February 04, 2022


Zion Moon 03 05/27/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah
Things go better with me and my life
when I reduce the level 
of noise and complexity,
and increase the level
of balance and harmony.

To do that I have to be aware of it,
and know what constitutes
noise and complexity,
and what serves balance and harmony.

Stillness and silence
work well in both areas.

We have to know what stands for us
as sanctuary and shelter,
and go there often
for the balm and solace it provides.

Could be a cup of coffee and a fire
in the fireplace. 

The important thing is to be present
with what is present with us
as a healing and restorative agent
in the service of restoring us to our soul
for the work that is ours to do
on the field of action
in our daily life.



Watkins Glen 01 09/20/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Watkins Glen State Park, New York
The task of life is being who we are
within the time and place of our living,
situation by situation,
moment by moment.

Being who we are is being aligned with
our original nature.

Chuang Tzu, who lived three hundred years
before the common era,
is first person I know of
who talked about the importance of our original nature.

This is "the face that was ours before we were born."
Be that.
Do that.
Within the circumstances that are blocking that,
interfering with that,
preventing that.

The big problem preventing that
is not external to us,
but entirely within us.
It is wanting something different than that,
wanting something more than that.

Personal gain, benefit, reward, success, achievement,
acquirement, advantage
trumps all other concerns and considerations.
And that is the cork in the bottle.

We live to get what we want,
not to be who we are--
and so, the adage:
"Live from your heart,
not from your stomach!"

What does wanting know?
Our appetites are not 
a reliable guide
in determining what needs to be done.

Allowing our original nature
to lead the way,
with its instincts and intuition,
its innocence, sincerity and spontaneity,
is a much better choice
for living the life that is ours to live
in the time and place of our living.

But. We are so estranged from ourselves,
we have no idea of the qualities,
gifts and virtues
that are ours to serve.

We have to transform our relationship
with ourselves
if we are to live the life that is ours to live.
And that means learning to listen to,
and to be aware of,
the invisible Other within,
in paying heed to the psyche,
living from the center,
from the still point of the turning world,
and following the voice of antiquity
in bringing forth what is needed
in each here and now
of the present age.


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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