing.

Get pace and timing down,
and let everything fall into place
around that.

If you don't know what to do
in a situation,
wait and watch
for a door to open.
When it does, walk through.

Trying to force an outcome
presumes that you know what you are doing.
It could be that you only know what you want.
What does wanting know?

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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