February 16, 2022


Round-lobed Hepatica 02 02/10/2022 Oil Paint Rendered — Indian Land, South Carolina
We find our rhythm,
our balance
and our stride,
and step into each situation
as it arises,
see what's what
and what needs to be done about it
and do what can be done 
with the gifts we bring to the moment,
and let that be that.

Reading the moment and responding to it
in ways appropriate to the occasion
is all that is asked of us ever.
One moment at a time.

This is not too hard.
Babies do it. 
Small children do it.
Jesus did it.
We can do it.

Begin with the next moment that comes along.



February Woods 01 02/11/2022 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Greed is the source of all our problems.
Wanting what we have no business having.
Having more than we know what to do with.
Capitalism is greed gone amok.

Here we are.
Now what?

We could do worse than seeking out
the right kind of emptiness,
the right kind of stillness,
the right kind of silence,
and waiting for something to stir to life within
to offer the right kind of realization
and the right kind of direction
to lead us to the right kind of life.

Nothing changes until we do.

We have always wanted 
things to be better
with nothing being different.

How different are we willing to be?
How different can we be?
We live to find out.
By taking up the practice of
the right kind of emptiness,
the right kind of stillness,
the right kind of silence.

Our guides along the way
are balance and harmony,
sincerity, integrity, spontaneity,
energy, spirit and vitality.

Keeping an eye in these eight guides
and living consciously between
the contradictions/polarities of our life
puts us at "the still point of the turning world"
(T.S. Eliot)
between the Yin and Yang of existence,
where we do the work of bringing life to life
in each situation as it arises
in service to the true good of the whole--
with no idea of merit, gain, advantage, reward.

Which makes no sense
until we begin to do it,
in a "thinking follows action" kind of way.

Nobody can tell us what to do,
or even how to know
what the right kind of emptiness,
stillness and silence is.

Everything waits for us 
to open ourselves 
to what is waiting.

Which makes no sense
until we do it
as though it matters what we do
and how we do it.



Urban Landscape 02/12/2022 Oil Paint Rendered — Charlotte, North Carolina
My last name has nothing to do with currency.
It is the Americanization of the Scottish word "Dolor,"
which sounds a lot like "Dolla,"
and came about (As I imagine it)
when my ancestors as immigrants to the New World
grew tired of being shamed for
not knowing how to spell their name,
said something on the order of "What the hell?"
and adopted "dollaR" as their own.

"Dolor" means pain, suffering, grief, loss and sorrow,
and goes back to the suicide of a princess
of Campbell Castle over a lost love.
In commemoration of her death,
the glen around the castle became known as Dolor/Dollar Glen, 
and my male ancestors became known as "A man of Dolor."

As "a man of Dolor," I have an intimate
connection with the Suffering Servant of Isiah,
who was "a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief,"
and, as such, I can tell you
that the key to dealing with grief, loss and sorrow
is to not carry it around with you.

Grieve what is to be grieved and be done with it.
Get up and get back in the game.
Let come what's coming,
and let go what's going,
in order to be ready to do
what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises,
no matter what has gone on before.

Rise and get back in the game,
back in the moment that is to be lived,
even now, even yet, even so,
doing what needs to be done
the way it needs to be done,
no matter what.

We take our cue for living
from the circumstances in which we live,
here and now,
in each situation as it flows,
moves, develops, transforms
into the next situation
throughout each day.

We dance with the moment,
with its contradictions and conflicts,
moment to moment.
in a "Here we are, now what?" kind of way,
not letting our losses stop us,
or even slow us down.


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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