September 08, 2021


Davidson River Fall 10/13/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Pisgah National Forest, Brevard, South Carolina
The world does not care
about doing what is right.
That leaves it up to us,
as individuals.

The flow of the world
is against the flow of Tao,
which is about
doing the right thing
at the right time
in the right place
in the right way
because it is right so to do.

But there is no payoff involved,
so there is nothing in it for anyone,
and who does anything in this world
that is of no benefit to them,
that cannot be exploited in any way
for their good, gain, advantage?

It is up to individuals
who are able to sacrifice 
their own good 
for the good of the times,
of the situation,
of the here and now
in a "thy will not mine be done,"
kind of way,
with the "Thy" being 
what needs to be done,
moment to moment, 
no matter what,
for no reason other
than because it needs to be done,

Will you do it?
Let's do it!
Starting now!



River Fern 09 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Zen Glen, Indian Land, South Carolina
We are here to find out who we are
and what we are capable of doing
with each situation as it arises.

We are not here to get,
but to see and to do
what needs to be done
when it needs to be done
the way it needs to be done
because it needs to be done
no matter what.

But what is that?
Who says so?
We do.
And if we are wrong,
we use that 
to see and to do better
in the next situation as it arises.

With us,
it is always to be,
"Here we are--
now what?"
And we live to be right
about it.
That is all.

What could there be beyond that
to want
or amass
or achieve
or accomplish?

Just see what you look at
and do what needs to be done about it.

A baby can do that much.

Can you?



Boone Fork Panorama 06/09/2019 Detail Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
See what you look at,
hear what you listen to,
know what you know,
do what needs to be done about it.

In each situation as it arises.

How could it be easier than that?
Or more difficult?

It is easy and difficult.

Being in accord with the Tao
is easy and difficult.

Being at one with ourselves,
or each other,
or the moment
is easy and difficult.

The noise of the world,
you know.
The dust of the world.
The hum and rumble 
of the 10,000 things.
The clashing rocks.
The heaving waves
of the wine dark sea...
make it very difficult.

The hardest thing is being quiet
and being empty.

That is one thing.
There is no quiet without empty.
There is no empty without quiet.

From the kind of silence that is empty,
from the kind of emptiness that is silence,
comes all things
in their own time,
in their own way,
to those who are ready
and able
to deal with them
as they need to be dealt with--
to do right with them
as they need to be done.

Living from the silence of emptiness,
from the emptiness of silence,
allows us to meet our life
on its terms
as one friend meets another,
and do right by it.

And that is all there is.

It is easy and difficult.

The best things are that way.



Great Blue Heron 02 Detail 08/30/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — The Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina
Time and place,
place and time,
are all we have to work with.

Things would be different.
Maybe better,
maybe worse,
with another time,
another place.

It is ours to do what we can
in the service of 
what needs to be done,
here and now.

In each here and now 
that comes our way.

We cannot be dismissing,
this time and/or this place
because it isn't 
what we have in mind.

It is where we are.
What does it have to offer us--
what do we have to offer it--
that might be of mutual benefit
to each,
to both?

We have to be alive
to the moment of our living
to know how to answer this question.
We have to see what we look at,
hear what is being said,
know what is going on,
be where we are
to have a chance 
of doing right by the moment
we have to work with.

And getting walked out of there
may be our best option--
in the spirit of knowing
"when to hold them,
knowing when to fold them,
knowing when to walk away,
knowing when to run."

Staying past the time for leaving
is not in the best interest
of anyone.


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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