June 10, 2021


1093 St. John Bridge Road 03 02/10/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — St. Martin Parish, Louisiana
What are we doing with our life?
Who are we becoming
through the process/experience
of being alive?

How mindfully do we live?
How conscious are we of living?
Of being alive to the process/experience
of being alive?

What makes one day different 
from another?

What do we mean/intend by
the life we are living?

In what ways are we honing,
the gifts/specialties/talents/knacks/
shtick/inclinations/daemon (Sounds like "diamond")
that came with us from the womb?

What is better about us
over the course of our life?

What is unused/neglected about us?

What are we dismissing,
about us,
refusing to utilize about us,
rejecting and despising about us
that is equivalent to
the stone the builders rejected,
the treasure hidden in a field,
the pearl of great price
lost among the costume jewlery
in the bin in the display case
at the flea market?

How long are we going 
to refuse to give ourselves
a chance
to show us 
who we are?



Goodale State Park 15 11/01/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Adams Mill Pond, Camden, South Carolina
Our days come packed
with situations,
and each situation comes loaded
with moments capable
of swinging the situation,
and the day,
toward better or worse,
depending on how we perceive
and respond to
each moment
in each situation
throughout the day.

In each moment,
we can redeem or defile
the previous moment--
and at every point
in every moment
there is the possibility
of making things better
or worse
by the way we see what is happening,
determine what is called for
and do what needs to be done,
point by point,
moment by moment,
situation by situation,
day by day.

That is a lot of opportunities
to make things better or worse
by how we play our part
in doing our bit
to align ourselves with the Way,
enter the flow,
and offer our best
to the course of the day.



The Oak at Springer’s Point 10/17/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
The sure cure for what ails us--
as individuals and as a species--
is to return to the center,
the axis mundi,
"the still point of the turning world"
(T.S. Eliot),
and live from there
in being true to our original nature
within the context and circumstances
of our life,
integrating the opposites,
the polarities,
the contradictions,
and bearing in our own body
the pain/agony of the middle way,
which is the central way,
which is the way of the center,
in living within the tension
of all the extremes,
as those who would be who they are
even so,
in seeing what's what,
knowing what is called for,
and doing the right thing,
at the right time,
in the right way,
because it needs to be done,
time after time,
day after day,
with the gifts/talents/specialties/etc.
that are ours to offer/share,
as those who are being who they are,
doing what is ours to do.

Do not let the heaving waves
of the wine dark sea
distract us from the work
that needs to be done
even there,
even here,
even now!

Our work is to do the work
that needs us to do it!
The way it needs us to do it!
When it needs us to do it!
No matter what.

So, look around.
Find something that needs doing,
and do it.
As properly as possible
given the circumstances.

Rising to every occasion,
with the gift of you in hand,
to see and to do.

Throughout your day.

Every day.



Red Rock Canyon National Preserve 03/28/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Nevada
It is never any more difficult than
living in the service of the right thing,
and the right time,
and the right way,
Who is to say what is right?
Everybody has a different idea of right!
What is right?
How do we know?

We know all the time about what is right.
It is a feeling in our body,
a conviction in our mind,
a certainty coursing through our system.

We know when it is the right time
for pizza, for instance.
Or for using the toilet.
Or for a cup of coffee,
or a glass of wine.
Etc. throughout our life.

And we know, in the same way,
what needs to be done
in response to situations 
as they arise,
and we fail to act
on our sense of what is right,
then and there,
a good part of the time.
Perhaps always.

Knowing what needs to be done
is not a matter of thinking,
certainly not of doing 
what someone else,
some authority in the field,
tells us to do.

It is a matter of being aware
of our circumstances,
of the occasion before us,
and of our body's response to it,
to what resonates with us
in terms of the action we are being
called to take.

The question is not,
"How we we know what is right?"
"Do we have the courage to do
what we sense to be the proper course
to take?"

Courage is the only thing
separating those who act properly
from those either act incorrectly,
or fail to act at all.
Everybody knows what to do,
or could,
if they took the time to know 
what they know,
but not everyone has what it takes
to do it.

"It's complicated."
Because there are too many interests
to please!
Pare it down to what is called for
here and now
without complicating matters
with, "But what would my donors think?"
(For example).

And so, gun control will never happen,
and black lives will never matter enough
to stop the carnage,
and pregnant women will be forced 
to carry their unwanted pregnancy to term
because somebody's god is against abortion
(Or so they like to say).

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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