July 20, 2021


Blue Ridge Morning 04 05/20/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone, North Carolina
What needs you to do it
with the gifts that are yours
to serve and share--
in each moment as it arises,
here and now?

You don't have to go big with it. 
Go small.

What needs you to do it
out of your original nature,
knowing what you know,
being who you are
without trying to profit in any way,
just doing what needs to be done,
where it needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
how it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises
in the next hour, say,
or between now and the next mealtime.

Narrow your focus to what needs to be done
here and now.
What is it, 
not because someone else might
think so,
but because you think so?

What do you say needs to be done
here and now?

Do that.

Again and again.

And again.

All day.

Every day.

It's never more difficult than this.



Death Valley Photographers 03/23/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Phil Kimber and Friend, Zabriskie Point, California
Reduce complexity!
Diminish noise!
Wait for the mud to settle
and the water to clear!

Stillness and silence reveal.
Commotion and busy-ness conceal.

How still can you be for how long?
How silent can you be for how long?

What comes up in the stillness,
in the silence,
that you have to escape
into action to avoid?

Introverts have an easier time 
than extroverts have,
but being quieter longer more often
isn't likely to lead to greater
than being quiet as long and as often
as you can manage.

Just making the effort
to make room
for instinct/intuition/imagination
opens doors and windows
to the inner world,
and magic happens,
things begin to stir,
connections click into place,
life shifts,
and we are off on new adventures
that we can only experience,
but not understand,
or understand,
but not explain
(Sheldon Knopp). 



Lake Haigler 03 12/26/2019 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
We are not much different 
from the characters and the drama
created by their interaction
impacted by their aims and opportunities,
in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

We think we are living a normal,
rational, logical, sensible life
but it is kept up in the air
by the frequency of its encounters
with complete nonsense
presented and honored as though
it is Absolute Truth.

The Bible As The Literal Word of God.
Fox News.
It is a long list
of things seriously claiming
a place in our sphere of concern
which have no legitimate place whatsoever
in anyone's life at all.

If all that is nonsense
disappeared overnight,
it would be a radically different world at dawn.

What keeps the nonsense in our lives
from disappearing?
What is the basis of its unwarranted importance?
Why does anyone give it any attention at all?
Why can't we recognize nonsense as nonsense?
Why are we carried away by what somebody says
that is obviously whack-o-bananas?

What are we doing participating 
in the propagation, promotion, encouragement
and transmission of nonsense?

Why give it any time and attention at all?



December Orchard Panorama 03 12/11/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Springs Farm, Fort Mill, South Carolina
Health has been defined as "ease of functioning."

I enlarge that phrase to take into account
the five elements of health
and the five tools for implementing those elements
in our life.

This, in conjunction with whatever medical intervention
may be necessary over the course of our life,
will put us on the path to living happily ever after
in the glow of "ease of functioning."

The five elements are:
balance and harmony,
spirit, energy and vitality.

The five tools are:
stillness and silence,
instinct, intuition and imagination.

Incorporating the five elements
and the five tools 
into our daily practice
enables us to 
face what comes our way
and rising to meet every occasion
in order to do what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
with the gifts/daemon/shtick/specialties
that come with us from the womb
and are ours to serve and share
without thought of personal benefit or gain
in responding spontaneously to 
the moment of our living
in each situation as it arises
with exactly what is called for, 
time after time.

If you can do better than that,
do it! 

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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