December 30, 2021


Earth Shadow 12/18/2012 Oil Paint Rendered — Lake Brandt, Bur-Mill Park, Greensboro, North Carolina
We can dupe ourselves.

Fooling ourselves is what
we do best.
Because telling ourselves
what we want to hear
is what we do best.
Because letting ourselves
off the hook
is what we do best.

Self-transparency is our only hope.
How can we know
if we aren't just fooling ourselves

The right kind of emptiness
discloses everything.

The seeing that sees
sees itself seeing.
The knowing that knows
knows self-deception
when it sees it.

Know what you want to hear
and be wary 
when you approach its neighborhood.
Know what your needs are--
what forms your neediness takes--
and be gentle with yourself
and kind
to avoid being tricked by yourself

is another way 
of ignoring the warning signs,
the flashing lights,
the Bridge Out Ahead barriers,
and missing the fortuitous detour
on our way to having what we want
which we have no business having at all.

Waiting for the mud to settle
and the water to clear,
knowing what we know
and what we do not know,
and watching to see what we do
without conducting,
by simply allowing our life
to unfold according
to its own impulses,
in its own time,
in its own way
out of our original nature
organic and true to itself
like the paths followed
by the birds of the air
and the fish of the sea
to exactly where they need to be
when they need to be there
the way they need to get there
like the miracle it is
all the way. 



Maple Panorama 03 11/02/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
No one can see for us.
We find our own way to the path
that is our path
the way our fingerprints
and our iris patterns
are our fingerprints
and iris patterns.

Our way is just that way.
Just so the way we are just so.

"The path that can be discerned
to be a path,
is not a reliable path" (Martin Palmer).

How do we know?
How do birds know when to migrate
and where to migrate to?

Who put you on your present path?
Who got you where you are,
right here, right now?
How did you get here?
Whom do you trust to know
where you go from here?
And how to get there?
And what then?

We are the greatest mystery there is!
Our life is a wonder!
Our best move is always the same:
Get! Out! Of! The! Way!

Get out of the way of The Way!
The Way we know nothing about!
The Path that cannot be descerned
to be The Path
is unfolding before us
one step at a time,
whether we know it or not.

We are the Mystery!
We can trust ourselves 
to the Mystery!

And see where it goes!



Black Bayou 52 11/02/2015 Oil Paint Rendered –Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Monroe, Louisiana
Our scenes are our scenes.
We all could be a better photographer
with better scenes.
The trick is to see the scene that is before us,
and be graced by what it has to show us,
seeing what is to be seen,
scene after scene--
in a "Here we are, now what?"
kind of way.

This is called "milking the scene
for all it is worth,"
and not leaving anything unseen
in any scene.

Being here, now.
All the time.
That is the secret Knowers know,
and all that Seers have to say.

Get that down and you have it made,
seeing the scene
that is to be seen,
and doing what is to be done with it,
one scene at a time.



Grandfather Mountain 06 10/13/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Carl Jung said, 
"We meet our destiny
on the road we take to escape it."

I improve on his insight by adding,
"And on the road we take to find it."

Which is to say,
"One path is as good as another,"
"All paths lead to The Path eventually,
if we keep walking and live long enough."

The path that leads to The Path
is also The Path.

Whatever we say is The Path is The Path,
but not in the way we mean.
All we have to do is keep walking,
and live long enough.

The only thing we can do to enhance
our ability to live aligned with The Path,
in accord with The Way,
is to live out of the right kind of silence,
and the right kind of stillness,
and the right kind of silence.

It also helps to know the difference
between forcing something to happen
and allowing something to happen.
Between swimming with the current
and swimming against the current.
Between serving our idea 
of how things ought to be,
and acquiescing to how things ought to be.
Between having an agenda,
and having no agenda.
Between willing our life into being, 
and permitting our life to take shape
as it will,
according to its own sense
of how things need to be.

Thinking that we see
is simply a step on the way to seeing.

And none of us can be
anywhere other than where we are.

So, be here now.
Let arise what arises,
and go with it,
or go not,
according to what you take
to be The Way opening before you,
or not.

And see where it goes...



Desert Rain 03 05/12/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Canyonlands National Park, Moab, Utah
When waiting, wait.
And do what needs to be done
while you wait.

But know that you are waiting,
even if you are waiting
to know what you are waiting for.

We spend a lot of time waiting
for the time to come upon us
for action.

We can spend the time while we wait
meeting the requirements of life,

All the while, waiting.
For the fullness of time.

For the time of our anointing.
For the time to act.

For the door to open,
waiting for us
to walk through.

When the door opens,
walk through.


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.

2 thoughts on “December 30, 2021

    1. No mystery is rational/logical/reasonable/analytical. Awe and wonder cannot be scripted. We are carried along by forces with a mind of their own, and are just along for the ride, and what a ride it is!


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