May 17, 2022

01

Vermillion Lakes Sunrise 01 Oil Paint Rendered 02 — Banff National Park, Banff, Alberta
We all have trouble with 
things not going our way.
It's been that way with black people
throughout the history of this country.
They have yet to take up arms
and go to war with asshole white people.

Everybody else goes to war
over the least little slight. 
Putin didn't like something about Ukraine
that no one else had any problem with
(Anybody remember what that was?
Nazis maybe? As if!).

Black people have been taking and taking and taking.
White people have been lynching them,
shooting them,
beating them,
imprisoning them,
making jokes about them,
refusing to pay them a living wage,
taking every advantage of them...
It is a very long list.

Black people are as a group
the most gracious, kind, considerate,
generous, beautiful, wonderful people
I, personally, have ever known.

White people, on the other hand,
are mostly to be avoided,
even if you are white.

The number of white people
who can be counted on 
for their sincerity, integrity,
honesty, balance and harmony
is well under the fifty percentile 
in my experience over 77 years and counting.
One out of ten would be generous.

So what's with the "Superiority"
self-designation?

That is certainly not something
the other races would think up.

White people are not superior
to any people.
More ruthless, perhaps.
More greedy, maybe.
Well-suited to bullying and warfare.

But, if we are talking about 
the tender values,
it is a wide-open race to the finish line!

I'm saying the problem is with white people
and their immaturity
and refusal to live exhibiting
grace, kindness, generosity, compassion and peace.
In each situation as it arises
as their contribution to the wellbeing
of all people everywhere.

There is nothing wrong
that growing up wouldn't make better
or solve entirely.

–0–

02

Colors of Fern 09/02/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
We are the balancing agents of the universe.
We sort,
order,
categorize,
list,
collect,
group,
designate,
see connections,
create connections,
find a place for everything,
put everything in its place...

We square things up,
round things out,
reduce excess,
reduce deficit,
make things fit.

We take Yin 
and add a touch of Yang (Pronounced "Yong").

We are servants of balance
and harmony.
It is nature's way,
and we are servants of nature.
When we are at our best.

When we are at our worst,
not so much.
We do not do well
off center
and out of round.

Our world gets that way
from time to time.
We lose our balance,
crash through the guard rails
and it all goes to hell
because we walk off the job
and quit caring how it looks
or what happens.

The human contract with 
the rest of life
is to care how it looks
and what happens,
and to take up the work
to make it work.
When we fail to do that,
it shows.

What keeps us in the game?
Why do our part?
Why go on caring
when it gets to be too much?
Too much to bear.
Too much to do.

This is where the system requires
a living mythology
for us to fall back on,
live out of and keep everything going.

Reason, logic, refuse to do things
that make no sense.
Mythology is senseless to the core.
No ritual can explain itself.

"We dance to make the sun rise,
we sing to bring the rain 
to water the earth."

Nonsense!
There is no connection!
We have lost the connections,
and see no reasons to do what it takes
to make things work.

Work for what?
For what purpose?
Why are we here?

We look for reason and logic
to answer us that.
When the answer has never 
been reasonable and logical.

"We are here to keep the sun coming up,
to bring the rain to water the earth."

We always had a divine purpose
for being,
and it would all be clear one day.

When we refuted all the old beliefs
that held the old world together,
we had nothing left to hold the world together,
and no reason to do anything
we did not feel like doing.

The people who built the pyramids
and the great temples and cathedrals
were compelled to do so.
Feeling like it never entered the room.
Without the compulsion 
"the center fails to hold,"
and here we are.
Now what?

We have to return to the center.
To our own center
To our own original nature.
To our own virtues that are 
built into our DNA.
And live to serve and share who we are
for reasons beyond our ability to explain
or understand.

We have to be who we are born to be.
Though we do not know why
or what for.

Why do we love what we love?
It is a complete mystery.
We have to find our way back
to the Mystery at the heart of things,
and love what we love,
and do the things that love
asks us to do.

Whether we feel like it or not.

–0–

03

Field Road 06 11/13/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
Joseph Campbell says repeatedly 
throughout his writing and speaking 
that "The old has passed away, 
and what's going to replace
it, I do not know," 
or words to that effect. 

Logic and reason have taken the life out of the Mystery, 
but the Mystery has not been surpassed. 

The Mystery has been, is being, 
made fun of, 
ridiculed, 
derided, 
denounced, etc., 
but the Mystery is still with us, 
among us, 
needing only recognition to be with us as always.

Why do we see the way we see? 
Think the way we think? 
Feel the way we feel? 
Love what we love?

Who are we? 
What are we about?
What are we to be about?

We all are 
"working on mysteries without any clues" 
(Bob Seger). 
We only need to be aware of the place 
Mystery has in our lives.

We can encounter the Mystery 
as easily as emptying ourselves 
of even the desire to be empty 
and entering the stillness
and the silence, 
and waiting for something to stir, 
emerge, arise, appear 
unbidden/un-thought 
as an aberration  
"out of nowhere," 
and follow where it leads.

How do we revere and serve the Mystery? 

We create our own symbols, 
or receive them as they come to us 
"out of nowhere." 
Compose our own rituals.
Nurture our own souls...

We find our own way 
as the path appears before us 
when we start walking. 

The Mystery is the source of mythology,
and is with us always
to the end of our days,
and perhaps beyond,
for that too is cloaked in mystery.

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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