June 20, 2021

01

The Window Oil Paint Rendered — Deer Isle, Maine
It is all useless,
pointless,
hopeless,
meaningless,
futile,
stupid
and absurd--
and coming to a very bad end:
We all are going to die!
And.
How we live in the meantime
makes all the difference.

Our place is to shoulder 
the burden of the truth
of our situation
and bear it in the strength
of the truth of who we are.

We square up to the truth
of how things are
grounded in the truth
of how things also are.

Life is suffering.
So what?
Who cares?
What difference does that make?
We are not going to let that stop us--
or even slow us down.

We dismiss,
discount,
disregard,
discard,
and ignore
the truth of how things are
in light of the truth
of how things also are:

We are here to do what is ours to do
by doing what needs to be done--
what needs us to do it--
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
for as long as it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
and then do the next thing
that needs to be done--
that needs us to do it--
when it needs to be done...
etc. ad nauseam,
throughout the time left for living.

There is the way things are,
and there is the way things also are,
and that is the way things are.

"It is the way" (Mandalorian).

The way is doing what needs to be done
when it needs to be done
the way it needs to be done
because it needs to be done
with the gifts,
talents,
daemon (sounds like "diamond"),
specialties,
proclivities,
knacks,
shtick,
virtues,
etc.,
that came with us from the womb,
anyway,
nevertheless,
even so
as long as life shall last.

This is the foundational truth that sustains us
in the face of every other truth.
We can handle any truth
on the basis of the foundational truth.

Ours is the Sisyphean task
of being who we are,
where we are,
when we are,
how we are,
anyway,
nevertheless,
even so,
because that is who we are
and nothing is going to stop us--
or even slow us down.

It is the way.

You can call it anything you want.
I call it the way.

It is the way of doing what needs to be done
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
by being who we are
and using what is ours to give
as long as life shall last.
Regardless of how useless,
pointless,
hopeless,
etc., it is.

Who cares how useless, etc., it is?
So what, how useless, etc., it is?
It is nothing but the Cyclops
standing in our way!
And "it took the Cyclops
to bring out the hero in Ulysses"
(Joseph Campbell).

So--SO WHAT???
We have work to do!
It is the Sisyphean task of being who we are,
where we are,
when we are,
how we are,
for no other reason than 
because that is just the way we are!

It is the way.

Are you coming or not?

–0–

02

Sumac 05 10/21/2020 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Courage is all it takes.

Facing what must be faced,
doing what must be done,
is a matter of courage.
Resolve.
Will.
Heart.
Determination.
You know, like that.

Heart is the easiest thing to lose,
and the hardest thing to find.

We only have to do what is hard.
And go on doing it.
Through all that comes our way.
For as long as it takes
to get the job done.

All it takes 
is making up our mind
that we are going to do it,
no matter what,
all our life long.

Ours is the Sisyphean task
of doing what needs to be done.
Cut out if you want to,
but that just leaves more 
for the rest of us to do.

"Doing our bit" means doing
what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
for as long as it needs to be done,
whether we want to or not.

We all have to hang in there together,
encouraging one another for the work
that is ours to do.

Jesus nailed it with his,
"The work is plentiful 
and the laborers are few."

We need all the help we can get,
and we can only get it from one another.
We are shoulder to shoulder here,
in the work to do what needs to be done,
and it is our part
to do what is ours to do,
all our life long.
Just because it needs us to do it.
Whether we feel like it or not.

All it takes is standing up
and doing what needs to be done.
When it needs to be done.
The way it needs to be done.

Just like Sisyphus pushing his rock.

He had his work to do,
and we have ours to do.
And it comes down to the same work:
Doing what needs to be done.
Every day.
For the rest of time.

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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