May 15, 2022


Hayfield Sunrise 02 06/20/2012 Oil Paint Rendered — Rural North Carolina
We will never turn life 
to our way of liking.
We take it as it is 
and do our best
to manage the dichotomy
between how it is
and how we want it to be--
how well we do that
depends on the nature
of the circumstances. 

Wanting to be taller 
(or shorter)
is a different problem
than wanting to be skinnier
(or fatter).

Wanting another biscuit
is a different problem
from wanting another head.

We operate within a field
of feasibility
and possibility,
and have to know
what we can,
and cannot,
get by with.

And, at some point
we are going to be required
to accept things as they are.

How well we do that,
tells the tale.



Tunnel View 01 03/24/2006 Oil Paint Rendered –Yosemite National Park, California
Things have never been
what they need to be,
what they ought to be,
what they could be.

And, we have always
had to make the best
of what we are given,
of what comes our way,
of what is there.

Some things don't change.
And some things do.

Our attitude, for instance,
can change.
Our perspective.
The way we look at things.
The things we say about things.
The way we tell ourselves 
what's what
and what needs to be done about it.
Our tone of voice.
Our interest in,
and determination to,
do what needs to be done,
when, where and how it needs to be done,
even so.

We are in charge of the changes
that can be made.
That's our call all the way.



Adams Mill Pond 06 11/09/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina
We are built to be who we are.
The design is unique to each of us. 
Our work is two-fold,
to belong
and to stand out.

Belonging brings forth aspects of us
that standing out would dismiss.
Standing out brings forth aspects of us
that belonging would dismiss.
We manage the task of balancing/harmonizing
yin and yang (Pronounced: "yong").
We do that consciously, intentionally
throughout our life.
Always living to bring ourselves forth
in each situation as it arises
for the good of the situation as a whole.

Balance and harmony, kid, 
balance and harmony.

Something within us knows who we are
and who we need to be,
and is always working behind the scenes
to produce us,
against our will, if need by.

We get clues to how we need to develop,
to how we need to change our mind
about what is important,
in our dreams,
through our intuition and instincts,
by experiences with synchronicity
and things that attract or repel us.

Are we paying attention?
Our place is to cooperate 
with our own birthing
into the world of normal, apparent, reality.
How cooperative are we being?

One great place to get to work
on becoming who we are
is the experience of falling in love.

We can fall in love with people
of any gender,
with animals,
with activities,
with inanimate objects
(I fell in love with a camera
and with a typewriter,
and have spent the rest of my life
working out what that means for me
and for the life I'm living).

The necessary response on our part
is that when we are whacked out of nowhere
with the experience of being in love,
to make the subject/object of our affection
a subject/object of meditation.

What about that person/place/thing do 
we find attractive?

Get to the bottom of it.
And work to incorporate the qualities
the Other exemplifies
into our own way of being in the world.

With me, the camera is about seeing,
and the typewriter is about saying.
When I am seeing/saying,
I am being true to my self,
and when I am not,
I am betraying myself.

I am here to see and to say.

As I fall in love with other aspects
of my experience, 
I discover different things reflected by
the recipient of my affections
to be true about me,
and I work to incorporate them into my life.

Get it?
Do it!


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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