December 09, 2021

01

December Woods 10 12/02/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Stop thinking about what it will take
to make you happy,
and start thinking about what needs to be done,
here and now,
with the gifts/daemon/shtick/genius/virtues
of your original nature.

We are here to bring our original nature
to life in our life
by doing what needs us to do it,
when it needs us to do it,
the way it needs us to do it,
because it needs to be done,
with nothing in it for us beyond
the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it.

Find that and do it
in each situation as it arises
all your life long.

Without thinking about what's in it for you.

That's the Hero's Journey.

Doing the next thing the way it needs to be done.

Anybody can do that.

Very few people do it.

Everybody else has their mind on bigger things.

The Hero's Journey is no big deal.
But it takes a Hero to do it.

–0–

02

Big Rock Preserve 06 11/17/2021 Oil Paint Rendered –Mecklingurg County Parks and Recreation, Charlotte, North Carolina
Men ought to be living
to be an original man.

Women ought to be living
to be an original woman.

Why else are we here?
To sit on the beach watching waves?
Hanging out looking for some action?

We are each unique in all the world
throughout time.
Our DNA is packed with unimaginable wonders,
all different from the DNA of everyone else--
who ever lived or will live.

We are not just different in our fingerprints
and our iris patterns.
We are different in all of the important ways.

And all we allow ourselves to be good for
is looking at waves
and looking for some action.

We are original in how we think,
in how we see what we look at,
in what things mean to us
and what things mean nothing to us,
and in all of the 10,000 ways of being.

We are here to be as original as we are!
Find what you are good for and be good for it!
Find what you are here to do and do it!
As only you can!

Ask the questions only you can ask!
Say the things only you know need to be said!
Do the things that call you to action!

Become the original man, the original woman, 
you are in the time left for living!

–0–

03

Fort Mill Peach Orchard 01 11/12/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Fort Mill, South Carolina
How do you manage the dichotomy 
between the Is and the Ought To Be?
What do you do with that?
About that?
How do you make your peace
with the way things are?

Addiction and denial are faves
for a lot of people.

Emptiness, stillness and silence,
not so much.

Emptiness means emptying ourselves
of our reaction to emptiness.

Have you ever been that empty?

That is being empty in the right kind of way.
Most people I know
are empty in the wrong kind of way,
as in depressed and afraid
that there is nothing there,
no reason to live,
in a "Who cares? Why try? 
What Difference Does It Make?"
kind of way.

The right kind of emptiness 
empties itself of all responses to emptiness.
It is being empty of the fear of being empty.

Emptiness, stillness and silence
are the foundation to life, living, 
and living well.

Nobody ever tells us about that.
Everybody offers us their favorite way
of being safe from being empty,
being still
and being silent.

Sex, drugs and alcohol.
And Money! Money! Money!
That is the best the culture can do.

Emptiness, stillness and silence
is the new Counter Culture.
And the way to 
Life and Light and Peace.

Learn to be empty, still and silent,
and practice it on a regular basis.

Everything falls into place around that.

Why would I lie?

–0–

04

Iron Bridge 07/23/2019 Oil Paint Rendered — Tygre River, Union County, South Carolina
The on-going work of life
is squaring ourselves up 
with how things are,
in a "This is the way things are,
and this is what we can do about it,
and that's that," kind of way.

How well we do that--
how well we maintain our composure,
our attitude,
our perspective,
our balance and our harmony
while doing that,
day in and day out
over the full course of our life--
tells the tale.
The tale we are here to tell.
The Tail of Us.
Of Who We Are And What We Did With It
Within The Context And Circumstances
Of Our Life.

There is how things are,
and there is how we wish things were
(AKA how we want things to be),
and there is our original nature.

And our place is to be true to ourselves,
to our original nature,
within the time and place,
terms and conditions,
of our life in the world as it is
and can only be.

How well do we do that,
and go on doing that?
It takes the right kind of community
to enable us to do that well.

You are my community,
or part of it.
I am part of your community.
Together we do it,
we do what is ours to do
with what we have to work with,
and let that be that.
Let everything fall into place 
around that.
By knowing when to do what
in what way for how long.

We know that by listening 
in the emptiness/stillness/silence
to our body (symptoms),
to our heart,
to our dreams,
and to each other,
in serving our balance and harmony
and making peace with ourselves
and our place in life.

We have to create a meditative,
listening/looking/seeing/hearing
kind of life
around emptiness/stillness/silence,
allowing the light,
and right action,
to arise of themselves, 
doing what is needed when it is needed,
and waiting, waiting, waiting
between the times for action.

Nothing happens quickly,
certainly not as quickly as we would like,
as we need,
it to happen.

How well can we bear the pain 
of the discrepancy between 
how things are
and how we want/need things to be?

How long can we wait
for things to be different than they are?
How long have women waited for true equality
with men?
How long have indigenous peoples waited
to get their life back from the invaders?
How long have people of color waited
to have their own life on their own terms
as full citizens of the cosmos?

How well can we bear the pain of waiting?

That is the question we all answer
on the Hero's Journey.

–0–

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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