November 26, 2021


Valley View 02 09/27/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona
Changing our mind 
about what is important
changes everything.

Our perspective,
point of view,
way of assessing reality,
is the swing point
between ways of being
and living.

And, is what determines
the things we do
and the things we leave undone.

Our life depends 
upon what we see 
when we look,
and the way we see 
what we look at.

You might think we would
do a better job
of evaluating the validity
of our viewpoint,
asking the questions
that beg to be asked
about everything we say
about the way things are
(Which is always
the way we see
the way things are),
and saying the things 
that cry out to be said
about what we see
and how we see it,
and what everyone else sees
and how they see it.

and inequality
would have a hard time
maintaining their hold 
on us
once we began to look 
at what we see
and how we see it.

The world would change like that
(snaps fingers) 

For the better.



Sassafras and Sourwood 03 11/11/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
We can change ourselves
in the direction of being 
more like we are
than we are--
and of allowing/assisting/encouraging
other people to be more like they are
than they are--
by taking up the practice
of embracing/experiencing/exploring
and silence,
aligning ourselves with our original nature
and exhibiting/expressing 
our natural self
within the context and circumstances of our life,
in doing what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
where it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises,
all our life long.

It is hard to do that alone.
And it is harder to find
a community in which that is being done.

If you can find two or three people
who will join you in the work
of seeing/doing/being,
you will be among the most fortunate people
who have ever lived.



Road Through the Woods 02 11/10/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
The work is ridiculously impossible,
changing what needs to be changed
about ourselves,
and about the world in which we live.

It is absurdly out of the question.

And yet, and yet.

That is the work.

It is the work of being human.
The work of seeing/doing/being/becoming.

It is the work of being alive.

It is the work of growing up.

It is the work of being who we are--
of being true to our original nature--
within the context and circumstances
of our life.

To change ourselves to be more like 
who we are than we are,
is to alter the context and circumstances
of our life.

Is to be a threat to the way things are.

Is to be crucified as a rabble rouser
and a trouble maker
and a messianic pretender.

Is to be burned at the stake as a heretic.

Is to be drowned as a witch.

The world does not treat kindly,
or take lightly,
those who threaten the way things are 
in the world.

We ask for it by daring to be who we are
in defiance of who we are 'spozed to be.

And yet, and yet.

That is the work.



The Maple’s Offering 11/11/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Indian Land, South Carolina
We have to make enough money
to live comfortably
while developing our ability
to be true to our original nature
within the time and place of our living.

Doing this is a matter
of knowing who we are
in terms of our inner nature,
and discovering what we can get by with
in terms of the context and circumstances
of our life.

I had an abusive father
who kept me pretty much bound
to his idea of who I ought to be
until I moved out of the house
and became the overseer of myself,
finding my own way to being who I am
in this here and this now.

This here and this now has its own way
of limiting/restricting who I show myself to be,
and demanding/insisting that I behave
like I ought to--
just as my father did.

And so, the work of balance and harmony
becomes the work of being alive
between the world of our inner nature
and the world of our outer reality.

How conscious we are of doing that work,
and how well we do it,
tells the tale.


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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