November 09, 2021


Mary Whaley 02-B 04/12/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Ownby Cemetery, Porter’s Creek Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Greenbriar District
Cosby, Tennessee
Mary Whaley, Born & Died Aug 11, 1909
Heart, Soul and Mind are our spiritual essence.
We are swimming in a spiritual sea.
Floating on a spiritual ocean.
Drifting in a current of spiritual flow 
throughout our life
and beyond.

You wonder how I know?
I don't know.
And I take comfort in knowing
that I don't know
and trusting it to be so nonetheless.

I also take comfort in knowing
the lines between Heart, Mind and Soul
are too fine to be seen
with even the most powerful microscope.
Microscopes cannot go where Soul, Heart and Mind dwell.

That is like Logos having a cup of coffee with Mythos.
Worlds apart in the same world.
There is no understanding this.
No figuring it out.
Only floating on the endless sound of spiritual waters.
Left Brain and Right Brain in the same head.

Laughing and dancing together.
Playing and humming along.

We should join them in the laughter and the play.
Just dance. 
Just sing.
No thinking.
No saying.

We are always only a short
perspective shift away
from having the time of our life.
Enjoying the best company in the world.



Beneath the Parkway 11-06-2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Aho Valley, George Hayes Road, Boone, North Carolina
Making the best of our life
and what happens there
is the best we can do,
ask for,
hope for.

Making the best of it
doesn't mean getting/having
what we want.

We can always imagine a better world
than we can live in.

Adam and Eve thought they could
improve paradise.
We join them in screwing things up
all of the time
trying to make them better.

Making the best of it
doesn't mean making anything better.
Leaving things alone,
letting them be what they are,
giving them permission to be,
works with colts,
and chicks,
and butterflies struggling
to be free of the chrysalis.

What we don't want
can be the best thing
that could happen to us.

Making the best of it
puts us to the test,
and requires us to sit with it
for a while,
wondering what's best
and where to draw the line.



Beneath the Parkway 11-06-2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Aho Valley, George Hayes Road, Boone, North Carolina
Using Photoshop’s Sky Replacement Filter
I wish we could do Congress that way.
Who, okay, whom, do you know
who has more questions than answers?

If you know anyone, 
I'd like to have their contact information.

The people I know 
are so wrapped up in their
agendas and opinions
I have the same conversation
with everyone I talk to.

I could replay yesterday today
and not know the difference
unless it's raining.

No one knows what they don't know,
or even that they don't know everything worth knowing.
No one knows what's what
and what to do about it,
though everyone thinks they do,
and if we would only listen to them
everything would be great.

Everyone thinks their way
is the best of all possible ways.
How did they arrive at that conclusion?
They just jumped there.

They are all completely incapable
of evaluating what they just said,
or what they are about to say.
But they can evaluate with enviable expertise
what everyone else says.

I don't know how I fell into such company.
It's always been there.
Everywhere I go.

My happy fantasy is hanging out 
with people who have more questions
than answers,
and playing the game of seeing 
how many questions our questions raise.
With all answers being tentative and provisional,
and no absolutes of any kind allowed.

Conviction and certainty would also be unwelcome.

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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