November 01, 2021


The Bison in Hayden Valley 06/28/2011 — Canyon Village, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Fine lines are everywhere.
We have to walk carefully.
We are on thin ice all the way.

For instance,
there is taking things too seriously
and there is not taking things
seriously enough.
We have to find the balance point.
And live there.

It's tricky.
because everything is wobbly.
It's a wobbly world.
A wobbly universe.
Nothing is as it is always.
There are no Absolutes.
It's all Relative.
With everything 
depending on 10,000 things.
And we have to find our way
through it all.

What a joke.
And we have to see it as a joke
to have a chance. 
If we take it seriously,
it's all over like that
(Puckers and kisses the air)
kiss it good-bye.

The balance point is playfulness.
Play is serious
and not serious 
at the same time.

Children play within the rules,
and they establish the rules
early on.
"That's MY truck!
THIS one is yours!"

Every game has its rules,
and they are all "only a game."

We have to live that way.
Laughing all the way.
At the absurdities
that matter enough
to make us cry--
but not so much
as to make us quit.

Find the sweet spot
between too serious
and not serious enough
and live there.
Always and forever.


Cabin in the Snow 02 02/11/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
You have heard me talk about
doing what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
with the gifts of your original nature
that you have to work with.

You have not heard me talk about
doing what is good there.

The Good is philosophical ideal
that is rarely an option--
a possibility--in our actual life.

Because The Good is not an Absolute
to be realized anywhere in the cosmos.
The Good is always good in relation
to something that is Bad.
It is always better than something else.
Not Good forever in and of itself.

The Good is always good for something,
and not so good for other things.

A 747 is good for transporting you 
across the country,
but it is not so good for mowing your lawn.

And what is good for the lion
is not so good for the antelope, 
and vice-versa.

In some situations there are no good options.
In those situations,
we say "We are damned if we do
and damned if we don't."
The choice there is to be damned and be done with it,
by flipping a coin, perhaps,
and dealing with the outcome.

We do not get to choose our choices,
and when there are no good choices
to choose from,
only variations off bad choices,
with unwanted, 
or unlivable, results,
we are left with going with 
what we consider the best of the bad,
and making the best of the fallout
from that choice.

In all of this,
we bear the pain
of being unable to do better than bad.
We may bear it forever.
We bear it knowing 
that any other choice 
would have been bad as well--
and we look for ways of redeeming
what can be redeemed
by living to make all the good choices
we are capable of making 
from that point on.

We live toward the good
in every situation
even though that may not be possible
in all situations.

This is called "living anyway,
nevertheless, even so"
toward the best we are capable
of being and doing
throughout what remains
of the time left for living--
even as we bear consciously
the pain of being unable to do better
in numerous times and places
in a world where too often
what we get isn't worth having.


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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