One Minute Monologues 050

  • 07/17/2019  —  The House and the Barn 2019-07 02 Panorama — Lancaster County, July 10, 2019, and iPhone Photo

    Mind is the seat of perspective
    and perception.

    How we see enables/restricts
    what we see.

    Mindfulness is seeing our seeing–
    seeing how we see,
    seeing what we see,
    seeing what we see-not…

    Mindfulness is transparency–
    self-transparency–
    seeing ourselves seeing.

    Mind contains our awareness,
    awareness contains all things.

    Awareness that is fully aware
    is fully aware of all things,
    knows what is happening
    and what needs to be done in response,
    and does it,
    and knows what that leads to
    and what needs to be done in response…

    Seeing is knowing,
    knowing is doing,
    doing is being,
    being is seeing…

    This is the dance of life.

    See.
    Know.
    Do.
    Be.
    See.

    Silence is the music of life.

    Stillness is the rhythm of life.

    Noise and chaos are the fertile field of life.

    The dance floor of life.

    The playground of life.

    Life plays and dances,
    dances and plays.

    Moment-by-moment-by-moment.
    On-and-on-and-on.

    “There is only the dance.”
    (T.S. Eliot)


  • 07/18/2019  —  Cypress Swamp 2019-07 06 Panorama — Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Cuddo Unit, Wildlife Drive, Summerton, South Carolina, July 12, 2019, an iPhone photo

    The KKK
    White Supremacist
    White Nationalist
    Fascist
    perspective
    has no place in a democracy.

    The US Constitution specifically prohibits it
    with Liberty Justice Equality Truth.

    Yet, we are constantly having
    to maintain our vigil
    and stand up for the flag–
    often by kneeling–
    and say NO! NOT HERE!
    again and again,
    in every generation.

    The time is always coming around
    for us to declare what side we are on–
    and so we must not demur
    or resist the call to defend the Constitution
    and stand for democracy
    at every point
    in every place
    Liberty Justice Equality Truth
    are slighted,
    discouraged,
    despised,
    denounced,
    denied.

    Be alert!
    Be vigilant!
    Be bold!
    This country is not home to fascism.
    It is not welcome here.
    If the fascists want someone to leave,
    they are the ones who must go,
    if they can find a place that will have them.


  • 06/19/2019  —  Field Corn 2019-07 02 — Draper Wildlife Management Area, McConnells, South Carolina, July 06, 2019, an iPhone Photo

    How do you spend your money?
    How do you spend your time?
    What questions do you refuse to ask?
    There is your life for you,
    laid out before you,
    expressing,
    declaring,
    revealing,
    who you are,
    what you do,
    what you stand for,
    what you believe.

    What is missing?
    What is absent?
    What is lacking?
    What is not there?

    Carl Jung said,

    “Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away—an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.”

    Two of the questions this quotation
    raises for me is,
    “What is the rhizome?”
    “How do we serve it?”

    If we are not serving the rhizome,
    we are wasting our lives.
    Our life consists of 10,000 ways
    to waste our life.

    Make a pact with yourself
    to serve the rhizome
    in the time left for living.

    Listen in the silence
    to the stillness beyond the silence
    for guidance regarding
    what serving the rhizome
    might entail.


  • 07/19/2019  —  Cypress Swamp 2019-07 08 Panorama — Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Cuddo Unit, Wildlife Drive, Summerton, South Carolina, July 12, 2019, an iPhone photo

    “What does *This* have to do with *That*?”
    is one of the foundational questions
    upon which everything hangs
    and from which everything follows,
    or flows.

    How often do we ask it?
    How often do we take the time to answer it?
    There you are.
    That is why we have the present reality
    and not a different one.

    Everything changes for the better
    when we ask–
    and answer–
    this question.

    *This* and *That*
    have to be understood
    as mutually exclusive
    and completely irreconcilable opposites.

    Light/Dark
    Conscious/Unconscious
    Good/Evil
    Rich/Poor
    Just/Unjust
    Bondage/Freedom
    Etc.

    And it is at the exact mid-point
    between *This* and *That*
    that we come in.

    We are the meeting place
    of contradiction
    and polarity,
    opposite,
    antithetical
    and conflicting.

    We carry in our body
    the marks of the cross.

    And damn if we don’t rise
    from the death
    of unchooseable choices
    to resurrection
    and new life–
    by bearing the weight
    of the agony
    of Not This! Not This!
    to the place of realization
    and transformation.

    Yes! This!

    It is our burden and our glory
    to step onto the Field of Action–
    into the Arena of Dichotomy
    and Division–
    and make the connections
    that constitute the miracle of oneness,
    wholeness,
    completion
    and peace.

    We are all Jesus
    come to reconcile the world.

    This is the work of maturity and grace,
    and it is our gift–
    our genius–
    to bestow
    upon the time and place
    of our living.

    In the heat of the eternal fires
    of hell itself
    we see
    and everything shifts
    into place–
    and where there was antipathy
    there is sympathy,
    and where there was chaos
    there is harmony,
    and where there was enmity
    there is joy
    and thanksgiving.

    And we are one with ourselves,
    each other,
    all others
    and all things.

    Here is how it works:
    Cast me,
    the proponent
    of silence and reflection,
    privacy and solitude
    into the most hated
    and despised hell
    I can imagine,
    a dinner/cocktail party
    or a family/high school reunion.

    What does *This*
    have to do with *That*?

    *I* do!

    *I* am the one–the only one–
    who can take *This*
    and merge it with *That*!

    I do it through the discipline
    of the transformation
    of my attitude.

    I take *This*,
    silence,
    reflection,
    privacy
    and solitude,
    and I walk into *That*,
    and live *There*
    as *This.*

    I look past the noise
    and see what’s what,
    and speak one-on-one
    with individuals
    about their life.

    I don’t “chit-chat,”
    engaging in the predictable
    party-talk lines.

    I ask, “What do you live to do?”
    “What brings you to life in your life?”
    “What gives you the most trouble these days?”
    “Where do you find peace?”
    “What keeps you going?”
    “What constitutes your bedrock?”
    Etc.

    I probe,
    explore,
    investigate,
    reflect
    and call forth
    new realizations
    within me,
    and perhaps within others as well.

    Embrace contradiction.
    Dance with polarity.
    Be the source of grace and peace
    making oneness
    between *This* and *That*
    throughout your life.

    What does *This* have to do with *That*?
    YOU make the connection.
    And the peace!


  • 07/20/2019  —  Atlantic Dawn 2008-10 01 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 26, 2008

    We have to set our own limits,
    establish our own boundaries,
    draw our own lines,
    know what is right for us
    and what is wrong,
    know when it is right for us,
    and when it is wrong,
    and trust ourselves to know
    what we know,
    and live out of our own sense of direction
    and our own sense of timing,
    and live with the consequences.

    We learn how we need to live our life
    by living our life.

    We are all finding our way here.
    We all have an internal guidance system,
    that has worked through the ages
    to get us–
    as a species–
    here, now,
    and we have to learn how to use it,
    and use it.

    If we dream of driving through stop signs,
    or driving downhill with no breaks,
    could be our internal guidance system
    is telling us
    we’ve been ignoring it too much,
    and need to listen to what it is saying.

    When it puts up a stop sign,
    we need to stop.
    When it says “GO!”
    we need to go.
    And when there isn’t
    a clear Yes or No,
    we take our chances
    and see what happens,
    or wait to see what happens.

    Guidance will always come eventually.
    In one form
    or another,
    and then it will be apparent
    what to do now.

    If we wait long enough,
    the way always appears.

    If you don’t know what to do,
    wait.

    Sooner or later
    you will know what to do
    about something.

    We are becoming clearer
    all the time.


  • 07/20/2019  —  Cloud Bank at Sunset 2011-10 Panorama — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 28, 2011

    Whenever Jesus says something about “the Father,”
    read it as meaning “Your true and inmost Self.”

    “The Father and I are one.”
    Becomes, “My Self and I are one,”
    and is a call to us all
    to become one with our Self.

    This is the task of Jung’s idea
    of Individuation,
    becoming one with our Self,
    realizing our “full potential”
    to be who we are capable of becoming
    in the time and place of our living.

    Jesus’ work required him to die
    in the service
    of reconciling people with their Self,
    with themselves.
    They chose to kill him
    in order to avoid doing the work
    he was calling them to do.

    Jesus chose to die
    being true to his work,
    to his Self,
    rather than to live a lie
    and let everyone go back
    to the business
    of following the cow
    in front of them
    from the barn
    to the pasture
    and back to the barn.

    What appears to be death
    can be life,
    what appears to be life
    can be death.

    It is no light thing
    to take up the work
    of becoming one
    with the Self within.

    And, it is no light thing
    to refuse to take up that work.

    It could be death ether way.
    What to do?


  • 07/20/2019  —  Adams Mill Pond 2014-22 16 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 5, 2014

    The life that needs us to live it
    in doing what needs us to do it
    can be like dying.

    It can be easier to die,
    which is at the heart
    of suicide
    and drug addiction,
    than to live the life
    that is calling us to live it–
    than to do the things
    that are calling us to do them.

    It is no accident
    that the crucifixion
    is at the heart of Jesus’ message
    about abundant life.

    First we die.
    Actually, we die again and again.

    The crucifixion is Jesus
    putting his words into action.

    “Living your life
    is living against the grain
    of the culture!
    It is living against the grain
    of your own ego-sense of direction
    and your own ego-driven ideas
    of what is good for you!
    This cross is what it is like
    to follow your own Inner-Self’s vision
    of the Good!
    Remember me when you take up your life,
    and know that in so doing,
    you are taking up your cross!
    And follow me!”

    Living our life–
    the life that is truly ours to live–
    will ask hard things of us.
    All the way
    along the way!

    We cannot be surprised by that,
    or undone by it.
    It is to be expected.
    We understand how it is,
    and do what is required
    to be who we are
    in the time and place
    of our living–
    with the right kind of spirit,
    and the right kind of attitude
    all the way
    along the way.


  • 07/21/2019  —  Angel Oak 2013-22 02 — Angel Oak Park, Charleston, South Carolina, November 14, 2013 — Estimated to be 400-500 years old.

    There are people who don’t have a chance.

    Do not be one of those people.

    Everybody who doesn’t have a chance
    gives up on themselves.
    They don’t give themselves a chance.
    They look for somebody else to save them.

    Everybody is looking for themselves
    in the eyes of someone else.
    No one else can give us what we need.
    All we need is a chance.
    We are the only ones who can give us what we need.

    We have to take a chance on ourselves.
    And not hold anything back.
    We have to go to the mat–
    again and again–
    in the service of ourselves,
    betting on ourselves–
    again and again.
    Giving ourselves a chance.

    We walk past people every day,
    all of the time,
    who don’t have a chance.

    Do not be one of those people.

    Chances have nothing to do with money.
    We think,
    “Oh, if they only had money,
    they would have a chance.”
    Or,
    “Oh, if only I had money,
    I would have a chance.”

    Donald Trump doesn’t have a chance.
    All he has is money,
    and he cannot get enough.

    All of the people like Donald Trump–
    the people he runs with
    and aspires to be like–
    don’t have a chance.
    All they have is money.

    Donald Trump and all of his running buddies
    are the polar opposites
    of Horatio Alger.

    Horatio Alger had a chance from the start,
    but he had no money.
    He only had himself.
    He listened to himself.
    He allowed himself to direct him.
    He wouldn’t have anything to do
    with Donald Trump
    and all the others like him.

    Do not confuse money with chances.
    Do not think it is about money.
    It is about you.
    You loving you.
    You caring for you.
    You listening to you.
    You trusting you.
    You taking a chance on you.
    You giving you all the chances you need
    to be you.

    You are the best chance you have.
    You are the only chance you have.
    Give yourself a chance.
    Bet it all on you.
    Again and again.


  • 07/21/2019  —  Barn on Mormon Row 2011-06 Panorama — Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming, June 26, 2011

    If you are going to believe in anyone–
    in anything–
    believe in yourself.

    And live as though you do.

    Listen to yourself.

    Learn to understand the language
    your Self uses
    to speak to you.

    Your Self uses the age-old language–
    the oldest language–
    of dreams,
    images,
    symbols,
    metaphors,
    feelings,
    sensations
    and events
    to get your attention
    and tell you what’s what.

    Pay attention.
    Attend your Self.
    Daily.
    Hourly.
    Moment-by-moment-by-moment.

    We are the servants of our Self.
    We are here to incarnate our Self.
    To bring our Self to life in the world.
    To make our Self visible,
    known,
    apparent,
    real.
    In service to the gifts/genius
    our Self makes available
    to us.
    By being who we are
    fully capable of being
    in the time and place
    of our living.

    If you don’t believe that–
    if you refuse to believe that–
    there is nothing I can do for you.

    It all starts with you believing
    in your Self.

    And living as though you do.


  • 07/21/2019  —  Cedar Island Ferry 2011-10 02 Panorama — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, October 26, 2011

    Everything that happens
    happens in order to wake us up.

    Every time you are tempted to ask,
    “Why did *this* have to happen *now* of all times?”
    sit down.
    Be still and quiet.
    And see what emerges.

    Taking the time to see what emerges
    leads us along the way.

    If we are in too much of a hurry
    to look,
    we can’t be surprised
    if we don’t see.

    Time has to be understood on two levels.
    There is clock/calendar time,
    and there is “the fullness of time.”
    “The right time.”
    “The time that is at hand.”

    Chronos and Kairos.

    The question is not,
    “What time is it?”
    The question is,
    “What is it time for?”
    “What is asking to be born
    in this time,
    in this place,
    right now?”
    “What is coming forth
    here and now?”
    “How am I being asked
    to assist in the birth
    of what needs to happen
    right here,
    right now?”

    The Coming may well
    have nothing to do
    with what we want to come,
    with what we want to happen.

    We are not here to live
    in the service of ourselves.

    God’s declaration to Baruch,
    which was Baruch’s declaration to Baruch,
    “You will get your life
    as a prize of war!”
    Is what we all get out of “the deal.”
    We get our life.
    We get to be alive
    in the time and place
    of our living.

    How can there be more than that?
    What did Jesus say?
    “I came to bring you life,
    overflowing,
    pouring out,
    spilling over!””

    “I came that you might have life,
    and have it abundantly!

    That’s all we get!
    If that isn’t enough for you,
    you are standing
    in the wrong line!

    In *this* line,
    the question is not,
    “What am I going to get
    for all my trouble?”
    The question is:
    “What is it time for,
    and how can I help
    with the birthing
    of what is trying to come forth,
    here and now?”

    In every here and now
    that we are a part of
    forever.

    What we get out of it
    is life,
    overflowing,
    pouring out,
    spilling over,
    here and now.

    Abundant life
    for as long
    as we are alive!


  • 07/21/2019  —  Cloud Bank at Sunset 2011-10 01 Panorama — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, November 26, 2011

    When we are in sync
    with Kairos
    and in tune
    with the time of our living–
    with the times in which we are alive–
    with the moment that is right here,
    right now–
    alive to what is happening
    and what is being called for,
    what is striving to come to life
    in us and through us
    as a blessing
    and a grace,
    and as a gift
    of our gifts,
    our genius,
    to this time–
    to what it is time for
    at this time,
    this particular time,
    and if we don’t do it now,
    the time will pass
    without it being done,
    and nothing will be
    what it might have been
    if we had acted
    when the time for acting
    was upon us…

    When we are in sync
    with Kairos,
    we are in accord
    with the Tao,
    and the magic
    comes to life
    in the moment
    of our living,
    and things come together
    in ways we could never
    have imagined,
    clicking into place
    beyond all reason,
    logic
    and understanding
    to produce a future
    we could never have arraigned
    by thinking,
    planning,
    scheming,
    trying,
    striving,
    manipulating..

    The magic
    is being in sync
    with the time
    of our living,
    and with what
    is being asked of us
    here and now,
    in every here and now,
    forever.

    What is it time for?
    What gifts/genius of yours
    are being called for?
    Why hold anything back?
    What are you waiting for,
    if not for the moment to act–
    for the moment that calls you forth
    by asking you to be who you are,
    here and now?


  • 07/21/2019  —  Dawn’s Light 2013-10 01 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 28, 2013

    Getting ourselves together
    with our Self–
    *and* with the time and place,
    the here and now,
    of our living–
    is the magic
    that brings forth the magic
    that transforms reality,
    puts the world back
    in its traces,
    and stuns us
    into the realization
    of more than meets the eye.

    When we get ourselves together
    with Self and Kairos
    and do the thing that needs to be done
    here and now,
    in this moment,
    because that is exactly
    what the moment needs,
    and the time is at hand
    for us to do our thing
    as only we can do it,
    doors open where there were no doors,
    and things happen
    that cannot be explained,
    or understood,
    only experienced
    and received
    with awe
    and wonder,
    amazement,
    astonishment
    and a sense of the reality
    of the *numen*
    that will take our breath away
    for all of time.

    This is the experience
    of synchronicity
    that Carl Jung saw
    as evidence
    of being “at one with the Tao,”
    of living “in accord with the Tao,”
    by aligning ourselves with our Self
    and the time (Kairos) of our living.

    That’s the magic
    that enables the magic.
    We are magicians all,
    or may be
    when the time is right.


  • 07/21/2019  —  Fisherman 2012-10 01 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 23, 2012

    Joseph Campbell said
    the message,
    the moral,
    the lesson,
    the teaching,
    the essence
    of the Bhagvad Gita is:
    “Get in there
    and do your thing–
    and don’t worry
    about the outcome!”

    The same thing could be said
    about The Sermon on the Mount,
    and Jesus’ life and teachings.

    Doing our thing,
    at one with our thing
    and the time and place of our living,
    can only be done
    with no thought about–
    or concern for–
    the outcome.

    “Don’t let your left hand
    know what your right hand is doing,”
    said Jesus.

    Don’t know nothing
    but what you have
    that the moment needs,
    and offer what you have to give
    with no concern
    for what you stand to gain
    or lose.

    That is living
    as life is meant to be lived.

    Who do you know
    who lives like that?

    That’s why things
    are as they are.

    And they won’t improve
    until people begin to live
    with eyes only on
    what they have
    that the moment needs,
    with no interest in
    what’s in it for them.


  • 07/22/2019  —  Abstract Sunflower 2019-07 — Nursery Photos, a ceramic vase graphic serves as the foundation of this piece, which I expanded in Photoshop to achieve a more flattened effect, Pike’s Nursery, Charlotte, North Carolina.

    I stumbled upon the realization
    (Which happens with every realization
    any of us ever have.
    We stumble our way into them,
    and are shocked to discover
    that’s how things are,
    and have always been,
    and what took so long
    for us to see it?)
    not long ago
    that there are no churches,
    there are only shells of buildings.

    There are no churches
    because there are no people
    there are only shells of human beings.

    Churches are automatic with people.
    There have always been churches.
    People erect them as a symbol
    of the *numen* within us all,
    and then forsake the *numen* within
    for the God they imagine without,
    and it all goes to hell right quick from there.

    Church is divorced from the lived experience
    of the people,
    and it is all talk, talk, talk…
    and the people are all empty, empty, empty…
    Shells.
    Husks.
    Hulls.
    All.

    In order to get the church back
    we have to get ourselves back.
    We have to get back to ourselves.
    Back to our experience of ourselves.
    Back to our experience.

    How many of us ever experience
    our experience?
    We spend all of our time
    trying to escape our experience!

    How much overweight are you?
    How much alcohol do you consume?
    How much refined sugar do you consume?
    How much silence can you tolerate?
    How much mood-altering drugs do you take?
    How much of your life
    is spent getting away from your life?

    Ask all of your friends these questions,
    and then wonder together
    how much of your experience you experience.

    It’s too painful, isn’t it?
    We can’t bear the pain of our experience.

    Carl Jung said,
    “Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.”
    When we square up to our life,
    boom, there is God–
    but not the God of theology and doctrine and the Bible.
    The God at the bottom of it all
    has nothing to do with the God we call God.

    The *Numen* cannot be contained in a catechism.
    Or in all of the catechisms.
    The *Numen* cannot be said,
    cannot be told,
    cannot be talked about.
    Can only be accessed
    through our experience.

    But, we can’t experience our experience.
    Boom, here we are.


  • 07/22/2019  —  Swan Lake 2019-07 06 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, July 5, 2019

    It comes down to
    who we are
    and what we are doing
    to express/exhibit/incarnate
    who we are
    in the time and place
    of our living.

    If we don’t know who we are
    because we are trying to be
    who we are not
    to please someone else
    or to fit in
    and belong,
    or because we reject who we are,
    thinking it isn’t good enough,
    and if we don’t understand
    the way we live
    to be solely about
    bringing forth who we are
    in the practical,
    day-to-day,
    transactions
    of conducting our business
    and tending our affairs
    within the circumstances
    that define our existence,
    we are missing the point of it all.

    The point of it all
    is to be who we are
    and to live in ways
    that express it.

    Live to discover who you are
    and to find ways
    of demonstrating that
    in the way you live your life.


  • 07/22/2019  —  Swan Lake 2019-07 14 Panorama — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, July 5, 2019

    There is Mind
    and there is Brain.
    Mind is knowing without thinking.
    Brain is knowing through thinking.

    Mind and Brain know
    the same things,
    and they know different things.

    Both are ways of interpreting
    our circumstances
    in ways that enhance
    our survival.

    In the natural world
    of life forms without much
    in the way of Brain,
    movement “out there”
    means one or two things:
    food or danger.
    “If it is smaller than me,
    I can eat it.”
    “If it is bigger than me,
    it can eat me.”

    We don’t have to think much here.
    We only have to know
    if it is bigger or smaller than we are.

    With more Brain
    comes greater discrimination.
    With a big-enough Brain,
    we can think about our thinking.
    We can perceive our perceptions.
    We can be Somebody.

    And, we can become lost in thought.

    Mind is always there
    to ground us in the here and now.
    “Hey, Brain!” says Mind.
    “What does *this* have to do with *that*?”

    Brain is great for knowing what is important
    and what to do about it.

    Mind keeps up with what is also important,
    and reminds Brain
    to factor that into its equations.

    Brain sometimes thinks that is too much
    to fool with,
    and dismisses Mind
    as though Brain is the only show in town.
    Think Tanks are famous
    for the things they dismiss
    and refuse to consider.

    So are people.

    Don’t be one of them.


  • 07/23/2019  —  Catawba River 2019-06 03 — Landsford Canal State Park, Catawba, South Carolina, June 30, 2019

    This is a photo of the remnants
    of a hand-stacked stone dam
    running out into the river
    to divert water
    into the Landsford Canal locks structure.

    Five locks raised or lowered barges
    for two miles
    over the thirty-two foot
    fall of the river.

    The Canal,
    built at Land’s Ford,
    was completed in 1823
    and was in service until 1835.

    The State of South Carolina planners
    did not take into account
    that river traffic was highest
    during the fall and winter
    when crops were harvested
    and shipped to market–
    and the water level
    on the river was the lowest.

    And, they did not foresee
    the rapid development of railroads,
    which proved to be cheaper
    and faster than river travel.

    Landsford Canal was an idea
    behind its time.
    But, it was well-designed
    and carefully constructed.
    Sections of the granite blocks
    lining the Canal
    testify to that,
    but…

    What are the questions
    that beg to be asked?
    Is the question that begs to be asked
    of all of our great ideas.

    Politicians are particularly slow
    to figure that out.
    And the long history of past failures
    doesn’t seem to impact
    present practice
    or the potential
    for future duplications.


  • 07/23/2019  —  Road Through Fall 2013-11 01 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Greenbriar District, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 6, 2013

    We don’t know
    what to do with our life.

    We don’t know
    where to turn
    when we have
    nowhere to turn.

    We don’t know
    any of the important stuff.

    So, we load ourselves down
    with entertainment,
    distractions
    and pastimes–
    “bread and circuses”–
    and hope for the best.

    Denying reality
    and hoping for the best
    is what we do best.

    A healthier alternative
    is to start with what we know.

    We know that we don’t know
    any of the important stuff.

    Start there.

    Sit still.
    Be quiet.
    Wait in the silence,
    in the stillness
    beyond the silence,
    to see what will emerge.

    The stillness beyond the silence
    contains all we need to know.

    Direction
    is as close
    as being still
    and paying attention.

    How long do we wait?
    Longer than we want to,
    but not as long
    as we are afraid we will need to.

    If you have a better idea,
    hop on it!
    But.
    Bread and circuses
    are not a better idea.


  • 07/24/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 19 — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo.

    Jesus didn’t have a chance.
    And, Jesus had it made.
    And, Jesus didn’t have a thing.
    And, Jesus laid everything on the line.
    And, Jesus didn’t have a chance.
    And, Jesus had it made.

    And, if you can get that,
    you have it made,
    even though you don’t have a chance.

    We are the bird
    that is in our hands.
    And, what we do next
    makes all the difference.

    We are all Jesus–
    as only we can be Jesus.
    Just as Jesus was Jesus
    as only Jesus could be Jesus.

    What we do about it
    makes all the difference.

    Everything comes down
    to what we do next.

    To what we do about it all.

    To how we handle it.

    To whether we sit quietly
    in the stillness
    and wait for what emerges–
    wait for what occurs to us
    that has energy about it
    that separates it
    from all the other stuff
    that is emerging and occurring,
    or ignore the stillness forever
    and go on about our life.

    If we sit in the stillness,
    we have to do it correctly.
    We have to wait,
    breathing,
    watching,
    for what we do not know.
    It could be anything,
    but it is certainly not everything.
    We are waiting for what to do next.
    For what to do now.

    The emotional charge tells us
    this is what we have been waiting for
    all our life.

    “It’s the green shirt!
    Wear the green shirt!”

    What??? we say?
    The green shirt???
    I’ve been waiting
    to wear the green shirt???

    It makes no sense.

    Repeat that aloud:
    “It makes no sense.”

    You/we will never make any sense out of it.
    We will never get to the bottom of it.
    We will never know why wearing the green shirt matters.
    Until later.
    Maybe much later.
    When we see that it is all
    part of the pattern,
    and that everything fits together
    like atoms in a molecule.
    Like electrons in an atom.
    And everything has to be exactly
    what it is as it is
    for anything to work.

    And wearing the green shirt
    is symbolic of everything,
    in that none of it by itself
    makes any sense at all,
    and it has to be seen all together
    for us to be able to say,
    “Oh, wow.”

    We have to trust ourselves
    to the silence,
    and to the stillness beyond the silence,
    and wear the green shirt.
    And do the next thing after that
    that occurs to us
    out of the stillness,
    which also will make no sense.

    Jesus dying on the cross made/makes no sense
    until the resurrection
    which wasn’t an actual resurrection at all,
    but the realization that we all are Jesus
    as only we can be Jesus,
    having it made
    without a chance
    and laying it all on the line
    again and again.

    Dying and rising from the dead
    again and again.
    Saying, “Oh, wow,”
    again and again.

    Living in accord with the Tao
    moment-by-moment-by-moment.
    At one with Lao Tzu.
    Being Lao Tzu as only we can be Lao Tzu.

    Dancing with contradictions,
    and dichotomies,
    and polarities.

    Dancing with Kairos.

    Holding the bird in our hands.

    Laughing.

    Saying, “Oh, wow.”

    All the way.

    Wearing the green shirt.


  • 07/24/2019  —  Veins 2019-06 03 — Nursery Photos, Pike’s Nursery, Charlotte, North Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo.

    People rarely–
    so rare I might as well say never–
    talk about their work
    to align themselves
    with the Tao,
    with Kairos,
    with themselves,
    with their Self,
    with their circumstances,
    with the here and now of their living,
    moment-by-moment-by-moment.

    They rarely (never)
    say what they have found to be helpful
    in that work,
    what makes it difficult,
    or ask you how it is going
    with you and your work
    to be so aligned.

    But those who have known
    have known
    there is not much more to say.


  • 07/25/2019  —  Ocracoke Lighthouse 12-10 06 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 26, 2012, an iPhone photo.

    At first, we oscillate between fury and fear.
    Angry and enraged one minute,
    anxiety-ridden and terrified the next.
    Exhausted by that Hell Bender of a ride,
    we settle into numbness and addiction
    which carries us into hopelessness and futility.

    Joseph Campbell said,
    “That which we seek most desperately
    lies far in the very back
    of the cave we most don’t want to enter.”

    We know what doesn’t work,
    and we know what does,
    and we don’t want anything to do with it.

    “We will take hopelessness and futility, thank you.
    A double shot of both, every day forever!
    We aren’t going into that damn cave!”

    We have always had
    everything we need
    to know what we know
    and do what needs to be done.
    But.
    If it takes going into that cave
    to retrieve it,
    forget it.

    If we go into that cave,
    we aren’t coming out alive
    in the same life we had
    when we entered.

    The cave is a tomb.
    And we don’t trust it
    to be more than that.

    Like the threshold
    to life everlasting.

    “Are you kidding me?
    It’s a hole in the ground!
    People go in and they don’t come out!

    That’s because they go through!

    “The only way out is the way through.”
    “The shortest way through
    is the long way around.”

    It takes a long time
    just to enter the cave.
    But the entrance is everywhere.
    The kitchen table will do.

    Sit down.
    Be quiet.
    Listen.
    Look.
    Until you begin to see and hear
    all the things that emerge in the silence.

    It’s all there.
    Waiting in the darkness
    of that cave
    for its turn at you.

    Read Rumi’s “The Guest House”
    for guidance on how
    to handle the experience.

    Here’s the short version:
    Welcome it all
    to come have a seat
    at the table.

    Make a place for everything,
    “This, too. This, too…”

    No more hiding.
    No more denying.
    “This, too. This, too…”

    The grief,
    the regret,
    the losses,
    the mistakes,
    the wrong turns,
    the bad choices,
    the betrayals,
    the failures,
    the disappointments,
    the pain,
    the pain,
    the pain…

    Who you were
    and who you were not,
    what happened to you
    and what did not happen at all…

    And your guardians,
    and your guides,
    and your friends…

    The surprising assists
    when you had no reason to expect help
    from anywhere.

    The resilience that has kept you going
    through all the reasons to quit.

    The core truth of your own validity
    and value
    that keeps vying for your recognition
    and allegiance…

    Bring it all into your awreness
    of the cave,
    of the table.

    Here we all are,
    now what?

    Listen, look…
    See, hear…

    From this point on.

    We take the cave,
    the table,
    with us wherever we go.

    We listen to our body,
    to our heart (What makes your little heart sing?)
    to our stomach (Those gut feelings.)
    to our bones (What we know in our bones
    is essential knowing.)…

    We listen to our experience,
    we listen to our pain,
    we listen to our nighttime dreams…

    We acknowledge our contradictions,
    our conflicts,
    our dichotomies,
    our polarities,
    the paradox of who we are
    and also are…

    We see what we look at.

    We ask the questions that beg to be asked,
    and say the things that cry out to be said.

    We trust ourselves to do what needs to be done,
    even though we don’t know why.
    We follow the lead
    of tugs and pulls we don’t understand,
    and obey stop signs and signals
    that pop up out of nowhere
    without warning
    or explanation.

    We check with the Inner Guide
    on all matters,
    great and small.

    We attend the silence
    and the stillness,
    and the emerging urges,
    ideas
    and realizations
    that come up from the depths.

    We see the cave,
    the table,
    as the source of life,
    and know that we are not alone,
    but carry the wealth of lived experience
    with us wherever we go,
    a well-spring of living water,
    an eternal source of wisdom
    and grace
    for every situation
    and circumstance of life.

    We are many!
    We are one!
    All that we have feared
    and hated
    is with us for our good
    and the best we are capable of being
    and doing
    throughout the time left for living.

    What we thought was death
    is life!

    And that is not the last
    of the surprises
    the rest of the way
    has to offer!

    The cave,
    the table,
    is a portal
    to magic unimaginable.

    But.

    It takes believing it is so
    to know that it is.


  • 07/25/2019  —  Catawba River 2019-07 03 — Landsford Canal State Park, Catawba, South Carolina, July 25, 2019

    Kairos and Chronos are Greek words for time.

    “What time is it?” is Chronos.

    “What is it time for?” is Kairos.

    We spend all of our time (Chronos)
    wondering what time it is,
    what day it is,
    how much longer do we have,
    etc.,
    and practically none of it
    wondering what it is time for.

    What time (Chronos)
    is the Right Time (Kairos)
    to take a photograph,
    go for a walk,
    have a cup of coffee,
    take a nap?

    It all depends.

    Knowing what it is time for,
    and what it is not time for,
    requires a kind of knowing
    that comes from listening
    with mindful awareness
    to all things
    on all levels–
    and has nothing at al to do
    with looking at our watch.


  • 07/26/2019  —  Wagon Road 2019-07 01 — Landsford Canal State Park, Catawba, South Carolina, July 25, 2019 — “The Great Philadelphia Wagon Road” was first “The Great Indian Warrior Trading Path.” Let that sink in. It all began before anybody had any idea of what was beginning. It is that way with every real beginning. We never know what we are doing or where things are going. Let that sink in.

    We don’t take the time
    to let anything sink in.

    We are always thinking and doing.

    We are never looking/seeing,
    listening/hearing,
    reflecting/connecting
    realizing/knowing
    being/becoming.

    We are always thinking/doing,
    but rarely
    thinking what needs to be thought,
    or doing what needs to be done.

    Our moments are consumed
    by our schedule,
    by our calendar,
    by the clock,
    by Chronos.

    We have no time for Kairos.

    But Kairos knows
    what Chronos has forgotten.
    Only the tomato knows
    when it it is time to be ripe.
    Only the baby knows
    when it is time to be born.

    We cannot schedule those things.
    All of the important stuff
    happens in its own time.

    It would be so convenient,
    wouldn’t it,
    if we could make ourselves
    go to sleep
    when it is time to go to sleep.

    Who says what time it is for sleep?
    We would like to.
    Like we know.

    We know very little
    that is worth knowing.
    Like what is worth our time.
    Like what is worth our life.

    We are living as hard as we can
    100% away from
    how we need to be living.

    Evidence of it is on every side–
    which we ignore
    and take pills
    to keep going.


  • 07/26/2019  —  Girl on a Wall 2012-12 B&W– Charlotte, North Carolina, December 18, 2012, an iPhone photo

    What would it take?
    What do you need?
    What is missing?
    What needs to disappear?
    How would arrange things
    in order to be content
    with the way things are?

    Visualizing yourself
    at the center of your life,
    and your zones of influence
    extending outward in concentric circles
    to infinity,
    how far out do your circles
    of contentment extend?

    At what point does your life
    become in need of adjustment?

    At what point do changes
    need to be made?

    What needs to happen?
    Is *that* what needs to happen?

    What needs to happen?


  • 07/26/2019  —  Anhinga 2019-05 04 — Cypress Wetlands, Port Royal, South Carolina, May 19, 2019

    What is missing?
    What are you seeking?
    Your heart is restless,
    until it rests, *where*?

    How do you know
    you don’t already “have” it,
    and just aren’t listening/seeing?

    You had it once,
    and then what happened?

    And, if the Bible,
    and all of the other spiritual guides,
    can be trusted,
    “It” is seeking you!

    “It” is not far off,
    you don’t have to cross the sea,
    or sleep on nails,
    or crawl on your knees
    on a pilgrimage to some holy place.

    “It” is right here,
    right now,
    as close as your next breath.

    All you have to do is breathe,
    with your eyes open,
    with your mind open,
    sit still,
    be quiet,
    and wait.

    For what emerges.
    For what occurs to you.

    Nothing could be easier.
    Why is it like dying?

    What are you afraid of?
    What is so terrifying
    about “the cave you most don’t want to enter”?

    Reflect on that.
    See where it takes you.
    Boost your courage
    and go for the ride!


  • 07/27/2019  —  Atlantic Dawn 2010-11 01 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, November 1, 2010

    The Tao is Kairos.
    Kairos is the Tao.
    And, both are Dharma.
    And Dharma is each.

    And we all are one slight
    perspective shift away
    from wallowing in the wonder
    of all three-that-are-one
    forever.

    Doing the Right Thing
    at the Right Time
    in the Right Way.

    What is it time for
    here,
    now?

    What is keeping you
    from doing it,
    the way it needs
    to be done?

    What is trying to be born
    in you–
    through you–
    in each moment?

    When too many things
    crowd into one moment,
    which thing wins?

    How do you determine
    your priorities?

    What gets your attention?

    What did you dream last night?

    Our dreams always
    have something to say
    about how we are living our life.

    Dharma, Tao, and Kairos
    try to get our attention
    even in our dreams.


  • 07/27/2019  —  Penobscot Bay Mooring 2010-10 01 — Stonington, Deer Isle, Maine, October 26, 2010

    There are plenty of guides along the way,
    but there is no one
    to tell us what to do.

    The bird is in our hands.

    We say what it is time for now.

    We say what we will do.

    We say what we will think.

    We say what we will believe.

    We say who we will be.

    And, we don’t have to be right
    about any of it.

    Except, but, only…

    We pay for being wrong
    in 10,000 ways.

    And we reap the benefits
    of being right
    in ways past counting.

    But.

    We are going to do
    what we are going to do.

    And that’s that.


  • 07/27/2019  —  Hatteras Sunrise 2003-10 01 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks,
    Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 24, 2003

    Inauthentic urges
    are driving the world.

    Every addiction is an inauthentic urge.

    Money is the addiction of the day.

    No one has enough money.
    Everyone wants to be wealthy.
    And not just wealthy.
    Wealthier than everyone else.

    Addiction drives the world.

    Do we know an authentic urge
    when we have one?
    An urge that is conducive to life?

    Sunflowers turn toward the sun.
    That is an authentic urge.

    Authentic urges drive life.
    We live in the service
    of authentic urges.
    Compelling urges.

    I knew a camera was it for me,
    and a typewriter,
    from the start.
    They are still a driving force
    in my life
    after all these years.

    Authentic urges
    supply us with more energy
    and enthusiasm
    than they demand of us.

    Inauthentic urges
    leave us wrung out
    and hungover.
    Empty,
    devoid,
    of life.

    “You can tell ’em how it is,
    Preacher,
    but preaching ain’t gonna
    keep ’em from having
    to hit the wall.
    And, how many walls it takes
    depends on how hard
    their head is.”


  • 07/28/2019  —  Goodale 2015-11 01 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    What compelling urgency
    drives your life?

    What compelling urgency
    drives you through life?

    Fear and boredom
    are two popular ones.
    And lethargy.

    Fear is their common core.

    Anger, rage and hatred
    have anger as their common core.

    Fear and anger couple
    with the thirst for power
    to drive most of what we see
    going on in the world.

    Power is money,
    money is power,
    serving fear and anger.
    Wasting lives.

    A life that is not wasted
    would be doing what?
    Serving what?
    Being driven by what?

    What is at the core
    of a well-lived life?

    I’m going for awareness
    and compassion
    and wonder–
    with compassion at the core.

    I could be wrong about that
    but.
    If you put me in a group
    of people driven
    by compassion,
    awareness
    and wonder,
    I would be just fine forever.


  • 07/28/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 26 Panorama — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo.

    Rational minds can look at the same facts
    and draw different conclusions–
    because they serve different interests,
    because they have different reasons
    for seeing as they do.

    Rational minds can kid themselves
    as easily as irrational minds.

    Having a rational mind does not
    make us self-aware,
    self-transparent,
    and interested in the highest good
    of all concerned
    with all things considered.

    Rational minds can be
    as greedy,
    racist,
    bigoted,
    fascist
    and addicted
    to wealth and power
    as irrational minds–
    and better at hiding
    their motives
    and justifying their positions–
    as/than irrational minds.

    Rational-mindedness is no guarantee
    of good choices
    and right decisions.

    The weight of the evidence
    doesn’t offset our stake in the outcome.

    Where can we go
    to find people
    who see themselves seeing
    and can be up-front
    about their motives
    and agendas
    and what they stand to gain or lose
    with regard
    to the decision being decided?

    I want to live there!
    And be like that!


  • 07/29/2019  —  Upper Lifting Lock 2019-07 01 — Landsford Canal, Landsford Canal State Park, Catawba, South Carolina, July 25, 2019, an iPhone photo.

    Paradox is the Paradigm!
    We are awash in opposites
    throughout our life!

    The trick is to seek out our paradoxes
    and bear the pain of our contradictions.

    Do not hide from them!
    Do not deny them!
    Do not avoid them!
    Walk straight into them!
    They are the doorway
    to the path we search for.

    Remember Joseph Campbell’s maxim:
    “That which you seek
    lies far in the back
    of the cave
    you most do not want to enter.”

    That’s the paradox of the cave.

    All of our paradoxes
    are paradoxes of the cave.
    We do not want to do
    what we most need to do
    for reasons concealed from us.

    It is only in hindsight that we see.

    We drive looking in the rear-view mirror.

    Saying, “Oh, wow!”

    Truth is found between the hands.
    On the one hand, this.
    On the other hand, that.

    And we make it work.
    We find the way.
    That is the way of The Way.

    We stand it.
    We take it.
    We live with the weight of the agony
    of “Not This! Yes This!”
    And let it be
    because it is.

    We accommodate our irreconcilable differences.
    We make our peace
    with being unable to make peace
    among the hostile parties
    within and without,
    and go about our business
    as best we can–
    burdened as we are
    by not being able
    to go about our business
    because it is our business
    to wrestle with opposites
    all day long!

    We live the conundrum.
    We are the koan.
    We breathe in Yin
    and exhale Yang.
    We ply the waters
    between Scylla and Charybdis
    all day every day!

    And we learn to laugh,
    and dance
    and sing–
    because, why not?
    *We* are the paradox!

    *This* is The Way!
    And we are making our way
    along The Way!
    As crazy as it sounds,
    and seems,
    and is!

    Sit with your paradoxes,
    and walk two paths
    at the same time!


  • 07/29/2019  —  Silver Lake Sunset 2010-10 21 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 31, 2010

    Living attuned to the moment
    and responding appropriately
    to the needs of the moment
    in each moment that arises
    will make the biggest difference
    in the lives of others
    and the life of the world
    that we could possibly make.

    “Eat when hungry,
    rest when tired,”
    means,
    “Do what needs to be done,
    when it needs to be done,
    the way it needs to be done,
    in every moment.”

    “Chop wood,
    carry water,”
    means,
    “Do what needs to be done,
    when it needs to be done,
    the way it needs to be done,
    in every moment.”

    What is it time for here, now?

    That’s the only question
    we need to ask,
    and answer,
    in every here and now,
    for the rest of our life.


  • 07/30/2019  —  Two Boats Moored 2010-09 01 — Isle au Haut, Maine, September, 2010

    Carl Jung said, “There is no linear evolution;
    there is only a circumambulation of the self.”
    (Memories, Dreams and Reflections).

    We think there is somewhere to go,
    some place to get to.

    There is only someone to be,
    namely ourselves,
    the self we are capable of being—
    and we don’t become who we are directly,
    but tangentially,
    even accidentally,
    in response to the time and place
    of our living
    in each situation as it arises
    all our life long.

    We are shaped by our circumstances–
    as we shape our circumstances–
    and are in relation
    to the time and place
    of our living
    as a river is to its channel.

    We are not in charge here.
    We are not captains of our ship
    or masters of our destiny.

    We are doing our best
    to discover what needs
    to happen here and now,
    and trusting that to lead use
    to what needs to happen next,
    all the way to the end of the line
    which has no end.

    “There is only a
    circumambulation
    of the self.”

    Just as “one book opens another,”
    so we become who we are
    moment-by-moment-by-moment,
    as one moment opens another.

    We assist our progression
    toward ourselves–
    toward our Self–
    by being mindfully,
    compassionately,
    non-judgmentally,
    aware of all that is available
    to our awareness
    in each moment
    of our living.

    Waking up is being aware
    of what is happening now,
    and what needs to happen in response,
    and doing what we can do
    toward that end–
    allowing that to lead us
    into the next here and now,
    where we do the same thing.

    One moment at a time.


  • 07/30/2019  —  Fall Reflections 2010-11 03 — Guilford County, near Greensboro, NC, November 11, 2010, the bridge is part of one of the greenway trails around Lake Brandt.

    Being tuned into the moment,
    this here,
    this now,
    positions us at the swing point,
    the tuning point,
    the still point,
    the fulcrum,
    between past and future.

    Seeing the moment,
    as it is–
    what is happening
    and what needs to happen in response–
    and responding in the moment
    to do what needs to be done there,
    shifts the future into place
    and transforms the past.

    We always stand between worlds,
    for better or for worse.
    How well we read the moment
    and respond to it,
    tells the tale.

    Our place is to serve the moment.
    We think the moment–
    and all those before and after–
    is here to serve us.

    We step into each moment
    looking to exploit and manipulate,
    dominate,
    prevail
    and control
    in the service
    of our advantage.

    What needs to happen
    is whatever benefits us.

    Sin is being wrong
    about what is important.
    Repentance is
    changing our mind
    about what matters most.
    The good of the moment
    hangs in the balance
    in every moment.


  • 07/31/2019  —  Looking for Home 2010-10 2010-10 01 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina, October 27, 2010

    Embracing your paradoxes
    is the solution
    to all of your problems today.

    Everybody is awash in paradox.

    On the one hand this,
    on the other hand that.

    All the way down.

    Yin/Yang to the core.
    The core is Yin/Yang.
    And the Cross.
    Crucifixion is the ultimate paradox.
    Paradox is the ultimate reality.

    Facing that truth is like death.
    And, it is the doorway to life everlasting.
    And, we can’t live without dying.
    Again and again.
    Death is life.
    Life is death.
    Like I said.

    But.
    Paradox is the key.

    In embracing paradox,
    we die,
    and we are raised from the dead.
    The people who die
    with no hope of resurrection
    are the people who die
    refusing to face the paradoxes
    at the heart of life.

    Here’s one for you:
    White Supremacy.
    How supreme are you
    if you have to kill everyone not like you
    because they are a threat
    to your existence?

    “We gotta kill the immigrants
    because they will dilute the blood.”
    Oh, brother.
    I have to stop and go throw up for a while.

    They talk about “Blood and Soil,”
    but.
    It’s all symbolic of nothing.
    White blood is no different from black blood.
    The “soil” of white nationalism
    is, theoretically, a country,
    a land,
    where everybody is just like them.
    They have a fantasy of “just like me.”

    How many times have they been married?
    Or, can they find someone who will date them?
    “Just like me” is a dreamland
    I create because the truth is
    nobody likes me,
    and people “just like me”
    are people nobody likes–
    and truth be told,
    they don’t like each other.
    Put them in a dorm,
    make them be roommates,
    see how long it lasts.
    “Soil” is dreamland.
    Only in their dreams is anybody “like them.”

    So, they are left with killing everybody
    who is not them.
    They are left alone.
    That’s dying without hope
    of resurrection.
    That’s just death.
    That’s being really dead.
    When we refuse to embrace
    our paradoxes,
    being really dead
    is all that is left.

    Paradox is at the heart of life.
    Life eats life.
    We cannot inhale
    without exhaling.
    We are all looking for something
    we can’t have:
    A life without paradox,
    or conflict,
    or contradiction.

    Like this sea creature,
    crawling parallel to the ocean,
    seeking the ocean.
    So close, yet…
    demanding that it be
    where and what
    we want it to be.

    It’s “right there,” but.
    We have to change our mind
    about what’s important
    in order to make the turn required
    to find it.

    We have to open our eyes,
    embrace our paradoxes
    and die the deaths that entails
    in order to live the lives that enables.


  • 07/31/2019  —  Stonington Harbor 2010-09 05 — Deer Isle, Maine, September 30, 2010

    Nothing can happen
    until silence does.

    Just sit quietly,
    waiting,
    watching.
    Silence will teach us
    everything we need to know.

    our place is to receive
    all that comes to meet us
    in the silence
    with compassionate,
    non-judgmental,
    awareness,
    in a “Well, that’s interesting,”
    kind of way.

    It is all grist for the mill,
    and we are milling
    our relationship with our Self
    and our life.

    If our future is to be
    the redemption
    and fulfillment
    of our past,
    we will have to change
    our relationship with our life
    and our Self.

    That happens
    as we enter the silence
    and see what occurs to us–
    what shifts,
    what emerges,
    what changes,
    and what response we make.

    Awareness leads the way,
    and it begins in silence.


  • 08/01/2019  —  Atlantic Sunrise 2010-10 01 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina, October 27, 2010

    The story of Adam and Eve
    has remained alive through the ages
    because it is the story of all of us,
    of each of us.

    We are Adam and Eve,
    and theirs is the original sin.
    The only sin.

    And Jesus’ death on the cross
    is the atonement of that sin
    and the path to redeeming it
    and transcending it
    throughout our future.

    But.
    That has nothing to do
    with believing in Jesus
    and being baptized in his name.

    It has everything to do
    with seeing things as they are
    and paying the price
    of a different outcome
    in the Garden of Eden.

    Eden is every moment.
    Every moment gives us
    the choice of Adam and Eve.

    Do we exploit the moment,
    manipulate the moment,
    serve our advantage in the moment?
    Or,
    do we open ourselves to the moment,
    listen until we hear,
    look until we see,
    ask the questions that beg to be asked
    in order to know what’s what,
    and what is happening,
    and what needs to be done about it,
    and summons the courage to do it
    because that is what needs to be done
    right here, right now,
    in this moment
    because Kairos
    and Tao
    and Dharma
    declare it to be so?

    In the Garden of Gethsemane,
    Jesus served Kairos.
    Tao
    and Dharma.
    And, for his trouble,
    he paid for his actions
    with his life.

    But.
    His was a death
    that led to life.
    If he had made a different decision,
    he would have died a different death–
    the death Adam and Even died in Eden–
    the death that leads to just being dead.

    In each moment,
    something needs to happen,
    and something needs to happen-not.
    And we are uniquely equipped
    to meet the moment
    and offer what it needs us to offer
    out of the gifts,
    genius,
    daemon,
    Self
    that is who we are
    and what is ours to give.

    Eden or Gethsemane?
    In every moment,
    we make the choice.

    And pay the price.


  • 08/01/2019  —  Nags Head Sunrise 2010-10 06 — Nags Head, North Carolina, Outer Banks, October 24, 2010

    Everybody loves a shortcut.
    Everybody is in a hurry to get there–
    As though there is somewhere to get to,
    something to get.

    Everybody is always circumventing the Tao,
    replacing the Dharma,
    telling Kairos it doesn’t know what it is doing,
    and installing their own version
    of how things ought to be
    in place of how things ought to be.

    And wondering why things
    are in such a mess.

    “Be still,”
    comes the eternal refrain,
    “and know what’s what,
    what is happening
    and what needs to happen in response–
    and summons the courage
    to do what needs to be done
    with the gifts,
    genius,
    daemon,
    Self
    that are yours to deploy
    in the service
    of what needs
    what you have to offer
    in each situation
    as it arises,
    all your life long.”

    “Listen for what is being called for,
    know what it is time for,
    moment-by-moment-by-moment,
    and act accordingly.”

    “The shortest way through
    is the long way around.”

    “That which you seek,
    lies far back
    in the cave you most don’t want to enter”
    (Joseph Campbell).

    Hold everything in your awareness,
    and see what emerges
    to lead the way.


  • 08/02/2019  —  Swan Lake 2019-07 13 — Trumpeter Swans, Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, July 5, 2019

    Jesus was a walking contradiction.

    Jesus raised the dead,
    and Jesus left the dead
    to bury the dead.

    Jesus forgave a guilty woman
    and cursed an innocent fig tree.

    Jesus knew keeping the spirit of the law
    meant breaking the letter of the law.

    Jesus did what needed to be done
    in one moment,
    and did what needed to be done
    in the next moment,
    even though that may have meant
    doing entirely opposite things.

    “Sometimes it’s like this,”
    said Jesus.
    “And sometimes it’s like that.
    All you have to know
    is what time it is”
    (Or words to that effect).

    Dance with your contradictions!
    Embrace your paradoxes!
    Do what needs to be done–
    moment-by-moment-by-moment!

    That’s what Jesus meant
    by having life
    and having it abundantly!


  • 08/01/2019  —  Isle au Haut 2010-09 01 — Deer Isle, Penobscot Bay, Maine, September 29, 2010

    We think our problems would be solved,
    and our troubles would be over,
    if we knew what we wanted
    and how to get it.

    That’s close,
    but.
    Not it.

    Our problems would be solved
    and our troubles would be over
    if we knew what TO want
    and how to get it.

    Knowing what TO want
    is not to be confused with
    what WE want.

    How to want what we need to want
    is not on our list
    of things to want.

    But, it is the only thing on the list
    of what we have to want
    if we want the path to open before us
    and the way to lead us
    to peace and joy everlasting.

    Of course, there is a catch.
    We will have to not mind
    dying again and again
    over its entire course.

    So, there will be Cyclops’s,
    and Sirens,
    and Medusa’s
    and Minotaur’s
    and Scylla and Charybdis’
    around every turn.

    It’s the Hero’s Journey,
    get it?
    Hero’s get the journey
    they are cut out for,
    and they live to serve ends
    beyond their own.

    If we are looking
    for smooth and easy,
    we have to opt
    for diversion and denial.
    Peace and joy everlasting
    are not our cup of tea.


  • 08/03/2019  —  Silver Lake Sunset 2010-01 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 31, 2010

    Something is always coming along.

    The handsome stranger is always
    riding into some town.

    The fearsome dragon is always
    making off with some precious something

    (And the stranger
    and the dragon
    can be the same entity).

    The hero in all of us is always
    being stirred to life
    by the situations
    and circumstances
    of our life.

    We settle into our routines,
    thinking we have everything in place,
    and can sit back
    and tinker around,
    and the phone rings.

    Hell comes calling just like that.

    And our life will never be
    what it was.

    When the devil asks us to dance,
    we dance with the devil.

    We rise to meet our life
    in its new configuration–
    and do what can be done with it
    as it now is.

    We do that best
    when we have cultivated
    a relationship with the hero within
    to the point of being grounded
    on the bedrock
    of resolute value
    to the point of knowing
    “This is who I am
    and I am not going anywhere.”

    If we haven’t done that work
    prior to the devil ringing our doorbell,
    we have to take it up
    as we pick ourselves off the floor.

    Who are we?
    What are we about?
    What is the unshakeable truth
    about our life?
    What about us
    has always shined through?
    Who have we shone
    ourselves to be
    through the process
    of living our life?
    It’s time to do it some more again.

    Start in my favorite place.
    Be quiet.
    Sit still in the silence.
    Wait,
    watching,
    for something to stir,
    emerge,
    arise.

    And let that be your lodestar
    guiding you through
    this dark place
    to some refuge
    for the torn and tattered.

    Where the phone will ring again.

    Something is always coming along.

    If we can adjust ourselves to that,
    we have it made.


  • 08/03/2019  —  Silver Lake 2010-10 02 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina, October 31, 2010

    Do NOT be in a hurry—
    there is no time to waste!

    No time to waste
    in the service
    of the wrong ends,
    charging in the wrong direction,
    fervently doing the wrong things.

    Take all the time you need
    to be clear about what’s what,
    and what is happening,
    and what is being called for
    in response.

    Always the same questions:
    Here we are, now what?
    What needs to happen here, now?
    What is it time for?
    How can we assist its coming forth
    with the gifts,
    genius,
    daemon,
    perspective,
    qualities,
    interests,
    proclivities
    we possess
    as a blessing and a grace
    upon the time and place of our living?

    These are the questions.
    Not
    How can we exploit this situation for our good?
    Manipulate it to our advantage?
    Dominate it to our everlasting glory?

    But
    How can we be what is needed
    here and now—
    in each here and now—
    forever?


  • 08/04/2019  —  Atlantic Sunrise 2010-10 01 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 27, 2010

    I’m here to sell you on you.
    Not everyone is interested,
    but.
    It is my business to mind your business
    to the extent that I am capable
    of selling you on you.

    The way to you is four-fold,
    thus, I call it, “The Four-Fold Way,”
    or “The Four Practices.”

    Silence
    Stillness
    Self-transparency
    Mindful Awareness

    The Four Practices
    produce Solitude.
    Solitude is not isolation.
    You can experience Solitude
    in the middle of a crowd.

    Marianne More said,
    “The cure for loneliness is solitude.”

    Solitude is being alone with yourself.
    It is opening yourself to yourself.
    It is welcoming yourself into your awareness.
    It is being aware of you.
    It is embracing your paradoxes
    and your contradictions,
    your experiences
    and your reaction to your experiences,
    and all there is about you.

    Compassion
    and non-judgmental awareness
    are the *sine qua non*
    for being alone with yourself.

    From solitude so experienced
    flows everything.

    We find everything we need in solitude
    to find what we need
    to be who we are
    and do what needs to be done
    in each situation as it arises
    all our life long.

    This is what I am selling.
    And I am selling it
    for the low, low, price
    of taking what I have to offer.

    That’s my spiel.
    Take it or leave it.
    You are entirely up to you.


  • 08/04/2019  —  Nags Head Sunrise 2010-10 04 — Outer Banks, North Carolina, October 24, 2010

    What are the meaningful aspects
    of your life?

    How often do you work them
    into your life?

    How fully do you allow yourself
    to enjoy them?

    What might you
    be refusing to allow yourself
    to explore
    that might also be meaningful?

    A day without meaning
    is like,
    Why?


  • 08/05/2019  —  Nags Head Sunrise 2010-10 02 — Outer Banks, Nags Head, North Carolina, October 24, 2010

    The natural world spends a lot of time waiting.
    Dogs and cats and turtles, etc.
    like to lie around.
    When it is time
    to take a break,
    they take one!

    We feel guilty.
    Productivity is important to us.
    We have to be doing something.
    We don’t want to be caught
    slacking off.

    The Yellowstone Caldera
    last blew about 630,000 years ago.
    That’s taking its time.
    And, it won’t blow again
    until the time is right.

    When it is time to take a nap,
    take a nap!
    Productivity is way over-rated.

    How long has it been
    since you’ve given yourself
    a break?


  • 08/05/2019  —  Ramsey Creek Bridge 2008-11 01 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Greenbriar District, Cosby, Tennessee, April 17, 2008

    Servants of Kairos understand
    that the times
    may require us
    to be ahead of the times.

    Prophets (Including Jesus)
    called the times into question
    by being ahead of their time.

    They lived and spoke “out of time,”
    and were thought to be crazy,
    blasphemous,
    heretical–
    and were crucified,
    burned at the stake,
    tarred and feathered…

    Some had doubts
    about their own sanity,
    second-guessed themselves,
    were shunned by friends
    and relatives.

    To be out of step with the times
    is to pay a price,
    yet to be a servant
    of the time that is at hand
    requires exactly that.

    It is a beautiful example
    of paradox and contradiction
    at work in our life.

    The way out of paradox and contradiction
    is decision.
    We make a choice.
    Accept the consequences.
    Relax the tension.
    Live in the service of our deepest loyalty
    and pay the price.

    If you think you can live
    without paying a price
    for the life you are living,
    you are already paying it,
    and are blaming something else
    for the way things are.


  • 08/06/2019  —  Silver Lake Sunset 2010-10 04 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 26, 2010

    Here we are, now what?
    What is it time for?
    How will we deal with the day?

    Out of the silence!
    Out of the stillness!

    In the silence of the stillness
    we find all that we need
    to find what we need
    to do what needs to be done,
    to do what needs us to do it,
    In the time,
    and place,
    and manner
    of its doing.

    Solitude is a perspective
    that allows/enables us
    to be comfortable
    with that which makes us comfortable
    and with that which makes us uncomfortable,
    so that we might see into the heart of things
    and know what is before us
    and what we need to do in response.

    Solitude is “the still point of the turning world,”
    the seeing-place
    of mindful,
    compassionate,
    non-judgmental,
    awareness,
    where we just see,
    just hear,
    just know,
    just understand–
    and respond
    with acts appropriate to the occasion.

    This is to be aligned with Kairos,
    in accord with Tao,
    at one with Dharma,
    and exactly what the moment
    needs us to be.


08/07/2019  —  Atlantic Sunrise 2010-10 04 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina, October 27, 2010

White grievance
is the logical extension
of white entitlement,
which is the flip side
of white privilege.

Racism in the US
is the dark side of being white.
It is as natural to white people
as not knowing
what it is like to be white.

We ARE white–
but we don’t know
what it is like to be white
because white is all we know.
And we cannot
get out of our own skins
to know what we don’t know.

Just so, we don’t know
what it is like to be racist,
because we are racist–
and cannot walk through
the world knowing
what we don’t know–
and not knowing
that we don’t know.

So.

It is best that we shut up
and listen.
And look.
And see.
And hear.

For a really long time.

The evidence is everywhere.
But.
We have to sit with it
to be able to see what we are looking at,
and hear what is being said.

To think we know
is merely being white.


  • 08/08/2019  —  Nags Head Sunrise 2010-10 05 — Nags Head, Outer Banks, North Carolina, October 24, 2010

    We have to see what we are made of.
    We have to see what we can do.
    We birth ourselves every day.

    We step naked into the world,
    as vulnerable as a baby from the womb,
    and see what will come our way today,
    and see what we will do with it today.

    But.
    We are not alone.
    We have 200,000 years
    of ancestors packed into our DNA.
    That’s a lot of people!
    Whose experience we can draw on
    in coming to terms
    with our own life situation.

    We have an unconscious
    (So-called because we
    are not conscious of it)
    that encompasses all of life.

    We could spend more time than we do
    getting to know who all we are,
    and learning to rely
    on our instinct and intuition
    in finding our way through each day.

    The stillness
    and the silence
    are filled with the wonder
    of what has always been called “God.”

    We have a Circle of Shaman within,
    primed to meet whatever challenge
    the day throws at us.

    It only takes sitting still
    and being quiet
    to access the inner guides
    and feel our way
    into what needs to be done
    here
    and now–
    moment-by-moment-by-moment.

    Kairos,
    Tao,
    Dharma,
    Flow,
    Grove
    and Grace
    are the grounding forces of life
    moving within us,
    living through us,
    asking us to dance with them
    every day.

    As it was in the beginning,
    is now
    and ever shall be.

    Do we dance with it or not?


  • 08/09/2019  —  Mormon Row Barn 2011-06 12 HDR — Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming, June 26, 2011

    Things are as they are
    because it would be too painful
    for them to be different.

    Look around.
    What you see is the compromise
    between what we want
    and the price we are willing to pay
    to have it.

    Sit down for this.
    The price of the spiritual journey,
    the price of growing up all the way,
    the price of our maturation,
    the price of our wholeness,
    wellness,
    fulfillment
    and completion,
    is more than we are willing to pay.

    Let me put it another way.
    The price of the spiritual journey, etc.,
    is the reconciliation of our opposites,
    paradoxes,
    contradictions
    and conflicts–
    and the integration of those
    that cannot be reconciled,
    but must be borne
    in conscious, painful, awareness,
    every step along the way.

    I want to be the best father
    in all the world,
    and I do not want to be a father
    at all.

    Etc.

    Let me be blunt.
    We are the source of good and evil.

    In the world before human beings,
    that is before thinking beings,
    that is before beings who could
    think about their thinking,
    and live transparent to themselves–
    before conscious beings
    being conscious–
    there was neither good nor evil.

    Things were just what they were.
    There was better and worse.
    Better for the lion
    was worse for the antelope,
    but nobody cursed the lion for being evil,
    or praised the antelope for being good.

    We brought those concepts into play
    when we entered the picture.

    We divided the world into dichotomies,
    into categories.
    We created judgement and classification.
    That is what thinking does.
    Thinking thinks about “this”
    in relation to “that.”
    If “this” weren’t different
    from “that”
    we could not think about it.
    We could not see it.
    “This” would BE “that.”

    We think by way of analogy
    and comparison,
    and by making associations.
    We see by finding the differences
    between things,
    the edges,
    the boundaries–
    by separating things
    and sorting things
    according to what makes them
    similar or unique.

    Better and worse
    easily become good and evil
    because easy does it for us.
    We like our distinctions sharp
    and crisp.
    We don’t want blurry lines.
    Our enemies are EVIL
    and we are GOOD.

    We say of our enemies,
    “It’s people like you
    who make people like us
    hate people like you!”
    And we ignore the traits
    in our friends,
    and in ourselves,
    that we hate in others
    but dismiss in our friends
    and in ourselves.

    All of our dichotomies are false dichotomies.

    “There is so much bad in the best of us,
    and so much good in the worst of us,
    that it doesn’t behoove any of us
    to talk about the rest of us.”

    But talking about *them* is what we do best.
    What would we talk about
    if it weren’t for *them*?
    What does thinking about *them*
    keep us from thinking about?

    Racism is seeing *them*
    as fundamentally different from *us,*
    and evil, as well.

    People of color are denigrated,
    disparaged
    and derided as being less than human.
    We say they are invading “our” country
    and taking over “our” world.
    They are denied rights and privileges
    that belong only to people like “us,”
    who are good and deserving
    of everything we want.

    Our enemies save us from seeing ourselves.

    Good and evil exists within
    and is projected without
    because it is painful
    and too much trouble
    to deal with the mixed feelings,
    the ambivalence,
    the contradictions within.

    We cannot become whole
    without integrating what cannot be reconciled
    within ourselves.

    We have to resolve our paradoxes
    by deciding how we are going
    to live our life–
    by choosing what we do–
    regardless of how we feel.

    The human thing about us
    is our ability to transcend
    how we feel
    in order to do what needs to be done
    in light of the best that can be imagined–
    in each situation as it arises
    all our life long.

    This is called
    “Living Transparent To Ourselves–
    And In Light Of The Values
    That Make Us Human.”

    Raw evil has no vestige of good within,
    and cares not for anything other
    than its own wishes and desires,
    at the expense of whomever
    is in its way.

    The best people know exactly
    what they are capable of,
    and override their worst tendencies
    in service to the true good
    of themselves AND all others.

    The best people love their neighbors–
    all their neighbors–
    as they love themselves,
    knowing all the time
    who they all also are.
    And they are always, always,
    aware of the slippery slope,
    the dangerous path,
    the razor’s edge
    they walk on
    in balancing the opposites
    that live within.

    Bearing our pain
    is carrying our cross,
    is saving ourselves and the world.
    And we all would gladly do it,
    if it weren’t so hard.


  • 08/09/2019  —  Rockport Harbor 2009-10 01 — Rockport, Maine, October 10, 2009

    Enlightenment is putting two and two together.

    Putting two and two together
    is also seeing where two and two diverge,
    split,
    separate,
    assert their individuality,
    their uniqueness,
    their independence–
    and, yet, holding two and two together
    nonetheless
    in the field of awareness
    where all things are one.

    This is called
    “Integrating The Opposites.”

    It is also called,
    “Balancing The Contradictions.”

    And, it is also called,
    “Walking The Slippery Slope,
    The Dangerous Path,
    The Razor’s Edge.”

    And, it is also called,
    “Bearing The Pain Of Self-Transparency–
    Which Is The Pain Of Being Alive.”

    This is why even people
    who seek enlightenment
    don’t want to have anything
    to do with it.


  • 08/09/2019  —  Caterpillar Hill 2009-10 01 — Sedgwick, Maine, October 14, 2009

    The situation dictates
    our response to the situation.
    There is no plan
    for defeating our enemies,
    ushering in the Kingdom of Everlasting Peace,
    and sleeping well through every night.

    The people with a plan
    are Those Who Know Best,
    and if everyone would only listen to them
    it all would be well.

    But.
    They don’t have a plan
    for getting everyone to listen to The Plan.
    And that is the kink in the hose.

    We step into each moment
    and listen to the moment.
    What is happening?
    What needs to happen in response?
    What *can* happen in response?
    What is keeping that from happening?
    How can we assist that in happening?
    Do it.
    That will lead to,
    or flow into,
    the next moment,
    where we repeat the same process
    through all the moments
    left in our life.

    If you can find a better plan
    than having no plan,
    knock yourself out.


  • 08/09/2019  —  High Tide 2009-10 01 HDR — Deer Isle near Stonington, Maine, October 14, 2009

    We see what we see
    because of what we have seen.
    We are who we are
    because of who we have been.

    Where we come from
    makes all the difference.
    No!
    What we do about it
    makes all the difference.

    But, we are always who we are
    because of it.
    We cannot erase it,
    or escape where we have been.

    We live today to redeem the past
    and transform the future–
    by being conscious,
    by being mindfully aware,
    of where we have been
    and how it has impacted us.
    and deliberately living against the grain
    of built-in,
    automatic,
    responses.

    How consciously—
    how mindfully,
    compassionately,
    non-judgmentally
    aware—
    we are of our place
    in each moment
    between what has been
    and what will be
    has an impact far greater
    than we can imagine.

    As we live as servants of Kairos,
    in accord with the Tao,
    aligned with dharma,
    aware of what it is time for,
    here, and now,
    we become agents pf change,
    radically altering the possibilities
    and transforming the circumstances
    flowing from the moment in each moment.

    We can only trust that it is so,
    and live as though it is.


  • 08/10/2019  —  Pamlico Sound Sunset 2011-10 01 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina, October 26, 2011

    We have to suffer it through!
    It is a variety of childbirth
    men can experience.

    It is hell.
    It is death and resurrection.
    And death and resurrection.
    Are we dying to live,
    or living to die?
    Birth and death,
    birth and death.
    Death and birth,
    death and birth…

    The spiritual journey.
    AKA the hero’s journey.
    AKA the path to maturity.
    AKA Growing Up.
    When do we stop traveling?
    When do we just relax
    and enjoy our life?
    What’s it all about?

    It’s about the rhizome.
    The flowers think
    it is all about the flowers.
    It is all about the rhizome.

    The flowers think
    it is about the trials
    and ordeals
    of life.

    Gotta have water!
    Where is the rain!
    Why is it taking so long?
    Gotta have sunlight!
    Why is there nothing but clouds?
    Where is the sun, the sun?
    All these bugs!
    They are eating my leaves!
    Spider Mites!
    Whose idea was Spider Mites?
    Oh NO!
    They are coming to pick our blossoms!
    Oh, life is so short!
    What’s it all about???

    Season after season,
    it’s the same song and dance.
    Flowers seeking meaning and purpose,
    a reason to go on.
    Wilting, dying, going to ground.
    Coming, going.
    Coming, going.
    Year in and year out.
    Why?
    Why?

    The rhizome knows.
    The rhizome has its reasons
    the flowers know not of.

    The flowers have their place,
    the rhizome has its place.
    The flowers have their business,
    the rhizome has its business.
    The flowers work their side of the street.
    The rhizome works its side of the street.

    The flowers have to trust themselves
    to the rhizome–
    of which they know nothing–
    by doing what is theirs to do,
    season after season,
    year in and year out.

    What is yours to do?
    Do it!
    The way it needs you to do it!
    The way it needs to be done!
    Through all of the
    trials and ordeals,
    the births and deaths,
    of your life!
    In each moment of your living!
    What is being asked of you
    here, now?
    Do it!

    But, the bugs! The bugs!


  • 08/10/2019  —  Lake Mattamuskeet 2010-10-01 — Hyde County, North Carolina, October 24, 2010

    It’s the body of work.
    That is what we are here for.
    That is what we are about.
    We are assimilating
    a body of work.

    Throw us into
    any combination
    of situations and circumstances,
    and we get to work,
    being,
    expressing,
    exhibiting,
    bringing forth,
    discovering
    who we are
    through what we do
    and how we do it
    within the situations and circumstances
    of our life.

    “What I do is me/for that I came.”
    (Gerard Manley Hopkins)

    In all of the situations and circumstances
    of our life
    up to this point
    we have shown ourselves
    to be who we are.

    We are the one factor
    in the equation
    that is our life
    through all of the fluctuating
    turmoil and upheaval
    of the times and places
    of our living.

    We shine through.
    We stand out.
    “We are who we have been,
    and who we will be.”
    (Carl Jung).

    We are our body of work.

    You might think we would be
    more consciously,
    intentionally,
    deliberately,
    mindfully,
    faithfully
    at work in the production–
    in the creation–
    of what we add
    to the moment
    of our living.

    We are going to add something
    to each moment.
    Why not do it with purpose?
    Consideration?
    Deliberation?

    Why live mindlessly?

    Why not be the active agent
    in composing and arraigning
    the body of work
    we leave behind?


  • 08/10/2019  —  Goodale 2019-08 07 Panorama — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, August 10, 2019

    “Synchronicity” is Carl Jung’s term
    for “meaningful coincidence.”

    You miss your flight,
    and standing in line
    for a cup of coffee,
    you meet your spouse-to-be.

    The old word for synchronicity
    is “grace.”

    We are “graced” by events happening
    “out of the blue”
    to lift us above the mayhem
    and transport us to the wonderful world
    of Who Would Believe It?

    Synchronicity/grace are characteristic
    of lives lived in accord with the Tao,
    aligned with Dharma,
    at one with Kairos.

    What is it time for?

    If we live to answer that question
    instead of powering our way
    through every moment
    to make things happen
    like we want them to happen,
    we will get a cup of coffee
    instead of haranguing the airline
    to get us on the next flight NOW!


  • 08/11/2019  —  Two Barns 2019-08 02 — Kershaw County, South Carolina, August 10, 2019

    We live in different places,
    economically,
    socially,
    culturally,
    spiritually…

    We are separated
    by the 10,000 things.

    We will never see eye-to-eye
    about everything,
    or even every important thing.

    Getting us together
    means getting us “together.”

    But.
    “Together” is good.
    I don’t have to like baseball
    to support your right to like baseball.

    You don’t have to like
    grilled cheese and dill pickle sandwiches
    to support my right to like
    grilled cheese and dill pickle sandwiches.

    In spite of our differences,
    we are bound together
    by the other 10,000 things.
    And can grant each other
    the right to be different
    in the other 10,000 ways.

    That is one of the ways
    we are the same.

    No matter how different we are,
    our work is the same work.
    When we are properly engaged
    in that work,
    we all step into the next moment
    and do what needs us to do it there,
    the way only we can do it.

    If the baby’s diaper needs to be changed,
    we change the baby’s diaper.

    In order to do the work that needs
    us to do it,
    we have to be alike
    in how we approach each moment.

    We have to see the moment.
    We have to be present in the moment.
    We have to be open to the moment.
    We have to receive the moment
    with compassionate,
    non-judgmental,
    mindful awareness,
    so that there is nothing
    between us and the moment,
    and we are available to the moment
    as the moment is available to us.

    This is to live aligned with Kairos,
    in accord with the Tao,
    at one with Dharma.

    The degree to which we are able
    to do this
    in every moment
    positions us to do right
    by the moment,
    and that positions us
    to do right by one another,
    no matter how different we are.


  • 08/11/2019  —  Nooks and Crannies 2019-08 01 — At the edge of the 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, August 02, 2019

    We all have our own associations.
    Our associations are unique to us.
    Our associations set us apart,
    and make us who we are.
    Our associations are what they are
    because we are who we are.
    We are to our associations
    as the river is to its channel,
    as the river’s channel is
    to the river.

    Our associations to the word “mother,”
    have a lot to do with who we are,
    and who we are not.

    Our associations determine
    what something means to us–
    *is* what something means to us.

    If we have no associations with something
    that something means nothing to us.

    What do we associate with the word “mother”?
    Ask that question of every word.
    Answer it fully.
    There you are.

    What something means to us
    depends exclusively upon
    the associations we make with the thing.
    When we examine our associations,
    we see the thing differently
    just because we are looking at it
    in terms of its associations with us.

    We are “getting a handle on it.”
    We are seeing it
    as though for the first time.

    When we see a thing
    *and* see our associations with the thing,
    we *see* it
    and *see* ourselves seeing it,
    and we respond/react to it differently
    than we have always responded/reacted to it.

    Nothing is the same
    once we see it
    in light of our associations with it.

    We generally walk through
    the world of things
    carrying ten billion associations
    with us about a lot of the things,
    completely unaware of how and way
    we are being impacted
    by the things we walk past
    seeing-without-seeing.

    Seeing-without-seeing
    is the source of all our problems.
    Invisible associations
    are making a mess of our life.

    If you want to get to the bottom
    of something,
    get to the bottom of all of your associations.
    Boom!
    Like that,
    all things are new!

    Did I just say, “Boom!”?
    What do you associate with that word?


  • 08/11/2019  —  Francis Beidler Forest 2019-06 15 — The Meeting Tree, Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo.

    No matter how different we are,
    there are common agreements
    that hold us all together.

    For instance,
    we have to agree
    to step beyond ourselves–
    beyond our wants, wishes, preferences, desires, interests, etc.–
    in doing what needs to be done,
    in doing what needs us to do it.

    The laws of living well bind us all.

    Here is one of them:
    Joseph Campbell put it in these words,
    “That which you seek
    lies far in the back
    of the cave you most don’t want to enter.”

    We grow up against our will.

    If we aren’t growing up,
    we are dead
    even though we are 98.6
    and breathing.

    We grow up throughout our life,
    until we are no longer 98.6
    and breathing.

    We have to do what we do not want to do
    in order to do what needs us to do it.

    If we refuse to do what needs us to do it,
    we betray ourselves,
    fail to serve the purpose for which we were born,
    reject the role that is ours to play
    and the life that is ours to live.

    The good news is
    that we can turn all of that around
    by changing our mind
    about what is important,
    and entering the cave we most want to avoid.

    Again and again,
    throughout our life.


  • 08/12/2019  —  Bison Morning 2011-06 02 — Mormon Row, Great Teton National Park, Jackson Wyoming, June 26, 2011

    Two principles,
    when fully understood
    and faithfully applied,
    will transform your life
    for the better
    in no time at all,
    geographically speaking.

    1) The river flows best
    when it remains in its channel.

    Find what your channel is
    and stay in it.

    2) All rivers are constantly
    altering their channels.

    Attend your channel
    and allow it to change
    as needed
    to carry your flow.

    What is your channel?
    What is your flow?
    Where do you think you are going?
    Where is your life carrying you?
    Are you in your channel
    or out of it?
    How long has it been
    since you altered your channel?
    What are you doing with your life?
    Is what you are doing with your life
    commensurate with your business,
    or at odds with your business?
    Where do you belong?
    Where do you have no business being?
    What business are you in?


  • 08/12/2019  —  Three Girls Swinging 2012-12-18 01 B&W — Ballantyne Park, Charlotte, North Carolina, December 18, 2012, an iPhone photo

    Once the fear of losing our advantage
    takes hold of us,
    we have lost our advantage.

    An advantage is a burden
    and a deficit
    when we have to guard it,
    protect it,
    and try to use it
    to gain an even greater advantage.

    The only advantage
    of an advantage,
    from this perspective,
    is to parlay it
    into an ever-increasing advantage.

    “The best becomes the enemy of the good”
    when it prevents us
    from serving any end
    beyond the total accumulation of everything.

    We are capable of seeing logically
    how absurd this is,
    but emotionally,
    we are forever trapped
    in the cycle
    of endless gain.
    We hold back,
    waiting for a more opportune time
    to make our move.
    There is always the possibility
    of an even greater gain,
    if we only wait for additional
    factors to fall in place.

    This is the Gambler’s Dilemma.
    We avoid it by refusing to see ourselves
    as a gambler with something at stake
    beyond the good of the moment,
    here and now.

    What is the moment calling for?
    What is it time for?
    What time is at hand?
    What is crying out
    for what we have to offer?
    Pay the fare.
    Ride the ride.


  • 08/12/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 04 — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo.

    For over 75 years
    we have known
    that we cannot get
    to the bottom of any of it,
    physically or spiritually.

    We do not know the primary cause,
    or if there is one.
    All we know are appearances.
    We know what we see,
    what we sense,
    what we intuit,
    what we imagine,
    but.
    The more we probe our instincts,
    or the instincts of any life-form,
    the more we know
    that we don’t know.

    There is more to us
    than meets the eye–
    any eye.

    Where did it originate?
    We don’t know.
    We don’t know if it originated at all.
    Perhaps it always “is.”

    We can calculate how many
    billions of years it has been
    since The Big Bang, but.
    We have no way of knowing
    how many Big Bangs there have been.
    It could be there have always been Big Bangs.
    And always will be.

    What are we trying
    to get to the bottom of?
    What do we hope to know?
    How will that help us with our life?
    What help do we need with our life?
    What are we to do with our life?
    How do we know?

    Instead of thinking about it,
    I suggest that we simply listen to it.
    That we listen to our life.

    Take up the practice
    of listening to your life.
    Regularly,
    consistently,
    dependably.

    Be faithful to your life.

    What would that mean?
    How would we practice
    being faithful to our life?
    What would “Due Diligence” mean
    with regard to our life?

    What does our life need from us?
    That is what we need
    to be figuring out.
    Not where we come from,
    but where we go from here.

    Here we are–
    now what?

    And what resources are built-into
    each of us
    that we can count on
    in answering the question
    of what to do with our life?

    Birds pop out of the egg
    knowing how to build a nest
    and how to find their way
    to wherever their breeding grounds are.
    They come equipped for the life
    they will live.

    Human beings come equipped
    for the life they will live.
    We only have to tune into
    the resources packed within our DNA
    connecting us to the universal mind
    at the bottom of it all.

    And get to work.
    Living our life.


  • 08/13/2019  —  Goodale 2019-08 05 Panorama — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, August 10, 2019

    Being right about what is important
    is the most important thing.

    Being right about what is important
    is as easy
    as realizing when you are wrong
    about what is important,
    and changing your mind.

    Joseph Campbell said,
    “We know when we are on the beam
    and when we are off the beam.”

    That’s all the guidance we need.

    Knowing we are off the beam
    is a signal
    indicating that we are wrong
    about what is important.

    It’s time to change our mind
    about what is important.

    And get back on the beam.

    What is hard about this?

    Why aren’t we just sailing right along?

    And if it is difficult for us,
    all we have to do is what is hard.
    We’ve been doing that for some time now.
    We just keep doing it,
    change our mind about what is important,
    get back on the beam,
    and sail right along.

    What?


  • 08/14/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 28 Panorama — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo

    Art Linkletter’s daughter
    died from jumping out a window,
    but
    was it suicide,
    or was she high,
    thinking she could fly?

    We don’t know.
    But
    we do know
    she told her therapist
    a few days before her death,
    “I want so bad for somebody to know me!”

    And Joseph Campbell steps into the scene
    with, “That which we seek
    lies far in the back
    of the cave we most don’t want to enter.”

    Money, sex, drugs and alcohol
    are popular ways
    of avoiding the cave.

    Death lies in the back of them all.
    Every escape leads
    to what we most want to avoid.
    “We meet our fate
    on the road we take to evade it.”

    What is the hunger that drives us
    to money, sex, drugs and alcohol?
    What are we trying to find
    in every way other
    than the cave
    we most don’t want to enter?

    Could it have something to do with
    “I want so bad for somebody to know me!”?

    But
    It isn’t as though we know ourselves
    and want to share the goodness of who we are
    with somebody else,
    is it?

    *We* want so bad to know who we are,
    don’t we?
    But
    We don’t want to go into the cave
    containing what we seek.

    What do we fear we will find?

    What do we hunger for?
    What are we afraid of?
    Could it be the same thing?

    We are what we seek.
    But.
    We are afraid of what we will find.

    It comes down to this:
    *We have to bear the pain.*

    All of our problems stem from
    refusing to bear the pain
    of our life,
    of living a life that is not our life to live
    because we are afraid of the pain
    of knowing who we are
    and what life needs us to live it.

    We are afraid we won’t measure up,
    that we will be disappointed,
    that there is nothing there.

    We are the yeast in the dough,
    the light under the basket,
    the seed in the earth…
    the pearl of great price,
    the treasure hidden in the field,
    the cornerstone tossed onto the pile of rubble.

    It is all there,
    tucked away inside
    of each of us,
    waiting for us to take the chance,
    to risk it all,
    and step into the cave
    we most don’t want to enter.


  • 08/14/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 30 Panorama — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo

    What do you hate, despise, detest about your life.
    Not about your neighbors,
    your country,
    your circumstances,
    your situation,
    but your life.

    What do you hate, etc., about
    the things that are asked of you
    by your life–
    that are required/demanded of you
    by your life?

    What do you hate etc., about
    what it takes to get through a day?

    Here’s what you do about it:
    Bear it graciously.
    Bear it gallantly.
    Deal with it,
    do it,
    without moaning,
    complaining,
    hating it,
    even noticing it.

    Is it mowing the grass?
    Just mow the grass.
    Is it cleaning the toilet?
    Just clean the toilet.
    Is it going to the dentist?
    Just go to the dentist.

    Just do all of the things
    that must be done in a day,
    in a week, month, year, lifetime.

    Make no noise about it.
    Make no faces about it.
    Make no hand gestures about it.
    Do it graciously,
    gallantly.

    Starting now.


  • 08/15/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 33 — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo

    We have to come to terms
    with new limits and restrictions,
    conflicts,
    contradictions
    and paradoxes
    all our life long.

    We are always having to negotiate compromises
    between how things are
    and how we want them to be–
    and figuring out
    how to live with things we don’t want
    anything to do with.

    It helps to be crystal clear
    about what keeps us going.

    We serve the bedrock,
    the rhizome.

    If we don’t have a clue
    about what that is,
    we have to change
    our relationship with our life
    to find out.

    Life is not where we get what we want,
    have what we want
    and do what we want.
    Life is where we shine though
    no matter what.

    Life is the context
    in which we show our stuff.

    It can’t get so bad
    that we can’t be who we are.

    The worse it gets,
    the quieter we become,
    strengthening our ties
    with the bedrock,
    with the rhizome–
    with the source
    of meaning and purpose
    which upholds us in,
    and carries us through,
    all the conditions
    and circumstances
    of our life.

    There is that which sustains us
    in the absence of all reasons
    to go on–
    but.
    It requires an unflagging faith in,
    and faithfulness to,
    “the undefined and undefinable”
    to know that it is so.

    This is the bedrock,
    the rhizome,
    that is at the core
    of life and being,
    which supports and encourages us
    beyond all logic and reason,
    but is grounded upon
    and flows from,
    a source of knowledge
    that defies explanation.
    We “just know”
    that nothing can happen to us
    that we can’t meet straight-on,
    standing on our own two feet
    with nothing to lose
    and everything riding
    on how we respond
    to the experience
    of being awash
    upon the heaving waves
    of the wine dark sea.

    This, from Homer,
    writing 2,500 years ago.
    In the Odyssey, he has Odysseus say:
    “I will stay with it and endure through suffering hardship–
    and once the heaving sea has shaken my raft to pieces,
  • then I will swim.”

    Words from the bedrock–
    from the rhizome–
    from one who knows
    whereof he speaks.


  • 08/16/2019  —  Girl on a Bull 2012-12 02 Ballantyne Office Park, Charlotte, North Carolina, December 18, 2012

    97% of all of our problems would just disappear
    if we sat tight long enough
    for the shift to happen.

    Everything changes eventually.
    Can we wait it out
    is the question.

    We will have to suffer it through
    one way or another.
    Every solution has ramifications.
    Our dilemma is usually
    trying to decide
    which choice is less bad.

    Sitting tight is one choice
    that doesn’t always get its due.

    There are some things
    we can’t sit through,
    and some things we can.
    Knowing which is which
    is the key.

    Savvy comes from sitting
    with things
    until we can see them
    for what they are.
    Then the way is clear.

    We can depend on ourselves
    to act spontaneously
    in the service of the good
    once the good is plain before us.
    We can trust ourselves to act
    when the time for acting
    is upon us.

    If we can sit tight,
    sit tight.

    We kid ourselves a lot about the good.
    We talk ourselves into a good
    that isn’t good at all
    way too often.
    Sitting tight helps the good stand out.

    When we find ourselves acting
    without even thinking about it,
    we can trust ourselves
    to know what we are doing
    even when we don’t know
    what we are doing.

    If we can sit tight,
    sit tight.
    If we have to act,
    act.
    We will have to suffer it through
    one way or another.

    Once we can settle ourselves
    into suffering it through,
    we can deal with anything.

    It is trying to avoid suffering
    that is the real problem.


  • 08/16/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 32 — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo

    I have noticed that people generally speaking
    have a certain way of saying,
    “That’s not the way I want you to be!”

    Maybe, you’ve noticed the same thing.

    People have their ideas about
    how I should be,
    and I have my own ideas
    about how I should be,
    and we are always
    negotiating the differences.

    Or not.

    Since I retired,
    I have enjoyed
    being able to reduce
    the number of places
    I have to negotiate the differences.

    That enables me
    to devote more time and attention
    to “just being,”
    without having to spend
    so much time and attention
    to “being pleasing.”

    The fewer people I’m engaged with,
    the less pleasing I have to be.

    That leads me to wonder
    why more people don’t
    realize how much they require
    other people to please them,
    and simply stop needing to be pleased.

    We all might enjoy being with people
    who didn’t need us to please them.

    I don’t know how to tell them that
    without displeasing them.


  • 08/16/2019  —  Mormon Row Barn 2011-06 02 — Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming, June 24, 2011

    When I think of my life,
    I think,
    “What are the chances?”

    It is all such a wondrous collection
    of propitious events.
    I couldn’t have designed it.
    It is completely beyond being
    agendaized.

    The more agendaized our lives are,
    the less worth living they are.
    The more things are
    as they are “supposed to be,”
    the less they are as they need to be.

    Live it as it needs to be lived,
    moment-by-moment-by-moment.
    And let the outcome be the outcome.
    With little in the way of opinion
    and nothing in the way of judgment
    and degradation.

    We have our ideas for our life,
    and our life has its ideas for itself.
    Which set of ideas
    has our unwavering support
    tells the tale.


  • 08/16/2019  —  Girl on a Bull 2012-12 01 — Ballantyne Office Park, Charlotte, North Carolina, December 18, 2012

    Instead of trying to keep myself safe,
    I trust myself to deal appropriately
    with whatever comes along.

    Donald Trump and his minions
    are of the opinion
    that the only way keep ourselves safe
    is to build a wall
    and get rid of all the Undesirables,
    and then arm everyone with two dozen guns each.
    Then, and only then, will we be safe.

    A note on the Undesirables.
    The Undesirables are also called the Untouchables
    throughout history.
    Jesus said, “In as much as you have done it,
    or failed to do it,
    to the least of the Undesirables,
    you have done it,
    or failed to do it,
    to me.

    Jesus identified himself with the Undesirables,
    with the Untouchables,
    and said, “Come, follow me.”

    If you are one of Donald Trump’s fans,
    you can follow Donald Trump,
    or you can follow Jesus,
    but you cannot follow both.

    Now, back to being safe.
    The only way to be safe
    is to be confident that you can handle
    whatever comes your way.

    Life is always throwing things at us–
    always throwing unexpected things at us.
    Our place is to get up,
    go meet it,
    and dance with it.
    We can do that only
    if we are grounded in our own truth,
    our own values,
    our own identity,
    knowing “what is me”
    and “what is not me,”
    and responding to everything
    out of the way “we would do it,”
    out of our own authority,
    out of our own sense
    of what needs to be done.

    And trusting ourselves to respond
    to the situation that flows there.
    If we screw up,
    we trust ourselves to fix it up,
    as best we can,
    and go on from there.

    Right is what works.
    And we are all perfectly capable,
    else we would not have made it
    this far in our life,
    of figuring out what will work
    in a situation
    and doing it–
    and if we are wrong,
    and it doesn’t work,
    then we can trust ourselves
    to figure out what will work
    in *that* situation,
    and do it…

    With that orientation
    and attitude
    we can dance with anything
    our life brings us,
    and live safely in any circumstance
    that comes along.


  • 08/17/2019  —  Nursery Photo 2019-08 01 — Pike Nursery, Charlotte, North Carolina, August 3, 2019, and iPhone photo

    We cannot be intimate
    if we will not be vulnerable.

    Our refusal to be vulnerable
    is the cause of all of our problems.

    We cannot be alive
    if we will not be vulnerable.

    What? Us be vulnerable?

    Vulnerability implies the willingness to suffer.

    “Thou Shalt Not Suffer!”
    is our No. 1 Commandment.
    “No Pain! No Pain! Ever!”

    Everything about us is
    about pain avoidance.
    That is a problem
    because our life
    requires us to suffer it through.
    One thing after another.

    There is no growing up
    without suffering.
    “Trials and ordeals, Kid,
    trials and ordeals.”

    That means no growing up for us.
    “You can take your growing up
    and toss it in the burning barrel!”

    And where does that leave us?
    With bearing the pain
    of our refusal to grow up.

    We will suffer through something.
    That is the fundamental law of existence.
    “Life is suffering,”
    said the Buddha.
    “Man is born to trouble
    as the sparks fly upwards,”
    said Job.

    We will suffer through to something.
    We will suffer through our life
    to life or to death.

    Refusing to suffer means suffering.
    We can do what is hard,
    or we can do it the hard way.
    It is going to be hard,
    one way or another.

    How we choose to suffer
    makes all the difference.

    Do we suffer by embracing suffering,
    by accepting suffering,
    and suffering through
    the legitimate suffering
    that comes our way?

    Or,
    do we suffer by refusing to suffer,
    by running from suffering–
    and suffer through the suffering
    caused by our escaping suffering
    with denial, diversion, distraction
    all our life long?

    “You can pay me now,
    or you can pay me later,
    but pay me you will.”

    Suffering is the price we pay to be alive.
    How alive we actually are
    during the time of our living,
    depends on how willing we are
    to pay the price,
    shoulder our burden,
    accept our lot
    and live the life that is ours to live
    as fully as possible
    moment-by-moment-by-moment
    all our life long.
    No. Matter. What.

    Jesus was talking vulnerability
    when he said,
    “Pick up your cross every day,
    and follow me.”

    How vulnerable we are willing to be
    is the measure
    of how alive we are going to be.


  • 08/17/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 23 Panorama — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo

    From the beginning,
    human beings have sought
    to escape the reality of their life.

    The slippery slope,
    the dangerous path,
    like a razor’s edge
    runs along the line
    separating how things are
    from how we want things to be,
    from how we wish they were.

    Col. Nathan R. Jessup nails us with his,
    “You Can’t Handle The Truth!”

    Who have you known
    who has walked into life as it is,
    straight up,
    every day,
    laughing,
    saying,
    “Come on! Show me what you got!
    I’m still here!
    I’m still laughing!
    You haven’t touched me yet,
    and you are never going to touch me ever!”?

    There have been a few in my lifetime,
    but.
    Not nearly enough.
    Why not?
    Why do we run
    from the experience of being alive?

    Why don’t we step into the day,
    each day,
    and see what we can do with it,
    and let that be that?

    Why do we take pain and suffering
    so seriously?
    Why do we let them
    have our life?


  • 08/18/2019  —  Lotus Flowers 2019-08 01 — Nursery Photos, Pike Nursery, Charlotte, North Carolina, August 3, 2019

    If sex is all you have to look forward to,
    you can fill in the rest of this sentence
    in 10,000 ways–
    none of which are going to change your mind
    about the place of sex in your life.

    I have never changed anyone’s mind
    about what is important,
    and do not expect to do so ever
    in what remains
    of my time left for living.

    Those of you who know that awareness
    of all that we are capable
    of being aware of,
    without judgment
    and with compassion,
    in each situation as it arises
    is the most important thing,
    live in a world
    that is completely different
    than those of you who think
    sex is the only thing that matters.

    I am disgusted
    that sex is the only thing that matters
    to so many people
    in position to make
    the kind of difference
    that needs to be made
    in the world-as-a-whole
    and who dismiss that
    for sex at any price
    with the sexiest partner
    they can find
    as often as possible.

    If sex is all you have to look forward to,
    there is no point in finishing this sentence
    because you are lost to the possibility
    of anything mattering
    more than sex.
    And that is as inexcusable
    as it is disgusting.


  • 08/18/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 34 — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo

    Stephen Miller needs to hear-with-understanding two things:

    “I desire mercy and not sacrifice!”

    “Strive to do no harm!”

    If mercy (compassion) is God’s highest value,
    we have no excuse for thinking anything else
    is acceptable as our highest value.

    If doing nothing to make things worse
    has been the operative goal
    of those whose life
    is the good of all living things
    for nearly 3,000 years,
    we can’t do better than living
    to serve it ourselves–
    and anything less than that
    is a blight upon the world.

    People in position to make things better
    have to strive to make things better–
    and certainly have to make nothing worse–
    for all living things.

    Stephen Miller may well be
    beyond being able to grasp that
    and apply it in his position in his life,
    but.
    The rest of us have to grasp it
    and apply it
    as we are able
    throughout our life
    in the time we have left for living.


  • 08/19/2019  —  Susans 2019-08 01 — Nursery Photos, Pike Nursery, Charlotte, North Carolina, August 3, 2019

    My life improved immensely
    with retirement,
    primarily because I was able
    to reduce complexity and complication.
    Taking a vow of solitude
    helped with that significantly.
    My social obligations disappeared
    along with my employment responsibilities,
    leaving family
    and the day-to-day interactions
    required to tend
    the business of the day
    as all I have to attend.

    Television is also a thing of the past,
    leaving me
    with cooking,
    reading,
    writing,
    photography
    and watering the lawn
    for ways I spend my time.
    Complexity and complication
    are not so much a problem
    these days.
    And I relish that.

    Drama has also fallen away,
    except for that revolving
    around the political circus
    and the “What Are We Going To Do Now?”
    wheel of fortune and pain.

    So, I am able to consider my prospects
    and bide my time
    without being pushed or pulled
    while juggling more than I can manage.

    Which offers the freedom
    and opens the possibility
    of reflecting regularly
    upon what I take to be
    the most important question
    of existence:
    What to do when?

    This is quite different
    from the press
    of the work-a-day-world
    where everything
    has to be done NOW!

    What are the complexities
    and complications
    that keep you from considering
    what needs to be done when,
    in terms of your own
    internal stability
    and well-being?
    What do *you* need to do when?

    Awareness of these things
    is a gyroscope,
    assisting you in balancing
    your needs
    with the needs of your life
    and your world.

    Awareness goes with you on the go,
    simply by being aware
    of yourself going,
    and helps to slow down
    the things coming at you
    by allowing you to see what you look at
    and dance with the flow of the day,
    while you wait
    for the grace of retirement,
    when time can become
    the waters of life
    in a parched
    and barren land.


  • 08/19/2019  —  Goodale 2019-08 09 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, August 10, 2019

    When I look at you,
    I see me.

    This is a fundamental psychological law.

    You do not see me.
    You see you.
    I do not see you.
    I see me.

    The failure to understand
    what we are seeing
    when we look
    is the underlying cause
    of divorce world-wide.

    We go into marriage
    thinking we are marrying ourselves
    without being aware
    of what we are doing,
    and discover too late
    that we did not marry ourselves.

    We do indeed need to marry ourselves
    before we can marry someone else,
    but.
    No one tells us that,
    and how are we to know
    without someone to interpret for us
    what’s what
    and what needs to be done about it?

    Here is what’s what:
    We need to marry ourselves first,
    and actually be who we are
    in order to be able to marry anyone.

    What attracts us in another
    is what we need to bring to life
    in ourselves.
    We need to “marry” that!
    We need to become what we seek,
    what pulls us,
    draws us,
    compels us
    to marry it in someone else,
    before we marry anyone.

    Our life’s work is to be who we are.
    We do not know who we are
    by thinking about it.
    We know who we are
    by thinking about
    what we find attractive
    in other people–
    and understanding that
    is who we are,
    and who we are to be.

    And they need to know
    that we are who they are,
    and put us into place
    in their life
    before we say, “I Thee Wed.”


  • 08/20/2019  —  Sunflowers 2019-08 02 — Sandy Ridge, Marvin, North Carolina, August 19, 2019

    The truth of the Cross
    is that eventually–
    and ever so often–
    there comes along
    what Carl Jung called
    “a collision of duties,”
    where “obligation is pitted against obligation,
    and will against will.”

    We want what we want
    an what we also want,
    and our wants
    are mutually exclusive.

    We want to be the best father
    in all the world,
    and we don’t want to be a father
    at all.

    We want to be true to ourselves,
    and we want to be elected
    to public office.

    We want this and that
    and we can only have
    this or that.

    We “cannot serve God and Mammon.”

    Thus, comes the Cross into our life,
    where doing “this”
    means dying to “that.”

    We are in a pickle,
    and the only way out
    is to die to something.
    And the preliminary death
    is dying to the idea
    that we don’t have to die.

    Once we die to that idea,
    all the other deaths
    fall in line
    and the agony
    is lessened over time.

    When we are damned if we do
    and damned if we don’t,
    the solution
    is to be damned and be done with it–
    and bear the agony of it
    (of the Cross in our life),
    and consciously,
    mindfully,
    suffer through it,
    again and again
    over the course of our life.

    Dying and rising from the dead,
    to die and rise from the dead again,
    to die again,
    and rise again–
    but with a difference over time.

    The difference being
    that once we understand
    what the deal is,
    and see how things work,
    and know what is required of us,
    we begin to die
    with a gleam in our eye,
    and a smile on our face,
    and a spring in our step,
    already looking forward
    to the next time.

    This is Life!
    This is Really Living!
    This is Life As Only Life Can Be!

    The Cross is at the heart of Life!
    The only way to live
    is by dying!
    Again and again!
    Oh, what a ride!


  • 08/21/2019  —  Sunflowers 2019-08 08 Panorama — Sandy Ridge, Marvin, North Carolina, August 20, 2019

    Tell me about the life
    you would be living
    if the demands of life
    didn’t get in your way.

    I don’t mean the life of your dreams
    and happy fantasies.
    I mean the life you are built to live,
    the life you are here to live,
    the life that is yours to live.
    The life that waits for you to live it.
    Tell me about that life.

    That is the only thing
    worth talking about.
    How to find that life and live it
    are the only things worth knowing.
    Everything else falls into place
    around that.

    We are here today–
    the world is as it is today–
    because we are separated
    from ourselves
    and from the life that is ours to live.

    Everything is transformed dramatically
    overnight
    when we are living in right relationship
    with ourselves
    and the life that we need to be living.

    In order to do that,
    we have to change our relationship
    with ourselves,
    and with the life we are living.

    What is your relationship with yourself?
    What is your relationship
    with the life you are living?
    Sit down and write out your answers
    to those questions.

    That will initiate the process of awareness
    of your in relationships with yourself
    and your life.

    Nothing happens until awareness happens.


  • 08/21/2019  —  Bo Fisher 2019-08 01 — Sandy Ridge, Marvin, North Carolina, August 28, 2019

    This is Bo Fisher. He was mowing weeds growing outside the fence enclosing the sunflower field next to Providence Road, enlarging a parking area for passersby to stop, park, walk through the open gate, enjoy the wonder of sunflowers and photograph them to their heart’s content.

    Bo had stopped mowing to answer a phone call, and I took advantage of that opportunity to approach him when his call was over. “Did you plant these sunflowers?” I asked him.

    “I planted them for the man that owns the land,” he said.

    “What becomes of them besides people enjoying them?”

    “Nothing,” he said. “We plant them here for the public to enjoy while they are blooming.”

    “That’s wonderful,” I said. “I don’t find much of that spirit
    as I walk through my day. And I appreciate more than I can say what you are doing for us all.”

    “I’ll pass that along to the man who owns the land,” he said.

    Then he went back to mowing, and I went back to taking pictures.


  • 08/21/2019  —  Sunflowers 2019-08 10 — Sandy Ridge, Providence Road, Marvin, North Carolina, August 20, 2019

    Our relationship with our life
    can be described as adversarial,
    manipulative,
    disjointed,
    turbulent,
    stagnant,
    vitally alive,
    cooperative,
    collaborative,
    invigorating,

    and in 10,000 other ways.

    What are the words,
    the symbols,
    the images
    that describe your relationship
    with your life?

    When you think of your life
    what do you think of?
    What image or object
    comes to mind?

    Your life is like…what?

    What is your relationship
    with sugar?
    Salt?
    Tobacco?
    Marijuana?
    Alcohol?
    Television?
    Books?
    Movies?
    News?
    Drugs–prescription, over the counter, illicit?
    Your job?
    Your co-workers?
    Your friends?

    With every aspect of your life?

    Mindful, compassionate, non-judgmental awareness
    takes everything into account,
    without opinion.

    Just seeing what is to be seen
    with all things considered
    is all we need to do
    to do what needs to be done.

    No thinking involved, or allowed.
    Just seeing.
    Just hearing.
    Just knowing.
    Will lead to spontaneous,
    automatic,
    natural
    adjustments,
    shifts,
    alterations,
    transformations,
    and a new relationship
    with our life.

    No planning.
    No agenda.
    No resolutions.
    No schedules.
    No grades.
    No reporting.
    No coaching.

    Just seeing, etc.
    The more we know
    with compassion
    and without judgment
    or opinion,
    the better our relationship
    with our life becomes.

    And that transforms the world.


  • 08/22/2019  —  Sunflowers 2019-08 05 — Sandy Ridge, Providence Road, Marvin, North Carolina, August 20, 2019

    Good has to suffer evil.

    Evil is incapable of suffering good.
    Good separates itself from evil
    by suffering evil–
    not by trying to eradicate evil,
    but by balancing it at every turn.

    Good is the counterweight to evil.
    Good reflects evil back to evil.
    Good shows evil who it is.
    Good calls evil out, asking:
    “Is this who you are?”
    “Is that what you just said?”

    Good demands that evil justify itself to itself.
    Good shows evil who it is.

    Good suffers the evil within itself.
    Good calls itself out.
    “Is this who I am?”
    “Is that what I just said?”

    Every parable Jesus told was autobiographical.
    He is the sower who went out to sew.
    He is the woman with the jar of meal
    He is the guest without a wedding robe.
    He bears all things–
    even the radical abandonment of God–
    even the evil of God.

    No one talks about the evil of God
    but.
    There is the Book of Job,
    and the Book of Revelation.
    And there is the Conquest of the Promised Land.
    God acts throughout the Bible
    in ways that are not God-like.

    Good suffers the evil of God.
    Good calls God out.
    “Is this who you are?”
    “Is that what you just said?”

    Good is the counterweight of evil,
    calling all things–even itself–
    back to the center,
    to the ground,
    to the bedrock
    to “The still point of the turning world.”
    (T.S. Eliot)
    “Is this who we are?”
    “Is that what we just said?”


  • 08/22/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 01/02 Panorama — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo

    You know who you are
    and who you are not.
    You know what is YOU
    and what is NOT-YOU.

    Your only task/concern
    is to ground yourself on YOU,
    to stand on the bedrock of YOU,
    to lived rooted in the rhizome of YOU
    to stand on the foundation of YOU
    so that nothing can come along
    that can knock you off YOU–
    ever, no matter what!

    You be YOU always forever
    in every situation
    and all circumstances,
    all times, places and conditions
    of your life!

    That is your mission,
    your work,
    your journey!

    But.
    There is a catch.
    You have to be able to set YOU aside
    in light of what needs to happen
    in the time and place of your living.

    Photography is ME.
    It is my thing.
    But.
    When the children came along,
    I put the camera on the shelf
    because we could not afford film
    and diapers.
    And the camera stayed on the shelf
    until the children
    graduated from college.
    But.
    I never lost sight of the camera,
    and was always aware of its place
    in my life,
    even though,
    at the time,
    its place was on the shelf.

    This is called
    “Walking Two Paths At The Same Time.”
    It is also called,
    “Suffering It Through,”
    and “Bearing The Pain.”

    Joseph Campbell talked about
    the Primary Mask
    and the Antithetical Mask.
    The Antithetical Mask is YOU (ME).
    The Primary Mask is all of the roles
    we are required to play
    in carrying out our duties
    within our family,
    our society,
    our culture,
    our world.
    What is required of us by our station in life
    is NOT US.
    We have to walk two paths at the same time.
    We have to suffer it through.
    We have to bear the pain.
    By always keeping an eye on who we are
    while we live in ways that take
    the time and place of our living
    into account.

    Here is where Carl Jung’s
    “Collision of Duties”
    comes into play.
    We are caught between the Primary Mask
    and the Antithetical Mask,
    in all times and places,
    and have to walk two paths at the same time.

    This is the Hero’s Journey.
    The Slippery Slope.
    The Dangerous Path.
    The Razor’s Edge.

    This is our life lived well–
    consciously,
    mindfully,
    fully aware,
    in light of all things considered.

    It is our work.
    Our sacred duty.
    Our liege loyalty
    is to the path that is before us.
    To both paths that are before us.


  • 08/23/2019  —  Lake Andrew Jackson 2019-08 01 Panorama — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, August 22, 2019

    Life is suffering.

    That realization is the foundation of Buddhism,
    and of Capitalism,
    and of all the other “isms.”

    That’s because we can’t stop
    with “life is suffering.”
    We immediately flop over into “therefore.”

    “Life is suffering”
    leads instantly into all that follows.

    It led the Buddha into “the end of suffering.”
    That’s where it leads practically everyone else.
    Everybody has their favorite idea
    about ending suffering.

    Money does it for a lot of us.
    Depression does it for some of us.
    Social Work does it for some of us.
    Drugs/Alcohol/Sex does it for some of us.
    Religion does it for some of us.
    And all of these things
    are capable of being combined
    with each other
    in a Super Soup
    of “You Can’t Get Me Now Ha Ha!”

    The “Ha Ha” is the funny part
    because suffering gets us all eventually.
    Life is suffering.
    Therefore, what?
    I say, “Therefore suffer it!”
    “Suffer it through.”
    “Let it be!”
    “Take it in stride!”
    “Dance with it!”
    “Work with it!”
    “Don’t take it seriously!”
    “Do what you can with it
    and let that be that!”

    And certainly,
    “Do not build your life
    around trying to avoid it!”

    That’s what I would have told the Buddha.
    It’s the best I can do.


  • 08/23/2019  —  Chester State Park 2019-08 01 Panorama — Chester State Park, Chester, South Carolina, August 22, 2019, an iPhone photo.

    Our life is on us.
    I don’t care what happens to us
    that is beyond our control,
    how we respond to it
    is within our control.

    How we respond to what happens to us
    tells the tale.

    What we do with what is done to us
    says it all.

    What is your pattern of response?
    How predictable is it?
    How do you always react?
    What is your “go to” position
    when something you don’t want to happen
    happens?

    Start there.
    Sit with that.
    Examine that.
    Listen to that.
    How does that contrbute
    to where you are,
    to how things are,
    in your life as it is?

    We are where we are,
    not because of what has happened to us,
    but because of the way
    we have responded
    to what has happened to us.

    Want things to be different?

    You have to change your relationship
    with how things are.
    You have to be different.
    You have to do things differently
    than you are accustomed
    to doing them.

    It is all on us.
    That’s the bad news.
    How we deal with it,
    what we do about it,
    determines everything that follows.


  • 08/23/2019  —  Lake Andrew Jackson 2019-08 03 Panorama — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, August 22, 2019

    We are being led.

    How well we follow tells the tale.

    We swim in Psyche.
    We are immersed in Psyche.
    We emerge from Psyche.
    We live in Psyche.
    And when we die,
    we return to Psyche.
    We all are visible vestiges of Psyche
    which is invisible and unknown
    to us all.

    How conscious we are
    of all that we are unconscious of
    tells the tale.

    The tale is the life we live.
    The life we live
    is the “Visible form
    of an invisible grace”
    (Augustine, talking about sacraments).
    We all are sacramental
    in that way.
    Our life is sacramental.
    How conscious we are of that
    tells the tale.

    How conscious we are
    of all that we are unconscious of
    determines how closely aligned
    we live with all that we are unconscious of,
    which determines how alive we are
    to all that lives within us
    and around us–
    and how well we live
    with the context and circumstances
    of our life–
    how well we live
    in relation with all that we live with.

    Mindful,
    compassionate,
    non-judgmental,
    Jon-Kabat-Zinn-like
    (Watch his YouTube videos!)
    awareness
    connects inner with outer–
    connects us with ourselves
    and the time and place of our living,
    and assists the alignment
    of ourselves with ourselves
    and with our life and being.

    And awakens us to the full reality
    of our being led.


  • 08/23/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 08 Panorama — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo

    The foundation of good religion
    is not faith in the precepts
    of doctrine and theology,
    or in what someone else
    tells us to believe–
    but in the experience
    that grounds us
    in knowing what we know.

    There is more to us–
    to everyone and everything–
    than meets the eye.
    And we cannot say
    more than that
    about the more.

    We cannot think our way
    to what is important.
    The important things
    in our life
    find us
    as much as we find them.

    We cannot say why
    the things that matter to us
    matter to us.

    We can lose the Mojo
    by trying to figure it out,
    or make it appear,
    or make it last.

    We cannot make just anything
    be meaningful to us–
    any more than we can make
    ourselves go to sleep,
    or like what we don’t like.

    We cannot “make up our mind”
    about something on command.
    We can say we “made up our mind,”
    but we are kidding ourselves.
    Making up our mind is more like
    realizing what is already so,
    and has been so for some time,
    and we are just know catching up
    to what is going on.
    Our mind was made up for us,
    by what,
    we do not know.
    And, once our mind is made up
    in this way,
    we are solid and steadfast
    in the matter,
    and cannot be moved.

    We cannot be knocked off
    the things that are important to us.

    The heart of true religion
    is one of those things.
    It isn’t a matter of believing,
    but of knowing.
    Our religion is not what we believe,
    but who we are.


  • 08/24/2019  —  Sunflowers 2019-08 06 — Sandy Ridge, Providence Road, Marvin, North Carolina, August 21, 2019, an iPhone photo

    Carl Jung knew what the Oracle at Delphi knew before him:
    “Invoked, or not invoked, the God is always present.”
    And, we are always being led,
    often against our will,
    along the slippery slope,
    the dangerous path,
    the razor’s edge,
    to ourselves.

    To who we are
    and what needs to be done
    in each situation as it arises
    in ways appropriate to the occasion
    as only we can do it
    with the gifts,
    genius,
    daemon,
    character
    and values
    that are ours to work with
    for as long as we are alive.

    Nothing here about everlasting happiness
    and eternal bliss.
    Nothing here about personal gain
    and the adoration of the masses.

    All this is about
    is seeing,
    hearing,
    knowing,
    being,
    doing–
    in the service of the best we can do
    in light of the true good of all.

    We serve the God
    who is always present,
    leading us along the path,
    often against our will.

    And so, the Bible counsels,
    “It is a fearful thing
    to fall into the hands
    of the living God.”

    If we knew what we were doing,
    would we do it?

    That’s the question that tells the tale.

    What would we go to hell for?

    That’s the other question that tells the tale.


  • 08/25/2019  —  Wood Duck 2019-08 01 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, August 24, 2019

    “The good is the enemy of the best.”
    We hear it all the time.
    We stay in bed five minutes too long
    on a cold, frosty, morning,
    and miss the photo of the sunrise
    that would have grounded our career.

    “The best is the enemy of the good.”
    The idea of photo of the sunrise
    that will ground our career,
    pushes us past the puddle of water
    where we parked the car,
    reflecting the pastel colors
    of the early pre-dawn sky,
    and we miss the photo of the pre-dawn sunrise
    that would have grounded our career.

    Carl Jung talks about
    “The collision of obligations,”
    but.
    It would have been just as well
    if he had used the phrase,
    “The collision of the goods.”

    How good is the good we call good?
    Whose good is served
    by the good we call good?

    Jesus could have said,
    “I came to bring an end
    to the good as you know it,
    and as the beginning
    of the good you will be
    hesitant to call good.”

    Every person who stands
    at the crossroads
    of competing goods
    could say the same thing:
    What is good here and now?
    How do we know?
    How certain can we be?
    When everything rides
    on the choices we make?

    Sometimes it is this way,
    and sometimes it is that way–
    and that means
    all times require us
    to listen to what is being said,
    to follow where we are being led,
    and to know
    that we don’t know
    what we are doing.

    To bear the agony (the agone)
    of the cross(roads)
    again and again
    throughout our life,
    not-knowing again and again
    what to do here and now,
    and having to wait
    in the stillness
    for the way to emerge,
    beyond thinking,
    as realization
    and conviction–
    and we put everything
    into its actualization,
    even if we are wrong,
    trusting ourselves
    to That Which Leads Us
    to know better than we know
    what needs to happen,
    because when does the outcome
    of a choice
    become fully apparent
    anyway?

    We do our best
    to serve the apparent good
    of the situation at hand,
    and let that be that.
    But.
    It has to be our best
    in the service of the good
    we take to be
    the actual good.
    For better or for worse
    From this time forth,
    forever.


  • 08/25/2019  —  Great Blue Heron 2019-08 01 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, August 24, 2019

    Miscalculations and blunders
    have us where we are today.
    We THOUGHT ourselves here.
    We think thinking is the path
    to where we need to be.

    Listening/Seeing/Feeling is the path
    to where we need to be.

    We Hear/See/Feel our way to What/Where/When,
    and we Think our way to How.

    We Hear/See/Feel our way to What To Eat.
    We Think our way to the recipe.

    “I think, therefore I am,”
    dismissed Hearing/Seeing/Feeling,
    and took over the show.

    The Age Of Reason
    brought us
    The Chaos Of Perfect Means And Forgotten Ends.
    And here we are.

    All of our equations for
    The Perfect Life
    leave Hearing/Seeing/Feeling
    out of consideration.

    The things that cannot
    be quantified,
    counted,
    weighed,
    measured,
    validated
    and certified
    don’t count.

    We don’t see anything wrong
    with destroying the village
    in order to save it.
    Of course.

    Miscalculations and blunders exist
    by failing to take all things into account.
    Things like Listening/Hearing,
    Looking/Seeing
    and Attending Our Feelings
    are not invited to the table.

    Think Tanks
    do not See/Hear/Feel,
    and think they know and understand.


  • 08/26/2019  —  Australian Black Swan 2019-08 03 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, August 24, 2019

    Dark,
    uncertain,
    frightening
    times
    call for
    courage,
    confidence,
    and the will
    to meet
    and rise to
    any occasion
    in the service
    of who we are
    and what is ours to do
    in doing what needs
    to be done
    moment-by-moment-by-moment
    throughout the time left for living.

    We do not know what might lie ahead,
    what will be asked of us,
    what we will do.
    “It’s a new world, Golda!”
    And as a species,
    we have come through worse worlds–
    and are fully equipped
    to face up to what must be faced.

    We have what we need
    to find what we need
    to do what needs to be done.
    We only have to access
    the latent characteristics
    and qualities
    that have been with us from birth.

    The owner’s manual
    and instruction book
    were misplaced along the way.
    The people and institutions
    who were supposed to
    “raise us in the way we should go”
    failed us
    by forgetting the way we should go,
    by not knowing the way they should go,
    by thinking it was all about money,
    prestige
    and power–
    by thinking it was about thinking–
    and that was that.
    Leaving us bereft
    and on our own.

    No problem.
    We are never on our own.
    We are being led all along
    the way
    to who we are
    and what is ours to do.
    All we have to do is remember
    how to follow
    and take up the work
    of being who we are
    and doing what is ours to do.

    It is all a simple matter
    of returning to the rhizome,
    to the core,
    to the bedrock,
    the source and foundation
    of life and being,
    redesigning our relationship
    with our life,
    and living in light
    of different ends.

    It starts with being quiet
    sitting still
    and listening,
    waiting,
    watching
    for that which is waiting
    for us–
    for our receptivity,
    cooperation,
    collaboration.

    In so doing,
    we will be Adam and Eve
    in the Garden of Eden,
    come to redeem
    the original refusal to listen,
    watch,
    wait,
    and to hurry things along
    by serving our own ideas
    about how our life should be lived.

    By waiting in the silence
    for what meets us there,
    we put thinking/knowing in its place
    as the servant
    of seeing/hearing/feeling/knowing.

    The two ways of knowing
    have to be properly aligned
    if we are to live aligned
    with That Which Knows,
    and it is this realignment
    that is the most difficult part
    of finding what we need
    to do what needs us to do it.

    What does
    “Thy will, not mine, be done”
    mean to you?
    Allow it to mean
    sitting quietly,
    waiting
    to see/hear/feel
    what arises there
    and calls our name.

    We see/hear/feel our way
    to What, When and Where.
    We think our way to How.

    When thinking begins to ask
    What?
    Why?
    When?
    Where?
    Put it in its place with,
    “That will all become clear in time,
    and then you can get to work
    on How!”


  • 08/27/2019  —  Great Blue Heron 2019-08 04 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, August 24, 2019

    “There is only the dance”
    (TS Eliot).
    “And the dance goes on.
    Dance, then, wherever you may be!”
    (The Lord of the Dance).

    We do not understand
    the eternal and endless nature
    of what we are doing,
    and become disenchanted,
    disheartened,
    beaten down
    and depressed
    because what we are doing
    has always been done,
    and everything cycles around,
    and what needs to be done
    always needs to be done,
    and what’s the point,
    so why try?
    Who cares?
    What difference does it make?
    “It’s like rearranging the deck chairs
    on the Titanic!”

    The same thing could be said
    about the process of evolution,
    life, living and being alive.

    “Birth and death,
    sunrise, sunset,
    where is it going?
    What’s the point?
    Why go on?”

    You never hear a child eating ice cream
    complain about the unending,
    meaningless,
    nature of eating ice cream.

    “I eat a bowl,
    and here comes another one,
    oh woe,
    oh no,
    one after another,
    I can’t go on with this!”

    So.
    Are we rearranging the deck chairs
    on the Titanic,
    or eating ice cream?

    Let me put it another way:
    Nothing is more important
    than you being you
    and me being me
    in each situation as it arises
    all our life long.

    This is the hermeneutical task.

    Hermeneutics is the art of interpretation.
    It is making the meaningless meaningful.
    It is bringing forth the truth
    of what’s what
    and so what
    into the time and place–
    the here and now–
    of each situation as it arises
    moment-by-moment-by-moment
    day in and day out
    all our life long.

    It is being who we are,
    where we are,
    when we are,
    how we are
    no matter what,
    no matter why,
    forever.

    Why?
    No Matter Why!
    The dance goes on.
    Why?
    No Matter Why!
    The. Dance. Goes. On!

    Our place is to Be The Dance,
    to Be The Ice Cream.
    The situation needs us to be,
    one situation after another,
    all our life long.

    Our work is to know and be
    who we are,
    here and now,
    doing our thing
    as only we can do it,
    and not worrying about the outcome
    and refusing to let anything stop us
    or even slow us down.

    Joseph Campbell said,
    “Native Americans would tell
    their children
    as they left the tribe
    to find their way in the world,
    “When you go forth
    to seek your life and live it,
    the birds of the air
    will shit on you.
    Do not pause even to wipe it off.”

    Got that?
    DO it!
    Nothing is more important
    than you being you
    doing your thing,
    and me being me
    doing my thing.

    This place,
    this time,
    this here and now,
    desperately needs what you and I
    have to offer.
    It is our place
    to Be The Ice Cream!

    Be the ice cream
    the moment is calling for–
    moment-by-moment-by-moment!
    No Matter Why!


  • 08/28/2019  —  Beidler Forest 2019-06 11 — Four Hole Swamp, Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Harleyville, South Carolina, June 23, 2019, an iPhone photo

    The Lapis philosophorum,
    or, “Philosopher’s Stone,”
    is “the stone the builders reject,”
    is the Soul, Self, Psyche
    within us all.

    We seek ourselves.

    We are as close to what is missing
    from our life
    as sitting quietly,
    being still
    and listening within–
    and aligning ourselves
    with what arises,
    emerges,
    in the silence.

    We were separated from ourselves,
    our Self,
    shortly after birth,
    and spend our life
    trying to find our way back
    to “the face that was ours
    before we were born.”


  • 08/28/2019  —  Lake Andrew Jackson 2019-08 05 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, August 22, 2019

    June Singer writes in her book, *Boundaries of the Soul,*
    “The process is the only thing that matters. The sooner we realize it, the sooner we identify with the flowing stream (Or any other metaphor of process which presents itself), the more likely we are to become free of pointless struggles and fruitless conflicts. Thus, we liberate our energies for collaboration with nature…”

    Collaboration with nature
    is waiting for what arises
    in the stillness,
    for what emerges,
    for what occurs to us
    “out of the blue,”
    “popping into our mind,”
    “just like that,”
    compelling our attention
    with a surprising urgency,
    and with topping things off
    with the grace
    of synchronicity
    (Or the synchronicity
    of grace).

    We will never think our way there,
    or scheme our way there,
    or connive/con our way there,
    of exploit/manipulate our way there,
    or bribe/extort our way there…

    The world is full of approaches
    that won’t work.

    Only one will work.
    Siting still,
    being quiet,
    listening to our body,
    to our stomach,
    to our bones,
    to our heart’s true desire,
    to the things that set our toes to tapping,
    to our nighttime dreams,
    to our hunches,
    nudges,
    urges
    and the white rabbits
    that catch our eye.

    Note what simply occurs to you,
    see where it goes.
    Allow Kairos (Tao, Dharma)
    to lead the way.

    We are all being led
    whether we know it or not.
    It helps to be mindfully aware
    and conscious
    of what’s what
    and what we can do
    to help things along
    without getting in the way.


  • 08/29/2019  —  Two Barns 2019-08 01 Panorama — Kershaw County, South Carolina, August 10, 2019

    “A wandering Aramean was my father…”
    begins the tale of Jewish heritage,
    and in a broader sense,
    begins the story of all of us–
    though Aram isn’t our actual origin,
    but the African plains and jungles.

    We all come out of Africa.
    Wandering is our lot.

    We are one people,
    on the move.

    Carl Jung recognized
    the true nature of our journey
    and called it
    “The circumambulation of the Self.”

    We circle ourselves throughout our life,
    trying to know who we are.
    Seeking to be who we are
    capable of being.
    As did our parents before us,
    and their parents before them,
    all the way back
    through the maize of paths and trails,
    wilderness sojourns
    and desert treks
    our ancestors trod
    to here, now.

    We are one with each other
    and all others
    seeking to know and be
    who we are.

    What makes that difficult?
    Thinking!
    The thing that separates us
    from the “lower animals,”
    cuts us off from each other
    and from ourselves!

    We think too much
    to know what we are doing.

    But, thinking alone is not the problem.
    Thinking mindlessly is the problem.
    Mindless thinking is the problem.

    Mindfulness is the solution.
    Mindful awareness is the solution
    Mindful awareness that knows what it is thinking,
    when it is thinking,
    how its thinking is interfering
    with what it is experiencing,
    with what it is seeing,
    with what it is hearing,
    with what it is feeling,
    with what it is sensing,
    with what it is intuiting.
    with what it is hunching…
    is the solution.

    When each of us is living
    as the whole person we are,
    instead of living as the partial person
    we have become,
    we live differently,
    and the world is transformed.

    Don’t wait for everybody else
    to go first.
    Be the trend setter.
    Learn the art
    of mindful,
    compassionate,
    non-judgmental
    awareness.

    See what you look at–
    and what you are not looking at.
    Hear what you are listening to–
    and what you are not listening to.

    Know what you know,
    and what you don’t know.
    Know what’s what,
    and what’s going on,
    and what’s happening,
    and what needs to be done in response,
    and what you can do about it,
    and do it
    the way it needs to be done,
    when it needs to be done,
    as only you can do it.

    And, like that,
    the world is a different world,
    and we are all better off
    because of you
    and the way you are living,
    moment-by-moment-by-moment.

    A good place to start
    is with the Jon Kabat-Zinn
    YouTube videos
    (The shortest ones first).

    The complete transformation
    of life as we know it
    is that close at hand.


  • The Mandala of Notre Dame

    Mandalas are symbols of wholeness,
    completion,
    fulfillment,
    and metaphors
    of the Self/Soul/Psyche.

    We all are multi-faceted.
    And, we are One.

    The Mandala of Notre Dame
    declared to the world,
    “This is who we are!
    Though we are many,
    we are One!”

    And, called us to live
    as though it were so–
    because it is so.

    It only takes eyes to see,
    and ears to hear,
    to know that it is so.

    “Jesus Is On The Ballot,”
    declares yard signs,
    across the country.
    And everyone who knows Jesus,
    knows that it is so.

    The Mandala of Notre Dame
    declares it to be so:
    “Though We Are Many,
    We are One!”

    Jesus said,
    “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt 22:37-40).

    And when the lawyer asked,
    “Who is my neighbor?”
    Jesus told him the Parable of the Good Samaritan,
    and asked the Lawyer
    “Who was the neighbor to the Jew in the ditch?”
    The lawyer replied,
    “Why, the one who showed mercy to him!”
    Jesus said, “Go and do likewise!”

    In other words,
    Jesus is saying to all
    with eyes to see and ears to hear,
    “YOU are the neighbor!
    Go be one!”

    Jesus is on the ballot.

    Vote for the people
    who live to serve the two greatest commandments–
    in being a neighbor to all people everywhere–
    the immigrants,
    the people of color,
    the LGBTQ’s,
    the poor,
    the homeless,
    the sick,
    the infirm,
    the Untouchables,
    the Undesirables,
    the “least of Jesus’ brothers and sisters.

    Elect those people!
    Elect the people reflecting,
    exhibiting,
    the Mandala of Notre Dame!


  • 08/31/2019  —  Steele Creek 2019-08 01 Panorama — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Dairy Barn Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, August 29, 2019

    The Indiana Jones’ line
    that stands out for me is,
    “Fortune and glory, Kid. Fortune and glory,”
    from *The Temple of Doom.*

    There is so much that can be done with it,
    because there are so many things
    our life comes down to,
    depending upon the context and circumstances
    of our living,
    moment-by-moment-by-moment.

    One minute it is “fortune and glory,”
    and the next minute it could be,
    “Negotiation and compromise, Kid.
    Negotiation and compromise.”

    Fortune and glory depend upon,
    and require,
    negotiation and compromise–
    and 10,000 other combinations.
    (“Grace and maturity, Kid. Grace and maturity.”
    etc.)

    Negotiation and compromise
    is my present favorite
    because I am at the point in my life
    of appreciating the contradictions,
    the opposites,
    the polarities,
    the wonderful complexities
    that come into play
    with “The collision of goods,
    desires,
    values,
    duties,
    responsibilities,
    obligations…”

    Our life is one trade-off after another.
    We give up “this” to get “that”
    throughout our day,
    every day.

    If you have to have everything you want
    exactly like you want it,
    you have to slip over into denial
    from time to time,
    and refuse to acknowledge
    how having “this”
    keeps you from having “that,”
    and take it out on your spouse,
    or your parents,
    or your children,
    or your pets,
    or drink a lot
    and take heavy doses of medication.

    There has to be compensation somewhere
    for unacknowledged grief and suffering.
    We bear it, get ready,
    “Consciously or unconsciously, Kid.
    Consciously or unconsciously.”

    I recommend “Negotiation and compromise”
    in conjunction with “Playful awareness, Kid.
    Playful awareness.”

    Playfulness is the quality of seeing things
    as they are
    without taking them more seriously
    than they deserve
    to be taken.

    If we cannot be playful,
    we cannot be aware
    of all we have to take into account
    and bear it as it needs to be borne
    day after day,
    moment-by-moment-by-moment.

    Playfulness is the solution
    to all of our problems today.
    And tomorrow.

    It is only possible
    with the right mixture
    of “Grace and maturity, Kid. Grace and maturity.”


09/01/2019  —  Great Blue Heron 2019-08 06 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, August 24, 2019

The twin tasks of being human:

We have to find our work and do it.

We have to find our life and live it.

Everything else falls into place
around these two things.

Our greatest aids in this process are:

Conflict.
Contradiction.
Polarity.
Complexity.

Our greatest problem in this process is:

We want things to be smooth and easy.

We find our way by
sitting still,
being quiet,
listening,
looking,
seeing,
hearing,
being attentive
to what occurs to us,
knowing what needs to be done
and doing it
with the gifts/daemon
available to us
in each situation
as it arises
all our life long.

What we get out of all of this is
getting up tomorrow
and doing it again.

If you want more than this,
it likely falls into the category of
smooth and easy.


09/02/2019  —  Canada Goose 2019-08 01 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, August 24, 2019

Those who see,
see the same thing.

Put the Buddha,
Gandhi,
the Dalai Lama,
Lao Tzu,
Jesus
etc.
in the same room,
and fighting will not occur.

Put their disciples in a room
and war will break out
within minutes.

The people in the first group
know what they know–
and what they don’t know.

The people in the second group
know what someone else told them–
and think that is all there is to know.

The people in the first group
can change their mind
in light of their experience.

The people in the second group
think changing their mind is anathema,
and is evidence of their disloyalty
to the creeds and doctrines
of their faith.

The people in the first group
have faith in their awareness
of their experience.

The people in the second group
have faith in the creeds and doctrines
they have been taught.

If you ask people in both groups
what beauty is,
or ask them to tell you
about their experience with grace,
you will get answers
that lend themselves to eye-to-eye-ness.

The two groups become one
when they talk about
what they know to be so
out of their own experience.

Two beggars telling each other
where they have found food
is a different dynamic
than two beggars fighting each other
over a banana
or a bagel.

What’s the difference?
At what point does our interpretation
of our experience
lead to greed or to benevolence?

Lead us to buy guns
and look with suspicion
and hatred at every stranger,
or to live unarmed
and greet strangers with openness
and ask them how things are?

What tips us toward generosity
and kindness,
or toward belligerence
and war?

What leads us to see as we do
and keep us from seeing as we might?

Sit with your seeing
until you can see it–
and see who,
and what,
has led you to see
the way you see.

Seeing our seeing
is experiencing our experience,
and is the path
to knowing what we know–
and what we don’t know.

And looking closer,
and seeing what we look at,
and changing our mind,
and asking-seeking-knocking,
and telling one another
where we have found food.


  • 09/03/2019  —  Canada Goose 2019-08 02 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, August 24, 2019

    My friend Ogi Overman said,
    talking about his AA community,
    “All we ever wanted was smooth and easy.”

    Wanting that and not getting it
    sends us all into some form
    of addiction and denial.

    Life-as-it-is apart from addiction and denial
    requires us to suffer it through.
    Which is far removed
    from smooth and easy.

    Jesus raised the dead
    and left the dead to bury the dead
    because the quest for smooth and easy
    deadens us deader
    than actual physical death.

    Many of us would prefer to be
    actually physically dead
    than to suffer it through
    day-after-day
    of life-as-it-is.

    Others of us take things in stride,
    deal with one damn thing after another,
    receive things as they come,
    and see the desire for smooth and easy
    as just another obstruction
    in their path
    on their way to doing what needs to be done
    in each situation as it arises,
    moment-by-moment-by-moment
    all their life long.

    Suffering it through is just
    doing what needs to be done
    the way it needs to be done
    when it needs to be done
    for as long as it needs to be done.

    Adopting that as a way of life,
    flips the inconvenient
    and the intolerable
    into smooth and easy
    for those bent on doing
    what is asked of them
    by each situation as it arises
    no matter what
    all their life long.

    Their motto is:
    No Expectations And No Opinions!
    Just seeing and doing.
    Just seeing what needs to be done
    and doing it.
    The way emergency room personnel
    treat their day,
    taking whatever comes through the door
    and meeting it straight up,
    assessing need and meeting it
    moment-by-moment-by-moment.

    Once we square ourselves up
    to life in the emergency room,
    everything is
    business as usual
    and it becomes smooth and easy
    because each one of us
    is equipped to manage
    life-as-it-is
    from birth to old age.

    All we have to do
    is get out of the way
    with our wish
    for things to be different
    than they are–
    and get busy
    dealing with what is
    coming through the door.

    Nothing to it.
    All it takes is a slight shift
    in perspective.

    That’s the difference
    between death and life.


  • 09/03/2019  —  Coscoroba Swans 2019-08 01 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina, August 24, 2019

    Look around.
    If this is the best God can do,
    God has no business being God.

    If this is not the best God can do,
    God has no business being God.

    Either way, we are at the point
    in our development as a species
    of re-imagining God
    in light of all things considered,
    in a way that sees all things for what they are
    and kids not ourselves
    about any of it,
    but allows us to embrace all of it
    as the umwelt of our existence,
    and enables us to rise to meet
    the context and circumstances of our life
    in each situation as it arises,
    moment-by-moment-by-moment–
    seeing what’s what
    and what needs to be done about it
    and of that what can be done about it,
    and of that what we can do about it
    with the genius,
    gifts,
    daemon
    we possess,
    and holding nothing back,
    bring forth the best we have to offer
    in the service of the best we can imagine
    for no other reason
    that because this is who we are
    and this is what we do,
    all our life long.

    That would be a religion
    worthy of us,
    and one whose time is nigh.
    No theology.
    No doctrine.
    No creed.

    Just seeing/doing
    what is and what needs to be done about it
    one situation after another.
    Forever.


  • 09/04/2019  —  Heath Springs Depot 2019-09 01 Panorama — Heath Springs, South Carolina, September 2, 2019, an iPhone photo

    There is what we do to pay the bills,
    and there is what we pay the bills to do.
    What do you pay the bills to do?

    On a scale of 10,
    with 10 being high,
    where do you rate
    your vitality,
    libido (joy of life),
    enthusiasm for life
    (These three things
    are one thing)?

    Where are the dead zones
    in your life?

    Where is life pouring over,
    spilling out,
    running free?

    Where do you go
    to be fully,
    joyfully,
    alive?

    How often do you go there?
    How long do you stay?

    In what ways do you
    befriend yourself in a day?

    Whose side are you on?


  • 09/05/2019  —  Crape Myrtle 2019-09 02 — Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3, 2019

    The Two Greatest Commandments
    are all the religion anyone needs–
    with “The Lord Thy God”
    being forever undefined,
    unspecified,
    unsaid
    unexplained
    and allowed to exist
    in the realm
    of Kairos,
    Tao,
    Dharma
    and Grace–
    understanding
    “No graven image”
    to mean no theology,
    no ideology,
    no idea,
    no doctrine,
    no creeds,
    no thinking,
    no mental or physical representation whatsoever
    nothing
    not even “My God is an Awesome God.”

    Only silence will do
    where “The Lord Thy God”
    is concerned.

    That means no promotion
    only attraction
    and makes AA the last word
    in religion as it ought to be.

    Which means no evangelism,
    no persuasion,
    no conversion,
    no converting,
    only realizing
    out of one’s own experience
    with seeing,
    hearing,
    understanding,
    knowing,
    doing,
    being.

    Everybody wakes up
    in some gutter
    or at the bottom of some wall,
    or some bottle,
    In the fullness of time.
    When the time is right,
    all efforts at intervention notwithstanding.

    So, “Sit down,
    shut up,
    be quiet,
    remain still
    for as long as it takes
    for something to happen,”
    is the only instruction
    possible or necessary
    on the way to the Way.

    Everything else falls in
    the “graven image” category.

    The Two Greatest Commandments
    with “The Lord Thy God” understood
    as Kairos/Tao/Dharma/Grace
    are all the religion anyone needs.

    Live in the service of those two commandments
    and everything will fall into place around that.




xxx

07/19/2019  —  On the way to the way–
to finding and living
the life that is ours to live–
we can assist the process
of coming to be who we
have within us to become
by familiarizing ourselves with Carl Jung.

Three books stand out for me
as good places to begin:

“Memories, Dreams and Reflections,”
by Carl Jung

“The Boundaries of the Soul,”
by June Singer

“Private Myths, Dreams and Dreaming,”
by Anthony Stevens

Plan on reading them slowly
several times
on your way to the way.


07/21/2019  —  Are your feet under you?

Are you standing on the bedrock
of what matters most,
so that nothing that comes along
can knock you off it

Then, carry on!

And, if those things are not the case
with you,
why not?


07/22/2019  —I am up to me.

You are up to you.

The way I perceive my circumstances
and respond to them
are up to me.

The way you perceive your circumstances
and respond to them
are up to you.

I am up to me.

You are up to you.

What we do about that
is up to us. 


07/22/2019  —  Our life will prepare us
for everything life throws at us,
by throwing things at us–
IF we are open to the possibilities
presented to us
in the deliveries.

How open can we be
is the question.
What determines/influences openness
is the other question.
How we answer the questions
is the other question.


07/22/2019  —  Wanting to hide
from our experience of life
is wanting to hide
from our wanting to hide,
is to deny everything
about our experience of life.

Yet, it is only our experience of life
that is capable of bringing us
into the realizations
of life at the heart of life.

We do not want to experience
the contradictions
at the heart of life
that reveal the truth
of “the awful grace of God.”
That reveal the truth of God–
not the God of theology and doctrine,
but the God at the bottom of it all.
The Numen at the door.

“Hello, Newman,”
are the words we intend to never say.

The conflict
at the heart of life and being.


07/22/2019  —  The forces of evil
in the form of Dark Money
and corrupt politicians
and Russian propaganda
and election interference
put Donald Trump in the White House
in order to serve its ends
of wealth
and white supremacy.

Now, the forces of good
have to rally
and vote.

That’s really all we have to do.

Vote as one
to rid the country
of the scandal of Donald Trump.

That isn’t asking much at all.

I am afraid we will not have
what it takes
to do that much.

All we have to do is vote.

Will. You. Vote?


07/23/2019  —  We will never get to the bottom of greed,
or of what the hunger is
that fuels sex addiction,
or any addiction.

What are we seeking
that we cannot get enough of?

There is no bottom.
There is only hunger.
Only desperately seeking
more than we can ever have.

And, there are those
who are content
with things as they are–
who aren’t looking for anything
they don’t already have.

There are the bullies,
and there are the bullied.

The tough-minded
and the tender-hearted.

We are all over the board.

As different as we can be.

What makes us the way we are?

What transforms us into
being some other way of being?

How will we know
when we have gotten
to the bottom of it?

What will we do then?

Alexander the Great
died longing for more worlds
to conquer.

Jesus died without conquering
any worlds.

In the service of what do we live?
How do we know it is worth our life?

Do we have any say in the matter
of who we are?

Are we responsible for the course we take?
For the goals we pursue?
For the values we serve?

On what basis do we determine
the value of what we call valuable?

What makes us think
we know what we are doing?

Why do it?
Why live the life we are living
and not some other life instead?

Some alcoholics quit drinking.

And some don’t.

I rode a motorcycle one summer,
and when the third vehicle
pulled out in front of me–
it was a garbage truck–
because the driver
just didn’t see me coming,
I decided that if I ever died,
it wasn’t going to be
driving a motorcycle.
And that was that.

Some alcoholics decide
if they ever die
it is not going to be in a bottle.

People ride motorcycles all the time.
And get drunk every day.
And some don’t.
Do either.

We will never know why
and why not.

But.

We can know what
and what not.

What is for you?
What is not for you?

Live to know at least that much.


07/23/2019  —  “The bird is in our hands,”
(Google “The bird is in your hands”)
and there is much that is
out of our hands.

We have to know where “the bird” stops
and “not the bird” starts.

What is “the bird,”
and what is “not the bird”?

What is “in our hands”
and what is “out of our hands”?

Knowing that is important knowledge.


07/2019/29  —  Embracing your paradoxes
and dancing with your contradictions,
will be the solution to your problems
every day for the rest of your life.

08/02/2019  —  (In reply to Wanda Smith) Hi Wanda, I like the way you carry your questions with you, reflecting on them, living them. That’s the way to do it! And to ask all the questions raised by the questions! And by the answers!

I have no idea how I would have answered your question, “What does it mean?” then–which underscores my lack of faith in any of the answers (They all change with time)–but, today I’ll say “Where is the problem with one person believing in God and another person believing in Tao?” means “What’s the difference?” Not to suggest that there is no difference, but to open the matter for exploration, examination, inquiry, investigation…

What is the difference between “God,” in all the ways that word has been and can be understood, and “Tao,” in all the ways that word has been and can be understood? What do the concepts/ideas have in common? Where do they part ways? In what ways do they mean the same things?

What difference do they make in the lives of those who believe in them, in terms of the impact they make in those lives? Which group of believers is better off, by what standard of determining “better off”? In what ways is the world better off for the way each group of believers live their lives?

The Greeks had two concepts of time. “Chronos” is clock time, calendar time, what we are talking about when we ask, “What time is it?” and “Kairos” is “the right time,” the time when a baby is born, or a tomato is ripe, and what we are talking about when we ask, “What is it time for?” A walk around the block? A glass of water? A cup of coffee?” etc.

Tao is more concerned with Kairos than with Chronos. And, so is God. Jesus was born “when the time was right.” Ecclesiastes talks about “There is a time to be born and a time to die…” The entire thrust of the Bible is about “What is it time for, here and now?” The Tao is all about “What is it time for here and now?”

If we answer that question right in each moment–moment-by-moment-by-moment–we are one with Tao and one with God. “Where’s the problem?”

Know what the moment is calling for. Offer it as best you can in every moment, being you, doing what you do best the way only you can do it. No one can ask more of us than that! Jesus couldn’t do more than that! That’s all there is to it, ever!

I love you, Wanda, just as everyone who knows you does!


08/04/2019–Money is very useful,
but.
What we use it for
tells the tale.


08/06/2019–Everybody has access to the same information.

How they interpret it
and what they do about it
tells the tale.

I have my business
and you have yours.

How well our business
is an accurate reflection of,
and response to,
the world we share,
tells the tale.

If we say, “Oh we love children,
even when they are fetuses,”
and throw children in cages–
or our assigns do–
and deny them health care,
and the basics of humanitarian concern
so that they are forever marked
by their treatment,
or die because of it,
we get no points for opposing abortion,
and bear the shame of our refusal
to bear the responsibility
for our actions
because “we didn’t know,”
I say we all have access
to the same information,
and how we interpret it,
and what we do about it,
tells the tale.


08/07/2019. —  What people need to hear,
and what people can hear,
are too far apart
to be bridged
by somebody saying something–
by anybody saying anything.

Therefore,
silence is the ticket
to being where we are
and
to going where we need to be going.

Those who can hear
at least this much
need to be quiet
for longer periods,
more often.

You will be surprised
what you hear
when all the noise stops.


08/10/2019  —  We are the gift we give to the moment,
and the gift we receive from the moment.
Moment-by-moment-by-moment.
Yet, we try to exploit the moment
or control and direct the moment—
to manage,
manipulate,
and profit from the moment.
And here we are.


08/18/2019  —  Wholeness is wrought through the integration of our opposites, our contradictions, our paradoxes. We suffer it through, the circumambulation of the Self.


08/30/2019  —  Nothing is more important than being able to change your mind about what is important. When is the last time you changed your mind about anything important?


08/30/2019  —  How much time each day
do you spend
sitting still,
being quiet,
listening?


08/30/2019  —  Do not get sidetracked!

Know what your business is
and mind your business!

Know what your work is
and do your work

Do not pause
to defend,
excuse,
justify,
explain
what you are doing!

Maintain your focus
and your intensity!

“Do your work
and let nature take its course”
(Lao Tzu).

+++

September 5, 2019  —  Any concept of God restricts God to what we are capable of conceiving. God is inconceivable. “The Tao that can be (conceived) is not the eternal Tao.” Stop talking about God and live to be godly, so that no one can tell where you stop and God starts. That will do.

+++

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