October 15, 2021


Dunes 10/26/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
Everything depends upon
and flows from
emptiness and silence.

Until we can be empty
even of the desire to be empty,
we do not have what it takes
to live with balance and harmony.

And, without balance and harmony,
sincerity, spontaneity and integrity
have no entry point into our life.

And, without sincerity, spontaneity and integrity,
spirit, energy and vitality
are at such low levels within us
that we have to draw on our emotions
just to feel alive,
and to live from our emotions
is to live grounded
in noise, complexity, drama
and the force of will
in the service of what we want--
and it all goes to hell just like that
(snaps fingers).

Having an agenda and a plan,
or having one without the other,
is but a step away
from having an ulcer,
a drinking problem,
and a host of other symptoms
vying with one another
for control of our life.

And we are that close
(holds up Thumpkin and Pointer
squeezed together)
to being tossed about
by the heaving seas
and clashing rocks
of life without meaning,
purpose, point or direction.

And that is no place to be.


Sit down.
Shut up.
Pay attention.
To what arises in the silence,
emerges from the silence,
occurs to you with the blessings
of the silence--
waiting for a particular quality
of movement within you
that indicates the stirring of interest
and attraction,
and amounts to a call
to look closer at what it might mean
for you 
and be about.

Look closer.
Make inquiries.
See where The Gift Of The Silence leads.
Trusting yourself to Mythos
and moving Logos out of the center
of your life,
so that instinct, intuition and imagination
become as much a part of your life
as logic, reason, intellect and analytic. 

Always returning to emptiness and silence
to provide what you need
to find what you need
to live in accord with The Way
and dance with your life,
knowing that "there is only the dance"
(T.S. Eliot).



Cheraw State Park 01 04/18/2014 Black and White Oil Paint Rendered — Cheraw, South Carolina
Our life is grounded in,
rests upon,
grows out of,
becomes what it is through,

It all hangs by a thread
and turns on a dime,
and nothing has to be what it is.
Everything depends on something else.

If this had not happened 
exactly when it happened,
where it happened,
how it happened,
that would not have happened,
or that, or that, or that,
and we would be somewhere else entirely,
if at all.

If the plane hadn't been late,
we would never have been standing 
in the coffee line,
behind the man,
in front of the woman,
who became our husband
or our wife...

Like that.

It all hinges on chance.
It is all a matter of chance.
We all are just lucky to be here.

And if purpose and control
are your things,
ask yourself,
which is the greater miracle:
A) That all of this is the result
of some intricately designed,
and carefully arranged
Eternal Plan,
or that,
B) None of it is?
That it all just happened this way?

What are the chances?

That's what I"m saying.

What are the chances that your mother 
would go on a blind date,
at the last minute,
with the guy who became your father?

Etc., all the way to right here, right now?

It is all a matter of chance,
the luck of the draw,
and the roll of the dice.

Can we say "YES!" to it is the question.
Will we is the other question.
Do we is the other question.
Where do we go from here is the other question...
All awaiting our reply.



Foggy Rocks in Jordon Pond 04/24/2004 Oil Paint Rendered — Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine
If you want to be happy,
give up being greedy.

Greed is fueling climate change
and enabling the corporate ownership
of Congress and the Supreme Court.

Everybody wants to be rich,
but being rich is just a phase
on the way to being richer.
Infinitely richer without end.

A life that is being lived
toward that end
is not a life that is being lived.

Lives that are lived
are lived in open, joyous,
participation in the moment
of our living
for the pure wonder of being alive.

How long has it been?

How long has it been since 
you experienced a cup of coffee,
or a scoop of ice cream?

Or the joy of a conversation
with a child?

Or a quiet moment with your
heart's true love,
which might be a violin solo,
or a book?

Open, joyous, participation
in the moment of being alive
is a possibility every moment.

Why let another one go by


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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