September 10, 2021

01

Along NY Hwy 30 09/28/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Adirondack Park near Long Lake, New York
Things are in sync
even when they are out of sync.

Exploding stars are the kettle drums
in the orchestra
creating the music of the spheres.

You might love Yellowstone now,
but you would not enjoyed being around
when it was formed.
Much of the park is the caldera 
of a super volcano.

Terrible catastrophes
and stunning wonders
have a lot in common.

We look, and it is one way,
and look again, and it is another.
Which way is it really?
It depends on when we look!

Everything is in flux.
Movement is the essence of life.
The essence of movement is change,
transformation,
alteration.

There are no steady states of being.

And we get out of sorts
if the bus is late.

How we see what we look at
keeps us one with the flow.
Okay, this.
Okay, that.
Gives us flow.

Not this!
Not that!
Gives us no flow,
and life flows on without us.

Why should we expect things
to be different that they are?

How can we fold into things 
just as they are?

Saying "Yes!" to life just as it is
is the art of being alive
to the dance of life
in rhythm with the music of the spheres.

Our practice is saying "Yes!" to life
right out of the box.

–0–

02

Curtis Island Headlight 10/16/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Penobscot Bay, Camden, Maine
My comeuppance is making room in my life
for people who take my life over.
Who increase the noise level,
and quadruple the complexity
with no compensating benefits and blessings,
and about whom the phrase,
"the pleasure of their company"
would never be said,
and whose place in my life
is to eternally
call me forth
and grow me up.

Growing up should be worth more than it is.

Which is something else
to grow up about.

I love this about my life.
The little gifts,
the unwelcome deliveries,
the agonies and the wretched afflictions.
Delivered at just the right time.
Dependably, predictably,
without pause or hesitation.

"Here! Take this
and see what you can do with it!'

I wonder who it was
for Jesus and the Buddha.
The pebbles in their sandals.
The weevils in their rice.

Who is it for you?

Whomever it is, they keep us grounded,
focused, awake, aware, alive--
and we owe them a special reverence for that.
For being the mirror they are,
reflecting our depths for our inspection,
examination,
adjustment and correction.

They require us to bring forth our best
in making them welcome,
and creating a safe place
for them to sully and stain.

I do it with a smile--
winking at my life,
with a nod of gratitude
for the joke that is squarely on me,
and the sense of humor
that I find to be just grand.

–0–

03

Congaree National Park 14 11/19/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Congree National Park, Hopkins, South Carolina
What do you do
for the sake of doing it alone?

How central is the place
those things have in your life?

Are they what you pay the bills
to be able to do?

Or, are they more of an aside,
something you work into your life
as opportunity allows?

How far are you from building your life
around the things you do
for the joy of doing them alone?

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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