May 26, 2022


Unfinished Circle 02 — Symbols of Transformation
The Unfinished Circle represents
all that is broken about us,
out of order,
and unready
about us all.

Every one of us
comes "just so"
to each situation as it arises,
and steps into it
ready to do what needs to be done
as well as we are able,
bringing the best we have to offer
in the service of our original nature
and the virtues that are ours from birth
to bear on the here/now of our living,
looking to get better at it
over time.

May it be just that way
with all of us!



Unfinished Circle 04 — Symbols of Transformation
The Incomplete Circle
and The Gateless Gate
are my two favorite symbols/metaphors
at this time and place 
of my life.

They are two aspects of the same thing.
I am unfinished
and I am whole--
and all it takes is a shift in perspective
to see that it is so.

The Incomplete Circle is my unfinished/whole state,
and The Gateless Gate is the requisite shift in perspective,
that completes the incomplete circle,
and brings me wholly into the here/now of my living.

And here/now like that
I can do what needs to be done
about anything that comes along.
Rising to every occasion.
Offering what I have to give
from the storehouse of my original nature
and the spring of living water
in the form of the virtues 
that are mine from birth.

I am well-equipped to meet each moment
in every situation as it arises
all my life long.

So are you!
The Incomplete Circle,
and The Gateless Gate
declare it to be so!

As they have through all the ages
from the beginning
to right now!



Unfinished Circle 03 — Symbols of Transformation
Our symbols ground us,
center us,
focus us,
guide and direct us,
enable us to recover
and regroup
and find our way
back to the here/now
ready and able
to step into the present situation,
make out what's what
know what is called for
and do what needs to be done
when, where and how it needs to be done
no matter what,
for the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it,
regardless of the outcome,
and onto the next situation
already arising from the present one.

Chances are, 
you have no idea
of what your grounding/directing symbols are.
We are tuned into many things,
but the symbols that are uniquely our own
are likely to be not among them.

Oh, and here's the thing.
Our symbols are like magic wands.
Just as "the wand chooses the wizard,"
so the symbol chooses the sojourner,
and blesses their way with assistance
from invisible hands.

Open yourself to the symbols present
in your life,
and be alert to those winking and nodding
in your direction.
Look closer at those
and see what glows and grows
to claim you and make you its own.



Unfinished Circle 05 — Symbols of Transformation
Japanese art (And tea ceremonies,
which is, in Japan, a high form of art),
are big on leaving out small details.
Imperfections are the sign of the real thing.

Reality is imperfect.

Chickens are born without wings,
or feathers.
Squirrels are born without tails.
Geese are born without feet,
or lose them to turtles.
The world in general appears to be lovely
and fine (From space, for example).
The closer we get to life
the more gaps and cracks
we find in lovely and fine.

And art, in Japan anyway, reflects life.
And life exhibits truth,
the truth that no one is perfect,
and that to strive for perfection
is to reject something fundamental,
and even essential,
about ourselves.

We have to make room
for the unlovely
and the not-so fine.
Because that is who we are,
un-lovely and not-so fine.

And we have to let that be,
because it is,
and smile knowingly,
stepping into the moment,
into the situation as it arises,
and making the best of it,
even so.

It is nature's way.
It is the way.
All the way.
Along 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: