January 03, 2022


Duckie 07 05/13/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — The Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina
Innocence, sincerity, vulnerability,
authenticity, just so-ness, and the like
are all characteristics of The Fool,
and will not get you very far
in the world as it is.

Savvy-ness has its place.

Yoda and Obi-wan Kenobi seem
to embody the right ratios,
though a bit more jocularity
wouldn't hurt anything.

Jesus and the Buddha 
are way too serious,
and wouldn't know what to do
with a joke.
If they ever laugh at themselves,
it must be in the shower.

As for me,
I crack myself up all the time.
It is my most endearing characteristic.
Catching myself awash in contradictions
keeps me going.
It is the key to balance and harmony,
seeing our opposites,
and laughing.

Who is keeping score?
Who wouldn't be better off
lightening up a bit?
It is the way of grace
and compassion,
kindness and affection.

Give me Woody from Cheers 
for a traveling companion.
Innocently true to himself
in an eternally humorous kind of way.

If I could be anybody,
I would be Woody.
Or Cher.



December Woods 13 12/02/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Saying “Yes” to life just as it is, 
is saying “Yes” to what needs to be 
done about life just as it is! 
Is saying “Yes!” to “NO!” 
Is getting up and doing 
what needs to be done 
to make life more like it ought to be
than it is,
and not sitting back in an 
“Oh well, this is God’s will” kind of way.

Leaving things just as they are
is a terrible failure 
to be who we are!

We are here to do what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
with the gifts/daemon/genius/knacks/proclivities/etc.
that comes with us from the womb--
our original nature--
as a blessing and a grace 
upon our circumstances
all our life long.

To neglect that 
is to reject our calling,
bury our talents,
refuse to be a light in the world,
and assist what needs to be opposed
and rejected.

We are here to make things better
than they would be without us,
in the most insignificant kind of way
(A cup of cold water, for instance).

We forsake the unique contribution
we are capable of making
during our time on earth,
and denying our value to the
unfolding of life and being,
when we disappear ourselves
in being like everyone else,
and refusing to ask the questions
that beg to be asked,
say the things that cry out to be said,
and do the things that are ours to do
in the time and place of our living.

Being who we are
means doing what needs to be done,
means doing what needs us to do it,
means being true to ourselves,
here and now,
moment to moment,
in each situation as it arises,
our entire life long.

Whether we want to or not.
Whether we feel like it or not.
Whether we are in the mood for it or not.
Whether it is convenient or not.
For no other reason than this is who we are,
and this is what we do.

So, "Gimme The Ball! Gimme The Ball! Gimme The Ball!
And Get Out Of My Way!
Because I Am Here To Do My Thing,
And I Am Going To Do It!
No Matter What!"

May it be ever so for all of us!



Scrapping Fall 11 11/17/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Carolina Thread Trail, 12-mile Creek Segment, Waxhaw, North Carolina
Reading through old (i.e. actual) folders and files,
I came across this from 02/07/1997:

One of the 10,000 spiritual laws is
"Truth is found between the hands."
On the one hand this, and on the other hand that,
and the two appear to cancel each other out,
but truth is found in the tension between the two,
and so, the Yin/Yang of Taoism,
and the 6-pointed Star (Star of David,
though it was in use for two thousand years,
or so, before David came along),
and the cross that Jesus bore 
at the heart of Christianity, etc.

It is a basic rule of Bible study
to look for the opposite scriptural position
from the one under consideration,
and find the truth that exists in the tension
between the two extremes, 
or between the pair of opposites,
in a "What does this have to do with that?"
kind of way.

--Back to here and now--

"Between the extremes"
and "In the tension between opposites,"
is not a steady state of being.
The balance point is always moving,
as a dancer with the music.

"Sometimes we do it this way,
and sometimes we do it that way,
and sometimes we do it that way over there."

The moment calls its own tune,
and it is our place to dance in response
to what is being played here and now,
No! Here and now!...

What we do in this moment
may not work in the next moment.
We are always making adjustments
in our response to the moments
of our living
in order to respond appropriately
to what is called for now,
though that might be contradicted
by what was called for then,
or will be called for next.

Flexibility and spontaneity
characterize our way with life
as we flow with the times
and rise to every occasion
with moves that match the music
which we improvise on the go
all the time. 


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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