July 05, 2022


Cattails 10/25/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Pamlico Sound, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
We have to trust ourselves
to know what needs to be done
until it becomes apparent
that we don't.

And then, we have to trust ourselves
to know what needs to be done
until it becomes apparent
that we don't.

And so on, like that.

We learn to know what needs to be done
over time.
We learn to keep ourselves out of the way,
and to know when we are getting in the way.
And we cannot hurry the time 
of our wising up.

So, we trust ourselves to know what's what
until we know what's what.
In the meantime, 
we know we are cultivating experience
which is the ground of wisdom
all along the way.



Dandelion 03/19/2018 Detail Oil Paint Rendered
What is your specialty?

Why are you here?

What is the state of your balance and harmony?

What would it take to bring them
into an acceptable range?

Carry these questions around with you.
Keep asking them,
and answering them.

This process will keep you conscious
of how you are living,
and of how you might be living instead.

As for me, my specialty is getting 
to the bottom of things.

Is seeing what I look at.
Asking the questions that beg to be asked.
Saying the things that cry out to be said.
Calling things out.
Serving truth.
Bearing witness.
Naming the contradictions.
Making peace where peace can be made.
Working out the conflicts.
Smoothing out the wrinkles.
Adjusting to what cannot be helped,
or changed.
Letting things be what they must be.
Accommodating what must be accommodated...

I am here to do all of the above.
To bear witness.
And call for alternatives.
For awareness.
For doing better.

My balance and harmony are more stabilized
now than ever
because I am reducing the noise and complexity
in my life to a minimum,
and coming to terms with how things are
and what can be done about it,
and doing what I can think to do
and letting that be that.

I am doing what it takes to bring 
my balance and sanity
into an acceptable range.
Writing things out regularly helps immensely.



Dunes 11 03/14/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Mesquite Dunes, Death Valley National Park, Arizona
We live to die.
Dying focuses our living
and shapes our life.
Knowing that we die
creates an urgency about our life
which compels those who are 
to use the time available to them
to discover their specialties,
their interests,
their shtick,
their original nature 
and the innate virtues
that are theirs from birth--
that they might live in ways
that are true to these things,
serving and sharing them
in each situation as it arises
throughout their life,
so that every day is a good day to die
in that they have lived all their past days
in ways that honor and express who they are,
holding nothing back
and doing what needed to be done
when, where and how it needed to be done
no matter what,
and can die knowing they have lived well.

May we all be able to do that very thing!
Amen! May it be so!


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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