February 11, 2022


Sunset Silhouette 04 09/27/2012 Oil Paint Rendered — Pamlico Sound, Deer Isle, Maine
We have said "Liberty and justice for all,"
but wealthy people,
powerful people,
think that doesn't apply to them,
particularly the "justice" part,
or to those they don't like,
and live to have life their way,
doing what the want, when they want,
any way they want,
without consequences or repercussions.
And they don't pay taxes.

Wealthy, powerful people
live at the expense of everyone else.

I don't know of any way to bring them to justice,
to have them pay their fair share,
to force them to live within the constraints
that apply to the rest of us.

An Elder Wand would do it,
but that is a happy fantasy.
The truth is "Money Wins."

What does money live off of?
We can cut back on how much of our money
we give to those who are making money off of us.
We can live to diminish our own reliance on money.
We can live to remove money from its center place
in our life.
We can become as free from the power of money
as we can be and still pay the bills necessary 
to do what needs to be done.

But the fundamental problem
of the inequities created and sustained by money
will be with us always
to the end of time.
Everybody does not have 
the same rights in prisons
or POW camps.

If we let that burden us
and restrict our life,
we are paying an unnecessary price
in addition to the inequity
that is also to be recognized
and shouldered on our way through the world.



Barn on Mormon Row 06/23/2001 Oil Paint Rendered — Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming
Growing up is the solution 
to all of our problems today.

We think having our way
and getting what we want
is the ultimate goal of life.

The culture and the economy
(And where is the line separating the two?)
are geared to creating and maintaining
an infantile approach to living
on the part of every citizen, young and old,
to keep us buying everything we want
and therefore think we ought to have.

If people lived out of their need to be who we are
and serve/express/exhibit our original nature
in all that we do,
it would crash the economy in a day,
maybe two.

Advertising and movies are geared to thirteen year olds,
and too few of us ever advance beyond that level,
no matter how old we actually are.

"When is it MY turn?" and "What about ME?"
are the mantras of daily life.
The entire refusal to wear a mask
and be vaccinated furor is a flash-back
to the Terrible Two's,
which is as far as Donald Trump and his entourage 
have advanced.

The world is dying for people to open themselves
to the tasks commiserate with their stage of life,
undertaking and completing them 
at the time appropriate to their age.

Who is willingly and heartfully doing 
what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
where it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
all their life long
no matter what
for the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it?

Yet, it is easy to find those
who are artfully dodging the tasks of life
and compensating themselves for the burdens
they can't avoid
with double helpings of whatever
is a delight to their eyes
and promises to make them euphorically happy forever,
or until the next Wonderful Nothing comes along.

Yachts and islands and private jets
seem to be doing it for those who can afford it.
The rest of us have to settle for bigger TV's
and a place in some crowd.



Jasper Wetlands 01 09/26/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Jasper National Park, Alberta
It is the task of life
to make conscious what can be made conscious
of the unconscious aspects of ourselves.

Things happened to us 
that should not have happened to us,
and other things did not happen
that should have happened,
and we responded to both sets of things
in ways that were not as helpful
as it might have been--
and are still responding to those things
in those ways.

We have become who we are
because of our ways of responding
to the things that happened to us
and to the things that did not happen to us.

And then there are the things 
that came with us from the womb--
our original nature,
who we are equipped to be,
primed to be,
ready to be,
but something happens,
and what the world we are born into allows
restricts what we can be,
and we have to work out a compromise
in becoming who we are--
and that has to be made conscious as well,
in order to bring our original nature
to life as fully as possible
within the life we are living.

In all of this, 
we need more help than we get,
which leaves us with helping ourselves
by finding what we need
to do what needs to be done,
on all levels
in the time left for living,
in redeeming what can be redeemed,
and serving what needs to be served,
in squaring ourselves up with who we are,
where we are,
when we are,
how we are,
and living as fully as we can
under the circumstances.

In making conscious what needs to be conscious,
we come to terms with what must be come to terms with,
make our peace with what must be acknowledged
and allowed to be because it is,
with much in the way of compassion,
and little in the way of opinion.

We do this in the company
of the right kind of emptiness
(Emptying ourselves of all that 
stands between us and emptiness), 
the right kind of stillness
and the right kind of silence.

Waiting, watching, for something
to stir to life, 
and spring to mind,
of its own accord,
"out of the blue,"
surprising us with the appearance
of something new,
calling our name
and asking us to follow
where it leads,
and see where it goes--
doing what needs to be done 
in response all along the way.


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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