February 27, 2022


Chaplin’s Lake Sunset 07/18/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, Louisiana
There are so many ways of missing the point.
Of missing the way.
Of not getting it.

And then, there is President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
and the people of Ukraine. 

If they can get it right,
why can't everybody?



Fall Woods 16 02/16/2022 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
It is raining and 34 degrees outside.
I am inside with a fire and a cup of coffee.
My idea of a perfect day,
of perfection generally.

It is 6:10 AM.
I've been up since 4:35.
Because I can't wait to see
what the day has to offer.

It is always something.
I am never disappointed.
It has taken all these years--
today is my 78th next-to-last-day-of-February--
to be where I am.
I am amazed that it has taken this long.
And wish I had been more aware
of things as they are
all the way from then to now.

Just looking,
just watching,
just seeing,
just knowing,
just making connections,
looking deeper,
seeing more,
seeing beyond assumptions
and inferences,
wants and desires
to know what's happening
and what needs to happen in response,
and being right about it,
and doing it
with the gifts that are mine
to serve and share,
moment by moment,
day by day,
cooperating with my life
and allowing it to carry me
to where I need to be
all along the way.

I started participating in my life
in that way in the mid-1970's,
and have been growing in my ability to do it,
consciously, reliably, dependably,
since then.

I'm getting better at it, 
at letting my life have its way with me,
and enjoying the process 
of seeing what is happening
and seeing what I do about it,
how I respond to it,
and where things go from there.

I do better in an atmosphere
of low noise, drama and complexity,
and am working on my ability to drop into
that kind of environment
no matter where I am
simply by observing things as they are
without judgment, agenda or opinion--
just letting things be
like that tree on the hill,
and that cow in the pasture,
and this line of traffic 
that is not moving at all.

Having no will in the matter
beyond willing myself to have no will in the matter
has gotten me here, now.
I wish I had started earlier
having this attitude about things.
I wouldn't likely be in a much different place,
here and now,
but the trip here would have been smoother,
with fewer dead ends,
and fewer regrets about missing what I missed,
and doing what I've done,
forcing things that had no business being.

The rain is gentle and steady,
the fire is a comfort,
the coffee is a great companion,
and I am glad to be here, now,
ready for what is coming,
which will be making bread pudding
in its time.



Vertical Cedar 01 11/18/2022 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Live like you care how you live!
How would you live if you did care how you lived?
How differently would you live
if you cared how you lived?
Where is it most apparent that you don't care?
That you are just going through the motions?
Just waiting for something to care about?
For something to mean something to you?
Wishing something would?

Fake it!
Live as though your life matters to you!
What would you do if your life mattered to you?
Do it!
Do it like it matters to you!

Live in ways that exhibit/express/reveal/incarnate
your original nature.
Who are you naturally?
What is your shtick?
Your drift?
Your inclination?
Your bent?
Your way?
Give way to that!
Let your natural leaning
direct your actions.

How differently would you live?
If you lived from the inside out?
Instead of from the outside in?
Gauging how you should act
in order to position yourself
for the greatest advantage/gain?
Hoping to please the right people
and have it made?

Who do you live to please?

If you lived to please you,
how differently would you live?

Live to find your natural self
and to be comfortable in the life you are living.

How would you go about doing that?

Go about doing that.


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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