November 23-A, 2022

The Aqueduct at Mingus Mill 04-15-2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee, North Carolina
Compromise and negotiation
are the tools most useful
in the transition process
from duality to unity.

Generally the process is co-opted
in favor of disappearing
the opposition,
not negotiating and compromising 
with it.

The heretics were burned at the stake,
or tortured to death,
or fed to the lions,
run out of town,
forgot about,


One extreme has to bear the pain
of the other extremes.

One pole has to agonize
over its incompatibility
with the other poles.

And work out a mutually satisfactory
co-existence with each other.

Blunting the points,
smoothing the edges,
accepting differences,
honoring the existence
of contrary ways of seeing things,
assessing value,
ascribing meaning and importance,
and talking about what's what.

Enemies are easy to make
and difficult to abide.

That's where the work comes in.
Holding our ground
and honoring the opposition's right 
to their ground,
while working out the implications
of mutually exclusive points of view.

This is difficult enough among people
with a high level of maturity.
and out of the question with the level
most people develop in their life.

Immaturity makes community impossible.
And that has been the kink in the hose
through the ages.

Which is to say that we are lucky
things aren't more rocky than they are.
And that has been the case from the start.


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.

One thought on “November 23-A, 2022

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: