May 02, 2022


Who Cut Off The Lights, Locked The Door, Walked Away? 02/11/2008 — Rural North Carolina
What is stopping us
from becoming

We are the guardians of ourselves.
We are the champions of our bodies,
our lives.

We owe fealty to our original nature
and the virtues that are ours from birth.

No knight in shinning armor's
oath of liege loyalty 
and filial devotion
was greater 
than ours should be
to serve and protect
our nature,
our virtues,
our life.

How are we doing with that?
How might we do better?
Why not do it? 



Beulah Land 64 Oil Paint Rendered — Road to Botany Bay Historical Nature Preserve, Edisto Island, South Carolina
The only thing standing between us
and everlasting joy and satisfaction
is a slight shift in perspective.

Perspective is a superpower.
The Elder Wand.
It transforms everything.

Nothing is so bad that
it can't be made better
by changing the way we look at it.

Our relationship with ourselves,
our life,
one another
and the world at large
can be renewed,
simply by changing our perspective
about all these areas.

We don't have to see things as we do.
We don't have to think about things as we do.
We don't have to feel about things as we do.
We do not have to threat things as we do.

We can change our mind about everything.
And change everything in so doing.
We hold the power of the gods.
How we use it tells the tale.



Beacon Heights 10/02/2018 Oil Paint Rendered Detail — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
We do not get good-enough choices.
What we do about that tells the tale.

Stay away from all organized forms of religion
is my best advice.
They are selling you something
you do not need to buy.

You have to trust yourself to know 
what is best for you,
even when you have no idea.

Here is how it works:
The best we can do in any situation
is always right there.
All we have to do is do it
in one situation as it arises
after another,
and we will get better at it over time,
until, eventually, we are smoking cigars
and reveling in the good we are doing,
by doing nothing more 
than trusting ourselves
to do the best we can
with what we have to work with.

Of course, there is a catch.

It has to be truly the best we can do.

And there are always two things
standing in our way,
keeping us from doing the best we can do
in every situation that comes along.
Make that three things.


Fear, laziness and greed are why we are
where we are today.
Are why the world is the way it is today.
Are the only things standing in our way,
preventing things from being better than they are.

What we do about that is up to us.
What we do about that tells the tale.

Will we trust ourselves to do all that can be done
with what we have to work with
time after time?

Will we do it?

At this point, the three tools/weapons
and the four companions
are waiting to be relied upon and utilized:

The right kind of emptiness,
and silence.

Our original nature,
the virtues that are ours to serve and to share,

Up against
and greed.

Should be no contest, but.
You know how we are...



Fence and Clouds 01 05/08/2009 BW Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
It's like this:
There is our original nature,
and there are the virtues that came with us
from the womb.
That is what we have to work with.

We violate our nature
by being who we are not,
and by refusing to be who we are.

We violate our virtues
by ignoring/denying/despising
the gifts that are ours to serve and to share.

By having big ideas,
and living to serve them
at the expense of the things
that are legitimately ours to serve (and share).

This, you see, or will if you look,
is the story of the Garden of Eden.

We are born,
here and now,
with this and that,
and we want to trade it for something better.
Something different.
Something more.

And we spend a lot of time
coming to terms with who we are
and what is ours to work with.

Sometimes we waste our entire life
not wanting anything to do with who we are
and what is ours to work with.

That is called "Too bad for us."

So it comes down to what Red Redding had to say,
"We can get busy living
or get busy dying."

What's it going to be?



Split-rail Fence 11/13/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolilna
People can look at the same thing
and see something different.

This is the power of projection
at work in our life.

We cannot just see what is there,
we see all of the things we read into the thing
we look at.
Everything brings something up in us,
connects us with something else
that it triggers within us.

Everything triggers something.

We remember everything
and associate past things with present things,
and see everything
when we see anything.


We feel it.

We can say,
"This is not that,"
but we react to "this"
as though it were "that."

Can't help it.
It is automatic.
Built into us from the beginning.

How we see is who we are,
where we have been,
what has happened to us,
and failed to happen at all.

We can look at the same sunset,
and not see the sunset before us
for all the sunsets it represents.

And all that it means beyond sunsets.

It is a wonder we can see anything
for all the things that are in the way.


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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