July 10, 2021

01

Mormon Row Barn 12 06/26/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming
What are the forces of destabilization 
in your life?

In what way do they stir up
fear, desire, anger?

What is interfering with your balance and harmony?

In what way does that stir up
fear, desire, anger?

This photograph of a barn on Mormon Row,
restores my stability
and brings balance and harmony,
peace and calm
back into my life,
as does every photograph I take,
and process,
edit
and publish.

There is a sense of rightness for me
about each one,
they transport me 
to "a place of quiet rest,"
and serve as a counter-weight
to "the dust of the world,"
and "the noise of the 10,000 things,"
creating the possibility 
of "just being,"
"here and now."

Every photograph I take,
process,
edit 
and publish
is a portal,
a threshold,
a portkey
to balance and harmony,
spirit, energy, vitality,
light and life.

They restore my soul,
restore my contact with my soul,
and make for peace.

They all are momentary breaks
in my day,
reminding me of the ground
beneath my feet,
"the air beneath my wings."

And equipping me for the work 
that is to be done,
in aligning myself with the way,
taking stock of what's what,
and what needs to be done,
and how I might best assist
what needs to happen
with the gifts/shtick/virtues/specialties/etc.
that are mine to serve and to share,
here and now,
moment-by-moment,
in each situation as it arises,
all my life long.

In walking two paths at the same time,
and being in the world without being of it.

May you have such an anchoring device (or more than one)
in your life
which you return to on a regular/recurring basis,
reminding you of what's important
and helping you maintain your accord with the path,
and your connection with the Mystery at the Heart
of Life and Being.

–0–

02

Dragonfly 07/30/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — The Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina
There is dying and there is like dying.
There is death and there is like death.
There is being dead and there is like being dead.

Death is a fact and death is a metaphor
for refusing the requirements of life--
for saying no to life as it is 
and as it is asking us to be.

Growing up is like dying.
Again and again.

Growing up is going against the grain,
swimming against the current,
and it is going with the flow,
living in harmony with the times,
doing what we are being asked to do
in the here and now of our living.

To not do that is to die
to the rhythm of life,
to be as good as dead.

In every moment,
we have to do what is being asked of us
by the moment.

We are here to do what is needed
with the gifts/specialties/shtick/virtues/etc.
that are ours to serve and share
in each situation as it arises.

We are not here to exploit the situation
to our gain/advantage/benefit.

This is the Eden/Gethsemane Axis,
the pole connecting the polarities
that define our existence.

Eden is the metaphor for having our way
no matter what.

Gethsemane is the metaphor for 
submitting/acquiescing/surrendering
to that which needs our cooperation/affiliation/
support/service
no matter what.

Either way we are going to die.

One way is a death that leads to death.
One way is a death that leads to life.
What kind of death are we going to die
before we are dead and buried? 

–0–

03

False Kiva Panorama 03 05/14/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Canyonlands National Park, Moab, Utah
We cannot change how things are
without changing our attitude/perspective
about how things ought to be.

How things are is a function
of how we think things ought to be--
and, more importantly,
how we think things ought NOT be.

To be concise:
We have to change our mind
about what we think is important.

We can change our mind
or our circumstances will do it for us.

Climate change, for example.

We see what is happening to Miami. 

People wanted to live in highrise condos
on the beach.
There is a story somewhere
about a man who built his house on sand.
Didn't work out so well.
But he could get to the beach
just by walking out his front door.

He had to change his mind
about what was important.

We need to change our mind about
a lot of things.

Some of us don't want to live together
with people who are not like they are.

We all have to cut some slack,
make some room,
create an environment in which
everyone is welcome and safe
and treated equal to everyone else.

Money is the great division maker.
Wealth likes walls.
But somebody has to haul off the garbage.
You can buy an island,
but what are you going
to do with the garbage?
And who is going to
take care of your plumbing?

Wealth likes walls,
but we all flush and throw stuff away.
People not like us take care of us
all the time.
Getting rid of them
leaves it up to us 
to haul away our own garbage
and do our own plumbing.
Not what we had in mind.

We have to change our minds
about what matters most
to have a chance in a changing world.

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.

One thought on “July 10, 2021

  1. Jim. I am so glad to hear this @ your photographs. I can see how working in that creative space could serve as a portal… your experience is propelling me toward a future with daily Bread! May it be so✅🙏💕✌

    Liked by 1 person

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