January 28, 2022

01

Maine Moonrise 09 09/27/2012 Oil Paint Rendered — Penobscot Bay, Deer Isle, Maine
The difference between having a way
and having to have our way
is the difference between
being on the way
and being off it.

Having a way without having to have it
is having direction and purpose
without having to go that way
and do that thing.

Things come up.
Things happen.
We have to make adjustments
and accommodations.
We have to acquiesce
and acknowledge a will and a way
not of our own devising,
and do things differently
that we had intended.

What is the source of the contrary
force changing our choices out of the blue?
It is simply the nature of things
to be what they are.

Everything happens in conjunction with,
and in response to,
something else that happens.
Chains of events and circumstances 
move, shift, transform, come and go
on a whim.
Whose whim?
Anybody's.
Everybody's.
Nobody's.

Weather patters are always shifting
to take a previous shift into account.
So it goes with the ebbs and flows 
of life throughout space and time.

Cause and effect are not carefully orchestrated
and choreographed.
And effect can have causes that are delayed
over time.
No one can take everything into account,
or know what to expect when or where or for how long.
There are too many intangibles to take into account.
We have to make up our response to it as we go,
dancing with the music as the bands trade places
through time.

No source.
No reasons.
Just this.
Now.
And something else, then.

And we make the best of it
always and forever,
in a "Here we are, now what?"
kind of way.

It helps to have little in the way of
agendas and opinions.
If you know what I mean.

–0–

02

Tupper Lake Twilight 02 09/22/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Adirondack Park, Tupper Lake, New York
Carl Jung said, "A hermit
is a primitive person
who trusts their unconscious."

He might have said,
"An original person
who is at home with their psyche."

There is no greater boon
or graver threat
than an original person 
at home with their psyche.

Enter the Buddha and Jesus.
And those like them through the ages,
including the shamans and the Taoists,
Chief Seattle and Black Elk,
and many of the witches drowned on a board
or burned at the stake.

The world doesn't know what to do
with original people
at home with their psyche.

The boon is a threat.

Lao Tzu climbed on his ox
and rode into the west,
a Chinese metaphor
for going off to die.
He tried to give people
what he had to offer,
and they wanted nothing to do with it.
They kept saying,
"Why don't you talk to us
about things we can understand?"

But they understood enough to know
he was a threat to their way of life.
And he shook the dust of his sandals
as he left town
as a sign against them
(Or was that Jesus?).

The boon is a threat.
The gift is a two-edged sword.
Life is death.
If we can be okay with that,
we will have it made.

As made as a hermit has it
with their psyche
as their best friend for life
in a world that has no clue,
and doesn't want to have one.

–0–

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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