April 06, 2022


Flame Azalea 01 04/02/2022 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
We have to hear what we are saying
in order to know--and be--who we are.

Where do you go 
to hear what you have to say?
To say what needs to be said?
To know--and be--who you are?

We are only allowed to say
what is permissible to say.
We can't say the truth
unless it is a "truth"
that someone else told us is the Truth
and told us to say.

We can only repeat what we have heard.
We never say what we have to say.

Where do we go to say the truth--
the truth that is who we are,
that is what we have to say.
Where do we go to say that?

Where are we not allowed to do that?
To say that?
To say what is so,
what is ours to say?

How long are we to keep it "bottled up"?
What happens to unsaid truth?
Does it "dry up and blow away"?
Do we dry up and blow away with it?
How long before we are gone? 



Beulah Land 38 Oil Paint Rendered — Cape Hatteras Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
We do not--cannot--grow up
without changing our mind
about what is important.
And being right about it.

Being right about what is important
and living in ways which honor it
with liege loyalty 
and filial devotion
is growing up.

What do we owe fealty to?
What is that important?

We cannot buy that.
Money is worthless when it comes
to what is important.

The people who think money matters most,
who sacrifice everything in the service of money,
don't have a clue.

Here it is, laid bare:
Living aligned with our original nature
is the most important thing.

In service to the virtues/shtick/genius/daemon/gifts
that came with us from the womb.

In accord with the time and place of our living.

If you do not know what I am talking about,
make it your life to know.

Do not die without knowing.
To die without knowing is to be doubly dead.
We are dead until we know.
We come alive in knowing and doing
what is important.
Make it your life to know and to do
what matters most.



The Orchard Revisited Oil Paint Rendered — The Wasteland Collection
Hope is way over-rated.

Jesus didn't give a damn
about what his chances were.

He came to say what he had to say
and to do what needed to be done
and let nature take its course--
and they killed him for it.

For not knowing his place.
For not minding his manners.
For not caring what his elders thought.
For not stopping just because it was hopeless...

Jesus spoke out of turn
and did what was unthinkable.

"Be a neighbor to everyone,
even Samaritans.
Even women.
Even women caught in adultery.
Even transgender women.
Even women who have to have an abortion.
And to everyone else who needs a neighbor.
YOU are the neighbor!
Go be one to everyone who needs one!"

Whether it does any good or not.

Be good for nothing!

The way Jesus was!

And live to say and do
what you came to say and do.

If you have no idea what is yours to say,
and what is yours to do,
if you are just saying what somebody says
you are supposed to say...
if you are just doing what somebody says
you are supposed to do...
wake up!
Look around!
Find something that needs saying and say it!
Find something that needs doing and do it!
That. Is. All. There. Is. To. It!!!



Spring Hills 04/25/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone, North Carolina
Everybody is pissy and snarly
when their life isn't working.

When they don't know what it would take
for their life to be working.

Who are at loose ends,
lost without direction
in the wasteland of their own making.

"Pissy" and "Snarly"
are everywhere these days.

The sure cure for pissy and snarly is simple:
The right kind of emptiness,
and silence.

Three things pissy and snarly cannot tolerate
are the right kind of emptiness,
and silence.

All of their loose ends
and their lostness
and the stark, barrenness, of the wasteland
become apparent
in the right kind of emptiness,
and silence--
and they become doubly pissy and snarly
because they can't stand it.

Because they hate it 
and can't do anything about it,
because the cure is unthinkable.

They are so filled with the wrong kind of emptiness
they can't bear the right kind of emptiness
long enough to be still and quiet--
and listen and look
until they hear and see
what it would take for their life to work.

What it would take 
is the extreme polar opposite
of what they want it to be.

And that what keeps things pissy and snarly.

People don't have what it takes to grow up
and do what needs to be done.

That's all it takes,
and they can't do it
because they want what they want
even though they don't know what that is.
They know it isn't what it will take,
and they are not going to do it.

That leaves pissy and snarly forever.

I recommend giving them wide berth
where that is possible,
and waiting for them to leave
when it is not.

Everybody has to grow up against their will.
Too bad we can't force that on those 
who won't do it.

Growing up cannot be forced on anyone.

That's why things are what they are.

We are all waiting on Pissy and Snarly to grow up.

We are waiting things out 
in the wasteland of their discontent.

In the meantime, we do what needs to be done
when it needs to be done,
where it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done.

Helps to pass the time while we wait.


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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