July 09, 2021

01

Dogwood 04 03/27/2016 Oil Paint Rendered — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina
The worst people kill the best people.
And when the best people stand up
for what is truly best 
and kill the worst people,
as in World War II,
75 years or so later
it is like the worst people
won that war.

And the Civil war never ended.
It has to be re-fought daily
because the worst people don't 
really die
and never go away.

The best people have to steel themselves
for their task
of getting up each day
and going at it full bore
in the service of Truth, Justice, Equality, Freedom,
as though it were the very first day,
because the fight is never over.

It is always only just begun.

–0–

02

Black Bayou 11 11/02/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge, Monroe, Louisiana
Do not look for anything "out there"
to pick you up
and keep you going.
We are only going to find that "in here."

We live organically,
from the inside out
and the bottom up.

It would help to know that from the start.

"What would like to be when you grow up,"
wouldn't be answered with "A doctor,"
or "A teacher,"
but with "Honest," or "Perceptive," or "Wise."

We were born to be a certain way,
to do certain things,
with tools specifically included
to do the things that are ours to do.
We are equipped for the adventure
that is ours to have,
for the work that is ours to do--
and we have no way of knowing 
what any of this is.

That is what parents are for,
but,
they don't know either,
what is theirs to do,
or how to help us find
what is ours to do.

We all have to knock around 
for a few years
experimenting,
exploring,
investigating,
learning to listen to ourselves,
to sit with the silence
and see what emerges,
to find out where we belong
and where we have no business being.

But.
We aren't handed a few years
and told to go on a vision quest
and not let anything keep us from 
seeking to see what we look at
and knowing what we know.

So.
We have to work in the search on the side.
Exploring on the sly.
Experimenting in ways
that make it look like we are going 
along with the crowd,
but always looking, watching, searching,
listening, feeling...

"Not this, not this," is the easiest thing to know.
Keep looking.
Keep listening.
Listening particularly to our heart,
to our body,
to our nighttime dreams
and our daytime flights of fantasy,
noticing what attracts us
and what repels us
and where our interest
and our aptitudes lie.

Our life is a hunt for what matters,
for what we love most,
for what we do best.
It's the Hot and Cold game
from daylight to dark.
Now we're getting warmer,
now we are freezing to death...

We live to find our life and live it.
To find the Way and live in accord with it.
To know and be who we are.

Everything that happens is an opportunity
to know more than we knew 
before it happened.

Over time, we narrow our search,
homing in on what calls our name.
Knowing what it is not
is a step on the way to knowing what it is.

Keep living.
Keep looking.
Keep seeking.
Keep searching.
Becoming more like we are to be each day
than we were the day before,
throughout the time left for living--
knowing that we are living the adventure
the entire time.

The adventure of being alive,
in search of the treasure
that is buried deep inside each of us,
waiting to be found,
whispering to us,
calling our name.

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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