December 25, 2021


Christmas Day 2021
A Christmas Prayer:

May we be thankful for the day
each day,
and for the Way that winds through
each day,
every day,
and for the way to the Way
that we all walk from the beginning,
with its wrong turns,
and dead ends,
and meandering twists through the wasteland,
where we pick up hints,
and realizations,
and lessons learned
and re-learned,
gaining the experience
required to know what fits
and what does not fit,
what we are built for
and what we are not built for,
where we belong
and where we have no business being,
growing readier to listen,
to ask, seek, knock,
and to persist in the search
for our original nature,
that we might discover at last
What we love to do
to the point of paying to do it
if it comes to that,
and live what remains of our life
in its service,
doing what makes our little heart sing
and our little toesies dance,
for the joy of doing it
and the delight of having done it,
and looking forward to doing more of it
as long as the light shall last.

May it be so!
For all of us--
each and every one!



Ramsey Creek 11/07/2011 Oil Paint Rendered 03 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Greenbriar District, Cosby, Tennessee
Life is about being and doing,
doing and being,
not about getting, having, owning,
achieving, acquiring, amassing, possessing,
winning, conquering, subduing, mastering...

Being who we are,
doing the things that serve, express, exhibit
our original nature
in the service of what is called for
in each situation as it arises,
for the joy of doing it,
and the delight/satisfaction of having done it.

And doing it again.



Mossy Boulders 11/07/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Greenbriar District, Cosby, Tennessee
When people ask,
"Jim, what is with your fascination
with the Oil Paint Filter in Photoshop?"

I tell them,
"I like the hint of magic it gives to a scene.
We are never more than a perspective shift away
from seeing the world within the world,
beyond the world.
Magic/Mystic/Mystical/Mysterious/Spiritual is always "right here, right now,"
and we walk "right past" it,
only seeing the world we have always seen.

The Oil Paint Filter forces a 'wait-a-minute!'
on the lemming parade in its rush to the sea,
and people have to look again,
maybe seeing,
maybe not,
but looking.
And that's the most I can hope for,
that people snap awake enough
to look at what they are seeing,
and perhaps they see what they are looking at."

So the Oil Paint Filter is my attempt
at opening a door.
Whether anyone walks through or not
is their business.

The same goes for writing these little 
free verse whatnot's
accompanying the images.
People may not read them,
people may read them and not comprehend them,
people may read them and shift their perspective.

The perspective shift is our only hope
at seeing the Magic/Mystic/Mystical/Mysterious/Spiritual
and participating in it
through the way we align ourselves with it
in living our life.

Maybe yes, maybe no.
I open doors,
or, to use a different door analogy,
I put my foot like a doorstop
between the door and the door frame
to keep the door from closing,
letting a little light shine in.

Whether anybody goes to the trouble
of having a perspective shift or not
is their business.

I'm here to do what I do best--
just like you are here to do what you do best--
and let that be that.
If anything comes of it, fine.
If nothing comes of it, fine.
We did our best,
and left it at that.
We don't have time to worry about it--
that would get in the way
of our doing our best!

Not that it matters.
And here is the thing about that.
It doesn't matter if it matters or not,
what we do.
We are here to do it!

"Without hope,
without witness, 
without reward!"
(Steven Moffat, Doctor Who).

We are here to do what needs to be done
whether it does any good or not.
We are here to be good for nothing
in this way.

Do what you do and let it go.
"Get in there and do your thing,
and don't worry about the outcome"
(Joseph Campbell's summation 
of the Bahgavad Gita).

Look for something that needs to be done
and go do it,
with the gifts/daemon/genius 
of your original nature.
No matter what.
Throughout the time left for living!


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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