Where do you belong? Where do you have no business being? Where do you feel at home? Where are you out of place? How do you spend your time in ways that are right for you? How do you spend your time in ways that are wrong for you? Are you going with the flow here, or swimming against the current? Of your life? What is your position with regard to yourself? Are you mostly pro-self, or mostly anti-self? Would you be better off with a different self? Would you be worse off with a different self? If you could pick your ideal self off a shelf, what characteristics would you have, and what characteristics would you not have? How different would you be, ideally? If you could divorce yourself, would you? Have you? Divorced yourself? Our relationship with ourselves is our most important relationship. If we aren't tending that, nurturing that, nourishing that, we are violating a sacred trust, and have the time left for living to make amends. The more time we take, the less time we have.
Everything is a mirror, exposing us, revealing us, bringing us forth for all to see who know how to look. We are "right here," as "one thus come," just like the Buddha in all of our coming and going. If you want to know who you are, to see into your original nature and behold "the face that was yours before you--our your parents-- or your grandparents-- were born, sit down with some readily visible aspect of yourself and wonder about it, playing with it, turning it over, digging into it, exploring it, inspecting it, seeing it as though for the first time, asking it to show you what it has to say about you and what you are about... And see where it goes. I've been revising all of my old images by applying Photoshop's "Oil Paint" filter from about the beginning of the pandemic (And the worsening of the osteoarthritis in my knees, which reduces my ability to plunder the world in searching for new images). And I can easily reel off all of the "reasons why." --I can take a 72 ppi image from my Flickr online gallery apply the filter and enlarge it to a 300 ppi image with no pixelization. --I can "save" marginally focused images. --I can "re-up" old images by turning them into "new" images. --I like the effect... I have recently come to realize that it shows me who I am and what I am about: Taking the edge off of reality. Softening "the world." Making all things easier to take as they are. Applying the "Dollar--Dolor--Filter" to life. "Dolor" is a Scottish word meaning "depression, angst, pain, sorrow, sadness, melancholy... and it is pronounced "Dolla," Dollar without the "r." There is an area in Scotland called "Dollar Glen" near Campbell Castle which gets its name, as legend would have it, from the broken-hearted suicide of a beautiful young princess of the castle over Lost Love, and the pall her death cast over the surrounding glen. My ancestors would have spelled their name "Dolor," pronouncing it "Dolla," coming to America, and being ridiculed for "not knowing how to spell their own name," saying, "Okay, what the hell?" and adopting the Anglican-American spelling and signing everything "Dollar" to escape the pain/shame/humiliation of "not knowing how to spell" their own name. Perhaps this is an unnecessary embellishment of the origin of "Dollar," but it suits my purposes and expands my "story." And allows me to adopt "the heritage" of my ancestors in "explaining" using the oil paint filter to "take the edge off reality," and present a softer, gentler, kinder view of "how things are," which is what I have been doing throughout my life. I was a "Preacher" by trade and by craft. Hermeneutics is my shtick, my "thing," my foundation and my core. "Hermeneutics" comes from "Hermes" (Also called "Mercury") the "messenger of the gods." Seeing and saying how things are. Interpreting what was said to clarify and express what was meant. Turning reality into possibility. Making the world better than it is. Taking "dolor" and producing "dolla(r)." Afterall, the "r" was already there.