June 17, 2022


Moonrise Fantasy at the Mittens 09/25/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona
I wish democracy worked as advertised.
Majority rule and all that jazz.
Money owns the government.
The people don't have a chance.
And the people have to understand that
and not give a damn.

The attitude of the people cannot/must not be
hopelessness and a loss of faith in government.
The attitude of the people must be
"We don't care what our chances are!
We demand accountability and responsibility
on the part of our elected officials!
And that means getting money out of politics,
and resetting the system to work 
like it is supposed to work
with everyone getting to vote
and the checks and balances in place
working to check and balance,

But, the catch is,
the people have to do their part.
They have to vote out the liars and conartists,
and vote in integrity and sincerity.

The people is/are the weak point in the system,
and the system will be no better 
than the people who put the politicians in office.

When Lester Maddox was governor of Georgia,
he said, "There is nothing wrong with the penal system
in the state of Georgia
that a better quality of prisoners
wouldn't fix," or words to that effect.

Just so. There is nothing wrong with democracy
that a better quality of voters wouldn't fix.



Looking Glass Falls 07 10/28/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Pisgah National Forest, Brevard, North Carolina
Heart is the hardest thing to find
and the easiest thing to lose.

The heart monitors that are available to us
are no help with this.

We have to tend our own degree of heartfulness
throughout the day, week, month, year
of our life.

How's your heart rate now?
I don't mean your pulse rate.
I mean the rating of your heartfulness.
On a scale of 1-10,
with 10 being "busting out all over,"
and 1 being in need of life support.

How much heart is in what you are doing
throughout each day?
Where is your heart 
when it is not in what you are doing?
What is it longing for?

If you were going to
live in the service
of your heart,
what would you be doing 
that you are not doing?
What would you not be doing 
that you are doing?

Our fealty,
liege loyalty,
filial devotion
are to our heart
in all times and places.

We cannot allow anything 
to take our heart away from us.
To rob us of our heart.

We are our heart's champion!
We are the knight in armor
protecting our tender heart!
We cannot give ourselves to 
the things that we have no heart for!

What is the heart quotient 
in all of the things we do?
In all of the paths we walk?
Are we on a path with heart?
When do we get off the path with heart
onto some other path,
though it be a delight to the eyes
and delicious to the taste?

If it be not a path with heart
it be death in disguise. 
Stay off those paths!
Keep your distance!
Beware the heartless wonders!
Know what lies behind the smooth talk
and glib promises!
Let heart lead the way!

Check your heart rate--
the degree of heartfulness
in what you are doing--
throughout each day.

Counter heartlessness
with heartfulness
at every point!

Do not allow heartlessness 
to get out of hand!

Create a sacred space
within which you place things
full of heart for you,

Let it be your recovery room.
Go there often for spiritual uplift
and rejuvenation.

Do the things you can do with all your heart!
How long has it been?
Make sure it is often 
from this point on!

What is the easiest thing to lose
and the hardest thing to find?
Guard it with your life!
Do not let it out of your sight!
Live in ways that restore your heart,
and tend its interests and its needs
from this point on
through all the time left for living!



Lake Haigler Falls 01 02/19/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
No one. 
I mean absolutely no one.
Not Jesus.
Not Moses.
Not Abraham.
Not any of the prophets.
Not the Buddha.
Not any of the Bodhisattvas.
Not any of the Saints.
Not the Prophet.
Not Nobody, Not Nohow.
Has had it all together
and achieved perfection
and been exactly 
who they needed to be
when, where and how they needed to be,
to be what the situation called for
in the moment it was called for.

And so the saying,
"It is easier to be a saint (etc.)
than to live with one."

Everyone was still on their way
to maturity and grace
when they died.
And everyone will be.

Which A) lets me and you off the hook,
and B) means the work is never done,
and therefore C) we,
like Sisyphus before us,
get up every morning
and take up the work
of seeing, hearing, knowing, understanding
what's what
and what needs to be done in response to it
in every moment of every day
our entire life long.

Every day is the first day.
Every situation is unlike any before it.
Every moment calls for
and silence
in order to align ourselves anew
with our original nature
and the innate virtues that are ours from birth,
so that we might meet the moment
with what we have to serve and to share here/now,
and again,
and again...

There is no auto-pilot.
No days off.
No times out.
We are always on call.
And the moment is always awaiting
our response.

It is always our place
to make the best of what's what
with the best we have to offer
time after time.

It is 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.

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