March 08, 2022


Jesse Brown’s Place 04/25/2011 BW Oil Paint Rendered –Blue Ridge Parkway, Tompkins Knob Overlook, North Carolina
We aren't here to get anything out of it,
to have something to show for it.

We are here to bring the best we have to offer
to bear on the context and circumstances of our life.

What we can enjoy while doing it
is entirely up to us.

And there is a lot more joy
involved in living out of 
the right kind of emptiness,
stillness and silence,
than living to conquer, triumph, win,
subdue and prevail.

What is our life calling for?
Asking of us?

We have to listen and look
in order to know.

To run past the opportunities
to do so
is to miss something important
on our way to making our mark.



Beulah Land 10 06/25/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Mt. Moran, Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming
The Gateless Gate is the gateway
to enlightenment and mystery within mystery.

Enlightenment is the realization 
of mystery at the heart of life and being,
and on every level of life and being.

Enlightenment is knowing
that understanding is beyond our grasp,
and being comfortably at one 
with the mystery and the conundrum 
of living with contradictions
that cannot be resolved
to our satisfaction.

There is a region of Wyoming
and another of Colorado
that hold a strong attraction
to the wealthy and well-heeled. 
Their willingness to pay any price
to live there
has raised prices to the point
where the people who trim the lawns
and prepare the food,
and serve the tables,
and keep the houses, etc.
cannot afford to live there.

"Poverty with a view," they call it,
on their way out of town
to lives they can afford to live
in other parts of the country.

Leaving the wealthy and well-heeled
with being able to afford to live
in beautiful surroundings
with no supporting staff
to tend their needs.

This is not, as they say,
"a third-world problem."
Even the third-world has problems
like this in a different context.

We want things that interfere
with other things we want,
and "Why can't we have it ALL???"

Entering through the Gateless Gate
enables/requires us to be at peace
with the way of things 
that present themselves like this:
"This is the way things are,
and this is what you can do about it,
and this is the way things are."

One thing rules out another.
If we can make our peace with that,
we have it made.

Acquiescence and accommodation, Kid.
Acquiescence and accommodation.


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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