July 25, 2021


Hayden Valley 06/28/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Yellowstone National Park, Canyon Village, Wyoming
My mule and my cow
go with me wherever I go.

I thought it would be cute
to call my mule "Bessy,"
and my cow, "Jake,"
but they would have none of it.

"I will be Bessy,"
said the cow.
"And make mine Jake,"
said the mule.

And that's how I got Bessy and Jake.

Bessy and Jake are metaphors
of who I am really.
They remind me of that,
and keep me grounded
in the reality of my original nature.

As long as I do not stray too far
from "the farm,"
I can find my way
through whatever comes my way.

Everything I do effects
my balance and harmony,
and my energy, spirit and vitality.
Bessy and Jake monitor those things
and keep me in touch with them.

Being reminded of my background,
remembering the farm,
I am centered in who I am
and live to maintain my contact with that
through the ebbs and flows
of time and chance,
in a "Okay, now what?" kind of way.

When we are in accord 
with our original nature
and displaying "the face that was ours
before our grandparents were born,"
and aligned with the Tao of time and place, 
we flow in harmony with our circumstances, 
in tune with energy, spirit and vitality.

When we try to find our way
through the wasteland
of wondering where 
our advantage lies,
what's best for us
short term and long term,
and how to avoid the losses
and secure the gains,
through all the oughts and musts,
past the bribery and extortion,
distractions and diversions
of life away from the farm,
our original nature
and our grounding orientation
are the first things to go.

It helps to have your mule and your cow
as traveling companions
to keep you
in touch with the Source
and in sight of the farm.



Lake Francis 01 Panorama 11/19/2019 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
We stand between our circumstances
and our original nature
and work to integrate,
to balance,
to harmonize,
to steady and stabilize
the mixture of Yin and Yang
in each situation 
as it arises.

That is our work,
our task,
through all eternity.

This is what we are here for.

We make the peace
and serve the unity
of the whole.

Our task is to get the ratios right.

How well we do it tells the tale.

It helps to do it consciously,
with awareness and patience,
looking for what needs to happen
and doing what needs to be done about that,
when it needs to be done,
how it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
with nothing but the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it
to motivate us 
in our Sisyphean task
of integrating,
and harmonizing
Yin and Yang
And ever, amen,
may it be so! 



Grandfather Mountain 02 10/17/2016 Oil Paint Rendered — Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville, North Carolina
Too often, acceptable outcomes
are beyond our control.
This leaves us with accepting the fact
that acceptable outcomes
are beyond our control,
and letting the situation be what it is,
seeking out what needs to be done
about that--
about the fact that we are stuck
with an unacceptable situation 
we can do nothing about.

Now what?

When nothing can happen 
until something else does,
we wait it out.

We are waiting for something to shift
in our circumstances,
or in our attitude about our circumstances.

Nobody move!
Wait for something to shift!
For something to occur to us.
For some light to shine.
For something unimaginable to happen.
For revelation.
For realization.
For motivation...

We have to be where we are
before we can be somewhere else instead.
There are times 
when anywhere else
would be better than this.
When those times are upon us,
anywhere else will do,
at least for the duration.

Here we go!


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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