June 25, 2021


Bog River Falls 01 09/29/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Adirondack Park, Tupper Lake, New York
Companions of The Way
understand that the way back to Eden
winds through the heart of Gethsemane
and across the face of Golgotha,
and requires them to die to their idea
of how their life should be
in order to be born into the realization
of how their life is to be.

Companions of The Way
know what is important--
and are right about it
in each situation as it arises.

See what needs to be done
and do it when it needs to be done
the way it needs to be done
because it needs to be done
out of the gifts, specialties,
daemon (sounds like "diamond"),
talents, shtick, virtues,
abilities, proclivities, knacks
and aptitudes, etc.,
that comes with them from the womb--
from one situation to the next,
all their life long.

With compassion and grace,
but without contrivance 
or thought of gain, benefit or advantage,

Because that is who they are
and that is how they do it.

If you feel like this is your kind of place to be,
you have all it takes to be a Companion of The Way!
Welcome, and safe travels
through all that lies ahead!



Bluff Lake Swamp 01 Panorama 05/14/2021 — Noxubee Wildlife Refuge, Starkville, Mississippi
What would you do
that you got nothing from doing it
beyond the joy of doing it
and the gladness/satisfaction
of having done it?

Find those things,
and do them!



22-Acre Woods 09 10/20/2020 Oil Paint Rendered — Indian Land, South Carolina
Frasier Snowden said,
"The only true philosophical question
is 'Where do you draw the line?'"

It is the only true moral question.
The only true ethical question.
The only true religious question.
The only true psychological question...

It is the only question that matters.

Where we draw the line
is where we declare ourselves
to be who we are.

"This is where I stand.
This is where if fall.
This is who I am."

No one can draw our lines for us,
else they are not our lines.

We have to draw our own lines,
and in doing so,
we bring ourselves forth.
We define ourselves.
We expose ourselves.
We make ourselves known
by saying/showing who we are.

Every polarity,
every dichotomy,
every contradiction,
every contrary,
every opposite,
every duality...
forces choice upon us.

We bear the tension of opposition,
draw a line,
work things out.
Time after time all of the time.

There is pushing, forcing, insisting, demanding...
and there is being resilient and resolute and determined, and unrelenting.
Where do the lines lie?

There is being inquisitive and curious and investigative and searching,
and there is being nosy and meddling and intrusive and snooping.
And where do the lines lie? 

Opposites are everywhere,
extremes are on every side,
and we position ourselves somewhere between them all,
on a floating scale with too much on one side
and not enough on the other.

Where do we stand?
Where do we draw the line?
How do we know what to do?
How do we decide what to do?
What guides our boat 
on its path through the sea?

Sometimes we do it this way,
and sometimes we do it that way,
and often we make the same choice
differently at different times,
not knowing why we do it this way
and not that way.

Are we right?
How do we know?
Often, only time will tell.

We can't put too much importance
on being right,
on doing it right,
and have to grant ourselves room--
and permission--
to learn as we go,
and hope to improve our score over time
in knowing where to draw the line.

It is an experiential thing,
knowing where to draw the line.

It is not a rational thing,
a logical thing,
a mechanical thing,
an inorganic thing.

We feel our way into doing what needs to be done.
We do not think our way there.

There are no recipes.
No formulas.
No dictums, decrees or directives.

There is only what's what 
and what needs to be done about it,
and where we draw the line
is important,
but we can't take it seriously.

It is only a line,
and we can draw it somewhere else
next 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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