April, 2022

Blue Ridge Sumac 10/12/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
This is a place marker for the posts I hope to write during the month of April. Thanks for checking it out, and may you find something worth your time!


It is easier for me to know
what I do not want to do with my life,
than it is to know what I want to do with it--
and my trouble with knowing that 
is knowing how to listen to what my life
wants to do itself.

I'll bet you are not world class
in knowing how to listen to your life either.
We could have used some guidance with this earlier,
like pre-kindergarten.

Maybe Montessori has something to offer along these lines,
how to listen yourself early on.
I could certainly have used it throughout 
all those years of not-knowing how to do it!

Here I am, here we are, learning how to do the essential stuff
even now, even yet, even so.

I have found that the old Taoists of 500 BCE 
had also worked on the problem,
and they recommend three things:
and Silence.

That would be the right kind of emptiness, 
stillness and silence.

That kind of emptiness is the emptiness between breaths.
Nothing is going on there.
Count your breaths
and pause between exhale and inhale
for a count of five--
noticing how empty that place is.

That is the kind of empty emptiness
we are working on being able to 
drop into at any point in our daily life,
where we do nothing, think nothing, feel nothing,
and simply wait,
listening, looking
for what emerges, arises, appears out of nowhere
to grab our attention.

Our self has spoken.

Our unconscious side--
the side we are unconscious of--
isn't much with language,
but is great with symbols, images, scenes,
objects, visions, etc.,
and we have to decipher, interpret, translate
what occurs to us in the silence,
and how best we might respond to it.

This kind of "conversation" is
"the beginning of a beautiful friendship,"
leading us into the adventure of being alive
in what remains of the life left to live.

Happy Trails!
Mind how you go!


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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