October 14, 2021


Lake Martin Cypress 07-B 02/04/2014 Oil Paint Rendered–Beaux Bridge, Louisiana
It does not matter how we feel.
It matters what we do.

We are to do what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
where it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
regardless of how we feel.

"Feelings follow action,"
as the old therapy saw goes.

We cannot want what we do not want,
but we can do what we do not want to do.
The way it needs to be done, etc.
So do that
in each situation as it arises.

And stop bothering so much about
how we feel.
Don't allow our feelings
to impair our actions!
Feel any way we want to feel,
but do what is called for,
as it is called for, etc.

Step into each situation
as it presents itself,
and look around.

See what's happening
and what needs to be done 
in response,
and do it.

All of our action 
is situational,
elicited by what is going on
in the time and place of our living.

Live responsively,
and responsibly.
Feel however you feel like feeling.
But do what is asked of you
by the moment at hand.



Catalooche Farmstead 01 03/02/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee, North Carolina
Those of you who deal 
with a truly crazy person
know how easily they can 
manipulate the truth
to tilt the Normal World
just a bit,
and transform it
into a place no one can live.

They seem balanced and sane,
and then say things like,
"I'm going to fly to San Francisco,
and ask the mayor to take me
on a tour of the city."

Republicans have this down to an art.

Their world is not the world
the rest of us live in.

They are drawn together
by their ability to see
things that are not there.
I don't know if they see the same things,
or just remarkably similar things,
but they are crazy as hell.
And they hold powerful positions
of leadership and responsibility.

The Cuckoo’s Nest is rapidly
taking over the world.
And the media-world is relating
to them as though they are normal human beings.
Which amplifies crazy
and creates an environment
in which civilization is devolving
as we watch.

If you have a fix for this situation,
I hope you apply it immediately.
Allowing it to play itself out
will be the end of the world as we know it.



Bayou Teche 01 02/01/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Beaux Bridge, Louisiana
Everybody thinks the way they see things
is the way things are.
Everybody thinks the way they think
things ought to be 
is the way things ought to be.

Yet, hardly anybody sees things 
the way anybody else sees things
(For instance, we talk about "Christianity"
as though there is common agreement
about what is and is not Christian.
When, in fact, there is wide-spread disagreement.
And getting consensus, 
or even a majority,
on how things ought to be is very iffy.

And we walk around in a fog of assumed
eye-to-eye-ness that is totally fabricated,
and completely unreal.

The bough-ha-ha over masks and vaccines 
is an example of how far apart we are
over many of the things that are essential
to our life together.

Racism is a problem because close to half
of this country are proud to be racist.
Etc. down a long list of other issues.

Community and commonality are rare indeed.
Because "the center fails to hold."
Civility, consideration and graciousness
are in short supply,
and people are all into 
"My way is the ONLY WAY!"

I have no idea of how to fix the dichotomy
without the willing participation of all people.
And how we pull that off
when Fox News and talk show radicals,
QAnon and, well the list is forever,
of people pumping people up to be against everything,
looks to me to be hopeless.

It is a solitary commitment to the core
that remains the only viable alternative
to division and discord.
One made by individuals determined
to live from the center
in doing what needs to be done
from their heart
in situation after situation,
no matter what.

I hope you will join me in the cause.

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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