April 01-B, 2023

Bow Lake, Num-Ti-Ja Lodge Oil Paint Rendered — Banff National Park, Alberta
I never stayed in the Num-Ti-Ja Lodge, but.
I would like to have stayed there,
and in all of the lodges in the Canadian Rockies,
and to have discovered all of the tripod positions there,
and to have taken all the photographs that could be taken there,
through all of the seasons of all of the years they have been there.
And will be there.

My eternal quest is for what I cannot have.

Probably, I think, you know what I'm talking about.

We want what is just over the horizon,
out of sight.
Out of reach.
Beyond reason.
But, certainly desirable. 

We all want what we can't have.
What we have no business having.

But, being a cowboy isn't on the list for me.

Being a cowboy is on my mind
because last night I dreamed
I was eating a biscuit of shredded wheat,
the large kind 
that came in a box separated by small sheets of cardboard
to keep them from crumbling in shipment,
and the cardboard sheets weren't blank,
but had comic book type stories printed on them
for young boys to read while they ate their breakfast.
I don't know what the girls would read.
My world was sexist from the start.
And one of the most popular storylines
had to do with a cowboy, 
we will call him Rex Rider 
because that is probably close,
so I woke up thinking of shredded wheat biscuits
and cowboys.

And I would not want to eat a dry shredded wheat biscuit
or be a cowboy.

Then I come in here and open up my computer,
and see that legislators in Texas,
and probably those in Florida,
are voting down school vouchers because
preachers in those states
don't want the wrong kind of religion
taught to the children of their congregations.
And I will take that!

The only good religion is MY kind of religion,
and I don't want any of YOURS rubbing off 
on MY children!

What a world.

But, I will take it because I don't want religion of any kind
being pushed onto children before the age of discernment,
which I think, these days, is about 85,
or, maybe, 1,000, because everybody dies before they get there.

The only kind of religion anybody every needs
is completely devoid of theology.
It is the kind of religion that sees the world
as being transparent to transcendence (Joe Campbell's phrase),
seeing the wonder of what is there all about us all of the time,
and being amazed by the radiance everywhere.

We can't teach or be taught that.
We either see it or we don't.
But, we can be taught to not see it.
And, that has us where we are today.
Not seeing.
Not hearing.
Not knowing...
And afraid of everything.


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 “April 01-B, 2023

  1. Emily Dickinson said, “I could not see to See,” which mayor may not be what you are talking about. A thousand years old sounds about right!

    Liked by 1 person

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