June 16, 2022


Peach Collage 01 08/06/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Springs Farms, Fort Mill, South Carolina
What keeps us going 
is the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction
of having done it.

And if we can't say that,
it is because we have lost the WOW!!!
And have to get the WOW!!! back.

We lose the WOW!!! mostly because of
disappointed expectations.
There ought to be a rule:
No Expectations!

And another one:
No Agendas!

And one more:
No Opinions!

Instantly, the WOW!!! comes back.
Because this is simply the Greatest Show On Earth!
Everything is perfectly fine just as it is.
It only takes a slight shift in perspective
to see that it is so.

Stand apart from your expectations,
your agendas
and your opinions,
and it is one unbelievable wonder
after another!

And the WOW!!! is back!

Just like that! 



Sunflower 08 07/08/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Indian Land, South Carolina
Where we go from here
is to be determined.

We wait to see what's next,
by looking for what's what
and what needs to be done about it.

The situation pulls us forth
by way of what is called for here/now,
no, here/now.
No, here/now.

The situation is always changing
for those with eyes to see.
For everyone else,
it is always 
"the same old, same old,"
and nothing is ever new under the sun.

Which say is it?
It is different ways
to different eyes,
to different ways of assessing "reality"
As if! 
As though there were a steady state of being
deemed to be Reality. 
"Deemed to be" says it all.

"Reality" is always what it is "deemed to be"
in all times and places,
and what it "means"
is subject to interpretation.

And interpretation depends upon 
what we have at stake
in the situation.

With noting at stake,
the situation is "meaningless."
Once we have something to gain or lose,
the situation becomes "meaningful"
in direct proportion 
to the value (to us)
of what we stand to gain or lose.

Living with nothing at stake
is total immunity to everything/anything
that happens.
When we don't care what happens
we are undisturbed by the impact
of whatever happens.

Then, everyone says we are 
"Out of touch with reality,"
when we are actually 
in touch with a different reality,
namely the meaninglessness
of what everyone else is calling reality.

Who is "right" 
depends upon the point of view
of whomever is making the call.

And where does that leave us?

Waiting to see what's next,
and what we do about it.



Magnolia Plantation 04/20/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Charleston, South Carolina
Consciousness is knowing what is going on
and what needs to be done about it here/now.

Until we know that,
we are unconscious.

Trees and flowers cannot see a thing,
but they know what is going on
from the standpoint of what matters to them--
from the standpoint of what 
they have at stake in the situation,
sunlight and water being two biggies.

They turn toward the sun,
and their roots (etc.) know what to do
with water
and the nutrients water provides.

They are conscious of the things that count,
and unconscious of everything else.

We are like trees and flowers.
We are conscious of the things that matter to us,
and unconscious of everything else.

"Expanding our consciousness"
is caring about an increasing number of things.

The more things we care about,
the more conscious we are.
The more we have at stake in a situation,
the more conscious we are of the situation.
The more things matter to us,
the more alive we are to the time and place
of our living.

Want to come alive?
Care deeply about a large number of things!
The fewer things you care about,
the less alive you are.

Live to have a stake in your life.
An ever-expanding stake.
Or an ever-deepening stake
in a few very important things.

Trees and flowers don't care about much,
but they care very much 
about the things they care about.


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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