August 15, 2021


Wood Stork 05/13/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Alligator Farm Rookery, St. Augustine, Florida
The phrase, 
"a meeting of the minds"
suggests the possibility of
a communion of comprehension,
realization, recognition,
understanding, oneness,
wholeness, confirmation, 
union, goodwill... 

Which hinges on trust,
openness and willingness
to receive well the other--
with no agenda for the other--
but with a common agenda
of mutual benevolence,
respect, kindness, 
compassion and generosity.

AA meetings and sports teams
create atmospheres where
meetings of the minds can 
take place on a regular,
recurring basis,
built around common goals
and mutual trust,
and the communal experience
often stays with the participants
long after their time together ends.

Friendships, family connections
and psychotherapy relationships
can foster this sense of mutuality
and oneness,
and it exists as a possibility
for all of us who are able 
to be present, open and receptive
to others--
without anything to gain or lose,
and with an interest in sharing 
our interests 
and exploring those of someone else.

How long has it been?
How long must it be?



Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River 08 02/18/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Greenbriar District, Cosby, Tennessee.
"Where do you turn 
when you have nowhere to turn?"
Joseph Campbell said the answer
to that question tells you
what your grounding/center/core myth is.

I go to the silence.
Into the silence.
And wait for instructions.
For guidance.
For direction.

I believe in the silence.
I hail from the silence,
and am headed back to the silence.
The silence is home.
Home for my soul.
Home of my soul.
I am a child of the silence.

These words?
They are gifts from the silence.

The silence is all we need.
Is everything we need.
It is with us always,
to the end of our days,
and beyond.

If you ever miss me,
you can find me in the silence.
It's all there,

It's all the consolation I know of.
All the comfort I need.
We all find our way there eventually--
and we take our place in the company
of our kin,
our kind,
the bearers of grace and mercy
at the heart of life and being,
the source of all that is,
or has been, 
or will be.



Maine Islands Oil Paint Rendered — Deer Isle, Maine
We cannot hurry growing up,
but we can postpone it indefinitely,
and by doing so,
we fail to live our life.

We only go through the motions of living,
creating pain by avoiding pain.
That's the way it works with pain.
"We meet our pain
on the road we take to escape it."

Following the age-old Law of Life
by doing what needs to be done
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises,
no matter what
will grow us up as quickly
as we can grow up--
but the journey is never finished,
and old people feel as though
they are only beginning the process.

Our life is geared to growing us up,
and each stage of the developmental process
has its own way of highlighting 
the insufficiencies in our perspective
and attitude
in calling us to take the next step
along the way.

So, we stand ourselves up
and step ourselves forward
to meet what is coming through the door--
without expectation or opinion--
in doing what the moment calls for
with the gifts/daemon/virtues/specialties
that are ours to serve and to share
throughout each day
to the end of our days. 

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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