June 28, 2021


Moonset 10-17-2016 Oil Paint Rendered — Price Lake, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Courage is a function
of what needs to be done.
Our life calls us forth.
We are here to do the bidding
of time and circumstance,
time and place,
here and now.

Too many of us spend our time
trying to set things up,
get things in place,
to have it made.

We think what we want
is what needs to be done.

What we want is as much interference
as it is guidance,
as much misdirection
as it is direction.
What does wanting know?

Between what we want to happen
and what needs to happen
which do we serve?
Where do we stand?
Whose side are we on?
How do we decide what to do?

I need to be quiet.
I need to be free from intrusions.
I need to reduce complexity
and avoid noise.
Or, is it that I want those things?
I do not know where wanting stops
and needing starts in these matters.

I know that between walking around
a still pond with a camera in the evening
and a cocktail party,
it is the pond for me every time.
I will do the pond without the camera
to avoid the party.

I gravitate away from people,
not toward people.
Introversion and extroversion 
are needs, not wants.

We cannot help some things about ourselves.
And it helps to know what those things are.
And draw the lines that need to be drawn,
whether we want to or not.

And see what we do with what's left--
with curiosity about,
and interest in,
why we do what we find ourselves doing. 



Around Bass Lake 11 10/16/2016 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
There is experience, 
and there is interpretation of experience. 

The way we interpret experience 
determines the meaning 
the experience has for us, 
determines what we learn 
from the experience, 
determines what we do 
about the experience. 

Interpretation of the past swings the future.

The way we see things
becomes how we say things are,
becomes how things are
for us and those like us--

How are things apart from our interpretation of them?
How are things "just come"?
How are things "in themselves"?
We have no idea.

We do not see things as they are.
We see things as we interpret them to be.
As we say they are.

We are born into an interpretive view of the world--
into a culture that views the world
in ways it has been taught--and the way it teaches--
the world is.

We grow up with those who see the world
as it has been interpreted to them
from birth.

We ratify what we have been told
with our own experience,
which we can only experience
through our "inherited" interpretation
of experience,
which is to say,
through the "experience"
of those who have gone before us.

How the world is apart from our
interpretive heritage,
we have no idea.
We can only see how we have been told to see,
which is how we see.

Seeing new things
happens when we meet people
with a different interpretive heritage.
And when we sit quietly
in reflective openness,
and imagine a world other than it "is."

How many ways are there to see a light bulb,
or God?

That's how many light bulbs and gods there are.

Interpretation of reality
shapes/forms reality.

How do we see what is there
without projecting onto what we look at
what we have always seen?

How do we see
without seeing our interpretations
before we see what we are looking at?

How do we see what we look at
in ways that take the way we see 
into account?

Perspective determines perception.
How we see what we look at
determines what we see.

How do we get outside of our eyes to see?
How can we see until we do?

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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