January 04, 2022


Duckie 02 05/08/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — The Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina
Forget being happy.
Forget having your way.
Forget getting what you want.

Live to know what is called for,
to know what needs to be done,
here and now,
and do it
in every situation as it arises,
throughout the rest of your life.

Live to serve the moment,
this moment,
right now.

Moment by moment.
Situation by situation.
For as long as you live.

What is your life asking of you?
Be right about that and do it.
To the best of your ability,
with the gifts/genius/daemon/virtues/
that came with you from the womb--
your original nature,
who you are and who you
are capable of being
if you would just get out of your way
and trust yourself to be enough
just as you are,
right now,
to be what is needed right now,

In order to get to this point,
you will have to learn some new tricks.

Emptiness being the most important one.
Stillness and silence being the next in line.
Waiting, listening, looking, reflecting,
hearing, seeing, knowing,
doing, being.
Balance and harmony,
integrity, sincerity and spontaneity,
spirit, energy, vitality.
And trusting yourself to know what to do
and when to do it
the way it needs to be done,
and doing it.

Getting the What? When? and How? down
and doing it
is all there is to it,

In order for that to happen,
we have to get out of the way,
and stop interfering with the flow of life
by imposing our idea of how things ought to be
on how things are.

We hijack the natural way of life
and our way with life
in three ways.


When any or all of those come into play,
our ability to know What? When? How?
and we may as well go to bed
for all the good we are going to be
for our life until fear, greed and lethargy
are shown the door and told to leave.

At this point in this little soliloquy, 
you have all you need to know
to do what needs to be done
when it needs to be done,
how it needs to be done.

And now it is up to you.
Mind how you go.
Fair winds and following seas.
Moment by moment.
Situation by situation.
Day by day.
All the way.



Bayou DiSeard 06 11/02/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Monroe, Louisiana
the two are one,

And that's all there is to it.

The people who see,
see the same things.

The people who hear,
hear the same things.

The people who know,
know the same things.

The people who do,
do the same things.

And live out of the depths
of their own heart 
and soul
and mind
and strength--
grounded on their own adamantine 
connection with themselves
and their own authority
to size up a situation,
know what's what
and what needs to be done in response
and doing it
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises,
for the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it,
no matter what,
all their life long.

Live to be one of those people.



Watkins Glen 03 09/20/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Watkins Glen State Park, New York
How we look determines, or strongly influences,
what we see.

How we look itself 
is determined, or strongly influenced by
what has happened to us in the past
and what we have done in response
and how that has impacted us--
and by the stake we have in,
and the importance we place on,
what we are looking at.

If we could see what we look at
without any stake in,
or attachment to,
what is before us,
we might not see it at all.

I can walk through an entire
department, or store, of women's shoes
and be unable to tell you anything
specific about what I "saw."

Put me in the Joseph Campbell section
of a bookstore
and I can tell you the titles 
of all the books there.

Our past evokes/dampens/shapes our interests,
and positions us to respond as we do
to our present circumstances.

How well-adjusted we are to our life experience
depends upon what that experience has been
up to now.

No one is free to look without prejudice
upon the present moment,
coming, as we do, upon the present
under the combined weight
of all our past moments,
and conditioned by all that has impacted us
to this point.

We cannot help seeing as we do,
given all we have seen
and how that has affected us.

It is a wonder 
that we are as balanced as we are,
given where we have been
and what has happened to us.

Squaring up to that
and making our peace with it,
enables us to see how that modifies 
how we see,
and seeing our seeing is as close
to objectivity as we can hope to be.


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 “January 04, 2022

    1. Happy new year back to you! For this year and all the years following! I think happiness is a frame of mind, being fine with how things are and doing what we can to make them that way for ourselves and others, regardless of what our chances are. Making our peace with that will make everything different from now on, with different beginning with our indifference to our chances, and to all things that might, otherwise, unsettle us. Mind how you go! And good luck with everything you undertake!


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