July 24, 2021


Jesse Brown’s Place 06/20/2018 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway Jesse Brown’s Place, Blue Ridge Parkway, E.B. Jeffress Park, Purlear, North Carolina
Would that we all might
rise each morning,
and taking what we have to offer
put it to work
in doing what needs to be done,
from one situation to the next
throughout the day,
and carry the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it
to rest with us at night,
'til time too rise and work again
with dawn.

That might be fine for the birds of the air,
the fish of seas and rivers,
the animals of forests and meadow lands,
but human beings seem to need more variety--
diversions and distractions,
addictions and escapes--
to take their minds off their plight,
and give them something to look forward to
more than another day with its needs
to tend.

We need to be entertained,
taken away from here and now
to a better place to be.

No one can be where they are for long.
We live looking for the action,
any kind of action.

We are always looking for something else,
something different,
something more.

We are driven by our wants and desires.
Not this, not this, not this...
Where is it? Where is it? Where is it?...

The Garden of Eden is US.
We are Adam.
We are Eve.
Rejecting paradise for 
what we think will surely be better.

Yet, that which we seek,
according to Joseph Campbell,
"lies far back in the darkest corner
of the cave we most don't want to enter."

It takes dying to all of our hopes and dreams
to enter that cave 
and make it all the way to that dark corner.

And so it is said, the way back
to the Garden of Eden
winds through the Garden of Gethsemane
and across the face of Golgotha.

The Eden/Gethsemane Axis awaits us all.
The stillness and the silence
contain what we seek.
The boredom of doing/being what is needed
is the path waiting to be trod
in each situation as it arises.

Will we? Can we? Must we?

Only time will tell.



Lake Crandal 02 11/03/2017 Panorama Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers 
recorded "The Power of Myth," in 1988.
The topics covered remain as pertinent, 
and as true, now as they were then.

Myth and metaphor--and where does that line lie--
remain true throughout time.

This is a link to the last episode in the series,
and is worth watching again and again
throughout the time left for living.

Some things cannot be heard often enough.
This is one of those things.

Ep. 6: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘Masks of Eternity’



Grandfather Mountain 13 10/17/2016 Oil Paint Rendered — Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville, North Carolina
We live in the service of something
bigger than we are,
perhaps the love of our children,
of our partner,
of our family,
or of money/power/status...

Some value or quality of life and/or being.

What guides your boat on its path through the sea?
What directs your living?
What deserves/owns your deepest loyalty and devotion?

Joseph Campbell talks about the importance
of constructing/drawing/painting a mandala,
or sacred circle,
representing the sacred radiance that cannot be told/said
at the center of the circle,
which is also who we are in our essence,
our essential self,
as the core of who we are.

He said,
"Draw a circle and then think of the different impulse systems in your life, the different value systems in your life, and try then to compose them and find what the center is. It’s kind of a discipline for pulling all those scattered aspects of your life together, finding a center and ordering yourself to it."

What is the grounding truth of who you are?

Sit with the question
and see what stirs to life within.


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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