May 09, 2022


Black Sand Sunstar 06/27/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Black Sand Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Perspective for me is one of the deep mysteries
of personality.
We have depths we cannot probe.
Things are always rising up
to surprise, shock and confound us.
Dreams befuddle us.
Instant reactions to events
catch us off-guard.

Why we see things as we do,
why we think what we think is important,
why we think what we think,
what disposes us to be the way we are,
how different can we be,
if we were living at the optimal level
we are capable of,
what would be different about us...

The questions tumble over each other
trying to get out.

The answers are hidden within a swirling mist
behind a thick cloud of black smoke,
within a cave of total darkness.

"Darkness within darkness,
the gateway to mystery,"
says the Tao Te Ching
about the Tao,
and the Tao has nothing on us!

We will be eternity 
getting to the bottom of us.

I look forward to the rest of the trip!



Yellow Iris (AKA Louisiana Iris) 04/22/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina
Laziness is the original sin.
Laziness is original with the species.
Lethargy keeps us in the caves
no matter how many high rises we build.

It is easier to go to war
than to work out our differences
when that means growing up.

We will not grow up.
That's asking too much.
As the woman said about wearing a mask
and maintaining social distancing
in the early stages of the pandemic.

It's asking too much 
to expect us to grow up
and be responsible for ourselves
and our life.

It is asking too much
to expect us to grow up
and become proficient at analyzing 
each situation as it arises,
know what's what
and what needs to be done about it
and do what needs to be done,
when, where and how it needs to be done,
and do the same thing in response
to the reaction to what we do
about what needs to be done, etc.
throughout every situation that arises
in our entire life time,
no matter what,
for no reason
other than it needs to be done,
for the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it.

We have better things to do.
Agendas to serve.
Opinion to serve.
Plans and ideas to serve.

Besides, it's too much trouble.

Come up with the fix for laziness
and you transform the world,
except for the likelihood
that applying the fix
would be too much trouble.



Smoky Mountains Panorama 01 02/12/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Our place is to live in ways
that allow our original nature
and the virtues that came with us at birth--
our Te Power, our Virtue Power--
in doing what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises,
without an agenda
or an opinion,
no matter what.

Doing what needs to be done,
when, where and how it needs to be done,
using the gifts that are ours 
to serve and to share,
is to live aligned with 
balance and harmony, 
sincerity and integrity,
spirit, life and vitality,
in accord with the Tao
and aligned with 
that which is deepest, best and truest
about us.

And nobody can do better than that!
Not No Body, Not No How!


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.

2 thoughts on “May 09, 2022

  1. Jim – How do you account for mental illness issues that may impede responsible action? In my 50s, when depression brought me almost to suicide because couldn’t figure out how to activate to accomplish things, finally I was diagnosed with ADHD. This helped me understand how the inner struggle to cope with scattered attention was a strumbling block that hindered my abilities to handle my life responsibly. Group therapy helped find cognitive behavioral techniques and strategies to cope better.

    The word “laziness” triggers a PTSD-like response and feelings of shame. I guess that struggle is what it has taken for me to have empathy with people who struggle with feelings of shame and self-hatred. Until John Bradshaw in the late 80s, I never understood the exhortation “love your neighbor as yourself” because I couldn’t figure out how to love myself. Bradshaw introduced me to the idea of an inner child who needed love in order for me to love myself.

    I am 75 now and still coping with all of this. I am grateful to God that I am still alive. Your columns and some daily emails from Father Richard Rohr’s organization are helping me try to stay present in the moment and work from there. Your columns especially help keep on track day by day.

    This has been difficult to find the right words to express and this is probably way too much information, but on behalf of those of us who struggle with this issue, I wanted to just put these thoughts out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sandy, Beautifully said, and everything has to be interpreted in light of the situations of everyone concerned. Nothing is absolute, exceptions and applications are everywhere. The only rule that applies across the board in every situation is this: “Take what you can use and leave the rest behind!” Everything is time and place dependent, and has to be received in light of all things considered. We all are triggered by different things, are sensitive to different things, are allergic to different things–emotionally and physically, words being among the things most likely to cause a negative reaction. We each have to know where our boundaries are and guard them well because violations can happen inadvertently at any time. It is an aspect of loving yourself that you were able to write your note to me. Well done! Nicely done! A perfect response to the occasion! Thanks!


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