One Minute Monologues 026

04/24/2015 — 06/10/2015

  1. 04/24/2015 — Union Pacific 6831 01 — Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, March 23, 2015

    Everybody wants to “make a difference”

    And “be happy.”

    Make a difference doing what?

    Be happy doing what?

    What do you want TO DO with your life?

    What is yours TO DO with your life

    Whether you want to or not?

    That’s the question that is yours to answer

    In the time left for living.

    And, in case you have misgivings,

    Once you start doing it,

    Wanting to do it will fall into place,

    And you won’t be able to imagine living without doing it.

    But, you’ll have to take my word for it.

    Sometimes, wanting follows doing.
  2. 04/25/2015 — Lake Martin Sunset 2015 03 — St. Martin Parish, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, March 24, 2015

    How many people do you know who are enjoying their life?

    Who are glad to be where they are?

    Content with themselves and what they are doing?

    At peace with their universe and the way things are?

    Would you be one of those people?

    If not, what is keeping you from being one of those people?

    Take a regular reading of the emotional climate

    In which you “live, and move, and have your being.”

    Rate its level of negativity and toxicity

    On an imaginary “Death To My Soul Scale.”

    Consider how your emotional environment

    Is impacting your attitude and your life.

    Where would you go to find a different emotional environment–

    One that is better for you and your mental, emotional, health?

    Go there often.

    Relish it consciously.

    Soak it up.

    Bring back the laughter and the joy.
  3. 04/25/2015 — Lake Haigler in the Rain—Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina, April 25, 2015

    Make listening time.

    Work silence and solitude into your life.

    Call it meditation, quiet time, or time out.

    How much? How much can you get by with?

    Start with that much.

    Regularly. Daily.

    Sit quietly.

    No music. No reading. No list making.

    Listening. Watching. Open. Receptive.

    What pops up?

    Reflect. Explore. Wonder.

    See what occurs to you,

    What connections you make,

    Where it goes.

    Don’t try to make anything happen,

    Or think something is supposed to happen.

    You are listening. Watching.

    Attending the inner you.

    Regularly. Daily.

    That’s all.

    Oh, if it becomes painful

    With memories, fear, doubt, shame…

    Bear the pain.

    It’s only pain.

    What? You’ve never borne pain before?

    What? You think the way forward is pain free?

    Welcome whatever comes when you sit quietly.

    Make room for all of it.

    Read Rumi’s “The Guest House.”

    Listen. Watch. Welcome it all.
  4. 04/25/2015 — Vicksburg Sunset 02 — Mississippi River, March 16, 2015

    One of nature’s recurring lessons is

    Give it your all

    With total emotional investment in the effort you make in the service of the good,

    And no emotional attachment whatsoever in the outcome.

    Grieve your losses and get back in the game.

    Sound harsh?

    Spend some time with the ecosystem of a small woods pond.

    Then put yourself into your life

    Like a mother duck with a dozen ducklings

    Among turtles, owls and hawks.
  5. 04/26/2015 — Lake Haigler Falls 2015 01 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina, April 25, 2015

    Talking is 90% listening.

    I’m sorry you’re getting short-changed here, but.

    What can I say?

    Listen more than you speak.

    When you start preaching, stop.

    Look.

    Listen.

    It is the path to understanding.
  6. 04/26/2015 — Kisatchie Falls Panorama 02 – Natchitoches Parish, Kisatchie, Louisiana, March 18, 2015

    The two tools you will need on the spiritual journey,
     
    Which is the path to maturity and grace,
     
    Are mindfulness and courage.
     
    Mindfulness is conscious awareness of all things capable of being apprehended.
     
    Mindfulness implies being transparent to ourselves,
     
    Which implies living in good faith with ourselves–
     
    Not kidding ourselves,
     
    Not lying to ourselves,
     
    Not refusing to look at ourselves,
     
    Not denying the truth about ourselves
     
    (Or anything else).
     
    We cannot be mindful and  pretend things are not what they are.
     
    Mindfulness requires us to face the truth straight up,
     
    To look it in the eye
     
    And see how it is,
     
    And see all the things that can be done about it,
     
    And see which are important and needful.
     
    Then we’ll need the courage to do what needs to be done.
     
    Before we know it,
     
    We will be spilling over with maturity and grace,
     
    And people will be coming from across the sea
     
    To bask in our aura.
     
    Or, they will ask us to leave town
     
    Because they can’t bear the truth
     
    Our presence demands that they recognize.
     
    The Promised Land isn’t all peaches and cream.
     
  7. 04/26/2015 — Old Sautee Store Panorama 02 B&W – Sautee-Nacoochee, Georgia, April 14, 2015

    Libido is passion for life,

    Life energy,

    And cannot be limited to the sexual sphere.

    The Buddha under the Bo Tree,

    And Jesus in the wilderness,

    Resisted temptation

    On the basis of a love for that which claimed them at the core–

    In a “Thy will, not mine, be done” kind of way.

    That’s what your life will do for you when it says,

    “You’re mine,” in a way that cannot be denied or resisted.

    It is a “magnificent obsession/possession,”

    And will not likely be what we do to pay the bills,

    But what we pay the bills to do.

    May we all be so carried away

    In the service of our soul’s true joy,

    And not die without having lived!
  8. 04/27/2015 — Boggs Creek Panorama 02 — Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, along Hwy. 19 between Dahlonega & Blairsville, GA, April 13, 2015

    Our character is formed and shaped by our circumstances the way a stream is formed and shaped by it’s bed.

    We, in turn, form and shape our circumstances the way a stream forms and shapes its bed.

    We are all finding our way to who we are the way a stream finds its way to the sea.

    The key is to BE who we are, and not just let our circumstances hand us who we turn out to be.

    We enter consciously the struggle, the conflict, the work, the agone/agony of becoming ourselves,

    Or, we just take the course of least resistance all the way to the grave.

    We are brought forth by our wrestling with ourselves as much as with our circumstances.

    WE are the Cyclops standing in our way,

    And have to come to terms with all sides of ourselves

    In coordinating and directing our drift to the specific character we are capable of becoming.

    We don’t just pop out of some woman’s womb

    In a Here I Am! kind of way.

    We birth ourselves bit by bit throughout our life,

    Adjusting this, transforming that, embracing this, rejecting that,

    Through experience, reflection and realization,

    Until the “I” we are stands up and says,

    ”Give me the ball”

    In a game-changing shift toward the “Me” we can be proud to be.
  9. 04/27/2015 — Soque River 02 — Mark of the Potter, Clarksville, Georgia, April 14, 2015

    Your practice is what brings forth your gift, your genius, your daemon, the manifestation of God within you.

    Your work serves your gift, your genius, your daemon, the manifestation of God within you.

    Your life is to be the expression of your gift, your genius, your daemon, the manifestation of God within you.

    If none of this is happening, why not?
  10. 04/27/2015 — Cormorant Migration B&W—Pamlico Sound, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, NC, October 2013

    It takes a ridiculous amount of concentration

    To hit a curve ball.

    Or throw one for strikes.

    Or stay on the path.

    This is the meaning of Jesus’ observation,

    ”Straight is the way and narrow is the gate that leads to life,

    And those who walk it are few.

    But Broad is the way and wide is the gate that leads to death,

    And those who walk it are many.”

    The path is a tightrope walk between skyscrapers.

    You have to think about what you are doing.

    And what is yours to do,

    And not do.

    You can’t just slop along,

    Texting.
  11. 04/28/2015 — Greenhouse Daisies 01 — Gerber Daises, Wilson’s Nursery, Rock Hill, SC, April 27, 2015, An iPhone Photo

    As I get older, my physician and my acupuncturist are increasingly concerned about my energy level.

    ”How’s your energy level?” they both ask.

    A better question would be, “What are you most interested in these days?”

    Energy flows from interest.

    Follows interest.

    Is strictly dependent upon interest.

    You know depressed people?

    Consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, grief, despair, anger…

    Incapable of being interested in anything.

    You know schizophrenic people?

    Awash in other worlds,

    Not interested in any of them.

    What sparks your interest?

    Do. Not. Put. It. Aside.

    Be interested in what interests you.

    One interest leads to another.

    No interests leads nowhere.
  12. 04/29/2015 — Greenhouse Orchid 04 – Campbell’s Greenhouse and Nursery, 209 McDonald Ave., Charlotte, North Carolina 28203, (704) 331-9659 – One of the hidden wonders in Charlotte, this is worth a walk-through even if you don’t need a plant. Tell them I said so. April 21, 2015.

    You have to draw your own lines.

    And you have to mean it when you do.

    Lines are lines.

    They are not requests.

    Certainly not pleas.

    Or suggestions.

    They are “Damnit, I said No! This is where it stops! Now!”

    End of the line lines.

    Everything rides on your being able to draw lines like that

    When and where they need to be drawn

    Through-out your life.

    I observe a 13 or more hour fast every day.

    I eat nothing after 7 PM or before 8 AM.

    That’s my practice.

    And it is a line.

    My practice also involves time in a day

    For silence and solitude,

    Reflection and meditation,

    With a strong preference for writing and photography as well.

    My practice is lines around me and my life.

    There are other lines as well.

    My lines clarify me to me,

    As well as to others.

    They say, “This is who I am, whether it is okay with you, or not okay with you.”

    You have to draw your own lines,

    And refuse to allow other people to erase them.

    Make drawing lines a part of your practice.

    You can’t have a practice without drawing lines.

    Or a Self.
  13. 04/28/2015 — Wild Ginger Blooms – McDowell Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Charlotte, NC, April 3, 2015

    There is a saying, “When God shuts a door, he (sic) opens a window.”

    There is another saying, “There is more than one way to peel an apple.”

    They say the same thing,

    And point to the way life works when life is lived attuned to the way things are and what can be done about it.

    It’s the way life works for those who live in accord with what is happening and what needs to happen in response.

    “This” means “that.”

    “What can we do about being unable to do “this”?

    “What can we do?”

    “What now?”

    “Now what?”

    Reflection and realization, Kid. Reflection and realization.

    Imagination and creativity, Kid. Imagination and creativity.

    Adjustment and accommodation, Kid. Adjustment and accommodation.

    We have to develop our capacity for seeing what is possible

    When everything seems to be impossible.

    The end of some line is the beginning of another

    For those who can see around corners

    And beyond their present circumstances.

    For those who trust there is more to them than meets the eye.

    For those who are eager to see what they can do with nothing.

    It all started with nothing, you know.

    Look around.

    Everything you see is where once nothing was.

    Everything.

    Nothing doesn’t mean nothing.

    Never has.

    Never will.

    Stop your whining.

    Start your imagining.

    Your creating.

    Your looking.

    Your seeing.

    Your listening.

    Your hearing.

    You are creating a new world for yourself.

    What’s with the whining?
  14. 04/29/2015 — Sweet Shrub 2015 01 — McDowell Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Charlotte, NC, April 16, 2015

    Our part is to do our thing–

    Offering what we have to give

    In ways that are fitting in the time and place of our living–

    And to see it through,

    Play it out,

    No matter how it’s going,

    No matter what.

    We have to do our thing–

    Bringing forth our gift, our genius, our daemon,

    The manifestation of the God within us,

    Within the time and place of our living

    Whether we feel like it or not,

    Whether we are in the mood for it or not,

    Whether we want to or not

    Because everything hinges on it.

    If you are going to believe anything,

    Don’t believe nothing you do matters,

    Believe everything hinges on what you do and how you do it,

    Throughout the time left for living–

    And live as though it does.

    And have a little chocolate from time to time

    To keep your courage up.
  15. 04/30/2015 — Toccoa Falls Detail 01 — Tocco Falls, Georgia, April 14, 2015

    Abraham Heschel said, “We apprehend more than we comprehend.

    I don’t know who said, “The only questions worth asking are those that cannot be answered.”

    Sheldon Kopp said, “Some things can be experienced, but not understood, and some things can be understood, but not explained.”

    We live to see where our life wants to go (Is trying to go. Is going), and take it there.

    We live, when we are fully alive, in the borderland between consciousness and unconsciousness–

    between what we know and what we do not know–

    and seek to make conscious what is unconscious.

    We live, when we are fully alive, between knowing what we know and knowing that there is 10,000 (The Tao figure for infinity) times more than that which we do not know–

    and set about doing the work of knowing what we don’t know.

    There is no explaining you to you, or telling you what to do with yourself and your life.

    Everything is a mystery to be lived, explored, experienced, apprehended, marginally understood, never explained.

    Your task, your work, is to honor the mystery of life and being–

    of YOUR life and being, and that of all that is–

    probing it, experiencing it, exploring it, participating in it, deepening it, expanding it, swimming in it, relishing it, loving it, being one with it.

    If you are going to understand anything (at the start),

    understand that you live symbolically–

    that there is no factual, concrete, absolute, firm and final reality,

    but that it is all a threshold to a deeper, fuller, more vibrant and alive level of reality.

    Everything means something else,

    Generally about you.

    Your lover is a doorway to you.

    So. Is. Everything. Else.

    The things that mean something to you,

    either positively or negatively,

    are more YOU than the things that are invisible to you.

    Check them out (the things that mean something to you)

    for their YOU-potential.


The things that are invisible to you may be more YOU

than the things that are visible to you.

They will become visible in time.

There is more to you than you can imagine.

Live so as to let you show you who you are.

Live to see where your life is trying to go,

and take it there.

Don’t think you know anything.

Play like a rookie.

If you want to enter the kingdom of heaven,

Turn and become like a child,

Not knowing,

Wondering.

  • Used in Short Talks On Contradiction, etc., 04/30/2015 — Graham Cabin Door 01 — Billy Graham’s paternal grandfather’s home, Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina, April 30, 2015

    Too many of us fail to enter the struggle

    Of reconciling the disparity

    Between how things are and how we want them to be.

    We do not work to consciously harmonize that contradiction,

    To integrate that polarity.

    With us, how we want things to be is our only reality–

    And when that Other, Denied, Rejected and Ignored, Reality

    Rises up to plant a big, juicy, wet one right on the kisser,

    We are appalled, outraged, undone.

    And, you wouldn’t believe the drama.

    It is as though we had been hurled into the middle of some soap opera.

    Oh, the remonstrating, protesting and denouncing!

    As though we did not understand wearing hose or a tie to work

    Was expected of those employed by the First National Bank.

    We live in our world

    And expect the Other World to make the necessary adjustments

    And bend itself to our preferences.

    Of course, we will have nothing to do with the concept of growing up

    And putting ourselves in accord with the way things work.

    Thus, the stand off,

    And the reason things remain as they do,

    Our whole life long.
  • 05/01/2015 — Smith Creek Cascades 03 — Anna Ruby Falls, Unicoi State Park, Cattahoochee National Forest, Helen, Georgia, April 15, 2015

    There is a sense in which our work is the same for us all:

    Seeing, hearing, understanding, expressing–

    What is to be seen, heard, understood and expressed.

    This general work takes specific form with each of us.

    I see with a camera.

    I hear by writing and reading.

    I understand by experiencing my life, reflecting on my experience, and coming to new realizations,

    I express this by interpreting it

    And sharing what I see, hear, understand with whomever is interested

    Through writing and conversation.

    The work of seeing, hearing, understanding and expressing

    Flows through, in and around, over and under,

    All of life.

    What we do and what is done to us form the framework

    Of seeing, hearing, understanding and expressing–

    Of experiencing, reflecting and realizing–

    Of waking up and growing up

    And being who we are.

    What happens to us and what we do about it

    Gives shape and direction to our work,

    But we live to see, hear, understand and express

    What is to be seen, heard, understood and expressed.
  • 05/01/2015 — Catesby’s Trillium 03 – Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, SC, April 18, 2015

    My friend Chris pours himself into creating collages, clipping images and words from newspapers and magazines and pasting them in an arrangement that pleases him and says…What?

    What’s beyond words? What can be experienced but not explained?

    We are, with our work, experiencing, exploring, and expressing our connection with the invisible world.

    His work with collages is stirring me to explore collages with photographs.

    It’s a great exercise in focus, concentration and imagination.

    My first piece has started out with an orange-merging-into-red background because that is a very satisfying place to start.

    I’ve taken a picture of the window in our bathroom and added that to the background.

    I’m looking for an interesting door to photograph for the collection,

    and a potted plant.

    That’s all I envision to this point,

    but I am always on the lookout for the right door and plant,

    and anything else that may come up as belonging there.

    He has opened up a new world for exploration.

    We are not “just making collages” here.

    We are looking and listening here.

    Seeing and hearing.

    A collage done properly is a connection to the Invisible World.

    As is everything else.

    I wish they had told me THIS in Sunday School!
  • 05/01/2015 — Evening Primrose 2015 01 Blended – Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Huntersville, NC, May 01, 2015

    We are crafting a life here,

    Around the work,

    The character,

    The gifts,

    The genius,

    The daemon,

    The manifestation of the God within,

    We are called to bring forth–to birth–

    In the life we are living.

    We can’t be lolling around,

    Wondering where we might go shopping today,

    Hoping somebody calls us for lunch.

    We have to sense where our life is going,

    And take it there!

    What’s this looking for something to do?

    We HAVE something to do!

    Something that no one but us CAN do!

    Get out of the stands and into the game!

    Step into your life–

    And LIVE it!
  • 05/02/2015 — Blue Columbine 2015 01 Blended – Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Huntersville, NC, May 01, 2015

    If you are not living your life,

    You are escaping your life,

    Denying your life,

    Dismissing your life,

    Discounting your life,

    Ignoring your life,

    Substituting another life for your life,

    Wondering why you are dissatisfied

    And empty.

    And where all your symptoms came from.

    Duh.
  • 05/02/2015 — Bull Thistle 2015 01 Blended—Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Huntersville, NC, May 01, 2015

    This is important. Listen up.

    Or, as Jesus would say, “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear!”

    If you are not living with tension, create some!

    If you are not taking seriously the idea that you have a life to live apart from the life you are living,

    Create tension in your life by taking seriously the idea that you have another life that you must bring to life in the life you are living.

    If you are taking seriously the idea that you have a life to live apart from the life you are living, and are working to identify it and bring it forth in the life you are living,

    Create tension by not taking that too seriously—certainly not so seriously that you can’t lighten up and have a good time with the life you are living.

    It’s like this:

    You can’t ignore the life that you must also live, and

    You cannot hate, despise, reject the life you are living in puritanical devotion to the life you must also live.

    Not too little and not too much.

    You have to integrate your lives by doing right by both of them–

    By taking each of them with equal seriousness.

    You cannot be all one way or the other.

    You become whole, not by disappearing your opposites and whisking away your conflicts,

    But by recognizing, reconciling, integrating

    and living in the tension created by all of your polarities.

    Living in the tension created by your opposites is the path to wholeness.

    So, if you aren’t aware of any tension in your life,

    Create some by living in ways that are the opposite of the way you think you should be living.
  • 05/03/2015 — Dandelions Panorama 2015 01 — Lancaster County, South Carolina, May 2, 2015

    Everybody is looking for something to believe in.

    Or should be.

    Something to focus us, center us, ground us.

    Something to consolidate us.

    Something we can crystallize around.

    Oh, we believe in God, and Jesus, and Love, but.

    Our life is as disjointed, fragmented and directionless as any life.

    We need a Lodestar.

    An Organizing Principle on which to form our life.

    Money does it for a lot of people.

    And when money doesn’t work,

    Some of those people turn to beer.

    We flounder without something to believe in

    With all our heart and soul, mind and body.

    And, it’s right there all the while.

    We are what we seek.

    We only have to believe in ourselves.

    In our depth, and capacity, and capabilities…

    We are the source of miracle and magic.

    Infinite and eternal.

    The world has never seen anything like us.

    And we hide it under a basket,

    And treat it as though it is nothing.

    We despise ourselves.

    We are ashamed of ourselves.

    We think nothing of ourselves.

    Less than nothing.

    And we are disgusted to hear that we have a work to do

    That needs us to do it.

    We laugh it off

    And go looking for something to believe in.
  • 05/03/2015 — Used in Short Talks on Good and Bad Religion — View From Marshall Park HDR 01 – Charlotte, NC, Skyline, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, May 3, 2015

    There are a number of ways of doing it right–

    Just like there are a number of ways of washing the dishes.

    If you come out with a clean dish,

    What is it to someone else how you got there?

    Religion that puts you in accord with the sorrows and woes of this world

    And puts you in touch with the firm reality of the invisible world,

    And enables you to live in this world in synch with that world,

    Nails it,

    And there are any number of ways for religion to do that.

    Any religion.

    Yea for those that do.

    Boo for those that don’t.
  • 05/04/2015 — Dairy Barn Panorama 2015 01 – Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, SC, May 1, 2015

    The natural, plant-and-animal, world lives to fulfill some unknown, unconscious, “natural” purpose.

    No one there knows what she, or he, is doing.

    No one there has a plan, much less a “life plan,” or an agenda, or a conscious purpose, or motive, or goal.

    They don’t know what a calendar is, or a clock.

    They operate on internal time, cosmic time.

    They “eat when hungry, rest when tired.”

    Everybody there is responding to instinctive, intuitive, rhythmic urges, pushes and pulls.

    We evolve toward a better, more efficient, less energy-consuming/depleting, idea.

    The rivers seek a straighter path to the sea.

    Yet, what do we do with all this energy we don’t spend, say, looking for food all the time?

    Now, that’s one Nature didn’t, doesn’t, know how to answer.

    There isn’t a plant or animal in the natural world that wonders “Now what am I going to do with myself?”

    They all just lie around waiting for some compulsion to come along and send them flying south for the winter.

    Consciousness evolved to save us from that kind of “hand to mouth” existence, but.

    We don’t know what to do with all this time on our hands.

    Once we take care of food, clothing and shelter,

    What do we do with the rest of our life?

    What purpose do we serve beyond our physical needs?

    Toward what end do we live?

    What do we do with ourselves?

    Now what?

    It isn’t very efficient to not know.
  • 05/04/2015 — Dairy Barn HDR 04 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, SC, May 4, 2015

    In order to be who you are, you have to do things that are not like you at all.

    You are more than you think you are,

    And it takes the That Is Not Me

    To round you out

    And bring forth the ME

    In all of us.

    So, get out of character from time to time.

    Stop taking yourself so seriously–

    The self you take yourself to be–

    And give The Other You a chance to shine.

    You don’t know what you are capable of.

    You keep the Not Me under a rock,

    Locked away in the basement,

    Or the attic.

    Chained in the dungeon.

    Refusing to be the person you are capable of being,

    Because that is not like you at all.

    Funny,

    How we want to “grow”

    Without changing,

    With nothing being different.

    We are hilarious.

    Ridiculous.

    Growing up entails embracing all facets of ourselves,

    And rejoicing together in who all we are.

    So. Get out of character from time to time.

    Be who you also are.
  • 05/05/2015 — Graham Cabin Door 02 –  Billy Graham’s paternal grandfather’s home, Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina, May 4, 2015

    All of Jesus’ parables were reports of dreams he’d had the night before.

    “A sower went out to sow…” “A man had a vineyard…” “A man gave a feast…”

    Jesus would wake up and say, “Ain’t that the way it is, though?”

    And he would tell the people what he had dreamed, as though it were real, because it was.

    Our dreams tell us what is real about our life.

    Our dreams are parables of our life.

    Listening to your dreams is like listening to Jesus,

    Who listened to his dreams.

    We all talk (to ourselves) in our sleep.

    Wake up to what you are saying to yourself in your sleep.
  • 05/05/2015 — Pitcher Plant Flower 01 Blended – Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, SC, May 5, 2015

    It isn’t a matter of figuring it out so much as playing along.

    What else are we going to do?

    Master the game?

    That’s a good one!

    If you get up with photography on your mind and it’s raining,

    You take rainy day pictures,

    Or read,

    Or cook…

    You play along.

    You for sure don’t fight it.

    Resistance is futile.

    Resistance has its place, but this isn’t it.

    The Dalai Lama said, regarding the Chinese occupation of Tibet:

    “If, in any situation, there is no solution,

    “there is no point in being anxious.

    ”If the forces at work have their own momentum,

    ”and what’s going on now is the product of what went before,

    ”and this generation is not in control of all those forces,

    ”then this process will continue.”

    The rain is going to continue.

    We can grow up about it.

    And play along.
  • 05/06/2015 — Pond H Panorama 01 — Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, SC, May 5, 2015

    Our life has its own rhythm, direction and flow.

    We can trust it to know what it is doing.

    But we impose an artificial life on top of it,

    And bury it beneath layers of Shoulds, Oughts, Musts,

    Wants, Don’t Wants, Regrets, Fears, Ambitions,

    Envys, Jealousies, Hatreds, Resentments…

    And, before you know it, we are being blindfolded,

    Spun about,

    And thrown into one role after another

    With parts to play, and lines to recite forever

    Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Son, Daughter…

    Adrift in lives beyond counting,

    Lost to the life at the bottom of the pile

    With its own rhythm, direction and flow,

    Wondering where we are,

    And when we are going to show up,

    To take it where it wants to go.
  • 05/06/2015 — Through the Window—Schoolhouse window, Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, May 3, 2015

    Carl Jung said, “Take your dream in hand and carry it with you through the day. Walk around it. Poke around in it. Turn it over. Stir it up. Examine it from every angle. See what it has to say to you. Don’t let it go until you have gotten the good out of it!” (Or words to that effect)

    Every night, our dreams give us a picture of how it is in our life—of how we are in our life.

    You won’t stray far from the truth if you look at your dreams as compensating for some quality of being on your part, off-setting the real-time you with a caricature suggesting that you are too much that way, or too little.

    A Sunday School teacher might dream that she is a prostitute—not because she is too much that way, but too little. Too prim, too proper, to “untouchable,” too far from a warm, caring, human being.

    And that she is unconscious of her sensuous/sensual side, and needs to be more open to, and a part, of the physical, natural, aspects of life.

    Look closely at your dreams each day. Write them down. Reflect on them. See where it goes.
  • 05/06/2015 —  Pitcher Plants 02 Blended —  Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, SC, May 5, 2015

    The role of the unconscious in our life is to wake us up to the reality of the unconscious, and to align us with its drift, direction, flow and truth.

    It strives to get our attention,

    And to have us live mindfully aware of its partnership

    In the joint, collaborative, production of a life worth living.

    Carl Jung said, “Just as conscious contents can vanish into the unconscious, other contents can also arise from it.”

    Slips of the tongue, flashes of memory, moods out of nowhere, unbidden fantasies, slipping into reverie and woolgathering,

    Are all ways the unconscious has of saying, “Hello.”

    Take every intrusion of the unconscious as an invitation

    To explore the connection with what is happening

    And what has happened,

    And what needs to happen.

    Read between the lines.

    If the unconscious could speak, what would it be saying

    With this sudden shanghaiing of consciousness?

    Wander among the possibilities.

    See what occurs to you.

    Read the moment as a message in a bottle from your soul.
  • 05/07/2015 —  Dwarf Crested Iris 05 — McDowell Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Charlotte, NC, April 18, 2015

    How could it be better for you?

    Seriously.

    Make a thorough list.

    How many things on the list require magic to happen?

    How many things are under your direct control?

    Concentrate on those things.

    Rank order them in terms of their importance to you.

    What can you do in the service of the Number One Item?

    Well?

    What are you waiting for?

    When do you start?
  • 05/07/2015 — Cypress Swamp Panorama 01 — Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, March 19, 2015

    It’s called the Hero’s Journey for a reason.

    Only those who have what it takes to go up against the Cyclops again and again need apply.

    It’s called work for a reason.

    Awareness means paying attention.

    Seeing means seeing everything.

    Hearing means listening to everything.

    You can’t do that in your spare time.

    Growing up is a full time commitment.

    Here’s one for you:

    Who are your top file real life men?

    Your top five fictional men?

    Your top five real life women?

    Your top five fictional women?

    What do you like about them?

    What do you admire about their character and qualities?

    Live to be them in those ways.

    This is work–

    Requiring concentration, focus and practice, practice, practice.

    Do it.

    The next time you find yourself in a Situation,

    Play it like one of your Top Twenty People would play it.

    Be that person then and there.

    Do it like they would do it.

    You are growing up by embodying,

    Incarnating,

    What you admire about the people you admire,

    Who are, in some sense, more grown up than you,

    Because who admires immaturity and fluff?
  • 05/01/2015 — Piedmont Prairie Detail 01 — Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Huntersville, NC, May 7, 2015

    The path to the empty tomb winds through the Garden of Gethsemane and across the face of Golgotha.

    We aren’t talking about Jesus here,

    We are talking about you.

    Let me rephrase it for you:

    The path to your soul–

    Which is also the path to your life,

    So, we could say “the path to your life,”

    Or, applying this strictly to you,

    We could say, “The path to YOUR empty tomb”

    (Metaphorically speaking)–

    Winds through the heart of your conflicts,

    Incongruities, Ambivalences, Discordances, Opposites,

    Polarities, Dichotomies, Antithesises, and Antagonisms.

    That is to say, the things you most want to avoid dealing with.

    You get to life by “dying” through facing the truth of your contraries,

    And reconciling what can be reconciled,

    And integrating what can be integrating,

    And bearing the pain of opposites that simply must be recognized

    And borne–

    And we want nothing to do with THAT path!

    WE are looking for the path to LIFE!

    Not DEATH!

    And so we say, “Jesus died FOR me,

    So that I won’t have to!”

    We are so funny.

    Hilarious.

    And the joke is on us.
  • 05/08/2015 — Curlyheads 02 – Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Huntersville, NC, May 7, 2015

    Jesus said, “Eat what is set before you,”

    And, “Pick up your own cross and carry it every day.”

    These two phrases mean the same thing:

    Do what you need to do.

    Do what needs you to do it.

    Face what must be faced.

    Dance with what your life brings to greet you every day.

    Don’t be running and hiding from the things you don’t like,

    From the things you don’t want to deal with.

    Trials and ordeals, Kid, trials and ordeals.

    Escapes and addictions are no ways to deal with your trials and ordeals.

    Get in there and do what needs to be done every day.

    That’s what Jesus said do.

    And that’s what Jesus did.

    You wouldn’t spit on Jesus, would you?
  • 05/09/2015 — Golden Groundsel 01 Blended – Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Huntersville, NC, May 7, 2015

    What keeps us going has to be the love for the game.

    We do it because we love it–

    Because we love doing it–

    Because we love the whole experience–

    Not because of any profit we are garnering,

    Or any payoff we are anticipating.

    This. Is. It.

    If there is another level to life after this,

    That will have its own level of experience

    To love and live out.

    For now: This. Is. It.

    We have to do it because we love it.

    If we don’t love it, we have to do it differently–

    With our eyes open.

    With our heart in the game.

    We get our heart in the game

    By aligning ourselves with our heart’s true love,

    And doing the work that is ours to do.

    We cannot love a life someone hands us off the rack

    And tells us to live.

    We cannot play any game and love it.

    We have to play the one we are built for.

    Michael Jordan couldn’t play baseball.

    Fred Astaire couldn’t pour concrete.

    If you want to love what you’re doing,

    You have to do what you love–

    AND what you are built to do.
  • 05/10/2015 — Dairy Barn Panorama 03 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, SC, May 4, 2015

    We think we are running out of time as we get older, and have to get it right because there is less time to recover from our mistakes.

    There is no time to waste in putting off what must be done,

    Or in avoiding what remains to be done, but.

    The process remains the same throughout our life:

    Learn as you go, Kid. Learn as you go.

    We have to be as careful with our life in our twenties as in our seventies.

    We have to be as awake at any point in our life as at any other.

    Our life needs us to live it at every point.

    We cannot wait until we are 80 to begin wondering how to live our life—how to get the most out of what remains to be lived.

    Our task is to field the hard ground balls that come our way in every day.

    In every stage of our life,

    We put on our uniform, pick up our glove, take the field and catch what is hit to us,

    And hit what is thrown to us—curve balls or blazing fast balls, sliders or knuckle-balls.

    We have to be prepared to life OUR life in any circumstance of life.

    We have what we need: Eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to understand.

    So, get in there and do your thing,

    And make adjustments as needed to meet each situation as it arises.

    All it takes is being mindfully aware of what is happening,

    And what needs to happen,

    And what we need to do about it.
  • 05/20/2015 — Country Cemetery Panorama 01 – Lancaster County, South Carolina, May 10, 2015

    What is meaningful to you?

    That’s where you are to start digging.

    Why would you walk past where you find meaning

    And look somewhere else for the treasure?

    Why not trust your own sense of value?

    I don’t mean what’s easy.

    I mean what is valuable.

    I mean what is meaningful.

    Why don’t you take yourself back from what appears to be the  easy way out,

    And hand yourself over to what is meaningful?

    And live in its service from now on?
  • 05/11/2015 — Evening Primrose 2015 02 – Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Huntersville, NC, May 7, 2015

    Growing up is another term for the spiritual journey.

    It has nothing to do with concepts, ideas, beliefs, teachings, sutras, doctrines, dogmas or thinking.

    It has everything to do with realization.

    With seeing, hearing, understanding.

    No one can explain the things you have to understand.

    Understand?

    We live our way into understanding.

    Into knowing  how to hit a curve ball, say,

    Or a blazing fast one.

    Some people never figure it out, but.

    It isn’t because they haven’t been told enough what to do.

    Growing up is that way.

    How many people do you know who have grown up

    By being told to “Grow up, for god’s sake!”?

    We grow up by seeing, hearing, understanding, realizing

    How things are and how things also are–

    Which is how things are–

    And putting ourselves in accord with how things are.

    That’s the Hero’s Journey along the path

    To Nirvana, The Land of Promise, and the Holy Grail.

    People who spend their lives

    Trying to put their life in accord with their wants, wishes and desires

    End up in the wasteland,

    Bitter and burned out.

    That’s one way to do it.

    Or, do it not.
  • 05/12/2015 — Honeysuckle 01 — Indian Land, Lancaster County, South Carolina, May 10, 2015

    Be clear about what you love.

    ”I love you” is a bit vague.

    What is it exactly, precisely, about the “you” that is loved?

    What would/do “you” bring to life in relationship with “me”?

    What are the qualities,

    The characteristics,

    that are loved?

    ”I love your eyes,” won’t do.

    What is it about “your eyes”?

    What do “your eyes” imply, suggest, reveal, disclose?

    What is seen in “your eyes” that isn’t present in other eyes?

    What attracts you to the beloved?

    Get to the bottom of it.

    Do not wander lost in a romantic fog.

    Then, work to become what you love.

    Bring forth in yourself what attracts you to someone else.

    Allow him/her to deepen, expand, enlarge, and bring you forth.

    Understand the nature of the gift.

    Do right by it.

    Do the work love requires.

    Be what you love.
  • 05/12/2015 — Graham Cabin Door 03 – Billy Graham’s paternal grandfather’s home, Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina, May 4, 2015

    Take how things are in one hand,

    And take how you want things to be in the other hand.

    How you get the two hands together

    Makes all the difference.
  • 05/13/2015 — Country Cemetery Panorama 03 – Lancaster County, South Carolina, May 10, 2015

    Sin is not immorality.

    Sin is stupidity.

    Sin is being wrong about what is important.

    Willfully, arrogantly, wrong.

    Sin may manifest itself as immorality, but.

    As one of the 10,000 Spiritual Laws states:

    Morality is the best-dressed form of sin.

    The Tea Party, for instance,

    Conceals its gross stupidity

    Behind a great, impenetrable, wall

    Of pronounced and impeccable morality.

    No one is more morally pure,

    Or willfully ignorant of what matters most,

    Than the Tea Party.

    Not even the Pharisees,

    Who were the Tea Party equivalent of their day.
  • 05/14/2015 — Horse Nettle 01 –  Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, SC, May 14, 2015

    Our life is trying to gift us,

    And we want no part of it.

    We know what we want,

    And what our life wants of us is not it.

    So, we spit on our life and its desire for us,

    And go off to live out our own idea of how life should be.

    How’s it working, do you think?

    You’re spending all of your time trying to get away

    From all the roles you hate about the life you are living–

    Am I right?

    You’re the child of aging parents,

    The parent of an eternal child

    (Or the spouse of one).

    You are the owner of pets that wait to be waited on.

    Of a mortgage that has no end.

    Working a job that claims your complete allegiance

    And all of your time…

    And, like that, all the way down the list.

    What do you think about to keep from thinking about

    The things on the list?

    What do you do to escape?

    There are only two ready and reliable forms of escape:

    Addiction and symptoms.

    Both take your mind off your life–

    For a while.

    There is another alternative.

    LIVE YOUR OTHER LIFE!

    Focus your attention on finding and living the life that is yours to live.

    No kidding.

    You will be amazed at how your other life

    Parallels the life you are living,

    Except with a boost.

    It will provide you the energy you need–

    The enthusiasm you need–

    To take care of the things on The List.

    And it will put the sparkle back in your eye,

    And the skip in your step,

    And the song in your heart.

    Take it for a spin around the block.

    You will never be the same.
  • 05/15/2015 — Pool H Panorama 02 — Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, SC, May 5, 2015

    When people seek to “find themselves,”

    Go in search of themselves,

    They are looking for their life–

    For the life that is truly their life to live–

    For where they belong–

    For what they belong to.

    They are looking for their heart,

    For their soul.

    Our heart is restless

    Until our heart finds

    What our heart seeks to be

    And to do.
  • 05/15/2015 — Goose Family 01 — Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, SC, May 14, 2015

    Abraham left home and went in search of the Promised Land.

    Jesus said, “Who is my mother? Who are my sisters and my brothers? Those who seek the will of God and do it!”

    Jesus and Abraham (And Moses and all the prophets) were on the same page.

    ”The will of God” has nothing to do with some invisible Deity, like The Man Upstairs (There is no man, there are no stairs), willing us to “Get right with God,” and “walk the straight and narrow,” and be all moral, pure and perfect.

    ”The will of God” is a metaphor for “the drift of heart and soul.”

    It is the heart/soul, the Heart-Soul, seeking to find its own life and do it.

    It is the Heart-Soul seeking to find and do the things that are unique to it,

    The things that express—and through expression, expand, deepen, enlarge, develop—who it is and what it is about.

    Heart-Soul seeks expression and expansion through us,

    Through the life we are living.

    We live to be who we are,

    To do what is ours—our Heart-Soul’s—to do.

    Our home is with those who understand this

    And are doing it themselves.

    Our family are those who live in the service of their Heart-Soul,

    And help us live in the service of ours.

    We leave home to find home.

    We leave our family of origin to find our sisters and brothers,

    Who are with us in seeking to become who they are

    In the time left for living.

    Get it?

    Go!
  • 05/15/2015 — Whirling Butterfly 01 — Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, SC, May 14, 2015

    Here’s my take on prayer:

    Prayer is what we feel, not what we say.

    Prayer is beyond words, a felt communion with experience, with life.

    Prayer is integrity, a way of being, a way of being in the world–

    A way of being at one with the world–

    Of recognizing our oneness with the world.

    And, of recognizing our helplessness, vulnerability, gratitude, thanksgiving, dependence, pathos, sadness, joy, etc–

    On a feeling level,

    With no words involved.

    Prayer is knowing,

    More than thinking or talking.

    Prayer is an attitude—

    A good faith connection with all living things—

    A frame of mind.

    Prayer is the spirit with which we go about our life.

    Prayer is the word for being right with our life.

    Prayer is the word for the direct experience of being alive.

    ”Sighs too deep for words.”

    When we try to put it into words,

    We break the spell,

    And can’t get it back

    With an entire dictionary at hand.
  • 05/16/2015 — Dairy Barn HDR 02 – Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, SC, May 4, 2015

    The phrase, “the wrath of God,” is completely ridiculous.

    What? GOD has no choice?

    Just before wrath, what was there?

    Just before the alcoholic’s realization, “I need a drink,” what was there?

    What happened in the interval?

    Before, there was no wrath, no need of a drink,

    Then, there was wrath, or need of a drink.

    What instigated the shift?

    What was it God, or the alcoholic,

    Couldn’t handle?

    What exactly was the experience just before wrath,

    Or, “I need a drink”?

    I’m glad you hung around for the answer.

    Here it comes.

    A complex was engaged.

    If God has wrath,

    God has complexes.

    Something struck a nerve with God,

    And with the alcoholic.

    This phrase “struck a nerve”

    Is another way of saying, “engaged a complex.”

    We cannot attribute human characteristics to God

    Without giving God the whole bundle.

    If we don’t want God having complexes,

    We can’t give God wrath.

    If God has wrath,

    God has things God can’t handle,

    Just like all the alcoholics there ever were.

    God is an alcoholic

    Whose drug of choice is lakes of molten lava

    And all the joys of hell

    For those who stir up God’s wrath–

    Who dare to engage God’s complexes.

    It’s ridiculous.

    We have to start over.

    With a better script writer.
  • 05/16/2015 — Country Cemetery Panorama 03 – Lancaster County, South Carolina, May 16, 2015

    We have to play with our life, and dance.

    Our life’s work is to come forth in our life

    As a joyous, exuberant, inquisitive, playful, vibrant, exploring, instinctual, intuitive, mindfully aware child.

    Zen was created when Buddhism came to China and met Taoism,

    And said the search for truth was like a man riding his ox in search of his ox,

    And that if you make too much of anything, you lose the whole point of it.

    See what you look at!

    Ask questions that cannot be answered!

    Do what needs to be done!

    Laugh your way through each day!

    Let the situation show you what is required!

    Pull the rope–don’t push it!

    Zen and your life are like water–If you want to know water,

    Drink it, swim in it, bathe in it, sail on it or drown in it–

    But don’t talk about it.

    Those who know water don’t need to talk about it.

    Those who talk about it don’t know it.
  • 05/17/2015 — View from Marshall Park 02 – Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Charlotte, NC, May 3, 2015

    You are up to you.

    I am up to me.

    We can grow up,

    But.

    We cannot grow anyone else up.

    We can be responsible,

    But.

    We cannot make someone else be responsible.

    We can straighten ourselves up,

    And do what is right by ourselves and others,

    But.

    We cannot straighten anyone else up,

    Or get them to do what is right by themselves and others.

    Relationships require a joint,

    Good-faith,

    Commitment to maturation.

    If one person is growing up

    And the other person is happy to be infantile

    And taken care of,

    It is not going to be much of a relationship.

    If you ain’t growing up,

    You are stagnating,

    And beginning to decompose.

    Smell like it, too.
  • 05/17/2015 — Curlyheads 01 – Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Huntersville, NC, May 7, 2015 – Try looking this flower/plant up on some on-line flower ID site. There are flowers by the metric ton on-line, most of them are the same flower. There are flowers by the tens-of-metric tons that no one goes to the trouble of naming and displaying. You’d have to be a botanist to know all you need to know about flowers. Or live next door to one–but that relationship wouldn’t likely last long.

    We talk about religious liberty and freedom of speech.

    It’s a joke, all this talk about freedom and liberty.

    Did you read about the hacker-dumb-ass-guy-passenger who took over the computer system of a plane in flight?

    He hijacked the controls of the plane, hijacking the plane.

    “HaHaHa. Look what I can do. I’m so brilliant. Nobody is smarter than I am.”

    Well, now every terrorist cell in the world is hot into how to do it.

    And you aren’t going to be able to take a laptop, or a computer tablet, or a smart phone onto a flight.

    How free is that?

    Our freedom and our liberty are being disappeared before our eyes

    In the name of safety and security.

    We are giving up freedom to avoid being terrorized and hijacked.

    Is it working for you?

    Do you rest easy at night?

    Sleep well?

    All safe and secure?

    Freedom and liberty depend upon the good-faith civility of everybody else.

    Throw one dumb-ass-don’t-give-a-damn-er into the crowd

    And it all goes to hell.

    Rumi said it well:

    “If you are not here with us in good faith, you’re doing terrible damage.”

    Rumi may as well have added: “Damage that will last for generations.

    And you don’t care.

    And we can’t make you.”

    It’s called vulnerability.

    We cannot be free until we can be vulnerable.

    If you are going to practice something, practice that.
  • 05/17/2015 — Live Oaks with New Leaves—Avery Island, Louisiana, March 26, 2015

    I am well into my 71st year, and that may cloud my vision on every level, but.

    It seems to me that the world is going over to the sociopaths and the psychopaths–

    To the people who don’t give a damn about anything

    Except seeing you dead,

    Who will hand over their own life

    In order to kill you and/or those like you.

    Now, that’s an enemy for you.

    Try loving that kind of enemy.

    That kind of enemy makes a travesty of love–

    And of every other value valued by the species.

    That kind of enemy doesn’t care about a thing,

    But the deaths of everyone in the world,

    Including themselves.

    Try to mutually co-exist with an enemy like that.

    You cannot think they are just like you,

    Only with more disadvantages and childhood trauma.

    Civilization did not spawn them.

    They were enemies of civilization from the start.

    ”Let’s burn it down,” is their idea of a good time.

    Do not think they are really good people at heart,

    With a chip on their shoulder.

    We are back in the Old West

    With Billy the Kid

    And Cole Younger

    Riding into town.

    Things are, as they say,

    Getting interesting.
  • 05/18/2015 — Tombstones 06 – Country cemetery, Lancaster County, South Carolina, May 16, 2015

    Growing up is about putting yourself into accord with how things are.

    Stress (and suffering) is the gap between how things are and how we want things to be.

    No gap, no stress (no suffering).

    How you deal with the gap tells the tale.

    Speaking of gaps,

    What about the gap between who you are and who you need to be?

    Between the way you live your life and the way you need to live it?

    Between how you want things to be in your life and how they need to be?

    Our life can be out of alignment with how we want it to be,

    And we can be out of alignment with how our life wants us to be.

    Start saying, “Yes!” to whatever your circumstances may be,

    And see what you can do with them.

    Stop trying to hang onto life as it was–

    Stop trying to force it to be what you want it to be–

    And see what you can do with life as it is.

    Your life is trying to make something of you–

    Live to see what it is.

    Don’t die not knowing.

    Say “Yes!” to your life,

    And see where it goes.
  • 05/18/2015 — Cypress Swamp 08 — Lake Martin, St. Martin Parish, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, March 27, 2015

    You have to believe in your own life—and live it.

    You have to believe in your gift, your art, your genius—and serve it.

    I say this all the time,

    Because it is the only thing worth saying,

    The only thing worth hearing,

    The only thing worth doing.

    Everything hangs on it.

    Every. Single. Thing.

    Why would you not believe in your own life?

    Why would you discount, dismiss, overlook, ignore

    Your gift, art, genius?

    Why would you think it’s about money, success, fame and glory?

    Those are pretenders to the title.

    They have no life about them,

    And no life to offer.

    They are imitation, bogus, sham, artificial, pseudo, phony, wannabe, faux, substitutes for life.

    You have more life in a fingernail clipping

    Than they have in the full box of smoke.

    I wish I could get you to believe that.

    And live as though it is so.

    Because it is.
  • 05/19/2015 — Purple and Gold Panorama—Ragweed and Vetch, Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, SC, May 14, 2015

    In the work to find your work,

    You can start anywhere.

    You have to start somewhere?

    What is your best guess about what your work is?

    About what your gift is?

    About what your art, your genius, is?

    Start there.

    Perfect your art–

    Perfect as much as you know—or think you know—of your art.

    See where it goes.

    It will go to practice and discipline straight away.

    We have to practice our art,

    And we have to be disciplined to practice anything.

    We can’t just pull our art out of the basket

    When we feel like it.

    Our art demands to be done in season and out of season.

    There is no “out of season” for our art.

    Practice your art—as much as you know of your art—constantly.

    Always be doing what is yours to do,

    What is yours that you must do.

    Start with what you think it may be.

    Practice it regularly.

    Your gift will take over from there.

    Allow yourself to be directed

    By forces you do not command, control, or understand.

    That’s all there is to it.
  • 05/19/2015 — Country Cemetery Panorama 10 — Lancaster County, South Carolina, May 16, 3015

    My ideal relationship is one in which both people are consciously working to grow up–

    And consciously working to assist each other in the work of growing up.

    And talk about their experience with the trials and ordeals of growing up on a regular basis.

    My experience of relationships is that both people are trying to get what they want with the approval of the other,

    Or at the expense of the other.

    We take turns, or fight it out, or control and manipulate our way to ends that are pleasing to us.

    Marriages are said to be “happy” when one person disappears into the other, smiling all the way.

    Count the number of equally mature, mutually helpful and mutually independent married people you know.

    It is takes more than one elbow, I’ll be amazed.
  • 05/20/2015 — Fern Frond 01 – Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, SC, May 14, 2015

    Something can be wrong in a way that makes it right.

    Picasso went a long way doing things wrong.

    His horses and his houses don’t look a thing like horses or houses.

    Henri Matisse did something similar.

    And  Claude Monet.

    The list is long of people who did wrong right.

    Don’t let the will of the people be your standard.

    The people only know how things are supposed to be.

    They know good and right only in terms that are popular at the time.

    They are clueless about also-good and also-right.

    You can’t let the masses override your heart.

    You follow your own lodestar.

    You set your own standards.

    You find what is good and right for you and serve it.

    That’s the way Jesus did it.

    And the Buddha.

    And Gandhi.

    Be wrong in the right way.

    All along the way.
  • 05/2/2015 — The Dairy Barn HDR 01 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, SC, May 4, 2015

    Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.”

    And, “Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    That’s because the one task of childhood is growing up.

    We are to be like children and give ourselves to the task of growing up in each stage of our life.

    I live in a community of mostly older people,

    Most of whom have not wasted any time growing up,

    And have no intention of beginning now.

    People seem to think that growing up is automatic with aging.

    When you turn 21, you’re an adult, and grown up.

    Not!

    Growing up is the conscious work of the spiritual journey.

    Growing up is the Hero’s Journey.

    It is coming to terms, at every stage of life–

    In each situation as it arises all our life long–

    With the gap between how things are

    And how we want them to be.

    I live in a neighborhood of old people who whine and complain

    Because their grass is too short or too long,

    And they want somebody to fix it for them.

    They want their Mommy!

    They wander in an infantile, childish, world,

    And have no capacity to be child-LIKE,

    Hard at work at the task of growing up.
  • 05/21/2015 — Fleabane 01 Blended—Indian Land, SC, May 16, 2015

    We find our heart, our foundation, our direction—we know what is important—by being still, quiet, open, aware, listening, looking, on a regular basis.

    We have to Check In from time to time.

    Get our bearings.

    Remember who we are and what we are about.

    Because the world is a crazy place–

    A crazy-making place–

    And we have to counteract the signals jamming our signals

    By stepping back, stepping out, seeking stillness and solitude,

    In order to reflect, take stock, breathe, remember,

    And ground ourselves in what is important,

    Regain our balance

    Reorient ourselves

    Find our way back to the path

    And be who we are

    In an environment that would prefer for us

    To take our place and do as we are told.
  • 05/21/2015 — Canada Geese 02 — Bog Garden, Greensboro, NC, March 9, 2015

    Our lives are too much ruled by stress and anxiety.

    How do we work to offset stress,

    And override anxiety?

    I recommend being conscious of it–

    Not peripherally aware of it,

    But particularly, especially, intentionally conscious of it.

    KNOW when you are stressed, anxious.

    Take a mental step back from the situation,

    And breathe.

    I also recommend a bevy of all the recommended

    Stress/anxiety relievers:

    Mindfulness, meditation, yoga and exercise,

    And, where possible, staying away from stress and anxiety producing circumstances.

    I have a long list of places I can’t be,

    Of people I cannot be around.

    And, I’m a lot better off honoring the list,

    Than I am dishonoring it.
  • 05/22/2015 — Duck Weed on Silver Creek 01 — Midnight, Mississippi, March 17, 2015

    Dark times are coming,

    Thanks to the willful, arrogant ignorance

    Of the Republican Party and Evangelical Christianity

    (And where DOES that line lie?).

    During dark ages, good people take cover,

    And live to keep the light alive.

    It is not enough to survive physically.

    We have to serve our soul’s need

    For the experience and expression of life and beauty.

    Live to create pockets of life and beauty

    Among the madness,

    And keep the light alive.
  • 05/22/2015 — Old Sautee Store Panorama 01 BW—Sautee-Nacoochee, Georgia, April 14, 2015

    What do you need to hear in order to live your best possible life in the time left for living?

    Tell yourself that, and get with the living of your life.

    What do you need to believe is so in order to live your best possible life?

    Believe it is so! And get with the living!

    Live as though what you need to be so is so.

    And get with the living of your life!

    Our life is up to us.

    If we are ever going to live it as it can best be lived,

    It is going to be because we decide to live it as it can best be lived,

    And do it–

    Day in and day out for the rest of our life.

    What are we waiting for?

    For it to be easy?

    To feel like doing it?

    To WANT to?

    Feeling follows action.

    Start walking.

    Let wanting to catch up if it can.

    Meanwhile, you have a life to live

    That isn’t going to be lived,

    Unless YOU live it.

    Override the objections,

    And get with the living of your life!
  • 05/23/2015 — Perfoliate Bellwort 2015 02– McDowell Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Charlotte, NC, April 20, 2015

    Our heart’s true love is not always our heart’s TRUE love.

    We can fool ourselves about what our heart loves.

    Cocaine, for instance, or beer, or sugar–

    Ice cream, say, after 10 PM. Or before.

    The list is long of the wrong things we love and can’t live without.

    Adam and Eve loved the Forbidden Fruit.

    When you are caught up in a compulsion it feels just like True Love.

    Takes a while to get it figured out.

    What works and what doesn’t.

    What is obvious to everyone else

    Takes a long time dawning on us

    When we are in the grip of a compulsion.

    There ought to be a way to avoid the embarrassment,

    Pain, destruction, devastation.

    ”Live and learn, Kid. Live and learn.”

    What we learn is

    If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck,

    It may not be a duck.
  • 05/24/2015 — Wintergreen 02 — Indian Land, SC, May 22, 2015

    Sex without intimacy, tenderness and affection is

    A welcome escape from intimacy, tenderness and affection,

    Which are entirely dependent upon truthfulness,

    And cannot be faked nearly so easily as sex without them can be.

    We have sex to keep from being intimate, tender, affectionate–

    To keep from being truthful–

    To keep from being real–

    Because Jack Nicholson nails us

    In his role as Col. Nathan P. Jessup

    With, “You can’t handle the truth!”

    Which only invites the stinging comeback,

    ”Neither can you Colonel. Neither can you.”
  • 05/25/2015 — Cypress Swamp 04 — Lake Martin, St. Martin Parish, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, March 27, 2015

    When did things change for you?

    When did you give up,

    Check out,

    And start going through the motions–

    Maybe with a chip on your shoulder,

    And a pebble in your shoe?

    Hobbling along with a “This is the best I’m gonna do,

    So don’t expect anything more from me,” attitude?

    When did you decide, “If this is the way life is going to be,

    Then I’ll show life!”

    And begin the slow slide to here, now?

    How long has it been since you were 100% invested in your life?

    What happened, back then,

    Just before you said “To hell with it,”

    And quit?

    Trip back there with me,

    And consider who you were then,

    And write yourself a letter.

    Take your time.

    Do a thorough job.

    Say everything you have to say,

    Everything you needed to hear,

    Feeling, acknowledging, everything you felt then,

    And feel now.

    Bearing all that had to be borne,

    And still must be borne–

    With full conscious awareness.

    Reflect deeply on your experience.

    See what new realizations dawn.

    And what your future holds.
  • 05/25/2015 —
    Lake Chicot 02 — Ville Platte, Louisiana, March 22, 2015

    If you don’t believe in something enough to go to hell for believing in it, you don’t believe in anything very much, do you?

    Don’t talk to me about your faith until you are ready to go straight to hell for what you believe.
  • 05/25/2015 — Greenhouse Coleus 01 – Pike’s Nursery, Charlotte, NC, April 28 2015

    We have to face the pain of our conflicts, of our defeats and disappointments, of our failures and losses, of our setbacks and betrayals, shocks and whams—

    We have to bear the full realization of the remorse and agony that weave through our life—

    And reconcile what can be reconciled,

    And reconcile ourselves to what cannot be,

    Living consciously in the tension of mutually exclusive polarities,

    As though it is done every day by everyone

    (Because it is),

    And refusing to let the truth of all of this

    Keep us from being who our life needs us to be

    In the time and place of our living.

    Our life isn’t what it could have been or ought to be, but.

    We are here to see to it that our present and future

    Are all they can be with us doing our part

    In each situation as it arises all our life long—

    Without hiding from the truth of the pain we carry.

    And, all the people said, “AMEN! MAY IT BE SO!”
  • 05/25/2015 — Pine Cone 01 Blended—Indian Land, South Carolina, May 25, 2015

    Practice saying Yes! to your life.

    Embrace everything that comes your way–

    Which means embracing what must be done

    To do what needs to be done with everything that comes your way.

    Embrace the pain, anguish, agony and trouble

    Required to deal with the things that come your way.

    And deal with it the way it needs to be dealt with.

    And say Yes! to the next thing that comes your way.

    And, when you meet an elephant coming toward you down the path,

    Say Yes! to what that means for you

    And get off the path!
  • 05/26/2015  — Wintergreen Blossom 02 Blended—Indian Land, South Carolina, May 25, 2015

    Recovery is slow, so take your time.

    Don’t try to hurry the process.

    Don’t think you ought to be back to normal by now.

    Devastation is the end of normal.

    Now, it is normal to wonder if things will ever be back to normal.

    Make a pact with yourself to wait it out.

    See how long it takes to hear yourself laughing again.

    It will be longer than you want it to be,

    But not as long as you are afraid it will be.

    In the meantime, be as stunned, overwhelmed and traumatized as you are,

    And give recovery as much time as it needs

    To do its work.
  • 05/26/2015  — Tombstones 03 — Country Cemetery, Lancaster County, South Carolina, May 16, 2015

    An AA slogan says, “All we ever wanted was smooth and easy.”

    We will sacrifice everything for “smooth and easy.”

    Another term for what we seek is “Momma.”

    We all are looking for Momma to smooth our way,

    Remove what is difficult and make it easy for us.

    The Return to Mother is the opposite of the Hero’s Journey.

    The Return to Mother is the regressive journey

    Of the Eternal Child

    Who refuses to grow up,

    And deal responsibly, appropriately and maturely

    With life’s daily deliveries.

    What is Heroic about each of us

    Is our willingness to stand up, step forward,

    And do what needs to be done–

    What needs us to do it–

    The way it needs to be done,

    When it needs to be done,

    As often as it needs to be done,

    All our life long.

    We become who we are in meeting what meets us in life,

    And responding to it in ways

    That are proper and fitting to the occasion.

    In seeking the safety of Momma’s lap,

    And the eternal lethargy of smooth and easy,

    We languish in the Netherworld,

    Never quite getting around to completing our birth

    In the land of the living,

    But abort ourselves aborning

    By hiding in some faux-mother equivalent,

    And refusing to do right by ourselves and our life.
  • 05/27 /2015  — Great Blue Heron—Bog Garden, Greensboro, NC, 2013

    What are you trying to do with your life?

    What is keeping you from doing it?

    What are you doing about the obstruction?

    What’s the problem?

    The obstruction and how you are dealing with it

    Is more important in your work to grow up

    Than the end result you seek.

    The obstruction is the treasure.

    You think one thing,

    It’s another.

    What is the obstruction requiring of you?

    You are seeking to be rid of it,

    Yet, it is bringing you forth in ways you would never bring you forth.

    The barrier is a portkey.

    Every wall is a door.

    Eyes that see see something different

    From eyes that don’t see.

    See?
  • 05/28/2015  — Piedmont Prairie Detail 01 — Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, Huntersville, NC, May 7, 2015

    “The instrument chooses the musician,”

    Much like “the wand chooses the wizard.”

    Our tools are us.

    They deepen us, enlarge us, expand us, show us us, introduce us to us, are the path to us…

    What we seek is in the tools—in the instruments—that will not let us go.

    A tin whistle in the hands of someone determined to get the most out of a tin whistle would be, for that person, what a basketball is for Steph Curry or Lebron James.

    There is no end to the path of seeking to get the best out of something–

    And, having no specific destination of our own in mind,

    Trusting it to take us where it needs us to go.

    Our instrument/tool of choice is as magical as any wand could be,

    In the hands of those who know how to get out of the way,

    And let the instrument/tool show us what we can do–

    If we cooperate with it from the heart.

    When we begin to think our instrument/tool

    Is ours to do with as we will,

    And begin to use it to our advantage, advancement, benefit, and boon,

    It goes all to hell,

    And we wake up in some gutter,

    Wondering what happened.

    We have to keep the right perspective:

    ”Thy will, not mine, be done.”

    I just carry the camera.

    It alone knows where we are going.
  • 05/28/2015  — Spider Lilies Panorama 02 — Rocky shoals of the Catawba River, Landsford Canal State Park, Catawba, SC, May 28, 2015 — Spider Lilies bloom each year between May 15 and June 15 over a quarter mile stretch of the Catawba River. Canoeists, kayakers, and bank sitters, gape and stare, and break into song at the sight—and gather the next year to do it again.

    The invisible world is the unconscious world is the spiritual world.

    Primal peoples have always understood the visible world to be grounded upon the invisible world.

    We think the physical universe is the only universe.

    We have a re-think coming.

    It starts with simple awareness/mindfulness of every time the invisible world “breaks into” the visible world

    With dreams and visions, hunches and intuitions, knowing that has no rational explanation (I knew when it was time to move to South Carolina, for example. I knew it was time beyond explaining, justifying, defending or excusing), serendipitous coincidences, the mysterious timing of events and circumstances, and all things woo-whoo, woo-whoo.

    Begin to treat the invisible/unconscious/spiritual world seriously.

    Listen to your Heart/Soul/Body/Mind.

    Consult your Heart/Soul/Body/Mind.

    Entertain the possibility that you have a Deep Self who knows more than you do,

    And has a sense of your life that you don’t have.

    Imagine ways of establishing, deepening and maintaining a relationship with your Deep Self–

    Who also has a relationship with the invisible/unconscious/spiritual world that goes back to the very beginning.

    Or do you have something better to do?
  • 05/29/2015  — Cypress Swamp Panorama 03 — Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, March 18, 2015

    Where do we think we are going?

    Where are we trying to get before we die?

    What are we after?

    More money?

    How much will it take?

    Then what?

    What will more money do for us?

    What’s the point of money?

    All money can do is pay the bills.

    What bills are worth paying?

    We are running up bills on the way to where?

    Doing what?

    Showing off?

    ”Lookatme!Lookatme!HEY!LookatME!”?

    Allow me to explain:

    The only things worth having are an enlarged perspective.

    An understanding heart.

    A helping hand.

    The courage to face what must be faced

    And to do what needs to be done about it.

    In each situation that comes along.

    Money cannot buy those things for us, but.

    Seeing through money to the heart of the matter,

    And knowing what’s what,

    And living with compassion for the whole bowl of spaghetti

    Can.
  • 05/29/2015  — Spider Lilies 06 Panorama—Rocky shoals of the Catawba River, Landsford Canal State Park, Catawba, SC, May 29, 2015 — Spider Lilies bloom each year between May 15 and June 15 over a quarter mile stretch of the Catawba River. Canoeists, kayakers, and bank sitters, gape and stare, and break into song at the sight—and gather the next year to do it again.

    The Mother is the Dragon the Hero has to slay to claim “the treasure hard to obtain,” which is His, or Her, own Deep Self.

    (The Mother in this scenario can as easily be The Father. The point is that we have to tear ourselves away from dependence upon the source of safe, soft, smooth and easy, in order to claim our right to our own life [our birthright] and live aligned with our life’s [our Deep Self’s] will for us throughout our life.)

    Fear and Lethargy, says James Hollis, are twin demons standing in our way, keeping us “in our place,” and refusing to allow us to take our rightful place in the service of our own life.

    What is the Mother/Father equivalent in your own life, keeping you from “the treasure hard to attain,” that is your own life?

    Make the challenge conscious. Understand that we live mythologically—not logically, rationally. All of the old stories are OUR stories. They are about US, and the eternal questions of whether we will be who we are, or not, of whether we will live OUR life, or not, greet us each day in the Dragon’s, the Demon’s, the Cyclops’ present-day manifestation.
  • 05/30/2015  — Working on the Railroad—Catawba River Trestle, SC Hwy 75, Catawba, SC, May 28, 2015

    We grow up by doing what we don’t want to do over time, but.

    There’s a catch:

    We have to WANT to do what we don’t want to do,

    In a “Thy will, not mine, be done,” kind of way.

    We have to do what we don’t want to do willingly–

    Not begrudgingly,

    Not resentfully,

    Not hopelessly,

    Forlornly,

    Remorsefully.

    Our heart has to be in doing what we don’t want to do.

    We have to do it as though it were the very thing we most want to do.

    We have to do it the way it ought to be done–

    As though it were our idea all along.

    This is called embracing our fate

    In order to serve our destiny.

    It’s the key that turns the lock

    That opens the door

    To the Treasure Hard To Attain.

    It’s the secret to life spilling over,

    Running over,

    Flowing forth

    Always and forever–

    Which, of course, no one ever understands,

    Believes,

    Or buys into.
  • 05/30/2015  — Red Barn White Fence Panorama 01 – Chester County, South Carolina, May 30, 2015

    Carl Jung said, “There is no coming to consciousness without pain.”

    No one wakes up with everything going their way.

    There is no awakening, no realization, no awareness when everything is just right in your life.

    Yet, that’s what we strive for.

    We want everything to be the way we want everything to be.

    We want everything to be smooth and easy.

    We want harmony around the table, across the board.

    Serenity Now!

    And, we want nothing to do with the pain of conflict,

    Disruption,

    Opposition,

    Hostility,

    And the baby refusing to be a laughing little bundle of joy.

    We will pass on consciousness, thank you!

    Serenity Now!

    The Hero’s Journey doesn’t have a chance with us.

    We are packing up and moving in with Momma.

    And let her take care of the baby.

    Sorry to be the one to tell you, but.

    Joseph Campbell said, “The Treasure Hard To Find

    Lies in the cave you most don’t want to enter.”

    That would be the cave housing the pain of your life

    That you don’t want to face and deal with.

    Starting with the baby.
  • 05/31/2015  — Slow Water Paddling – Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies, Catawba River, Landsford Canal State Park, Catawba, SC, May 28, 2015

    There is no difference between a spiritual experience and a psychological experience.

    The two are one.

    Spiritual is “of the soul.”

    “Psychological” is a word derived from the Greek word, “psyche,” or “soul.”

    “Spiritual” and “Psychological” both speak of “soul.”

    Neither know what they are talking about.

    Both know they are talking about something that is real, and important, and is worth taking our time to experience and explore, but.

    Neither offer much in the way of practical advice when it comes to experiencing and exploring “soul.”

    They both offer doctrines and beliefs,

    But neither offers much in the way of specific practices for experiencing and exploring our “soul.”

    Neither talks very much about the “numen,” or “numinous reality,”

    And how to access it, encounter it, experience and explore it.

    Falling in love is an example of an experience with physical, emotional, spiritual/psychological implications.

    Falling in love is an encounter with the numen, with numinous reality.

    Things in the world of physical reality move us on an emotional/spiritual/psychological level.

    We need to explore those experiences through a combination of conversation, introversion, reflection and research.

    We are wasting our time by not exploring our experience on every level,

    Deepening our conscious, mindful, awareness,

    And knowing all that we can know about what is going on

    In the interplay between physical, emotional and spiritual/psychological reality.
  • 05/31/2015  — Old Stone Cemetery 01 Panorama — Chester County, South Carolina, May 30, 2015 — With tombstones from 1777 to 1914, the Old Stone Cemetery is a silent reminder of the fact that nothing— not even cemeteries— is exempt from the Law of Age and Death. With enough time, nothing is left of anything. So. Live. Now.

    ”So. Live. Now.” could be our Psyche’s, our Soul’s, our Deep Self’s, simple message to us all.

    We come into the world as a bundle of libido—life energy—dying to be expended before we die.

    Expended in the simple effort to meet our life straight on,

    And do our best with what confronts us in each day!

    And we dodge all that can be dodged,

    And escape the rest, frittering life away on trivial pursuits,

    Looking for smooth and easy,

    Avoiding life’s pain and troubles

    (And denying what cannot be avoided),

    While it waits, panics, seethes and schemes to find ways of expressing itself while there is yet time.

    Time is life’s only hope.

    Time is all life has.

    If time isn’t spent living—in the fullest sense of the word—time is lost, never to be regained.

    The unpardonable sin is life unlived.

    Carl Jung said, “It is the sole purpose of the libido to strive forever forward—to lead a life that willingly accepts all dangers and ultimate decay.”

    And, if we refuse to cooperate with life’s purpose to be lived, hold back, hide from the terrors of the night, and refuse to sail into the heaving waves of the wine-dark sea, having nothing to do with the dreaded responsibilities and duties incumbent upon those who would find their own way and pay the price–

    If we say no to life, life says no to us, and we die dreaming of life we never lived, because we didn’t have the courage to meet the day’s demands, and take our lumps, and rack up our losses—laughing and loving it all, every bit, every day—LIFE, just as it is!

    Here, NOW!

    Or never.
  • 06/01/2015  — Landsford Canal Kayakers HDR — Landsford Canal State Park, Chester County, South Carolina, May 30, 2015

    “It’s as plain as the nose on your face,” is a Deep South phrase meaning “Open your eyes! See it for yourself!!”

    The old Zen masters would say “Zen is like a man sitting on his ox, looking for his ox.” What could be more stupid than to not know you were sitting on what you were looking for?

    But, here we are, living life, looking for life.

    When all we have to do is wake up, and there it is, exactly where it has always been, right there.

    We are all just a perspective shift away from seeing, hearing, understanding, knowing, doing, being, and having it made.

    So, what’s the hold up?

    We don’t know.

    We don’t know what we don’t know.

    We don’t know that we don’t know.

    We are in too much of a hurry.

    We want somebody to explain it to us–

    To tell us what we need to know.

    But, if we don’t know what they are talking about,

    We will never understand what they are saying.

    The first step is taking the next step mindfully.

    If you can do that, it’s mindfulness all the way!
  • 06/01/2015  — Landsford Canal Kayakers 02 – Catawba River, Landsford Canal State Park, Chester County, South Carolina, May 30, 2015

    Our life is built on our choices.

    Our choices flow from our options and are limited by our resources,

    And are directed by what is meaningful.

    What is meaningful is the key that opens the door to our life.

    If you are going to be mindful of anything,

    Be mindful of what is meaningful to you.

    If you are going to be curious about anything,

    Be curious about what is meaningful to you.

    Where does meaning come from for you?

    What does meaning mean to you?

    What is meaningful about what is meaningful for you?

    How long does a thing’s meaning last for you?

    Upon what does a thing’s meaning depend for you?

    What is the most meaningful thing for you?

    How often do you do what is meaningful for you?

    To what extent does what is meaningful for you depend upon someone else?

    To what extent do you refuse to do what is meaningful for you because of someone else?

    If you are going to reflect on anything, reflect on what is meaningful to you.
  • 06/01/2015  — Portrait — Barred Owl, The Bog Garden, Greensboro, NC, 2013

    Carl Jung talked about “the two million year old man” who dwells within us. He could have as easily spoken of the “two million year old woman.” He also said, “There is, within each of us, another, whom we do not know.” Our work is to know, and to collaborate with, the two million year old “other” in forming and living the life that is ours to live.

    The two million year old “other” is our most valuable resource in finding our way through the morass of obstacles, options, choices and possibilities in living our life within the circumstances and conditions of our living.

    Our place is to recognize the reality of this “other” within, open ourselves to him, to her, and develop our capacity to read and interpret the language he, or she, speaks in guiding our living.

    That language includes, but is not limited to, dreams, daydreams, fantasies, active imagination, nudges, urges, inspirations, realizations, ideas, hunches, yearnings, inklings and notions. We have to be mindful of everything, because anything can be an opening to the unknown.
  • 06/02/2015  — Diversion Weir – Catawba River, Landsford Canal State Park, Chester County, South Carolina, May 30, 2015 – Landsford Canal was a significant investment and well-constructed idea that went bust, like so many “good ideas” do by not taking everything into account that could be taken into account. For instance, high water on the river would be needed for this diversion weir to divert river water into the canal, with it’s locks to lift cargo boat traffic up and down to avoid the rocky shoals along the fall line of the river, insuring commercial success for the canal. Boat traffic on the river occurred during the summer and early fall when crops needed to get to market. High water on the river occurred during the winter and spring. Which gets us to:

    You have to listen to EVERYTHING you are capable of hearing!

    Mindfulness leads the way only when you take EVERYTHING into account–

    Even the things you don’t want to hear.

    YOU are the only thing standing between you and the VOID!

    You cannot just listen to you when you are hearing what you want to be told.

    You cannot dismiss, discount, ignore what you are ALSO saying,

    And say, “But, I always listen to myself!”

    Always listen to EVERYTHING you are saying, sensing, intuiting!

    Your instinct is your only defense!

    Your only weapon,

    Your only guide!

    You can pay attention to ALL you are telling yourself,

    Or you can pay the price.

    Your instinct speaks through your stomach.

    Your interest, sense of meaning and desire speak through your heart.

    Listen to your heart

    AND listen to your stomach.

    When all is well and they are in sync, GO!

    When your stomach doesn’t care, and your heart isn’t in it, DON’T GO!

    When your heart is cheering you on, and your stomach is in a knot, DON’T GO!

    When your head is giving you all the wonderful reasons to go

    And your stomach is in a knot,

    And your heart isn’t in it,

    DON’T GO!

    Am I being clear here?

    If the canal builder had listened to me,

    There wouldn’t be a canal at Land’s Ford on the Catawba River.

    Are YOU listening?

    To YOU?
  • 06/02/2015  — Landsford Canal Lock 01 — Landsford Canal State Park, Chester County, SC, May 29, 2015

    I have a quick and easy immediate improvement for every marriage and life partnership, and the experience of parenthood , if embraced and applied:

    I wish I had had me for a father,

    And, I wish I had me for a wife.

    Now, for this to work, my wife has to be working toward the same end.

    She has to be living so that she wishes she had had her for a mother,

    And, so that she wishes she had her for a husband.

    We have to be living together in a good faith relationship toward those same ends.

    Poof, like that, a marriage to die for.

    Of course, there is a catch.

    We aren’t always successful in actually doing what we say we are going to do.

    And, neither will you be, but.

    Don’t let that stop you.

    Live like you need to to be able to wish you had you for a father, or mother, a husband, or a wife, or a life partner.

    The improvement will be immediate and lasting, with your other’s joint commitment and participation.
  • 06/03/2015  — Landsford Canal 02 — Landsford Canal State Park, Chester County, SC, May 29, 2015

    We are all created to live in a certain way that we are not living.

    And, of course, we have problems because of that.

    When you are off center, out of sync, and your life has no rhythm

    About it, you know it.

    You feel it.

    We all have to find ways to get our groove back.

    To get back in the groove.

    To be one with who we are and who we are built to be.

    We need to get back to the home we never had

    And start all over

    With a different environment

    And better places to be,

    And people who are being who they are built to be all around us.

    The trip back, or forward, to that kind of place,

    And those people,

    Begins with, you know the word by now, mindfulness.

    How, exactly, is this place not like the place we need to be?

    How, exactly, are these people not like those?

    What, exactly, is the distance from who we are

    To who we need to be?

    We get from here to there by listening, looking, seeing, hearing,

    Understand, knowing–

    In a heart, stomach, kind of way–

    What is happening that is not right,

    And what needs to happen that would be right.

    Make you and your life as it is and your life as it needs to be

    The focus of reflection, examination, meditation, mindfulness,

    And see what realizations occur.

    Nobody can do this for you.

    And you have a lot more to do than this, but.

    Nothing better to do.

    And you know it.

    So?

    It’s up to you.
  • 06/03/2015  — Landsford Canal Lock Walls 01 — Landsford Canal State Park, Chester County, South Carolina, May 29, 2015

    Being mindful is seeing, hearing, feeling, perceiving, understanding, knowing what is happening internally and externally in each situation as it arises–without judgment or opinion.

    To know what is happening is to know what needs to happen in response.

    It is also to know what we are capable of doing,

    And what is capable of being done (what is possible) within the situation.

    Then it is a a matter of having the courage to do what can be done that we are capable of doing.

    It is possible to practice introspection and solitude in the middle of a crowded elevator.

    Don’t think you need the ocean or the woods to be mindfully aware of your surroundings and your inner response to them.

    Your life is your practice, wherever you are.

    Open yourself to every here and now, and notice what is going on.
  • 06/03/2015  — Landsford Canal Lock Walls 02 — Landsford Canal State Park, Chester County, South Carolina, May 29, 2015

    We can think that our life is our to do with as we please–

    That it is ours to conceive, imagine, plan, implement, establish, produce, achieve, retire from and be proud of.

    We can think that.

    And, we can think that our life is the most mystical, mysterious, spiritual event we can ever hope to encounter or experience.

    We can think that our life has a life of its own,

    And that we are privileged to be the means of its expression.

    If we choose the latter perspective, our role ceases to be that of planner, designer, architect,

    And becomes that of listener, seer, diviner, dowser, explorer.

    We do not live our life so much as collaborate with it in its unfolding.

    How is our life trying to be lived?

    What is the equivalent for us that light and water would be for an oak tree, or a pine?

    What does our life seek for nourishment and nurture?

    What can we do to assist our life in feeling at home in the time and place of our living?

    How can we better align ourselves with our life’s will for itself and its own expression?

    How might we go about initiating, deepening and continuing

    A dialogue with our life regarding its needs and interests,

    And how we might best assist it in the time left for living?
  • 06/04/2015  — Landsford Canal Lock Walls Detail 01 — Landsford Canal State Park, Chester County, South Carolina, May 29, 2015

    If there is something we cannot allow to happen in our waking life,

    We won’t be able to keep it from happening in our nighttime dreams.

    If we are always pushing ahead in “real” life,

    We’ll be driving a car down a steep mountain with no breaks in our dreaming life.

    If we are always striving to cover all our bases and be completely prepared for every contingency in “real” life,

    We will be naked, in a college class, taking an exam for which we are not prepared in our dreaming life.

    Dreams are great that way.

    Showing us who we are by forcing us to see who we cannot allow ourselves to be.

    Our dreams at night compensate for our excesses and deficiencies during the day.

    Calling us to the center.

    Asking us to be more of a Genera Practitioner,

    And less of a Specialist,

    In our life.
  • 06/04/2015  — Landsford Canal Lock Wall Detail 02 — Landsford Canal State Park, Chester County, SC, May 29, 2015

    I’m nearing the middle of my 71st year,

    And even if I live another 25 or 30 years,

    I’m not going to have enough time.

    I don’t have time to waste on entertaining pastimes.

    On frivolous conversations.

    On trivial pursuits.

    On distracting pleasures.

    Neither do you.

    We have bigger fish to fry.

    We have business to attend.

    We have a life to live.

    We have a 2 million year-old-self to get to know,

    And live to express–

    Within the context and circumstances of the 21st century.

    We have no time to fool around,

    Wondering what to do this weekend,

    And hoping it doesn’t rain.
  • 06/04/2015  — Queen Anne’s Lace 01 Blended — Chester County, South Carolina, May 30, 2015

    You have to grow up into your own life,

    And I have to grow up into mine.

    We have different things that we REALLY don’t want to do,

    But, it is the same process that faces each of us.

    We have to square ourselves up

    To the discrepancy between how things are

    And how we want things to be,

    Stand up and do what needs to be done.

    And do it all again with the next thing that we don’t want to do,

    That needs to be done.

    Everything rides on our doing it just this way.

    Time after time after time.

    Everything.
  • 06/05/2015  — Pitcher Plant 07 — Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, South Carolina, June 4, 2015

    There are things that cannot be said.

    Things we have no business trying to say.

    Things that are beyond words,

    Beyond explanation,

    Beyond understanding.

    You do things that need to happen,

    But you can’t say why you did them.

    You don’t know why you did them.

    We are prompted by another world–

    And act in this world in ways that are commensurate with that world.

    We are not in control of our own actions,

    Or, better not be.

    People who are in tight control of their own actions,

    Are, of all people, most to be pitied.
  • 06/06/2015  — Lily Pads in the Rain — Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, South Carolina, June 4, 2015

    One of the basic realizations is the connection between what happens, and how we respond to it, and what happens next.

    People who do not grasp that connection

    Freak me out.
  • 06/06/2015  — Butterfly Weed Panorama — Landsford Canal State Park, Chester County, South Carolina, May 29, 2015

    You can’t hurry your adventure along,

    Or expect to “get to the finish line without running the race.”

    We do each day what needs to be done that day.

    Adolescence took forever.

    Both for us,

    And, then again, for our children.

    Do not live ahead,

    Or live looking ahead.

    “Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”

    Aim to be what the day needs you to be,

    And allow the journey to unfold in a way

    That is only apparent when it is viewed backward,

    To your surprise and astonishment

    At having been on a journey at all.
  • 06/06/2015  — Pitcher Plant 10 — Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, South Carolina, June 4, 2015

    You have to do the work.

    No body can do it for you,

    Or tell you how to do it.

    Waking up,

    Standing up,

    Squaring up to how things are

    And what needs to be done about it

    And doing it with the gifts, talent, art, genus

    That lie latent within you

    Waiting on some situation to develop in your life

    That will call them forth

    To shine like lights in the darkness

    As blessing and grace upon all who witness the occasion

    Or hear about it.
  • 06/07/2015  — Catawba Canoe — Catawba River, Landsford Canal State Park, Chester County, South Carolina, May 30, 2015

    We participate in the evolution of the Psyche by being conscious of what was then and what is now.

    The Psyche can only be what it was.

    It evolved over long eons of the same old same old.

    Yesterday was today and tomorrow in the really old days.

    Nothing changed ever.

    Well. The ice age changed things.

    And the end of the dinosaurs.

    The Psyche got a boost when the atmosphere settled down

    And life had something to count on.

    The Psyche likes to have things it can count on.

    Enter the Industrial Age.

    Don’t even think about the Space Age.

    Ages don’t last as long as they used to.

    The Stone Age, now THAT was an AGE!

    So, the Psyche is slow to catch up.

    Slower and slower as things speed up.

    Look around. You can see that things aren’t so good with this setup.

    Consciousness needs to get it’s work clothes on,

    And get down to business,

    Being awake to the discrepancy between how things were and how things are.

    “That was then, this is now,” is dismissive.

    It has to become a conscious source of realization.

    We have to know WHAT was then and WHAT is now,

    And how things have changed, and are changing,

    And sit with that knowing so that we understand

    What the problem Is between then and now,

    And how the Psyche might be reeling trying to deal with now

    As though it were then.

    To do that, of course, you have to begin to be aware of Psyche.

    Better get your work clothes on.
  • Used in Short Talks On Contradiction, etc., 06/07/2015  — Graham Cabin Panorama 01 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, SC, April 4, 2015

    Our conscious ego likes to think it is the only one in the house,

    And has free rein to will what it wants

    And live in the service of its wanting, willing, ways.

    A will that is bound to its wants is hardly free.

    The will’s freedom consists of the single choice to will what it does not want,

    To place itself in the service of wants other than its own,

    In a “Thy will, not mine, be done” kind of way.

    Our conscious ego’s freedom lies in its ability to sacrifice itself

    In the service of a will other than its own.

    This would be the will of the two million-year-old self within.

    When our conscious ego lives in the service of our psyche,

    Working out in our life the conflicts and contradictions

    Between the two worlds of psychic and physical reality–

    When we live to place ourselves in accord with both worlds,

    And bear in our body the agony of the tension that implies–

    All is well, and there is peace at last,

    Albeit with a price:

    The price of “Thy will, not mine, be done”!

    Which is nothing like the price we pay,

    In ignoring all conflict and doing it our way alone,

    With our normal, “Damn the shoreline! Full speed ahead!”

    Approach to (Ha, ha) happiness ever after.
  • 06/08/2015  — Water Lily 2015 01 — Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, South Carolina, June 4, 2015

    Introversion and solitude deepen awareness,

    Enhance mindfulness,

    And open the way to the Way of seeing, hearing, understanding,

    Knowing, doing, and being.

    The noise of life safely ensconces us in a cocoon of living

    That keeps us forever from having to be awake, aware, or alive,

    And leads us without thinking from the last thing to the next thing,

    World without end, or even a break in the action, Amen!

    You have to make your own breaks in the action.

    And withdraw from the swirl of life–

    Another term for “the heaving waves of the wine dark sea,”–

    In order to take stock

    Recollect,

    Reorient,

    And reform our life around a core that is OUR core,

    And not someone else’s idea of the life we should be living.
  • 06/08/2015  — Pitcher Plant 13 Blended — Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, McBee, South Carolina, June 4, 2015

    Waking people up to what they are doing,

    And to what they need to be doing instead,

    Is the task of the life we are living–

    So that we might begin living the life that is ours to live.

    Carl Jung said, “A person is ill, and that person’s illness

    Is Nature’s way of healing her, of healing him”

    (Or words to that effect).

    Our symptoms come to wake us up,

    So that we might realize what we are doing,

    And what we need to be doing instead.

    Waking up heals us,

    Whether we are cured or not.
  • 06/09/2015  — Red Barn White Fence Panorama 02 — Chester County, South Carolina, May 30, 2015

    Our life is our life.

    Reconciling ourselves with this life that we are living just as it is,

    Is the first step on the spiritual journey.

    The facts are not to be denied, resisted, hated, regretted, mourned, grieved, borne with depression and despair.

    The facts are to be recognized and accepted for what they are,

    In a this is how it is, and this is what can be done about it, and that’s that,

    Kind of way.

    We start with what we have done with our life,

    And what our life has done to us,

    Up to this point.

    And, then we listen to see what needs us to do it.

    We don’t think anything.

    We don’t try to figure anything out:

    “Maybe if I do this, maybe if I do that…”

    Mindfulness, solitude, silence are the keys to what follows.

    We sit, or stroll, listening, waiting, watching,

    Open to all (ALL) possibilities,

    Determined not to miss any door that opens.

    And eager, excited, expectant,

    As we look forward to seeing what it’s all leading to,

    Where it is going,

    With us as its faithful servant,

    Enjoying, at last, the ride.
  • 06/09/2015  — Boneyard Beach 12 BW — Botany Bay Historical Preserve, Edisto Island, South Carolina, January 2013

    On one hand, there is no time to waste,

    On another hand, nothing can happen before its time.

    And on another hand, going fast slows things down,

    And you can only speed things up by slowing things down.

    Paying attention to the time that is at hand

    Is the best way to spend the time,

    Any time.

    Just being awake, aware, and alive to the moment we are living.

    Seeing, hearing, experiencing, knowing

    What is happening here and now,

    And what needs to be done about it.

    Maybe nothing is happening,

    And nothing needs to be done about it.

    So we sit, watching and waiting.

    Intent on knowing when a door opens

    And whether we need to walk through—

    And what business we need to take care of,

    And what business we need to leave alone.
  • 06/09/2015  — Like the Sign Says — Rapides Parish, Louisiana, March 22, 2015

    Our stories take a turn toward a bad ending

    When defiant insistence meets defiant insistence,

    Or cowardly compliance.

    When good faith interest in the common good

    Meets good faith interest in the common good

    Things take a turn toward happy every after.

    Understanding this basic law of human interaction

    Would go a long way toward transforming the world.

    You would think.
  • 06/10/2015  — Vicksburg Sunset HDR 06 — Vicksburg, Mississippi, March 16, 2015

    God is the Stream of Life

    Flowing through us,

    Around us,

    Within us,

    Calling us to wake up

    And live in accord

    With the Stream of Life.

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Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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