June 24, 2021


Buddha Fish 02 Oil Paint Rendered — Pike Nursery, Charlotte, North Carolina
Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Lament"
is a poem for all times
throughout time.

"Life must go on
though good men die.
Anne, eat your breakfast.
Dan, take your medicine.
Life must go on.
I forget just why."

Poets are truth-bearers,
and the burden is heavy--
too heavy,
and good poets die
under the weight of truth
too much to bear,
too much to say,
and keep saying.

Truth, it seems,
offers two choices:
Absurdity or denial.
It is absurd to not choose denial.
But denial is just another absurdity.
The two choices are one.
And that's the truth.

The truth is absurdity.
Absurdity is truth.
"Life must go on,
(we) forget just why."

It is our dharma/duty to press on with it.
To pass it on.
Though, we forget just why.
It doesn't matter why.

Life is another absurdity,
perhaps the ultimate absurdity,
living on under all circumstances
for the hell of it.
Who cares why?

Life eating life.
How absurd is that?
Life living on life.
Even trees and plants live on
the carbon dioxide expelled by 
other life forms.
Cannibals everywhere we look.
Looking at each other
with a gleam in their eye.

Why play the game?
It is who we are.
It is what we do.
Why do otherwise?
What makes death preferable to life?
We will die soon enough.
Why not live while we can
under any circumstances,
for the lack of anything better to do?

Why not live for the hell of it,
if we can't do better than that?

If we are going to live--
and why not?--
let's agree to live looking life 
in its ugly red gleaming eye,
saying, Come on!
Show me what you got!"
And taking what it throws at us
without pausing to complain,
dealing with it all with grace and compassion
in a "This too, this too, so what?" kind of way.

Living as fragments in search of the whole,
we attract others to us
by exhibiting balance and harmony,
spirit, energy, vitality,
and living from our center
on a trajectory all our own,
as though we know what we are doing.

We are doing what is ours to do 
as though it matters
because it matters to us.

So first, find what matters to you
and do it--relentlessly.
Anyway, nevertheless, even so, 
no matter what.

Let that be your center,
your guardian and your guide.
Balancing you,
securing you,
anchoring you
to the work of being you,
creating harmony,
with spirit, energy, vitality,
for the hell of it
in each situation as it arises
all your life long.

Because, why not?



Catawba Trestle 05B 12/21/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — River Walk Park, Rock Hill, South Carolina
A photograph is a segment of life
selected and framed and set apart
as a way of saying,
"Stop! Look! Listen!"

The complexity and noise of life
close us off from the beauty and truth
of being.

Art counter-balances that tendency of life
to shut us away from the balancing,
harmonizing, centering, focusing, restoring,
connection with the ground and foundation--
the grounding foundation--
of what's what and what needs to be done about it
here and now
with the gifts we are here to serve and share,
as a testimony to the value of seeing, hearing,
knowing, understanding, doing, being,
for no reason beyond
"This is who we are, and this is what we do."

Art calls us to life in the midst of the noise,
clutter, complexity of life,
in a "This too, this too, be still, be aware,
be you, be you, here and now, 
because why not?" kind of 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: