August 01, 2021

01

Jasper Wetlands 04 09/27/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Jasper National Park, Alberta
In any situation,
there is what needs to be done
and what needs not to be done.
All we have to do is 
be right about which is which,
and do what needs to be done,
without a thought
for what is in it for us.

Our place is to be what the situation
needs us to be
with no interest
in how we might manipulate/exploit 
the situation 
for our good/gain/profit/advantage.

Sincerity and spontaneity--
not contrivance and deceit--
make all the difference
in making where we are
a good place to be
in each situation as it arises,
all our life long.

–0–

02

Lake Haigler 01 08/22/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
It does not matter what we think,
what we believe,
what we want,
what mood we are in,
how we feel,
whether it is a good time for us or not.

All that matters is 
that we do what needs to be done,
where it needs to be done
when it needs to be done
the way it needs to be done
because it needs to be done,
without caring about
what is in it for us,
or what we stand to gain or lose,
by doing it.

Get that down and we have it made,
and the world has it made as well.

–0–

03

Reelfoot Lake 17 11/04/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Tiptonville, Tennessee
Optimal is a range,
not a point.

It is a subjective range,
not an objective measurement.

It exists as an approximate,
and temporary,
location between less than optimal
and more than optimal--
for people who don't have much to do
beyond wondering about 
their present state of satisfaction
with their life,
or their degree of functioning/success
at what they are doing.

Reality is a similar range of subjectivity.
"Actual" and "apparent" and "illusion"
are words used in accessing reality
by those wondering how real something is.

How real something is
is how real we say it is.
A broken arm is more real than a broken heart,
though unless we experience both
at the same time,
we may be hard pressed
to determine which hurts the most.

Reality is more, or less, real
depending on how it is experienced
at any point in time.

Our experience of our experience
requires us to be present with our experience,
alert to our experience 
and aware of ourselves being aware
of our experience.

How often do we do that?
How long can we manage to maintain
that kind of focus and concentration?
For what purpose?
Who cares?

We drift through our life.
We hardly ever actually live it,
aware of what we are doing.

I sometimes look at my watch
without actually seeing what time it is.
Or eat lunch without tasting it,
unless it is really good or really bad.

Where are we when we are not here, now?
Why do we drift away?
Why do we live without knowing what we are doing?

How many years are we actually alive
in the life we are living?

How real are we really?
How real is "real life"?


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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