April 18, 2022


Sunrise 03 08/21/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Huntington Beach State Park, Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina
The silent places call our name.
Speak to our hearts.
With a message from our soul.

Past sound
For what emerges,
out of nowhere
to evoke our action
within the field of action
with the right deed
at the right time,
in the right place,
in the right way,
leaving us with the 
wonder of its passing,
and the longing
for its hoped-for return. 



Beulah Land 50 Oil Paint Rendered — Father Crowley Point, Sierra Nevada’s, California
The Wasteland meets Beulah Land,
as it always does,
at the edge of the coin.

It is perspective all the way down.
Now we see it,
now we don't.

We think it is like this,
and it turns out to be like that.

We know exactly what we need to know,
and we don't know what we need to know,
because we don't know what we know.

This sounds "foreign, an enigma, a veil,"
until you stop thinking about it,
and just see that it is so.

We argue about what's what
as though it matters what we say it is.

What size shoe do you wear?
I wear a 10.5 or an 11,
depending on the shoe.
Should we argue about which shoe size,
yours or mine,
is the right shoe size?

How is that different 
from arguing which religion,
including no religion at all,
is the right religion?

Or which political party
is the right political party?
Or which point of view 
is the right point of view?

My shoe size depends on the shoe!
I can't even be right about 
my shoe size!
Only the shoe knows for sure!

So, what am I doing arguing about anything?
What are you doing arguing about anything?
And even that is a matter of perspective!

We find our own way,
knowing that our way actually finds us
if we let it,
and we have no business telling it
what it ought to be.

Our place is to listen,
to look,
and to go with what calls our name,
no matter what that might be.

Joseph Campbell said, "Follow your bliss!"
He didn't say it would make us rich,
the envy of the world.

If money, success and the envy of others
are our bliss,
we are fooling ourselves
and missing the boat.
The boat to the farther shore.
And there is no farther shore.
And there is no boat.

There is only here and now
and what's next.
What flows from here and now.
What calls our name?
We have to be right about it.
Nothing matters more than that.

What we think is important
carries us to the Wasteland
or to Beulah Land.
They both are right here, right now,
depending on our perspective.

Everything depends on that.



Silhouette — Penobscot Bay, Deer Isle, Maine
Jesus did not say,
"Do what makes you happy!"

Jesus said,
"Do what is worth living for--
and die for what you believe in!"

He actually is quoted as saying,
"If you would be my friends,
pick up your cross daily,
and follow me."

He was going to die.
He was going to die
for what he believed in.

It had nothing to do with atonement,
forgiveness, redemption...
It had everything to do with integrity.

Jesus lived to be who he was
even if it killed him,
and he calls everybody to live like that.

The cross in those days was not a trinket,
a tattoo,
a decoration,
a pendant,
or a lucky (as if) charm.
It was an instrument of death.
To pick up your cross was to die
in the service of what you believe in.

What is worth living for
is worth dying for.

What are you living for?
Will you die for it?
Doing it?
Being it?

Is money something to die for?

What is really yours to do?
To live for?
To die doing?

If we are going to be right about anything,
let it be that.

May we all die doing what is ours to do!
And may we do it all our life long!


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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