May 12-A, 2023

Lotus Flower 03 05/11/2023 Oil Paint Rendered — Pike Nursery, Greensboro, North Carolina
How far away from who we are
can we live
without developing symptoms,
incurring the wrath of the neglected life
and being lost in the wasteland 
of endless discontent?

And, when we are born into a cultural 
and social ecosystem
which denies there is an Axis Mundi,
or "center pole/axis,"
or "essential identity,"
for each of us
around which we are designed/built to live,
and provides us with no help
or direction
to guide us along a reliable path
to finding ourselves,
what are our chances?

We all opt for desirable substitutes,
built around having our way
and getting what we want,
when, as it turns out,
those are the things that get in our way
and lead us farther into "the gathering gloom"
that is our future,
decreasing exponentially 
whatever chances we ever had.

There are no systems designed to come to our aid.
All of the available systems
fail to provide what we need
in terms of awareness, realization/recognition, clarity.

We are on our own.
But there are guides from the past,
if we are lucky enough to stumble upon them
and have the good fortune to listen 
to what resonates within 
to what is going on without,
there IS a chance, though small,
of finding the connections 
that make the link with how things are
and what needs to be done about it,
and leads us to light arising
from emptiness/stillness/silence
to seeing/hearing/knowing/understanding/doing/being
that is the path to who we are
and what is ours to do
past all of the false hopes
and empty promises
to our heart's true song
and our body's true home
of our original nature
and innate virtues/specialties
that form our identity
and produce the life that is ours to live,
if we but trust ourselves to the path
and start walking.


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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 “May 12-A, 2023

  1. Jim, you have laid forth the best advice for us. Maybe you should print this one and hand it out to people …. just a thought💕


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