June 18, 2021

01

A Walk in the Woods 17 Panorama 11/17/2016 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
The Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump crowd
cannot tolerate anyone who doesn't see/think
the way they do.

They have only contempt, ridicule and disdain
for those not like them.

And that is the one characteristic preventing
the realization and implementation
of mutually beneficial ways of living together.

They cannot enjoy life
thinking that there are those
Not Like Them who are also enjoying life.

It is people like those not like them
who make people like them
abhor/hate/despise/demolish/destroy
people not like them.

The anti-abortion crowd can only abhor/etc.
women who cannot carry their pregnancy to term.
They cannot hold those women
in their compassion,
honor their position
and allow them to have a necessary/essential abortion.
Their position is that there are no necessary/essential abortions.

This is called the exclusion of opposites
and opposition.

White supremacists will not, cannot, allow 
the existence of anyone not like they are.
They exist to exterminate everyone 
they declare to be different,
and will not rest until the entire population
of the planet walks lock-step with them
toward goals and ways of living
they admire and esteem.
If you are outside of their range of acceptability,
you must die.
If you look different, 
you are different, 
good-bye, good-bye, good-bye.

How do we all live together
in ways conducive to the life
of all of us?

When one of us lives to make 
life for the other impossible,
how do we live together at all?

We need some ground of being together
that does not exist.

If I had the power,
I would arrange the world in such a way
that made our breathing
contingent upon our compassion for one another,
so that as our hatred for the other increased,
our ability to breathe decreased.

We would be forced to work sincerely together
for the good of each of us individually.

If the world had been that way from the start,
it would be way different by now
from the way it is.

As it is, 
we are stuck with keeping ourselves safe
from those who just want us dead.

If this is the best God could do,
God should be fired.
If this is not the best God could do,
God should be fired.
A God who lets things play out
until everyone who is different is dead
is a God whose breathing
needs to be linked with compassion.

That is a link
that would solve a lot of problems.

–0–

02

Carolina Lakes 23 10/31/2019 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
Our original nature expresses/exhibits itself
in what is naturally right for us,
in the things we do spontaneously
out of our center
in responding to the moments of our day.

We have natural propensities and predispositions
that show themselves
in what we are drawn to
and what we are repelled by.

Our natural way of life
is how we would live
if it were up to us.

How far apart is the life you are living
from the life you would be living
if it were up to you?

That disparity is reflected in 
your emotional response to your life.

What is your predominant emotion?
If you could change your life in a way
that would better reflect who you naturally are,
your predominant emotion would change
in response to the change in your life.

We are here to guide our living
toward our natural bent and drift.
We have to be intent on serving 
our original nature
in the decisions and choices
that are ours to make.
We negotiate compromise solutions
between what is required of us to pay the bills
and what we are paying the bills to do.

We have to bring our life to life 
in the life that we live.
That is our role and our dharma/duty
to ourselves.
We are the steward of our life,
and if we aren't taking care 
of our original nature,
and working into our life
the things that are naturally ours to do,
we are paying a price,
and need to rethink what we are doing,
and how we might change what we are doing
in order to work ourselves back into our life
as we were at the beginning.

There are three things that matter:
Our original nature.
Our balance.
Our harmony.

We live to balance our original nature
with the conditions and circumstances
of our life,
and to live in harmony with 
both our nature and our circumstances.

We make the peace.
We negotiate the conflicts and opposition.
We are the champion of our original nature
within the inorganic demands of daily life.

That is our part in this framework.
It matters how we live
within the choices that we get to make.
Our place is to bring us to life
within the life we are living.
We are to live in order to be alive.

Be good to you.

–0–

03

In The Marsh 08/26/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Beaufort, South Carolina
No one can give us our path.
We discern that for ourselves
using "the eyes of the heart."

Only we know what is right for us
and what is wrong,
what resonates with us
and what grates our soul
and sets our teeth on edge.

We do not trust other people
to order off the menu for us,
or tell us when we have had enough to eat.

Our life is up to us
to live for ourselves.
There are no black foot prints to follow.
No one-size fits all pattern
for each of us
on the way to the realization
of what we are capable of.

Our quest is for the authenticity
of our own original nature.
It is an individual quest
for a life lived out of our own center--
a life that is true to ourselves,
a natural outpouring of who we are
in the world of concrete and steel,
rocks and trees and buzzing honey bees.

Listen to the silence 
and attend what arises there
to call, compel, entice, and excite.
And summon the courage
to follow what beckons
along a path that appears
as you start walking,
into all that awaits
along the way.

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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