October 02, 2021


Two Ol’ Boys 11/30/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — The Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina
In every situation
there is what needs to happen,
what can happen,
what will not happen,
and what happens.

What determines what happens
is a matter of time and chance,
which the good book says
"happens to us all."
What it doesn't say is
"all the time."

We are here, now,
by virtue of powers
quite beyond our control.
And what happens next
is likely to be within the normal range,
but even that isn't a sure thing.

There is more that we don't know
than we do know,
and that should be encouraging 
to those of us who are sure
it's all going to hell
in our life time.

We don't know as much 
as we think we know.
About anything.

The people who make a big show
of being against abortion
and pack guns
to right to life rallies
don't know what they think they know
for sure.

They are solidly against abortion
in every possible case,
and are solidly for their right--
they say it is a Right, now--
as in the RIGHT to bear arms
(And bearing arms implies 
the RIGHT to use them
in ways the user deems good and proper)
in committing--COMMITTING, I say--
retroactive abortions
anytime they deem it to be necessary.

A pregnant woman cannot ever
deem it to be necessary,
but Right To Lifers 
can shoot anyone they decide
needs shooting, 
any time, any place, 
as often as they like.

They are oblivious to their own
and swagger about under the illusion
that they have no illusions,
and no contradictions whatsoever.

We don't know half as much
as we think we know.
Not even 1% as much.

Bear that in mind,
the next time you 
start to swagger around
about anything.

Humility and awareness
are good for the soul.
And doubly good for everyone else.



Storm Clouds 04/10/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway near West Jefferson, North Carolina
"Yin and Yang" are terms identifying
the foundational nature of contradiction
at the heart of life and being.

Life Eats Life!
How's that for the fundamental contradiction
at work in life itself?
Everything lives (Even vegans)
at the expense of something else.
Everything lives because something else dies.

The whole of life is energized
by the fact of opposites.

Gravity exists as a function 
of oppositional forces.
Take away mass or momentum
and what do you have?

Relax the tension holding things in place
and everything disappears
like that (snaps fingers).

We are defined and identified
by the contradictions that hold us in place.

Life is lived "between the hands,"
and truth is found there.
"On the one hand, this,
and on the other hand, that!"

Purity exists by virtue of denial.
So much does.
If it weren't for denial and pretense,
where would any of it be?

Being who we are is always a matter
of being who we also are,
which makes it a matter of pretending to be
who we are not,
and pretending not to be who we are.

Being who we are AND who we also are,
with full awareness of both at the same time,
would slow us down,
bring us to a stop,
and have us contemplate the opposites within
in each moment of every situation as it arises.

Which would be very helpful
in a lot of, if not all, cases.

It would raise the level of sincerity
and integrity, for sure.

It would allow us all to know
what's what and what is also what
about ourselves,
smooth out our complexes
and inconsistencies
and make us responsible for living/acting
in concert with our "other side"
in all matters great and small.

Living in full awareness of ourselves
in action
would bring about some compromises
and negotiated settlements
that would transform the ways we live.

And I'm all for that.

Which is why I hardly ever do anything,
tied up as I am by my opposites
that require acknowledgement
and their balance due.

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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