February 22, 2022


The Grove 01 Panorama O1/29/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — ACE National Wildlife Refuge, Hollywood, South Carolina
I don't know what your ambitions are,
but you can't do better 
than being an original human being.

A woman or a man who is "one just come,"
right out of the womb, so to speak,
to be just who they are
in each situation as it arises,
with no agendas,
no expectations,
no opinions,
just seeing what's what
and what needs to be done about it,
in conjunction with it,
for the true good of all concerned.

Wisdom, integrity, grace and compassion
coming to life in each situation as it arises
embodies in those who are being themselves
in response to the moment,
like children in a sandbox,
like dancers on a dance floor,
like a dog wagging its tail.
For no reason other than 
that's what needs to be done.



Vertical Cedar 01 02/18/2022 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
One of the best things you can do for yourself
is to be aware of your contradictions.

Mississippi Delta farmers--and farmers everywhere else--
killed the land they loved,
and the ponds they fished in,
and the people who worked for them,
and themselves,
using the pesticides and herbicides 
they used to make a living,
and were--are--a contradiction in terms
of who they are and what they do.

So is everyone else.

We say this and do that.

Republicans who made such a deal
about standing for the flag
do not stand for what the flag stands for
and do not notice the blatant contradiction.


And do everything you can
to be who you say you are.

You won't be able to do enough.

"Life Eats Life."
Not even Vegans can avoid that contradiction.
Whatever we eat requires the death
of what we eat.
We eat what was once alive
and probably would be alive
if we weren't eating it.

Life is a dance with contradictions.

The least we can do is notice it,
know it,
be aware of it,
acknowledge it,
and allow it to inform
our actions
and fuel our humility and compassion
for all sentient beings
laboring as we do together
under the harsh requirements of being alive.


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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