February 25, 2022


The Trawler Capt. Garland 10/27/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Pamlico Sound, Outer Banks, North Carolina
Where is the incentive to live 
with all our heart in what we are doing?
To live like a dog wags its tail?
Like a child with an ice cream cone gets to work?

What is keeping us from living that way?
Giving our best moment-to-moment?
Not holding anything back
because what we are doing is that important?

Why isn't it that important?
What are we waiting for?
When do we start living a though it matters
how we live?

What are we waiting for?
When are we going to stop waiting
and get to work?



Mossy Boulders 05/04/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Greenbrier District, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cosby, Tennessee
Carl Jung said,
"A hermit is a primitive person
who trusts their unconscious."

A primitive person is an original person,
a natural person,
a genuine human being.

One who lives from the heart
sees what they look at,
are what they are,
coming forth as one thus come
in each situation as it arises
to do what needs to be done there,
say what needs to be said there,
ask what needs to be asked there,
to startle and amaze,
balance and harmonize,
stabilize and orient,
the moment,
moment by moment,
as an innocent fool,
or a crusty old curmudgeon,
as the occasion requires,
in the service of radiance and wonder,
with nothing at stake in their actions
beyond the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it
the way they do it,
all their life long.

If you are going to live at all,
why not live like that,
as a blessing and a grace
upon all who come your way

Why hold anything back?
What is to be gained
by not being yourself
instead of being yourself
in ways appropriate to the occasion,
by rising to meet the occasion,
in every occasion that comes along?

The missing element 
in life as we experience it.
Exactly what is needed.
Here and now.



Fall Woods 10 11/16/2022 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
"The world is too much with us, late and soon"
(William Wordsworth).
From beginning to end.
Because we make it so.
Captured as we are between gain and pain,
with nothing left but drama,
chase scenes
sex, drugs and alcohol
to choose from.
It is too much for us.
We long to lay down our burden,
but then what?
Our burden is all we know,
and there is a long way to go yet.

Our life is the Sisyphean Task,
up the hill with the rock,
and down the hill following the rock,
back up the hill with the rock 
that is our life.

For what?

The next time the rock is at the bottom,
find the shady side
and sit for a while,
practicing the right kind of emptiness,
stillness and silence,
and creating the right kind of distance
between yourself and every other thing.

Reflecting distance.

Sit in the silence and wait
"for the mud to settle and the water to clear"
(An old Taoist prescription).
And for something to stir to life,
calling something to spring to mind
out of nowhere.

Take it as sign,
and turn it over,
walk around it,
take it with you as a talisman,
as you walk through your days,
pondering its meaning,
exploring its relationship with you,
seeking the gift it offers,
the message it bears,
following where it leads
for the stark lack of anything better to do.

And see where it goes.


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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