January 25, 2022


Curtis Island Dawn 09/19/2005 Oil Paint Rendered — Camden, Maine
What have you always had to do well?
What have you always had to get right?
Not because someone told you to,
not because anyone was watching.
Because it mattered to you,
and you had to do it like it needed to be done
to please yourself?

What do you do like it needs to be done
for itself alone?

Start doing everything like it needs to be done
for itself alone!

Let that be your practice from this moment on.

Doing everything you do like it needs to be done
because it matters to you to get it right.

Live like it matters--
down to the smallest detail
in every situation as it arises.

It will change your life for the better,
one situation at a time.



Water Lilly 01 06/04/2015 Oil Paint Rendered
Life unfolds according to its own volition.
Our will is not to be imposed on life,
or upon the situation as it arises before us,
but to be enlisted in the service
of what needs to happen,
because it needs to happen,
the way it needs to happen,
here and now.

Duty/Dharma is one of the things 
that keeps us from doing
our duty/dharma lying inert within
each situation,
waiting for eyes that see it
and the will that does it
with liege loyalty
and filial devotion
and a noble heart
responding spontaneously,
to the need of the moment,
and does what is called for,
no matter what,
or who is watching.

and honoring,
fealty to the right form of duty,
is all it takes
to be an original human being
serving our original nature
in the time and place of our living.

And that is all that matters
through all of the times and places
of existence.

I know you have heard this before.
What matters is that you hear it at last.

Understanding that what needs to be said
cannot be said often enough
to those who still aren't doing
what needs to be done.



Tipton Place 10/01/2017 Oil Paint Rendered — Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, Tennessee
It is hard enough with the cooperation we need--
And how often do we get that?--
in meeting the day as it needs to be met.

We bear the anguish of a conflict of interests
in each situation as it arises,
on multiple levels.
This is not easy!
Whose side are we on?
Again and again the choice must be made--
and even when we make it between ourselves
and others,
we have to make it again
between ourselves and ourselves!

We have our ideas for our life,
and our life has its ideas for us,
and whose idea will we serve in this moment,
here and now, 
is the question that goes 'round and 'round,
moment after moment
all our life long.

And, deciding again, is like dying.

So, Jesus said, "If you are going to do it
like it needs to be done,
you have to pick up your cross 
(Which was symbolic, equivalent to, death
in those days)
every day and die the death that needs to be died
that day,
then on to the next,
for as long as there are days."

If you can understand what is being asked of us,
and submit to it,
in a willfully compliant kind of way,
you will be doing it the way it must be done,
every day.


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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