July 13, 2021

01

Dogwoods at Tremont 04/15/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tremont District, Townsend, Tennessee
We don't know what we need to hear
until we hear it.

We don't know what we need to see
until we see it.

We don't know what we need to do
until we do it.

Which puts us at the mercy 
of the Mystery quite beyond us
to lead us,
guide us,
call us
away from
what we think we need to hear,
what we think we need to see,
what we think we need to do
into what we need to hear, see, do.

We cannot separate what we need to hear
from what we want to hear
until we hear it.

We cannot separate what we need to see
from what we want to see
until we see it.

We cannot separate what we need to do
from what we want to do
until we do it.

What does wanting know?
How did wanting get to be 
the director of the show?

We live in bondage to our wants,
to our fear,
to our anger--
wanting to be free to do what we want,
free to give free rein to our fear,
free to express/exhibit our anger--
with no idea of what needs to be done
with any of these emotions.

Desire! Fear! Anger!
Run the show.

Take those away from us
and there is nothing to us.

Desire! Fear! Anger!
Direct our life
and are as close as we can come
to being alive.

They are substitutes for life,
for living,
for being alive.

They are a waste of life.
They close us off from life.
They enclose us,
encase us,
imprison us,
in a life that isn't worth living.

Creativity and imagination 
have no place with us.
Art and poetry have no chance with us.
We live at the mercy
of our Desire! Fear! Anger!
Hide out in our addictions.
Give the Mystery no room 
to work its magic on us.

We do not allow ourselves
to hear, see, do 
anything we haven't already 
heard, seen, done.

And we are careful to hang out
with people just like we are,
in the grip of,
in bondage to,
Desire! Fear! Anger!

For as long as life shall last.

–0–

02

Blue Ridge Sunset 03/07/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
I catch myself saying things
that need to be said/heard
in imaginary dialogues
with people I will never talk to.

These internal dialogues,
carried out in my imagination,
are the sources of new realizations,
insight,
enlightenment,
awakening,
illumination.

It is my way of talking to myself,
of telling myself what I need to hear,
by directing my words 
to someone else
within the confines
of my own mind.

Sit down and talk to your mother.
Tell her what she needed/needs to hear.
Responding to everything she says,
every question she asks,
with what she needed/needs to hear.

Or your father.
Or your brother.
Or your sister.
Or your boss.
Or ...

The conversations will expand your vision,
enlarge your world,
deepen your awareness,
transform your perspective
and change your world
and your life.

And your mother, etc.
will finally get to be
who they should have been
all those years ago.

–0–

03

Boone Fork 10/16/2016 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Hermeneutics is the art of interpretation,
the word is from the Greek God Hermes
(Roman God Mercury).
The Messenger of the Gods (Among other things).

Hermeneutics is my shtick (Among other things).
Saying what's what and what it means.

Getting to the bottom of things.

Asking all of the questions
that beg to be asked.

Saying all of the things 
that cry out to be said.

Getting to the point,
and being fine with being beside the point
(Because points are everywhere
for those with an eye for that kind of thing).

Making sense of things,
insofar as things can make sense.

Finding the right word
for what cannot be said--
in light of Heinrich Zimmer's observation that
"The most important things cannot be said,
and the second-most important things are misunderstood,
so the third-most important things
are what we talk about
(News/weather/sports/opinion/inanity...)--
even though it can only be heard 
by those who have been waiting to hear
what is being said
all their life long,
and didn't know it
until they heard it.

Leaving everyone else to wonder,
"Why doesn't he talk to us
about things we can understand?"

Mine is the Umwelt of ambiguity and obscurity,
of understatement and overstatement,
the world of the Delphic Oracle,
opaque and enigmatic
where the same thing
can be read/understood in different ways.

Because the world is such
that the same thing can be 
read/understood in different ways.
And how we understand it
depends as much on who we are
and how we see things
as it does on what we are looking at,
trying to see.

Mine is a work that cannot be done.
Mercury is Hermes' other name.
Mercury is Quicksilver, 
slippery,
impossible to pick up
or pin down,
incapable of being hemmed-in 
or defined, understood, explained.

My thing is to get to the bottom of things,
without words to say what is there
beyond pointing to the truth
using art, music, nature and play--
including play-on-words--
as mediums of transmission and comprehension.

It is a hoot and a wonder,
and I don't know anyone better-suited for the job
than I am.
I'm delighted to be chosen for the task!

–0–

04

Canada Goose 12/23/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina
Helen Keller found her life to be exceptionally 
meaningful and interesting. 

Meaning is what we make it out to be. 

What our life means is what it means to us.

Helen Keller lived meaningfully.

What inhibits/stops us from doing the same thing?

We all deal with the same set-up.

There is what happens
and there is what we think about what happens,
and there is what we do about what happens.

There is what happens
and there is our attitude about what happens,
and there is what we do in response to what happens.

There is a lot in the category of what happens
that we cannot do anything about.

We have pretty much complete control
in the categories of our attitude about what happens
and what we do in response to what happens.

That is where we come in.
Get to work.
Transform the world.
By transforming the way we think about the world.

Batter up!
(See what you can do with
this guy's curve ball).

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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