January 24, 2022


Ghost Trees of Graveyard Beach 01 Oil Paint Rendered
Helen Keller didn't have much 
in the way of hope
the way a lot of people think of hope,
she made up for it with a willful determination
to deal successfully with her situation in life,
no matter what.

Speaking of "what,"
what's keeping us from making the same effort
in coming to terms with our life
that she made in coming to terms with hers?

What's harder about our life
than what was hard about her life?

What are the things that stop us?
That throw us for loops?
That rock our world?

How do they stack up against
Helen Keller's world?

If Helen Keller can do what she did
with her world,
why can't we do what she did
with our world?



Half-dome 04/27/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Yosemite National Park, California
Hope is our way of assessing our chances
of getting our way,
and having what we want.

To have no hope 
is to have no chance
of getting what we want.

Which is like the end of the world
for a lot of people,
perhaps most people,
but not all people.

Some people can go right on
with no chance of getting what they want,
having no hope at all.

They don't care about what they want
and don't want.
They are perfectly fine,
just as they are.

I think their secret to being able to live
within any circumstances
as those who are just fine
is a the right combination of trust in themselves,
courage, curiosity
and a sense of satisfaction
in how well they deal with
whatever comes their way.

They are artists of the art of life,
seeing and serving what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
to the best of their ability,
and seeing where it goes.

They do not live to impose their will
on their life/circumstances,
but to dance with life/circumstances
in a way that meets their needs
and serves their purposes,
which are aligned with their possibilities,
their interests,
and the possibilities and interests
of those about them.

What they want is limited to what they need,
and what they need is limited
to what gets them comfortably through the day,
without having too much or too little
to call their own.

Seems simple enough,
until you take it out of the box
and try to get it to work,
with no instructions regarding
how to do it,
and having to depend upon our own imagination
to get it going.



Two Trees 01/11/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Guilford County, North Carolina
If we forgot how to see,
how would we know whom to hate?

How long would we have to be blind
for hatred to be the least of our problems?

That would be different, wouldn't it?
Around the world.


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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