December 23, 2021


Fall on Little River 02 11/10/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, Tennessee
What is your foundational
mode of operation,
organizing principle,
way of finding your way to the Way
through the jungle?

How do you go about living?

Thinking or feeling?


I think (or feel) (I can't tell which
most of the time) 
(So I don't know if I am Thinking/feeling,
or Feeling/thinking)
(But I think [or feel] 
that I am Feeling/thinking).

I Feel/think that we shake out
along thinking/feeling lines.

There are thinking people
who cannot feel,
and feeling people who cannot think,
and thinking/feeling or feeling/thinking people
who can do both
without consciously switching
between the two
(Or knowing which is which).

For me, I tend to trust feeling
more than thinking,
and don't do much of anything
until I know how I feel about it.

Dr. Spock and I would 
make each other crazy.
In no time.

What is it time for NOW?
Analytics has a hard time with that one.
Instinct or intuition
is already in the water,
splashing around.

I think/feel (feel/think),
that our feeling brain knows best 
what to do, where to go,
and our thinking brain knows best
how to get there,
and likes to think it knows why.
I think/feel (feel/think)
it doesn't matter why.

If you tend toward Dr. Spock,
you probably haven't made it this far
in this little treatise,
and if you know what I mean,
you may be ahead of me,
waiting for me to catch up.



Scraping Fall 15 11/17/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Carolina Thread Trail, 12-mile Creek Segment, Waxhaw, North Carolina
I tend to feel my way along,
waiting to see what's what
and what I do about it.

I look out the window a lot,
and wait for the next thing
to come along.

Hurry is not what I do best.

These things write themselves
one sentence--sometimes one word--
at a time.

I don't know what I am going to say next.
So, it is as much a treat for me,
as it is for anybody,
to see what I have to say.

Which is to say,
I don't have much time to waste
in thinking about what I should say,
or should be doing,
perhaps instead of what I'm doing.

I am 10 or so days away
from ending my 76th year
and stepping into my 77th year,
so I don't have nearly as much time left
as I had at the beginning.

I could be frivolous then
(But, I regret that I spent 
so much time figuring out 
what I do best,
and too much doing things 
I had no business doing),
and now I'm letting my interests
pilot my boat on its path through the sea.

My interests are narrowing down.
My curiosity is taking the lead
in determining what my interests are.
And I am curious about fewer things,
like practically nothing
that is more than two hours away,
because my physical ability to go there
and come back is much less now
than it was two years ago,
and nothing like what it was seven years ago.
So, there's that.

I am curious about the inner world,
the right way to do things,
and the right things to do,
which are determined/influenced
by the context and circumstances
of our life--
and cannot be imposed upon 
the context and circumstances
in a "This is the Right Thing to do
always, any how, no matter what!"
kind of way.

What is right, now depends upon
what's what, now,
because what's what governs
what is called for,
and anything might be called for,
depending on what's what,
and we have to be here, now,
to know what that is,
and being here, now,
is one of the things I can do best,
because that is well under two hours away.



Sassafras and Sourwood 02 11/11/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Martin Palmer said,
"A path that can be discerned as a path
is not a reliable path."

Jesus is said to have said something similar
with, "The spirit is like the wind
that blows where it will."

And Moses is said to have said,
"It is not in heaven, that you should need to ask, ‘Who will ascend into heaven to get it for us and proclaim it, that we may obey it?’ And it is not beyond the sea, that you should need to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us and proclaim it, that we may obey it?’ But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may do it."

The path, the way of the spirit,
the Taoist's "way of heaven,"
are not "out there"
to be found the way we find a lost key,
or a buried treasure,
but are within,
to be awakened and stirred to life
when the conditions are right,
and the situation/circumstances
call them forth,
and the time has come
and "the fullness of time" 
is upon us for them 
to take their place
in our life.

And our place is to be ready,
listening, watching,
so that we may not miss 
the time of our awakening 
when it is at hand,
because we do not know
the day or the hour
of our visitation
when the door will open
and the Path appears,
like a white rabbit
winking at us to follow it
as it disappears around a corner.

If we wait too long 
to take up the Quest,
the moment passes,
and the same old same old
closes in upon us,
because we did not know
the time of our visitation.

Which is the plight of those
left to wail and lament
in the outer darkness
because they thought the wrong things
were important,
and missed the right things
that were there (theirs) all along.


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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