October 24, 2021

01

The Orchard 02/11/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
I want you to make peace
with your life--
while being true to your original nature
in conjunction with 
the context and circumstances
of the time and place
of your living.

I want you to live truly,
to truly live,
to live truthfully
in light of all that is true
in a "This is the way things are,
and this is what we can do about it,
and that's that"
kind of way.

No despair.
No hopelessness.
No remorse.
No desperation.
No anger/fury/hostility.
No resentment...

Recognition.
Acquiescence. 
Acceptance of the fact
that the way things are
is the way things are,
and that how that impacts us
is up to us.

With filial loyalty
and liege devotion
to the essence--
to the truth--
of who we are
no matter what
all the way
to our final breath.

Now, I recognize that 
you probably want more than this,
and I'm not going to be
much help to you
in doing/being more than this.

I can offer what I have to give,
and whether it is worth your while,
is for you to say.

And whether we are together,
or apart, for much, or all, of the way,
I say, "Happy trails to both of us,
to all of us, all the way!"

And, speaking of Happy Trails,
my deep faith is in the validity--
in the truthfulness--
of The Way,
The Path,
in the sense of Martin Palmer's phrase,
talking about the Tao,
"The path that can be discerned 
as a path
is not a reliable path."

Our allegiance is to The Path,
The Way, The Tao,
that winds through all of this experience
we call Life,
for the sake of being fully alive
in the time and place of our living.

Remaining steadfastly true to ourselves
and true to the path
is the part we play,
after that, it is out of our hands,
and we say "YES!" to whatever that may be.

That's what I mean when I say, "Happy Trails,"
trusting, as I do, that it will be so,
always and forever.

–0–

02

Encore Azalea 04/25/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Indian Land, South Carolina
We have to believe/trust the path we are on
to lead us to the path we need to be on--
which means that the path we are on
IS the path we need to be on,
and we need to walk it with our eyes open,
seeing what we look at,
hearing what is being said
(including what we are saying--
to ourselves and to others),
asking all of the questions
that beg to be asked,
and saying all of the things
that cry out to be said,
feeling what is to be felt,
thinking what is to be thought,
doing what is to be done,
with mindful awareness
of all that is going on,
receiving it all
in emptiness and silence,
watching for what emerges/arises/appears
of its own volition,
and following what needs to be followed,
and doing what needs to be done,
and letting that lead us wherever it goes,
trusting ourselves to the process--
to The Way--
all the way.

–0–

03

Lake Martin Cypress 01 02/08/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Beaux Bridge, Louisiana
In every situation,
there are the way things are,
and the way they need to be,
and the way we want things to be,
and the way we wish they were.

Our questions to answer in each situation are:

In light of what do we live?

What guides our boat
on its path through the sea?

Where does our liege loyalty
and our filial devotion lie?

To what do we plight our troth?

To what do we award our undying devotion?

What do we serve with our life?

What sends us forth to do its bidding?

How do we decide what to do?

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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