August 18, 2021


Dogwoods at Tremont 04/15/2004 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, Tennessee
In every now
we have no idea
of what is next.

In trying to arrange
what's next,
we step out of the flow
of the now,
which is the flow of time (kairos)
and place (dharma),
upset the natural expression of grace,
and operate as a rogue
predator in the here and now
of our living.

Better to live aligned 
with ourselves 
and with the moment,
and wait for the time to act
in the service
of what needs us to do it
with the gifts 
of our original nature
to serve and share,
in each situation 
as it arises. 



Sunrise 11/01/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
There are so many ways of not seeing
what we are looking at,
and misinterpreting what we are seeing,
and being wrong about 
what needs to be done in response,
and repeating all of the errors
in judgment and behavior,
in each situation that flows from
each moment,
that it is a wonder things are
as stable as they are.

We need to spend more time
sitting still,
being quiet,
reducing reactivity,
and noise,
and being compassionately,
aware of every single thing
in each moment that is now,
seeing what is happening,
and being right about what is called for,
doing it
and being aware of the next moment
as it develops from this one.

That would transform our life,
and the world as we know it,
in about 2.5 moments.

Just try it.
See what a difference you can make
in practically no time at all,
just by responding appropriately
to what's happening now.




A Wall of Fans 10/08/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Randleman, North Carolina
We have to see what we look at
and hear what we are listening to,
and interpret it correctly.

That is on us.

We are on our own here.

No one can tell us how to know what's what
in each situation as it arises.

We have to be right about what is important
and what needs to be done about it,
and do it,
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
no matter what.
All our life long.

I say this a lot
because this is all that 
needs to be said.
And understood.
And done.
And no one can do it for us.
So all I can do 
is say it,
and say it,
and say it.

And when you hear it with understanding,
you get to say it,
and say it,
and say it,
because that is all you can do
to pass it along.
You can't make anybody hear it.

The idea of "making disciples"
is completely ridiculous.
We cannot make anyone see
what they are looking at.


We can only say what we see.
And say it.
And say it.
And say it.

While working to see better
what we think we see.
And do better
what we think needs to be done about it.
All our life long.

No getting tired and quitting.
We are Sisyphus,
pushing his rock up the hill,
following it down the hill
(Or racing it to the bottom--
or hopping on and riding it down
like a logger might "ride" a log),
and rolling it back up the hill.

We say what we have to say
and do what we have to do,
on and on and on and on...
smiling, laughing and having
a good time with it all,
because, why not?



Crow in Flight 02 Oil Paint Rendered
Tact is displaying just the right touch,
or saying just the right word,
in just the right way,
at just the right time. 

There is no better demonstration
of the Tao in action
than tactfulness being exercised
in the here and now of our experience.

Live tactfully!
in each situation as it arises.

That is the sine-qua-non
of a life well-lived.


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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