June 10, 2022


Pelican Dawn 09/28/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
We look at our lives 
with tired eyes,
and see the same old boring same old.

We don't believe anything will ever be new.
"There is nothing new under the sun,"
says the Old Testament.
We know what it is talking about.

The zest and hope have gone out of our lives.

We are spiraling downward,
walking around in circles,
going only where we have been forever,
in a wasteland without end.

We need an infusion of enthusiasm,
of joy,
of delight,
of wonder,
of amazement,
of WOW!!!

And we carry it with us
everywhere we go.

We are what we seek.
But not the us we have always known.
The us who never had a chance,
and still doesn't have a chance,
because we will not give her/him one.

It is time we stood aside
and invited him/her to take the lead.

How do we do that?
I was hoping someone would ask.


The kind of emptiness I'm talking about
is emptying yourself of everything.
No emotions.
No thinking.
No feeling.
No words.
Okay, one word, repeated over and over
with each exhalation.
And then repeated six times
before the next inhalation.


Nothing else is allowed.
Be the emptiness between breaths.

In the stillness
and the silence.

After ten breaths,
just sit quietly,
for something unbidden,
un-thought to emerge,
Out of nowhere.

Hold it in your awareness,
and see what occurs to you,
what calls you,
what invites you to action.

See where it goes,
as the moved
in response to the mover.



Sunrise East Fork Overlook 2B 05/30/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Brevard, North Carolina
Just see what needs doing and do it--
when, where and how it needs to be done--
in each situation as it arises,
no matter what,
all your life long.

That is all there is to it.

Nothing to believe.
Nothing to think.
Nothing to memorize.
No theology.
No doctrine.
No dogma.
No catechisms.
No hoops to jump through.
Nobody's approval to earn and maintain.

Just See/Do!

And, if you like longer lists:


And, your ability to do these five things
will be enhanced
with three more:


And two more:
Where we wait
for clarity.
Where we wait
for the mud to settle
and the water to clear.

That is it.

You don't have to go to school.
Read books.
Memorize definitions.
You don't have to leave home.
Travel to the High Himalayas.
Crawl through hot deserts.
Cut off fingers...

You only have to get up
and do what needs to be done.
Time after time.

"The Way,"
that people are always talking about,
is just the way
to the next thing 
that needs to be done.

And you don't have to 
go out of your way 
to find it.

You only have to open your eyes
and see what you look at
and do what needs to be done
in response to it.

You don't even have to be right about it.

If you are wrong about it,
that will become clear (see above) in time.
When it does, 
do then what needs to be done then.

There is nothing too hard about this.
Anybody can do it.
And everybody can be the first
in their family to do it.

Why does it take so long?
Don't waste time worrying about that.

Just see what needs to be done and do it.
In each situation as it arises.

See how much you can do
that needs to be done 
in a day.

And do not rule out taking naps.

No one has to agree with you 
that something needs to be done.
You will see things no one else sees,
and that no one else will think needs to be done.

You see it.
You do it.
When it's a nap,
take a nap.


Oh, P.S.,
it helps to have 
No expectations.
No agenda.
No plan.
No opinions.
No fear.
No desire.

That's where emptiness comes in.




Sunrise at the Rest Stop 06/20/2012 Oil Paint Rendered — Pilot Mountain, North Carolina
Our allegiance,
our loyalty,
our fealty,
our duty
are to our original nature
and the virtues that came with us from the womb.

We each are a unique mixture
of things that make us "us."
And we owe it to ourselves
to bring ourselves forth
in the time and place of our living
throughout our lifetime.

We live to be true to ourselves.
It is essential
that we keep troth with ourselves.
To betray ourselves
is the unpardonable sin.
How can we make that up?
We have from now until the time we die
to get it right.

What has gone before has gone.
We are left with the time that remains.
Make the most of it!
Live to be true to yourself
in the time left for living!


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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