December 11-B, 2022

On Roan Mountain 22 06/14/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — The Fir Forrest, Roan Mountain Highlands, Carver’s Gap, Tennessee
No one can hand you 
your adventure--
you can't even hand it to yourself.

We fall into all our adventures.
We turn a corner
and there it is.
Winking at us.
Blowing us a kiss.
And the next step
tells the tale.

The next step depends upon
the state of our heart
at the time
and our relationship with it.

How much heart?
How much head?
Is always the question.

We can never think our way forward,
we must feel our way there,
trusting ourselves to know 
the right thing to do
when we see it,
and waiting for the validating confirmation
from disinterested sources--
perhaps the next headline we read
and a snippet of conversation
between the people ahead of us
in the check-out line.

Things come together in unpredictable ways 
on our way to the next adventure,
to lead us along the path
that cannot be discerned as a path,
and click into place
creating direction and flow,
carrying us along independent
of our will and desire,
and often contrary to them.

It is the nature of adventure
to have a will of its own,
and if we say "No!"
with a Noble Heart,
it will come back around,
and won't leave us alone,
until we change our mind
in a "Have you lost your mind completely??!"
kind of 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.

2 thoughts on “December 11-B, 2022

  1. I considered removing it with Photoshop, and let it be, thinking it may be a part of the log’s path, being in the path, producing this kind of reflection, which lends itself to observe this as the kind of ambivalence that shadows every decision/choice. Is it helpful? Is it interference? Does making things better, make them worse? We can talk ourselves into utter immobility by over-thinking everything in the name of “being aware of it all.” Emptiness comes to the rescue, and we do what we do, and let that be that. I would not object to your moving the log. Moved becomes part of the log’s path as well as unmoved. The log “just is” wherever it is. It makes no difference to the log. Or to the path. What we do is up to us, spontaneously, of the moment, without defending, justifying, excusing, explaining what is done or not done. The freedom to act as needed shall not be infringed–it all shifts the future somehow, for better or worse, better and worse, because it can’t help but do so. The Japanese prefer to leave imperfections in their art, and their tea ceremonies, as an acknowledgement of the imperfection of perfection, which is often not seen because nothing is calling attention to itself, thus disappearing from view–and memory–as “just another pretty picture.”


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 )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: