One Minute Monologues 040

July 23, 2017 — October 27, 2017

4401.  07/23/2017 — As we age,
things drop away.
Things like our hair,
our teeth,
our hearing,
our eyesight,
our sense of urgency
about unimportant things…
And it is our place
to allow that to happen–
to let go what’s going,
and to let come what’s coming.
We cannot continue living a life
that is no longer available to us.
And we cannot close ourselves off
from what is available to us
in mourning our losses
and in anticipatory grief
over what is yet to go.
We take care of our health,
allot our energy,
and pursue what has meaning–
permitting that to change,
and the way we engage it to change,
as appropriate to the occasion
of our current time and place.
We have to guard–
and serve–
both our solitude and our joy,
doing what interest and ability enable,
being conscious of the danger
of divided loyalty,
and giving ourselves wholeheartedly
to the task of doing
here and now
what needs us to do it
with the gifts, character, and values
that are yet ours to employ.

07/23/2017 — Joseph Campbell said that
the problem of communication
is a problem of communion–
with ourselves first,
and then with one another.
It is, he says, “opening ourselves
to our own truth and depth
and to the depth and truth
of another
in such a way as to establish
an authentic community of existence”
(or words to that effect).
It is not kidding ourselves
about ourselves,
and not kidding ourselves
about others,
but seeing and accepting all of us
as we are
in the truth of our being.
The problem, of course, is
that we want to be who we are not,
and want to see others
as who they are not,
in our favorite game
of Let’s Pretend We Are Not Pretending.”

07/24/2017 — Republicans don’t
seem to be considering
that when you take away
health-care from
22-33 million people
upon which their life depends,
it may not matter to them–
or a percentage of them–
how they die.
Republicans could be creating
an ISIS-like home brew
with no connection
to the Muslim world
by caring more about
a half-billion dollar tax cut
for the wealthy
than about the lives
of people who elected them.
I’ve never known
caring about people
to have a negative impact
on them.
What are Republicans thinking?
If they don’t care about them
they won’t notice?

4402.  07/24/2017 — Lake Haigler 2016 23 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 17, 2016

The easiest way to help someone
is to listen to them,

There is nothing easy about that.
Listening asks hard things of us.
Being attentive is exhausting.
We are hardly ever attentive
for a lengthy period of time.
We cannot listen
without being attentive.
Wears us out.
We cannot listen
with an agenda,
or fix in mind.
Listening is just listening
without anything at stake
in the outcome.
We hardly ever live with
nothing at stake in the outcome.
If we are attentive,
we will notice how often
we want to jump in with
when only listening is required.
It doesn’t take long
to realize we can’t listen
without practice,
without work,
without effort,
without intention
and determination.
The good news is
that we get multiple opportunities
to practice
every day.

07/24/2017 — All organized,
at their center,
foundational assumptions
which all members
“take on faith.”
Taking something on faith
is assuming what the religion assumes.
No religion has a method
of getting beyond its assumptions
to evidence that its assumptions are valid.
All evidence is self-evident,
The religion we hold to be true
is true because we hold it to be so.
That is as it must be,
and I have no problem with it.
I have a problem
with adherents of all the religions
saying their religion is the only true religion
because they say so,
and everybody else’s is false
because they say so.
Religion that is organized and established
is opinion, organized and established.
Not because I say so,
but because it isn’t grounded
on anything more substantial
than assumption/opinion.

07/24/2017 — All good religion
knows what it knows–
and what it does not know.
Good religion
begins with what it knows–
and with what it does not know.
And, it does not blur the line
separating the two.
It does not pretend to know
more than it knows,
or anything that it does not know.
Good religion sees what it looks at,
hears what it listens to,
senses what it senses,
feels what it feels,
intuits what it intuits,
tastes what it tastes,
smells what it smells.
Loves what it loves.
Good religion decides
for itself what is right,
and does what needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises.
Good religion changes its mind
about everything that needs changing–
when changing its mind
is proper and fitting to the occasion.
The moment
calls good religion forth
to meet the moment
in ways that are appropriate
to the moment,
to the time and place
of its living.
Good religion lives
out of its own authority
in determining what is called for
in the moment–
and when it is wrong in its assessment,
good religion lives still out of its own authority
in determining what is called for
in light of its having been wrong.
Good religion makes no disciples,
argues no points of doctrine,
but lives to bring forth
what it has to give
to grace the world
with the memory of its passing,
and the dream of its hoped-for return.

4403.  07/25/2017 — Lake Haigler 2016 26 Panorama — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 17, 2016

When the Inconceivable
becomes the Normal,
the Routine,
the Everyday,
the Unsurprising,
the Predictable,
the Expected,
the Routine,
the Humdrum,
the Ordinary,
we better have a grounding,
relationship with our soul/Psyche
to nurture us through
and despair–
to uphold us,
encourage us,
and strengthen us
for the task
that is ours to do
even here, even now.
Soul/Psyche is
“a very present help
in time of trouble,”
and “will not leave us desolate,”

We have to do the work
of opening ourselves
to the truth that is always with us,
waiting for us to know
what is so:
There is more to us than
meets the eye.
We are what we seek.
The gift is ours to receive
and serve.

07/25/2017 — Faith is the foundation of all religion,
Faith in what is the question.
Our faith is in ourselves,
and in our authority
to determine for ourselves
what we will believe and not believe,
what we will do and leave undone.
We have to trust ourselves
to know–
and to continually assess–
the goodness of the good we call good,
the truth of the truth we call truth,
the value and importance
of all we call valuable and important.
We are the ones
who determine
the validity of all we call valid.
Our faith is in ourselves
and in our ability
to know the way when we see it.
We are the authority
who decides
what will be authoritative
and serve as the grounding
center and core
of our life.
Everything we believe
is worth believing
because we say so.

4404.  07/26/2017 — Lake Haigler 2016 28 Panorama — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 17, 2016

Sit quietly,
and take the time to know what you know–
apart from inference, assumption,
hearsay and conjecture–
and what you do not know,
including what needs to be done
about what you know
and do not know
in light of all you know
and don’t know.
Get up and do what needs to be done
the way it needs to be done
in each situation as it arises,
learning more about
what is happening
and what needs to happen
from each day’s experience,
and applying that as appropriate–
with the aid of continuing
silent reflection–
in each day that comes.
If you can find better advice,
take it!

4405. 07/27/2017 — Lake Haigler 2016 37 Panorama — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 17, 2016

The only safe place,
in this, or any, world,
is a perspective
that is grounded in–
and confident of–
its ability to transcend
any condition or circumstance
of life
in serving its abilities, gifts and values
in each situation as it arises
in light of the true good
of the whole.
The blind poet Homer,
who, himself, knew something
about suffering and hardship,
has Odysseus say (in The Odyssey)
“I will stay with it
and endure suffering hardship,
and once the heaving sea
has shaken my raft to pieces,
then I will swim.”
That is the perspective
of unshakable confidence
in the validity of one’s own
abilities, gifts and values
at work amid the uncertainties
and the precariousness
of life within the ebbs and flows of time.
If you are going to believe in anything,
believe in YOU–
in your knowledge of what matters most,
and your capacity to serve it with all your heart
in all times and places.

4406.  07/28/2017 — Lake Haigler 3026 38 Panorama — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 17, 2016

The work is to be who we are–
exhibiting, expressing, incarnating
our deepest/highest values
in serving our gifts and our perspective
regarding what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
in every condition and circumstance of life
all our lives long.
Our experience deepens and expands
our knowledge
which informs, directs and guides
our actions,
which unfold and bring forth
the character of our integrity,
those personal qualities and aspects
which are integral to us.
Every occasion is another opportunity
to stand up and meet the moment
with the best we have to offer
in the time and place of our living.
There is no occasion when/where
we cannot be who we are
for the good of the moment
in the moment of our living.
That is all that is ever asked of us
in any moment–
and it is asked of us in every moment

07/28/2017 — Our values aren’t things
we think up.
They are things we live out.
Something happens
and we respond spontaneously,
In that action
our values are in full display.
We incarnate our values
in response to life events,
and they stand before us,
smiling, saying,
“It’s about time I saw some daylight!”
before slowly fading from view.
But they are still very much
“right there,”
waiting to be called forth
by something more pertinent
than a therapist saying,
“Now, I want you to
write down your personal values.”

07/28/2017 — I love retirement.
And I love getting old.
It is such a wonderful dance
with everything…
my camera and my knees,
my wife and our daughters,
and granddaughters,
and sons-in-law,
my interests,
my dis-inclinations,
my abilities and disabilities,
my diet,
my contradictions,
my perspective
and the perceptions it creates…
I love the whole experience,
the grand all-ness
of the entire extravaganza.
And I will miss it so.

4407.  07/29/2017 — Lake Haigler 2016 39 Panorama — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 17, 2016

Anger, hatred and fear
seem to pack around together,
maturity, mercy and grace
appear to do the same.
And, they do not mix well together–
you rarely find them all
in the same person,
and not often
in the same room.
We shake out along the lines
of our ability
to accommodate ourselves
to things and people and ideas
not like us–
to associate with differentness
without being threatened,
being interested, say,
instead of intimidated,
growing (up)
rather than walking away,
or lashing out.
Listening with compassion
and awareness
requires a wise old soul,
which has nothing to do
with the length of time
we have lived,
and everything to do
with who we have become
and who we have refused to be.

4408.  07/30/2017 — Dogwood 2017 04 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, March, 2017

Carl Jung thought that we live between poles:
That’s only eight poles.
By my count,
they rank in the tens of billions,
Everything about us has
a polar opposite.
I think of myself as aspiring
to “good and noble,”
(I’m sure they will say that about me
when I am gone),
but I often wish for “wild and crazy,”
and have tendencies
toward “shiftless and carefree,”
not to mention “lazy and irresponsible.”
Our aspirations expose our aversions,
and show us to be
a complex arrangement of opposites
feigning oneness and perfection.
What we do about
our “other sides”–
how we live within the polar tension
and harmonize our discordant voices–
or simply recognize and make room for
all of us within,
tells the tale that is waiting to be told.

4409.  07/31/2017 — Dogwoods 2017 08 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, March, 2017

We have to live in the service
of the right things.
We have to be right about
what is right.
We spend too much of our life
convinced that what is wrong
is right.
The central question is not
how to be happy
(which has nothing to do
with being wealthy
and getting what we want–
What does money have to do with it?
What does wanting know?),
but how to know and do
what needs us to do it–
in each situation that arises.
What is important?
We have to know.
But knowing means realizing,
not thinking.
We do not think up the answer.
We open ourselves to it.
We make ourselves available.
And wait.
What is important
may well be different
for each of us,
particularly in the details,
in the expression,
in the integration
and the incarnation.
For instance:
Being religious is important
to all of us in our own way,
but Religion is not important at all.
Being religious is living
in collaboration with the Numen
that cannot be said
because the experience
is beyond words and concepts,
and it requires things of each of us
that it does not require of the rest of us.
We are all weird in some way–
we have to learn to be weird in the right way,
and allow others to be weird
in the way that is right for them.

07/31/2017 — The problem with money
is that it too easily becomes
a substitute for vitality–
for the heart and ground of life
that has the only legitimate claim
to our loyalty, devotion,
allegiance and fidelity.
Money is not to be confused with life.
Money is not life
and cannot buy life.
Money can only pay the bills,
but the bills have to be run up
in the service of life.
What do we need money
to help us do?
What are the tools
that are vital to our vitality?
What do we need
to do the work
that is ours to do?
We only need enough money
to do our work
in an environment
that supports our work
and makes it possible.
The work is the source of our vitality.
What do we live to do?
What are we doing
when we are most alive?
Chances are we cannot do that
and make money doing it.
We make money in order to do it.
When we lose sight
of what we need money
to help us do,
we are lost in the wasteland
of possibilities
with no way of knowing
what to choose.

07/31/2017 — John Redhead said,
“God doesn’t have any grandchildren.”
We do not know
the impact of the Numen
by reading about it
or hearing someone’s personal testimony.
We can believe in it
with all our heart, but.
It takes a direct encounter
with the Numen,
say, by falling in love–
maybe with a piano,
or a new-born child,
or a starry starry night–
to know what believing
does not and cannot know.
Being religious
has nothing to do with religion,
and everything to do with the Numen
at the center of it all.

4410.  08/01/2017 — Airing Out 2017 — Log Picnic Shelter/Community House, Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, March 30, 2017

We find within the foundation we seek
for dealing with whatever comes up,
within or without.
If you are going to believe in anything
believe it is there–
exactly what you need
to find what you need
to do what needs to be done.
And teach yourself how to find it.
Silence and solitude help a lot.
And dream work.
And mindfulness.
And sitting still
in the presence of your demons.
The Buddha under the Bodi Tree
and Jesus in the wilderness
and in Gethsemane,
and Rosa Parks
in the front of the bus
seem to be good models
for finding and living out of
our deepest truth.

08/01/2017 — We have to draw
our own lines
(and, when necessary,
erase and redraw them–
but we say what is necessary),
and honor the lines
drawn by others.
This is the fundamental
act of freedom and responsibility:
Knowing where to draw the line,
and drawing it.

08/01/2017 — Distractions abound
and become escapes
from the dreadful emptiness–
or oppressive agony–
of our life.
All alcoholics are kidding themselves:
the world just looks better
through the bottom of a bottle,
but the bottle makes things worse–
and Opioid addiction
sets a new terrible level
in the quest for pain-free living,
and underscores Snoopy’s (re “Peanuts”) observation:
“You can climb over the fence,
but you are still in the world.”
When we are at the mercy
of unbearable realities,
we have to resist all tendencies
to run,
and stand pat,
sit tight,
and breathe.
Counting our breaths,
we settle in to here and now,
and dare to know ALL that we know
about this place and time,
in a “This, too. This, too,” kind of way.
As we catalog the “just so-ness”
of the moment,
we open ourselves
to that which is beyond the moment:
“And this, too. This, too.”
Holding it all in our awareness,
breathing, watching, waiting…
Waiting for the shift to occur–
the shift in perspective
which broadens/deepens/expands our perception…
Put the Buddha in our place,
or the Christ–
Become the Buddha, the Christ–
and transform the here and now
by the quality of our presence
in it and with it.
We are the Buddha.
We are the Christ.
And this is the place of our incarnation.
This place!
This time!
Needs us to be who we are,
and who we are capable of being,
just as it is!
What needs to be done
right here, right now?
What needs us to do it?
With the gifts that are ours to give–
that only we can give?
Let that be our contribution
to the sanity and grace of the moment,
letting it lead us into the next moment,
and the one after that,
transforming our life
within the life we are living,
and bringing to life there
wonders we never imagined.

08/01/2017 — The idea of a cumulative record,
with everything being carefully noted
in The Book of Life,
merits and demerits collected
and added up
to be revealed in it entirety
on some great Day of Reckoning,
needs to be thrown into the burning barrel.
We learn as we go.
Tomorrow’s good is rooted
in yesterday’s wrong.
Where we have been
got us where we are,
and will be instrumental
in getting us where we are going–
and where we are going
is more important than anywhere we have been.
In order to live as though that is so,
we have to have a sense of movement
about our life–
we have to know what it means
to be getting/doing better:
More of what?
Less of what?
What kind of change would be positive?
What kind of change would be negative?
What characteristics and values
are we seeking to incorporate into our life?
What constitutes “better”?
What would we be doing
if we were “doing better”?
What are we living toward?
What are we living away from?
Think about these things in the shower,
and wherever else your time
belongs to you.
You are your own guide.
Listen to what you have to say.

08/01/2017 — We are all religious,
Religion does us no favors.
Religion gives us theology,
and inserts itself
between us and the Numen
at the heart of religious experience.
Soul is the most natural
thing about us,
and we lose it
in the work to get it saved.

4411.  08/02/2017 — Dogwood 2017 05 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, March 30, 2017Once we give ourselves permission
to think what we think–
and, more than that,
take up the work
of thinking what we think,
of being mindfully aware
of what we are thinking,
and THINK it,
regardless of what anyone
thinks about our thinking,
we will open the door
and step through it
into the evolution of ourselves
as true human beings,
becoming who we are
as faithful servants
of the incarnation of soul
into the time and place
of our living.
We bring ourselves forth
and into focus
by thinking what we think,
seeing what we see,
hearing what we hear,
tasting what we taste,
feeling what we feel,
smelling what we smell,
touching what we touch,
knowing what we know,
believing what we believe,
being who we are,
and doing what
needs to be done about it
in each situation as it arises,
all our life long.
It begins with
thinking what we think.

08/02/2017 — Make a list of the things
that appeal to you.
Work the things on your list
into your life
on a regular basis.
Beginning now.

08/02/2017 — The Buddha didn’t try to talk
anyone into doing it
the way he did it.
He didn’t say,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life
and no one comes to the Father
but by me”
And I don’t think Jesus said that either.
What I think Jesus said is this:
“No one comes to me
unless the Father draws them.”
I think the Buddha would have said
the same thing:
“The truth draws you to me.
I do not draw you to the truth!”
We are all looking for some word of truth
that strikes a cord,
but the cord is there before the word,
waiting to be awakened
by the vibration of realization
stirring to life in our soul.

08/02/2017 — Women have the right
to choose whether
to carry a pregnancy to term.
No woman can be sentenced
to 9 months of pregnancy,
or forced to be pregnant
against her will.

08/02/2017 — Today’s cameras make it easy
to know the picture
is well-focused and exposed.
That leaves
subject matter,
and lighting.
That’s where
the person holding the camera
comes into the picture.

4412.  08/03/2017 — Dogwoods 2016 07 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, March 30, 2016Look closer at the things
that catch your eye.
Deepen your association
with the things
that strike a cord with you.
Resonance is a reliable guide
to where we need to be.
Disinterest and disinclination
are guides of a different sort,
and equally valid and valuable.
Knowing where not to spend our time
keeps us moving
in the search
for what is calling our name.
Our days are limited
from the start.
How many will you spend
where you have
no business being?

4413.  08/04/2017 — King Snake 2017 05 — Indian Land, South Carolina, April 2017We have to know what who we are
and who we are not–
and be right about it.
We have to know what we will do
and what we will not do–
and do it/do it not.
We have to know what we must do
and what we must not do–
and do it/do it not.
We have to know what we can do
and what we cannot do–
and do it/do it not.
We have to know what we like to do
and what we don’t like to do–
and do what we don’t like to do
when it needs to be done
(bearing in mind the above stipulations).
We have to know what needs to be done
and what does not need to be done–
and do what needs to be done
(in light of the above stipulations).
Living well is getting the ratios right
in each situation as it arises.
This is called growing up
and being who we are
AND doing what needs to be done
even when we don’t want to do it–
if it can be done,
and if we can do it.

08/04/2017 — The Trumpster’s story in two short sentences:

“When I do this, that happens.
Why do I keep doing this?”

The end.

08/05/2017 — Some people think it isn’t fair
if they can’t have more
than everybody else.
Some people think
they shouldn’t have to pay taxes
for benefits
they are too wealthy to need.
If we can’t agree about what is fair,
just, right and good,
it’s going to be a long
and feisty road.

08/05/2017 — Religious freedom means
freedom FROM religion.
It means not having
someone else’s religion
forced on you.

It means not being compelled
to serve someone else’s idea
of God.

It means if you are in the business
of selling wedding cakes
to the public,
you cannot require the public
to have weddings
the way your religion
thinks weddings ought to be.

If your religion keeps you
from selling wedding cakes
for certain weddings,
you are in the wrong
Or, in the wrong religion.

Either way,
you are free to make the call.
But, you are not free to withhold
services to some
based on what your religion
tells you about who deserves
your services and who doesn’t.

4414.  08/05/2017 — Pioneer School House 2017 01 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, August 3, 2017

There is resistance,
and there is acquiescence.
and concession.
Refusal to submit,
and surrender.
All are valid, legitimate,
reasonable, prudent and appropriate
responses to the circumstances
of life.
When to do what is the question.
How do we know when it is time
for one and not the other?
How do we decide what to do
here and now?
What guides our boat
on its path through the sea.
What determines
when we stand firm
and when we step aside?
It could be
that we aren’t as
rational and logical,
or even as
consistent and dependable
as we like to think.

08/05/2017 — The right we are to seek
in any situation
is the right that is right
for that situation
in light of the all-ness
of the situation-as-a-whole–
not a special interest’s interest
in the situation.
Right is what the situation calls for,
not what is imposed on the situation
from the standpoint of precedent,
tradition, ideology or theology.
In doing what is right,
we are not trying to please someone–
not even God.
We are doing what is right.
But, there is a catch:
We have to be right about
what we declare to be right.
How do we know?
Time will tell.
We take a chance on ourselves,
on our read of the moment,
on our ability to see what is happening
and to know what to do about it.
We may be wrong a lot
in our service
to our perception of what is right,
but we will never be wrong
in serving our perception of what is right.
It’s called living with everything
on the line,
and trusting ourselves
to figure it out eventually–
and not being blown away
when we don’t.

08/05/2017 — Slavery
was right,
and then it became wrong.
Homosexuality was wrong,
and then it became right.
Slavery was always wrong,
and homosexuality was always right.
The wrongness of slavery
and the rightness of homosexuality
do not depend
upon some decree from on high.
We don’t have to wait
for the Bible (for instance)
to tell us what is right or wrong.
We only have to be attuned
to what is happening,
and to what needs to happen
in light of what makes good good
and right right–
in a “Truth Will Out!” kind of way.
How good is the good we call good?
How right is the right we say is right?
How do we evaluate the value of our values?
By what authority do we determine
how we are to live our life?

08/05/2017 — When I walk in the woods,
I know where I start
and trust myself to figure out
how to get back there
at the finish.
Between the start and the finish,
I have no idea of where I’m going.
Practically each step
is taken toward what appears
to be the way most open–
most free of briars and branches–
in that particular moment.
My path is determined
by the situation that develops
and enfolds me as I go.
There is no forcing my way
through thick brush
no matter what.
I take what is available,
following the strategy
of sailors at sea,
going with the favorable wind
in the general direction
of there and back.

08/05/2017 — When I take the camera
for a walk
looking for the wily photo
it’s always
as though for the first time.
Except that this time
I know it will be so
for all times.
The very first time,
I thought there would
come a time
when I was a rookie no more.
Now, I understand that will never be.
So, I go down the check list,
much like pilots before takeoff,
pulling myself into this world
of shutter speeds and apertures
tripods and ISO’s…
There is so much
to remind myself of,
so much to forget I’ve forgotten–
I have to focus
and remember.
And, I read through the manual
a couple of times a year.
I know of people
who think Real Photographers
could write the manual,
and never need to read it.
I’ll never be one of those.
Twenty years into these walks,
I’m just now beginning
to trust myself to know
how to get everything in focus,
near to far–
if I remember to do
what needs to be done.

4415.  08/06/2017 — Carolina Thread Trail 2017 01 — Twelve-mile Creek, Waxhaw, North Carolina, August 5, 2017

Reality does not go away–
cannot be disappeared–
refuses to quit–
requires us to grow up
against our will
and make our peace
with the truth
of what is good and bad,
right and wrong,
just and merciful,
kind and compassionate,
necessary and essential
about our life.
When we say
“Truth Will Out,”
we mean
the reality of the situation
cannot be denied
and values are more real
than white sheets,
burning crosses
and lynch mobs.
Hitler was right
in Hitler’s eyes,
but Hitler was wrong.

08/06/2017 — Landscape/Nature photographers
spend all of their time
waiting for the light.
They ride around in bad light
looking for places to be
in good light.
Photography is all about
the light.
If you want to take better photos,
wait for better light.

4416.  08/07/2017 — Carolina Thread Trail 2017 03 — A Path Through Summer, Waxhaw, North Carolina, August 5, 2017

There is no difference
between taking something on faith
and making it up.
Everything ever taken on faith
was made up by somebody.
The thing most often
taken on faith
is that the people
who tell us to take it on faith
know what they are talking about.
We just make that up.
Religion is superstition
putting on airs.
We make it up
as a hedge against
the encroaching emptiness
and the darkness
of our despair.
If we are going
to make something up–
and we have no choice
in the matter
(No one knows the answers
to the questions
that make religion and superstition
a comfort to our souls)–
why not make up something
that is honest
about what it knows
and doesn’t know?
Why not start with the fact
that we are making it up?
And make it up from there
in ways that take the facts
into account,
and don’t explain anything
on the basis of pretending
to know more than can be known?
Why not approach what we don’t know
from the standpoint of what we do know,
in full recognition of,
and with complete transparency about,
the necessity of hypothesis,
and experimentation
in making our way into the unknown?
Start with the premise
that we are not alone–
that there is more
to each of us
than meets the eye–
that inner space
is at least as vast
and as unexplored
as outer space,
and that it matters
how we live our life.
And see where it goes.

08/07/2017 — A lot is being made up
in Republican ideology
about everyone being
responsible for his/her
own outcomes.
People who are wealthy
are wealthy because
they are self-disciplined,
work hard,
and deserve their wealth.
People who are impoverished
are poor because
they are shiftless,
lazy and of no account,
and deserve their poverty.
Those conclusions ignore the facts.
The fact is that Donald Trump
inherited $10 million
and bullied/lied/swindled/conned
his way into the rest.
Every wealthy person
is wealthy because
they are lucky to have the resources
to position them to be wealthy.
Every poor person
is poor because
they are unlucky enough to not have
the resources
that would position them to be wealthy.
Hard work can optimize good luck,
but it cannot offset bad luck.
Give the wealthy the bad luck of the poor,
and the poor the good luck of the wealthy,
and you would see a shift in fortune
around the table,
practically over night.

08/07/2017 —   If you find yourself these days
oscillating between
despair and hopelessness,
or down to your last
finger hold
on the crumbling edge
of the Void,
take heart!
The Bagavad Gita
was written with you
in mind!
There, you will find,
the formula repeated
over and over,
Effort Is The Only Rewarded Virtue!
And, remember,
Joseph Campbell said
the recurring theme
of the Gita is:
“Get in there,
and do your thing!
And don’t worry
about the outcome!”
We have to live like
today is the last day
and that it all depends
on how we live it.
Or (remember again),
as the Native Americans
would tell their young people
leaving home
to seek their fortune in the world:
“As you go out from here
to find and live your life,
the birds of the air
will shit on you–
do not pause even
to wipe it off!”
So, don’t let the headlines
slow you down.
We have work to do,
and everything rides
on how well we do it.

4417.  08/08/2017 — Bench 2017 01 B&W — Charlotte, North Carolina, August 7, 2017

If we could get the
“I’m rotten to the core
and Jesus is my only hope”
conviction out of our system,
the world would be
a different place–
and we would be different people.
In the Christianized West,
we grow up looking
for excuses or escape,
completely incapable
of being “comfortable
inside our own skins.”
Ditching theology
is our only Real Hope!
Jesus did not live
with the theology
his disciples and theirs
passed on to us.
He said, “You shall know the truth,
and the truth will set you free!”
And the truth is
that we are bound
by our fear
of what we might do
with freedom.
Freedom is the matrix,
the gestalt,
the ground and background,
against which,
within which,
we become who we are.
We are not evil conceived in sin!
We are the image of the living–
because of being alive in each of us!–
called to incarnate the wonder within,
giving it physical reality
in the life we are living
by living the life that is ours to live
in the time and place,
conditions and circumstances,
that are ours to work with
from birth to death.
We come from the womb
with one purpose to serve:
To find our life and live it
in ways that bring the god within forth
to bless and grace the world.
That’s the truth!
Be free to live it!

08/08/2017 — The Koch Brothers are testing
a hypothesis.
They think with enough money
they can buy the country.
After all, Manhattan was purchased
with a handful of shiny beads
and silver mirrors.
How much could the rest be?
So, they established some Super PAC’s
and paid the way for enough
Representatives and Senators
to have control there,
got a President to name their people
to the Supreme Court
and Federal judgeships countrywide,
have put Republican legislatures,
governors and mayors in place
across the nation,
are gerrymandering districts
to guarantee their candidates
a distinct advantage,
and are suppressing voter rights
and registration in all states.
They have everything locked down
but a free and independent press.
Guess. What. Is. Next.
The fall of Democracy
will be an inside job.

08/08/2017 — Our practice is our life.
Our place is to love our life
“with all our heart,
and spirit”–
to live with complete fidelity,
and faithfulness
to our life.
No half-ass’n around!
No being flip,
asleep at the wheel!
We are to live our life
like Michael Jordan
(and all those like him)
played basketball.
We get out of bed
and go live TODAY!
If we can’t do that–
if we don’t do that–
we have to sit down
with ourselves
and talk it out.
Our work is to
live our life!
What is keeping that
from happening?

08/08/2017 — We are conscious egos
and unconscious psyches,
and we have to collaborate
on our joint life together.
We are not at war.
We are married
at the deepest level.
One is not the subordinate
of the other.
Neither is to disappear
so that there is nothing
but the other.
We work to become
conscious of that which is unconscious,
and to live in ways that incarnate
our union
in the world of space and time.

08/08/2017 — Jesus lived true to his vision of the Good,
at one with the life that was his life to live,
in the service of the gifts,
perspective and perception
that were his to share.

We might say the same thing about Hitler
and Idi Amin.
The difference is that
Jesus was right about the values he valued.
Hitler and Idi Amin were wrong.

I say that with the test of time as the judge.
The weight of the opinion
of the species
over time–
over long stretches of time–
is on the side of Jesus,
against Hitler and Idi Amin.

You could do worse
than letting
the weight of the opinion
of the species
over time
tilt you toward the Good
that is worth your while.

4418.  08/09/2017 — Jesus was from Nazareth,
and “nothing good ever
came from Nazareth.”
Jesus was born in a manger
and died on a cross–
a nondescript beginning
and an ignoble end.
Jesus’ life and death
were themselves
a parable pointing
beyond themselves
to the truth
he lived to proclaim:
“The stone the builders reject
is the chief cornerstone!”
The value of our life
is hidden in plain sight
from all who look
with unseeing eyes.
Jesus was saying:
“Do not mistake
your own worth,
or fail to see
the irreplaceable nature
of your contribution
to the good of the whole!”
He was saying:
“YOU are the cornerstone!
BE who you are!”
His death was a poignant declaration
of the truth that sets us free:
“Don’t expect an outcome
any different than this–
and don’t let your outcomes
stop you from living your life,
from letting your light shine
in all that you do!
Who you are–
who you show yourself to be
through the way
you live your life
has an impact
far beyond anything
you are capable of imagining!
Believe that it is so!
Live as though it is so!
And do not let anything
stop you
from bringing forth
the best you have to offer
in each situation
as it arises–
no matter what your beginning,
or your end,
may be!”
Now, that’s a gospel
worth preaching!
But, you can see
how it might not
pack them in.

08/09/2017 — We govern,
at the very least,
what happens next
right here,
right now.
Don’t tell me
we are impotent,
of having an impact,
with no reason
to be alive!
“Aw, but,”
you’ll say.
“What difference
does what happens next
make in the sorry state
of world affairs?
‘It’s like rearranging
deck chairs
on the Titanic!’
It’s all useless,
and coming
to a very bad end!”
To which I will say,
“How we live in the meantime
makes all the difference!
If you are going to believe
in anything,
believe in that–
and live as though it is so!”
And, where it goes from there
is entirely up to you.

08/09/2017 — Trump is absolutely
incapable of doing the job
he said he could Ace,
and has no business whatsoever
being President of the United States.
And, I have photographs
to find and take.
I have to be about my business
regardless of Trump’s inability
to tend his.
I expect the same
applies to you.

08/09/2017 — No one is keeping score.
We either live our life
to the best of our ability,
or not.
We get up
and meet the situation
as it unfolds before us,
or not.
We evaluate the moment
of our living,
assessing what is happening,
determining what needs to happen
in response,
and acting with the true good
of the whole in mind,
or not.
We rise to the occasion,
or not.
We open ourselves to our life
in ways that deepen,
enlarge us
and grow us up,
or not.
We find our life
to be fulfilling,
and meaningful
just as it is
in its such-as-it-is-ness,
or not.
We die,
having done what we
could think to do
with what
we had to work with,
or not.
That is our joy,
or our grief.

4419.  08/10/2017 — Hosta Blossoms 2017 01 — Indian Land, South Carolina, August 4, 2017

Self-transparency is the sole (soul’s)
prerequisite for a life worth living.
Knowing what we are doing
doesn’t mean knowing what to do.
It means not kidding ourselves
about what we are doing.
Self-transparency is not kidding ourselves.
And it is not berating ourselves
without knowing that we are
berating ourselves.
It is not lying about ourselves
(or to ourselves)
without knowing we are lying
about/to ourselves.
Being true to ourselves
is living aligned with what is
deepest/best/truest about us–
and it is also not deceiving ourselves
about ourselves.
Being truthful starts with
being truthful to ourselves
about ourselves.
Self-deception is the real root
of all evil.
Hitler thought he was doing
the right and necessary thing.
Evil thinks it is good–
thinks bad is good–
thinks it is good to be bad,
and doesn’t know or care
if it is right.
Not knowing what we are doing
and not caring if don’t know,
and not caring if it is not right,
is the fundamental pathology
that is toxic to every living system,
to every living thing.
It is the surest sign of an
inhumane being–
a non-human being.
Knowing what we are doing
and caring about doing
the right thing
in the service of a good
greater than our own
personal good
is the essence
of being human,
and the ground
of our life together.

4420.  08/11/2017 — Lake Crandal 2017 HDR Panorama 05 — Summer Scene, Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, August 10, 2017

Religion is what we tell ourselves
to feel better about our life.
The Buddha said,
“Life sucks.
Love one another
and do your best anyway!”
Jesus said,
“Life is our cross to bear.
Love one another
and do your best anyway!”
Any religion
that gets away
from this basic story line
is to be avoided.
Good religion–
religion at its best–
squares us up with the truth
on all levels
of the life we are living.
Bad religion–
religion at its worst–
lies sweetly to us,
wraps us in denial,
and robs us of our chance
to live as fully as possible
knowing what’s what
while loving one another
and doing our best anyway.
Bad religion keeps us
from loving one another
and doing our best,
and uses us for its own ends–
making it one more thing
that sucks about life.
Nathan R. Jessup
(The Jack Nicholson character
in “A Few Good Men”)
nails us all with his,
“You can’t handle the truth!” line.
Bad religion supports his contention.
Good religion replies,
“Truth is the ground of our being,
freeing us to love one another
and do our best
in the face of the worst
life can do!
Knowing the truth means
we have nothing to lose
in living as well as we can imagine!
We not only can handle it–
we can dance with it
and laugh,
knowing that how we live
anyway, nevertheless, even so,
makes all the difference!”

08/11/2017 — Trump spins defeat
into the greatest win ever.
Imagine the Great Master
of Self-Deception
engaged in a game
of Chicken
with Kim Jong-un
in pick-up trucks,
or maybe 18-wheelers,
packed with all
of the nuclear weapons
in their respective arsenals,
roaring toward each other
on a gravel road
in West Virginia,
lined with Trump’s minions
“Take him out, Donald!
And then get our jobs back!
Make America Great Again!
Go, Donald! GO!”
And Donald goes
into oblivion
with the entire world in tow,
slapping himself on the back,
“It was the greatest conflagration ever!”
“I didn’t blink once! Not once!”
“There will never be another like me EVER!”
Nothing can happen
that Donald can’t deny.

08/11/2017 — What are we doing
with the time
we have been given?
What are we doing
with our life?
What do we think
life is for?
What do we think
we are for?
Our place
is to figure out
what matters–
and be right
about it–
and live
in the service
of it.
What has your life–
your lived experience–
shown you
about what matters?
About what doesn’t matter
at all?
What have you learned
from living to this point
that will guide you
in living from this point on?
What will you do
with the time you are given?

4421.  08/12/2017 — Lake Crandal 2017 01 HDR — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, August 10, 2017

It’s all such a test
of our patience and endurance,
resiliency and resolve,
courage and devotion,
compassion and civility
and all of the other
character traits and values
required to deal
with this
and what’s next,
and what’s coming after that!
We have to have a retreat,
a respite,
an oasis for soul and spirit,
some place we can go
to “recover from the past
and store up for the future”
(Robert Ruark, who, toward
the end of his life took solace
in alcohol
and recounting his losses,
and would not,
I expect,
recommend that route,
but would,
I’m sure,
emphasize the essential nature
of having somewhere to turn
that didn’t become
an additional burden
requiring somewhere else to turn
to escape the escape
and find peace for the paths,
trod and untrod).
We have to have a gathering place,
where we can reclaim
the center and ground of our life,
remember who we are
and what we are about,
reorient ourselves
in the service
of what matters most
and what needs us now.
Where do you go
to keep yourself going?

08/12/2018 — When the leaders condone
hatred, fear, rage, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, bigotry, sexism, intolerance and injustice,
the people have to stand firm
in their resistance to evil
and their commitment
to the good,
the just,
the compassionate and loving.
Trump and his minions
are white supremacists.
There is no line between
white supremacists
and Nazis and Fascists.
The Republican Party
has become the vehicle
for imposing nationalistic principles
and policies
that would end any hope
of “liberty and justice for all.”
If you consider yourself
to be a Republican,
you have to recognize
what that has come to mean,
and make a choice
that declares who you are,
and who you are not.
If you are not a Republican,
you have to become politically involved
in the service of your highest values,
saying “NO!” to what must be opposed,
and saying “YES!” to what must be affirmed–
every day for the rest of your life.

08/12/2017 — We grow up on our own.
We find our way alone
through the developmental stages.
There are no shortcuts to maturation.
Nothing helps to lighten the burden
of coming to terms with realities
at odds with how we want
things to be.
Magic wands are useless.
Money only insulates us
from the impact of the unwanted,
and delays the inevitable
realization that there is no escape.
Growing up is the price
we all pay
for security,
and peace of mind.
The only thing more terrible
is to not pay it at all.

08/12/2017 — From a Washington Post report on the Charlottesville violence:

“Asked by a reporter in New Jersey whether he wanted the support of white nationalists, Trump did not respond.”

In response to Trump’s lack of response,
we must keep asking the question
until he responds!

“Do you want the support of white nationalists?”

Shout it out at every public appearance!
Write it on postcards and mail one every day!
Make the question a part of his daily regimen!
Ask it and go on asking it without pause forever
if need be.
The man must come to terms with who he is
and who he is not.
Make him say it

Force the truth to come forth!

Silence is no answer!

4422.  08/13/2017 — Carolina Thread Trail 2017 08 HDR — Waxhaw, North Carolina, August 7, 2017

When Jesus says,
“You are the light of the world,
let your light shine!”
he is talking about
bringing our gifts
to life in our life–
about offering
what we have to give
to the time and place
of our living–
about bringing ourselves forth
to meet the conditions
and circumstances,
the here and now,
of each day–
about being who we are
where we are,
when we are,
how we are–
as a blessing
and a grace
upon those who
find solace in our company
and need what we have to offer.
Jesus would say we do it
by being a neighbor
to those who need a neighbor.
Being a friend
to those who need a friend.
Being the voice
of those who need to be heard.
Being what is needed–
asking the questions
that need to be asked–
saying the things
that cry out to be said–
in behalf of those
who need what we have
to offer.
Being good company
saves the world.

08/13/2017 — I mourn the drift toward
polarity, antagonism and discrimination.
Ridiculing “political correctness”
is disparaging–
and despising–
simple correctness,
fundamental civility.
When we lose civility
we have lost civilization.
All because we
refused to grow up
and do what was being asked of us:
Be kind.
Be just.
Be compassionate.
Be aware.
Be good company.
Take care of your own business,
and don’t mind anyone else’s.
These are the small things
upon which it all depends.

08/13/2017 —   Elvis said, about the women in his life,
“I don’t know if they loved me,
or loved Elvis Presley.”
That was a problem
because Elvis Presley
was a convenient front
for the Elvis
who wanted to be loved
for who he was–
to be loved like his Mama
loved him,
and between the two,
he opted for the Front Man,
selling himself out
for the bright lights,
big cars,
and all that went
with fame and fortune,
never-minding what it left behind,
except in the moments
of loneliness
when the light broke in,
and he couldn’t bear
to look at what he saw.
There is a Font Man,
a Front Woman,
running the show for us all.
How well we are able
to integrate the differences
and live as One Person
in all the phases of our life
is the ingredient
that makes the pie.

4423.  08/14/2017 — Lake Crandal 2017 02 HDR — Summer Reflections, Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, August 10, 2017

Our place is to:
Do the things that need to be done.
Ask the questions that must be asked.
Say the things that cry out to be said.
In every situation as it arises.
All our life long.
Three little things
that will change our world.

08/14/2017 — There are NOT “many sides”
for the President of the United States.
There is only ONE side always:
The Rule of Law!
The President of the United States
embodies the Constitution of the United States.
The President stands for–
in words and in action–
the fundamental principles of democracy
that have established
the United States of America
as the beacon of hope “par excellence”
in the eyes of the world
over generations.
The President cannot be
equivocal, faint, noncommittal, obtuse, ambivalent,
vague, uncertain, indefinite…
The President has to be clear–
and right–
about what is right.
The President of the United States
carries the title:
Leader of the Free World.
As the Leader of the Free World,
The President has to
get out in front and lead(!)
by being the champion
of Liberty, Justice, Equality,
and The Rule of Law
in every situation as it arises
over the full course
of his (or her) life,
in and out of office.

08/14/2017— Carl Jung carved an inscription in Latin
above the door to his home
in Kusnacht, Switzerland.
The English translation reads,
“Invoked, or not invoked,
the God is (will be) present.”
It might better be stated,
“that which has always been called
God is (will be) present.”
“God” narrows the possibilities down
to the present,
or the traditional,
conception/idea of God.
“That which has always been called God”
opens the door to possibilities unknown.
What is beyond our idea of God?
How dare we think we can “conceive”
of a God that/who is
“more than we can ask,
imagine, understand, or say”?
And, why would we “invoke, or not invoke”
that God-beyond-God?
To invoke THAT God
would be to risk having THAT God
destroy everything we have declared
to be good,
and, in its place, set before us
THAT God’s will for us and our life–
perhaps a cross on a hill,
and not a beautiful little home
blessed with “roses, rainbows
and white picket fences.”
It would be a terrible thing
to fall in with a God like THAT!
To not invoke THAT God
would be to go it alone–
to know that we know what is good,
and how things should be,
and exactly what it will take
to be happy, content, and satisfied
And, when has that ever been the case?
For how long?
We stand in the eternal presence
of THE God that/who
is not going away,
and make the call
to invoke or to not invoke–
with everything hanging
in the balance
and on the line.
Which shall it be?

4424.  08/15/2017 — Rustic Schoolhouse 2017 03 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, August 3, 2017

It is such a time to be alive!
So much rides on our individual
participation in–
and support of–
the collective good
of the country
and of the world!
We have to unite with one another
in opposing evil
manifesting itself as racism,
white supremacy,
white nationalism,
Everywhere there is evil
there must be resistance to evil!
Call evil out!
Name evil by name!
Send it an email (every day)!
Stop eating its soup!
Denounce it at every turn!
It is such a time to be alive!

08/15/2017 — Hey Republicans!
You are wrong to think
that Trump is right!
Your complacency
is compliance.
Is complicit.
Is supporting/enabling
racism, white supremacy,
white nationalism, xenophobia,
homophobia, misogyny,
hatred, rage, meanness,
incivility, bigotry,
intolerance, injustice,
in-hospitality, and inhumanity.
You cannot continue to condone
what Jesus denounced
and think of yourselves as Christians.
He would say,
“What does light have to do with darkness?”
He would say,
“Let your light shine!”
What do you say to that?

08/15/2017 — The more clearly Trump defines himself,
the more repulsive he becomes.
His presidency is already a disaster,
and he is now at work on a complete catastrophe.
The country needs to be rescued via an impeachment,
but Congressional Republicans are paralyzed
by inept leadership and cross purposes.
So, here we sit,
watching absurdity and calamity play out before our eyes.

08/15/2017 — We could use lessons in psychic survival
from all those who have gone before us
and have been like us–
like we now are–
cut off from a grounding
sense of confidence, safety and security
for ourselves, our family, our friends,
and society generally,
unsure of what is going to happen
and how best to deal with all of it.
The best I can make out on my own,
with nothing but my imagination
to guide me
(But, that is quite a bit, actually,
in that I understand imagination
to be one of the things about us
which connect us
with “that which has always been called God”),
is to say that we have to consciously
“walk two paths at the same time.”
There is the path of uncertainty, apprehension,
anxiety, fear, dread, terror, angst…
you know the one I mean,
and the path of the everyday routines
we have to complete
in order to be about the business of life–
holding things together
for ourselves, our loved ones, and each other,
while we wait (a third path) for whatever is next
to happen.
We have to trust ourselves to ourselves–
to our imagination
and the skills we have for responding
to whatever is being asked of us
and rising to the occasion,
whatever it may be.
We have been meeting challenges
all our life long,
struggling with ordeals,
finding our way through
one Dark Woods after another.
We only have to talk it out
with ourselves, primarily,
and also with those whose insight we trust.
It helps me to talk it out with myself
by writing it out
(And here you are, looking over my shoulder).
However you do it,
the internal dialogue will help to guide you
along the way
on all the paths we have to tread.

08/16/2017 — Everybody needs two things:
They need a life–
a life beyond what they do
for a living–
a life that is what they do
for a living to do.
And they need a place
where they can tell their story–
where they can be well-received,
listened to,
a place where they belong.
They need to stand out and fit in.
They need to be the individual
they are,
and they need a community
to be a part of.
Without one,
they are lost.
Without both,
they are without hope.
and “hopeless”
describes too many people
in this world–
perhaps in every world
since there has been a world.
Our place in this world
is to help people find
more of what they need,
and so save the world.

4425.  08/16/2017 — For Sale 2017 01 B&W — Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, August 11, 2017

Do not run automatically through stop signs–
the ones that are erected internally–
the red flags,
the warning signals,
the “uh-oh” feeling,
the things we unconsciously do
to call attention
to the need to think about
what we are about to do.
The old rule for railroad crossings applies:
Sit and reflect.
Explore the situation.
What is being ignored?
Be open to all of the possibilities,
and see, hear,
what comes to mind.
And then decide,
whether to proceed or pass.

4426.  08/17/2017 — Carolina Thread Trail 2017 09 — The Force of High Water, Waxhaw, North Carolina, August 7, 2017

What did you dream last night?
All dreams are not equal,
but all dreams have a place.
Some dreams are worth thinking about,
others we have to trust to their own business.
The world that is unconscious to us
is at least as complex
and convoluted
as the world that is conscious to us.
We are the intersection between worlds.
The other world lives through is in this world.
Some dreams are about us,
and some dreams are not.
We have to know the difference,
and attend what needs to be attended.
Attending the dreams that need to be attended
enables us to live better in this world
we would otherwise be able to live.
As we attend our dreams,
we align ourselves with ourselves,
listen to ourselves,
and move toward being ourselves
more fully in this world.

All of this comes to you directly
from what I dreamed last night,
the gist of which was:
“The physical, visible, world
is an extension,
a manifestation,
of the invisible,

We live best when we are
consciously engaged
in making the invisible world visible,
the unconscious world conscious,
the spiritual world physical.”

My first entry on FB each day
often comes directly
from what I dreamed
the night before,
and I may spend several entries,
sometimes over several days
“working through”
the “bigger” dreams.

What did you dream last night?
What does that have do to with you,
and the life you are living,
and the life that is yours to live?

08/17/2017 — This is as honest and as truthful
as I have ever been honest and truthful:

I do not trust the voters to vote.
And, I do not trust those who do vote
to vote with the good of the commonwealth–
the good of the whole–
the good of ALL the people–
in mind.

If all the people
who could be registered to vote,
voted with the true good of the whole
in mind,
the Democracy the Founders created
would hum like a beautiful song
throughout all of time.

Everything hangs on the voters voting
with the good of the whole in mind.


08/2017/17 — We call forth the circumstances
that call us forth.
I, not knowing why,
picked up a book,
Ortega y Gasset’s
“Meditations on Quixote,”
which turns out to be
exactly the next step
for me to take
at this time and place
in my life.
I created the circumstances
that call l me forth.
Odysseus created the Cyclops
by launching himself on the path
that led to the Cyclops.
We create ourselves
by creating the circumstances
that call us forth–
unless, unless, we retreat
into the holes and caves,
and never do anything
“not knowing why,”
and never go anywhere
we are not told to go
by authorities who do
all of our thinking for us
and who tell us,
“Do not do anything
unless we tell you to do it!”

08/17/2017 — What do we have to contend with,
reckon with,
take into account
in order to act
in accordance
with what is being asked of us
in each situation as it arises?
What IS being asked of us?
Surely, there is more to it
than what we want
and what we have to do to get it!
What is in the best interest
of the situation as a whole?
This isn’t a snap decision!
This takes stepping back,
standing aside,
walking around,
sitting down,
being still
and quiet
for a while.
How often do we do that?

08/17/2017 — Everybody needs a philosophy–
a way of thinking
about the way things are,
and the way things need to be,
and what we might do about
the discordance,
and why we should
get up and go at it
some more again–
to keep them going
in the face of odds
quite clearly stacked
against them.
A person without a working philosophy
stands naked before the storm
and won’t last long enough
to begin swimming
when the water rises.

4427.  08/18/2017 — Lake Andrew Jackson 2017 01 Panorama — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, August 14, 2017

Nothing can top realization
for transforming our life
and our world.
If things aren’t working for you,
if they have been going south for too long,
if dismay, despair and depression
are steady companions,
if you have lost the way,
gone off the rails,
and your grove has become a rut,
and you are wondering how to get
your Mojo back,
you need to work
some new realizations
into your day.
How long as it been?
You have been living
with the same old outlook,
the same old perspective,
the same old ways of assessing
your circumstances
and your prospects
for how long now?
If you need some new Umph in your life,
there is nothing like
generating new realizations
to get your heart pounding
and your blood flowing!
All it takes is a little commitment
to the task,
and dedication to the practice,
of reflecting on your experience.
Start by noticing what you tell yourself
about the things that happen in a day.
Look for themes,
worn phrases,
snap judgments,
common critiques and criticisms–
and examine what you are saying
in light of everything
you could say instead.
Change your pattern of evaluation!
Look close at your bias and prejudice
exposed by your choice of words
describing your life experience!
You are tilting the table!
Stop it!
Examine other ways
of seeing
and thinking about
your life experience!
You will be creating new synapses!
Forming new channels for thought to flow!
Changing your life and your world!
Through realization and awareness!

08/18/2017 — We do what we do–
what is ours to do–
for the love of it.
Nothing else will do.
You couldn’t pay us to do it.
You couldn’t shame us into doing it.
When we find what we do
for the love of doing it,
we have found what is ours to do,
and we must do it–
even if it means taking a day job
to pay the bills.
If we turn away
from what we love to do
for the sake of any other thing,
we will have forsaken
our heart’s true love,
and spend the rest of our life
trying to make amends.

08/18/2017 — Our problems are all circumstantial–
with our circumstances.
If we fall into deep water,
we have to swim our way out of it,
or hope for a miraculous intervention
in our behalf.
It would be wise to learn how to swim–
to learn how to develop our ability to respond
to our circumstances
in ways that enable us to swim
with them regardless
of how the metaphor
needs to be applied.

08/18/2017 — Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio–
if/when it comes–
will be another “wink, wink, nod, nod”
to the white supremacists,
“secretly” reassuring them
that he remains on their side.
The guy is incorrigible
and beyond redeeming.
May he read this
and prove me wrong
by refusing to grant the pardon!

4428.  08/19/2017 — Amphitheater 2017 01 Panorama — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, August 3, 2017

We step into our life each day
armed with two weapons:
Yes and No.
Our life as it is
is the cumulative result
of all that we have
said Yes to,
and of all that we have
said No to.
We are our Yes’s and our No’s.
It gets better.
We cannot say Yes to something
without saying No to something else.
We cannot say No to something
without saying Yes to something else.
I have a neighbor who has diabetes.
He cannot say Yes to better health
without saying No to alcohol and desert,
among a long list of other things.
He wants only Yes with no No’s attached.
So, he is saying Yes to alcohol and desert,
and No to improved health.
Yes comes with No built in.
No comes with Yes attached.
Yes implies No.
No implies Yes.
If you can come to terms with that,
you have it made
(as much as you can have it made
in a world where Yes is No and No is Yes).

08/19/2017 — Carl Jung said,
“Our life is not made by ourselves.
The main bulk of it is brought into existence
by forces that are hidden to us.”
If we understood that,
and lived to align ourselves
with those hidden forces–
living, as the old Taoist said,
“in accord with the Tao,”
oh, what a world it would be!
And it is not too late,
even now,
to begin bringing
something of that world
into existence
before our time is up.
If only we would!

08/19/2017 —   Trump continues to show us who he is.
It continues to be unacceptable.
Our role is to continue saying it is unacceptable.
Not because that will change him
so that he becomes acceptable,
but so that no one, especially Trump,
will ever be able to think he is acceptable–
and certainly not,
as he prefers to think,
that he is absolutely perfect in every way.

08/19/2017 — We all might be working
the same side of the street,
but we work it in different ways–
and we work streets that we alone work
(I enjoy pineapple chunks
and chunky peanut butter together,
and banana sandwiches–
and am happy to work
that particular street in your behalf!).
So, the idea of
everybody being in agreement
about what to do and how to do it,
needs to be laid aside
in favor of “This is what I’m doing.
What are you doing?”
And, when it comes to those
who are doing what none of us
thinks has any business being done
(Nazis being Nazis for instance),
we object and erect protections
as we are able against a perspective
that serves its idea of its own good,
at the expense of the good of the whole,
and is the enemy of all the various parts
it does not favor.

08/19/2017 — The best thing about
the right kind of conversation
is the silence between words,
between thoughts.
It isn’t constant chatter,
with lulls drawing
an instant,
“Well, we’re BORING!”
The right kind of conversation
waits for something to say
to come along,
maybe in response to something
already said,
or maybe something that comes to mind
from the depths of the hidden source
of things worth saying.
The right kind of conversation
jogs our memory,
stirs our imagination,
sparks a connection to a book,
or a song,
or a saying…
And we are off to who knows where,
or cares?
It is the walk together that makes
for the joy of the journey,
and we look forward together
for something similar
next time.

4429.  08/20/2017 — Atchafalaya Highways 2014 01 B&W — I-10 east and west bound through the Henderson Swamp of the Atchafalaya River Basin, near Henderson, Louisiana, and a boat that was used to traverse the waters of the swamp before there were highways, February 10, 2014.

The Opioid crisis and the election of Donald Trump
are sacraments testifying
to a reality denied,
yet feared and recognized
as a force beyond imagining
or withstanding.
Sacraments serving an undercurrent
of the culture as
“Outward, visible signs
of an inward, invisible sense
of terminal hopelessness and despair.”
The underside
of the bright, happy, shinny
faces smiling at us
from commercials and ads
selling unlimited happiness
is there to be seen
on any rural–
or urban–
ride through depressed
countrysides and neighborhoods.
Go for a drive!
Take a look!
At the America we pretend isn’t there!
The people we don’t see
on the other side of our tinted windows
are the other side of society.
The abandoned and lost,
betrayed by promises of prosperity
and glory,
with only painkillers
and more false promises
to keep them going
nowhere forever everlasting
world without end amen.
The culture creates them
and their replacements
by the generation,
desperate and despised,
with no one
to notice, see, care about,
and most assuredly,
to not help.
Where do they turn?
What do they do?
Hope for deliverance,
and in the meantime
tune out, turn on, stay high.
Hatred also is a high,
and white supremacists
are desperate to the core,
wishing they weren’t
who they are
and have to be
because there is nothing else
for them anywhere.
They have no place
anymore than any of the others.
And that is what remains
for all of us to acknowledge
and address.
How do we find our place–
and help others find their place?
How do we find our life–
and help others find their life–
and live it?
The culture’s place in our life,
personally and corporately,
is to enable us to ask
and answer
the questions.
It is our place to create a culture
that does this well.

08/20/2017 — The ideal is self-transparency
and values that would be valued
by the considered opinion
of the whole of humankind
over the entire range
of our existence as a species.
The Good is always coming into focus–
and it would have always been good
and will always be good
when viewed with eyes that see.
What is good here and now?
How do we know?
Who is to say?
We answer the questions
differently over time–
IF we are mindfully aware
of the impact of our living
upon our body,
our life,
and our view of the good.
Life shows us what is good
over time–
IF we are awake and aware
in addition to being alive.
Jacob Bronowski said:
“If you want to know the truth,
you have to live in certain ways.”
The same thing goes for The Good.
The Good is recognized–
by those who endeavor
to understand,
and to align themselves with,
The Good.
The Good cannot be understood
abstractly, as a concept,
as statutes, creeds, norms
or ideology.
It can be understood
only from the standpoint
of lived experience–
an experience that evolves
over the course
of our individual lifetime
and over the entire duration
of the experience of the species
as a whole.
We live into The Good.
We do not think it into existence.
IT brings US into existence–
as moral, caring, compassionate,
just, loving, merciful
human beings,
IF we participate in the miracle
of our own becoming
through the process
of the relentless pursuit of–
and service to–
The Good
throughout our life.

08/20/2017 — Anybody can do well
with life like they want it to be.
The trick is to do well
with life like it is.
Over time.
Long stretches of time.
The trick is to see
all that we don’t like
as trials and ordeals,
as challenges,
as circumstances
which call us forth
to rise to the occasion
and do what needs to be done
the way it needs to be done,
with grace and compassion
and noble hearts–
without making anything worse
by the way we respond to it,
one day after another,
all our life long.
That is the trick
that the mature
and well-respected
among us master,
while the rest of us
pout, whine, moan, snarl and complain.

08/20/2017 — Making health insurance affordable
for all people
is a problem only because
Republicans don’t want to help people
who, in their view, don’t deserve it.
“Only the deserving poor
qualify for help!” they say.
Never-minding that Jesus said,
“Come unto me all you who are heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest!”
With no stipulations beyond being burdened.
And told his disciples to offer cold water
to those who are thirsty
without first giving them blood tests
and running background checks
to make sure they
were the right kind of people.
Those Republicans talk about the Bible
and apply it to everyone but themselves.

4430.  08/21/2017 — A Walk in the Woods Summer 2017 02 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, August 2, 2017

Self-transparency and mindful awareness
are two terms for the same experience.
They are the same thing.
We cannot be one without being the other.
Stupidity is the pronounced absence of either.
Perhaps, Donald Trump comes to mind.
Stupidity has nothing to do with intelligence,
or with education.
It is strictly about a lack of awareness
(and we cannot be aware without being self-transparent).
Some people may be constitutionally
incapable of being aware/self-aware/self-transparent,
which is to say that some people
may be constitutionally programed for stupidity.
The remainder of the human population
could be trained to be aware/self-aware/self-transparent–
that is to say, savvy.
Savviness can be learned.
Let’s start with me and you.
Let’s us make a pact to become savvy
by paying attention in the right kind of way.
We could begin by watching
all of the Jon Kabat-Zinn videos on YouTube.
Watch the short ones first,
and take up the practice of becoming
aware of yourself and your world each day.
If we do that,
we will be savvy in no time,
and the world will be a different place.

08/21/2017 — If world terrorist organizations
aren’t cluing into how easy it is
to ram US Navy vessels,
we don’t have as much to worry about
as I think we do.

4431.  08/21/2017 — Eclipsed 2017 01 — Ridgeway, South Carolina, home of The Old Town Hall Restaurant & Pub, Ruff Hardware Co. (Since 1840) and Laura’s Tea Room (Where Southern comfort meets you the door). August 21, 2017

What was the last thing
that moved you to tears?
A movie?
Sit with the memory
and reflect on the source of the tears.
Where did they come from?
Why tears?
Why not giggles?
Only tears will do.
Sit with the tears, listening.
Seek understanding beyond words.
Not explanation.
Not knowledge.
Understand the tears.
Seek the source.
You will be close to the heart
of religion at its best,
without the theology,
without the doctrines,
without the creeds…
with only understanding.

4432.  08/22/2017 — Lake Crandal 2017 03 HDR — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, August 10, 2017

Learn to consult the Inner Guides.
I think we are an entire rooming house
of experts in many fields–
however many have been needed
by our kind
over the course of our existence
as a species.
Ancestors with something to say,
with a stake in our outcome.
If you think this is absurd
consider the things we have
taken as absolute truth–
consider the things science
has taken as absolute truth!
Everything we believe with all our heart
is confirmed by our experience!
This is a psychological law,
and evidence of the funny way our heart
impacts our experience.
Believing it with all our heart
makes it so.
And, if we are going to make something so,
why not something that serves us
as a comfort and a guide?
Allow your inner world to be at least
as complex and mysterious
as your outer world,
and open yourself to the possibility
of Inner Guides.
You will be amazed
at what they have to say.

4433.  08/23/2017 — Eclipsed 2017 03 Panorama — 1940’s General Store, Ridgeway, South Carolina, August 21, 2017

People are always talking about God’s will,
what God’s will is and isn’t,
praying for God’s will to be done,
seeking to be in the center of God’s will…Who determines what is and is not God’s will?
You do.
I do.
We do.
We say what God’s will is and isn’t,
when and where it is being done or not,
and whether we are in the center of it or not…
God’s will is something that some human being
declares to be so or not so.
They may all say
“The Bible says” that something is God’s will,
but who says that what the Bible says is God’s will?
Human beings,
that’s who.
We say what is God’s will
as though we know what we are talking about.
What we are talking about
is our will for God–
who God would be if we were God–
how God would do it if we were God.
We are the God at the heart
of all of our theology.
And, with that realization,
all of our religion is exposed
as a projection of ourselves onto
the God we create in our own image.
Recalling our projections
places us at the center of our own life,
puts us in charge of determining what is right,
makes us responsible for our choices and decisions,
and focuses us on the importance
of listening to ourselves
and collaborating with ourselves
in the production of a life worth living.
Which brings us back to the place
of cultivating an intense relationship
with the Inner Guides.
If we aren’t doing that,
we are kidding ourselves,
while being blown about
like leaves in the wind.

08/23/2017 — The basis of morality and ethics
is self-transparency
and compassionate, non-judgmental,
mindful awareness.
The should’s and ought’s
and the good they serve
are generated/recognized
by compassionate awareness
of the relationships among the parts
and between the parts and the whole.
When we see, hear, know and understand,
the right course of action unfolds before us
and we act in accord with what is good and right
for each situation as it arises.
This is skewed by greed, selfishness
and the desire for power and control
over others
in the service of our own best interest
at the expense of theirs
and the good of the situation as a whole.
We have to live with ourselves
and with one another
in good faith.
When good faith is absent,
no system of morals, mores, ethics, rules, norms
and conventions
can keep things from devolving
into an awful mess.

4434.  08/24/2017— Carolina Thread Trail 2017 05 — The Force of High Water, Twelve Mile Creek, Waxhaw, North Carolina, August 7, 2017

In the meantime what?
While we are waiting
for things to get better,
for what’s going to happen to happen,
for clarity,
and direction,
The Next Thing!
Whatever Needs To Be Done!
For me, that is writing this–
and while I’m writing this,
I’m also watering the lawn
and flower beds.
I’ll prepare lunch
(I’m the cook at our house)
and take a nap,
and deal with things
that come up all along the way.
The Next Thing!
carries us along life’s way
while we wait,
between the Big Things,
for clarity,
and direction.
The Next Thing!
provides as much clarity
and direction
as we need
(and are going to get)
for most here-and-now’s.
Stability and hope
have to wait for the time to be right.
The time is always right
for The Next Thing!
All we have to know
is what that is.

08/24/2017 — I miss stability,
personal emotional security,
fidelity to the good of the commonwealth,
and to the Constitution,
and to the Rule of Law,
and to Democracy,
and to Civil/Human Rights,
and to Education,
and to the Environment…
in the person in the office
of President of the United States.
What did Trump think the requirements
and duties were?
What makes him think he can
get by with nothing?
This is worse than shooting
someone in broad daylight
on 5th Avenue.

08/24/2017 — In our personal conversations
with family, friends and acquaintances
(and total strangers),
we are not looking for agreement.
We are looking for reflection
and realization.
Conversation that does not result
in reflection and realization
is completely valueless
even as social interchange.
It is a waste of time and energy.
Carl Jung said:
“The more your actual life
becomes routine and habit,
the less it will be satisfactory.”
The most routine and habitual
thing about us
is the nature of our conversations.
We carefully steer clear
of anything approaching
reflection and realization.
How often do you ask,
how often are you asked,
“What stands out for you
about your life?”
(Or “The past year?”)
We avoid all of the interesting,
and we debate opinions
and points of view.
Routine and habitual
are the words we strive
to keep in place
about our conversations
and our life.
We have been saying and doing
the same things
all our life long.

08/24/2017 — All belief is self-validating opinion,
and has nothing to do
with saving our soul.
We save–that is, restore–our soul
when we live a life
that is aligned
with the deepest/highest values–
that is integrated
and at one
with the best we can imagine
in each situation
as it arises.

4435.  08/25/2017— Lake Haigler Loop Trail 2017 01 HDR — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, August 24, 2017

We spend our life squaring ourselves up
with how things have been
and how things are–
with what has been done to us
and not done at all,
with what we have done
and left undone.
Our circumstances condition our life,
and shape what we make of ourselves
in living it.
How we respond to the matrix–
the milieu,
the gestalt–
of our living
sets the stage
for how we will respond.
We are the accumulation
of our reaction
to our circumstances
over time.
Don’t you think it is time
we take all of that
into consideration,
and began to live mindfully aware
of how much we contribute
(perhaps by failing to contribute
much of anything)
to the life we blame
for not having a life?

4436.  08/26/2017— Rocky Creek Trail 2017 06 HDR — Carolina Thread Trail, Great Falls, South Carolina, August 25, 2017

There is an irrational undercurrent
in defiant opposition
to every psychological advance
across the human species
through the long reach of time.
We see it everywhere we look.
Donald Trump and his minions
carry the flag of emotional irrationality,
and make it popular to be illogical,
ludicrous, absurd and dangerous.
Nazi’s and white supremacists
burn white with groundless,
unspeakable, fear.
talk show hosts,
and conspiracy theories
fan the flames,
and bad religion is a bellows
raising the heat to explosive levels.
Civilization is a testament
to the advance of psychological maturity
over the years,
yet, the Huns and Vandals
are always at the gate
to pillage and destroy
and sweep it away,
back into the darkness
of ignorance and superstition
that were the womb
from which we all were born.
We are never far
from our roots,
and the dialectic
plays itself out in each generation.
The Dark Ages threaten
to burst forth in every age,
and the children of light
have to understand
the nature of the dance
being danced through time,
and stand firm against
the winds howling up
from the unconscious regions,
in the knowledge
that they carry the light
of consciousness,
and are the guardians
and incarnations
of the high/deep values,
and that upon them rides
the hope of humankind.

08/26/2017 — Let’s say you are walking along,
minding your own business,
singing a happy song,
or whistling a merry tune,
when all of a sudden,
right out of the blue,
you fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
What are you going to do?
Start swimming!
Or, at least, treading water!
Doing the Dead Man’s/Woman’s Float!
This is called swimming with your circumstances.
Sometimes, it is called dancing with your circumstances.
It means you give yourself over to your circumstances,
and do what they are demanding of you.
You acquiesce to your circumstances
and do what they require of you–
and wait for the door to open.
Waiting for the door to open
means watching to see
what your circumstances bring you
to help you deal with your circumstances.
Maybe, back to swimming in the ocean,
a boat will float up,
and you can climb in,
or a boat with tourists comes by,
and you can call out for help.
Something will happen.
Circumstances are always changing.
You didn’t see the Atlantic Ocean coming,
and you won’t see the next thing coming,
so be prepared.
Attitude and perspective are everything.
Some people are so sour,
so moaning and complaining,
that if a boat, say, came along
and banged them in the head,
they would wail and flail about,
whining “Why ME?
Being thrown in the ocean isn’t enough!
NOW I’m getting hit in the head
by a drifting boat!”
Some people are just that way.
They don’t know an open door
when they see one.
Do not be one of those people!
When the door opens,
walk through.
And watch for the next door to open.
And it will.
Because circumstances are always changing.

4437.  08/27/2017— Charlotte Skyline 2017 2-A HDR — Charlotte, North Carolina, August 26, 2017

Our Myth is what we tell ourselves
to justify our existence,
excuse our life,
explain our circumstances,
and placate the gods,
or whatever we think
controls our fate
and our destiny.
It is what we make up
to help us feel better
about the life we are living
and the one we see ourselves
as being capable of living.
Everyone tells herself,
tells himself,
that has the power
to keep her,
to keep him,Whatever we tell ourselves
to keep ourselves going
is our Myth.
Knowing what our Myth is,
and that it is what we tell ourselves
to keep ourselves going,
is the essential step required
to become co-creators of the Myth
that makes us who we are
and forms/shapes our life.
As we become actively engaged
in making the Myth
that makes us,
we step away from the passive
acceptance of our life as it is,
and merge with “the power of the Force,”
becoming one with that which
has always been called God,
and discover that we are capable of–
that our life is–
far more than we ever imagined.

4438.  08/28/2017— Charlotte Skyline 2017 05 — Charlotte, North Carolina, August 27, 2017

Jesus said, “Let your little light shine!
Don’t hide it under a basket!”
Jesus said, “Don’t bury your talent,
or conceal the gifts you have been given,
but share them widely
in the service of the true good of the whole!”
Jesus said, “I am me and you are you,
and when you are being you,
you are being me,
and when I am being me,
I am being you!
Being me means being you!”
Jesus said, “The truth of me
and the truth of you
is the same truth!”
Jesus said, “When you deny you,
you deny me,
and when you deny me,
you deny you.”
Jesus said, “When you meet the Buddha on the road,
understand that when he meets you,
HE is meeting the Buddha on the road–
and if you substitute ‘the Buddha’
for ‘the Christ,’
you know all you need to know,
and only need to do what follows
from knowing what you know:
Know what you know,
and be true to yourself
in every situation as it arises!
Why make things more difficult
than they are?”

08/28/2017 — Too many people are waiting
for someone to tell them what to do.
If you are one of those people:
Stop waiting for someone to tell you what to do!

08/28/2017 — The next time you have a meditative/reflective moment,
sit quietly and imagine that you are on a beach,
standing just beyond the reach of the waves,
watching them come to shore.
Stand there watching the waves
until something unexpected happens.
Then, follow the action
until the experience draws itself to a close.

4439.  08/29/2017— Pharr Family Preserve 2017 01 — Carolina Thread Trail, Rocky River, Midland, North Carolina, August 26, 2017

Carl Jung said,
“If a person wants to be cured
it is necessary to find a way
in which his conscious personality
and his Shadow
can live together.”
We have to make peace
with our opposites within.
Our ambivalence,
or, our absolute certainty
in contradictory ways–
is the source of
many of our problems.
Our lack of clarity,
and our inability–
our refusal–
to be of one mind
about much of anything–
is our ruin.
Integrity requires integration.
We have to sit
with our contraries
and our contradictions
and negotiate a settlement
we can live with
consciously and in good faith.
and acceptance
are the paths
to oneness of being and doing,
the ground of wholeness and health.

4440. 08/30/2017— Charlotte Skyline 2017 09 — Little Sugar Greenway, Carolina Thread Trail, Charlotte, North Carolina, August 27, 2017

Everybody’s looking to get ahead.
To get ahead,
you have to get a leg up
on the competition.
You have to play your cards right.
You have to have prospects
and work your advantages.
That’s where God comes in.
You have to get God on your side,
and keep Him there
(It’s always “Him,”
and it’s always spelled with a capital H–
you have to take care of all the details
if you want to keep God on your side).
Bad religion is the product
of a life that has lost its bearings.
Getting God on our side
and keeping “Him” there
is the ground of self-serving religion,
and self-serving is the polar opposite
of religion at its best.
There is no “ahead” and no “behind”
with religion at its best.
There is nothing to gain
and nothing to lose–
there is only the experience of being alive.
Openness to the experience
of here and now
is the sine qua non
of religion at its best,
which is out of the question
for those who are always saying,
“Not THIS! Not THIS!
THAT– NO! THAT over there!”

08/30/2017 — Flash back to standing on the beach,
watching the waves come in…
Something unexpected happened,
and you watched as the action unfolded
in your imagination.
It is the stuff that dreams
are made of,
and it is your place to reflect
on the experience
and arrive at new realizations.
What does it mean
that you had that experience?
What is the first thing
that comes to mind
as you wonder,
“What is this experience saying?”
Enter back into the experience
and interpret everything that happens.
Dig for the meaning.
Why this and not something else?
What does it bring to mind?
Stir to life within you?
What feelings come up?
What questions arise?
What is addressing you?
Being asked of you?
Being disclosed to you?
If you were to understand it
as a message from you to you,
what would you be saying to you?
Explore the experience.
See where it leads.

4441.  08/31/2017— Field Corn 2017 01 HDR — Midland, North Carolina, August 26, 2017

What is the meaning of life?
Is not the question.
What do we find to be meaningful
about our life?
Is the question.
We come into the world
in quest of what is meaningful.
We live our life
in search of what is meaningful–
that we might devote ourselves to it,
pledge to it our fidelity,
our fealty and liege loyalty,
and serve it with our life.
There is no separation
between finding our life and living it,
and finding what is meaningful and serving it.
This is our Quest.
To give it no heed,
or to miss the mark about
what matters most,
is the Unpardonable Sin,
for which we are tossed
out of Eden
clutching the wrong thing
to our chest.

4442.  09/01/2017— Catawba River 2017 01 HDR — Below the Dam, Tega Cay, North Carolina, August 29, 2017

What is the most meaningful thing
you do in a week?
In a month?
In a year?
The most meaningful thing
you can do for yourself
over the time
you have left
for living
is to mindfully,
seek out
and give yourself
to the service
of the things
that are meaningful
to you
over the time
you have left
for living.

4443.  09/02/2017— Congaree 2017 03 HDR — Congaree National Park, Hopkins, South Carolina, August 31, 2017

If you could get people together
with their life,
and then get out of their way,
you would be saving them
and the entire world along with them.
That’s the real gift of the Christ.
He did it by living his life out before the people
as a living parable of how it is done.
As a way of saying:
“Don’t let anything stop you
in the service of what your life
is asking of you–
not even a cross at the end of the line.”
In so doing, Jesus
underscored the truth
of the old saying,
“The person who sees
in the land of the blind
is king,
or crucified.”
The people who made Jesus king,
crucified him
as surely as those
who crucified him.
That’s life in the land of the blind.

The Donald is a
terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad President.
And, we can’t let that
get us down.
Houston (and the entire coast line of Texas)
is dealing with a flood
of magnanimous proportions,
and the people there
can’t let that get them down.
We all have to deal
with what we are dealing with
with an attitude that doesn’t
get in our way,
add to our burden,
and keep us from doing
our business
the way it needs to be done,
even so.
The Donald is doing
terrible damage,
and we have
to take that into account
without letting it stop us
from doing what is ours to do,
in response and in spite of,
for as long as we have to–
in the spirit of Odysseus,
who said,
“And when the heaving sea
has shaken my raft to pieces,
then I will swim!”

4444.  09/03/2017— Lake Haigler 2017 09 HDR — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, August 24, 2017

I look around and see
a complete lack of preparation.
Houston, Texas was ill prepared.
Donald Trump is ill prepared.
Congress is ill prepared.
The list is incredibly long.
We are not ready
on any level
to meet what is coming,
or to deal appropriately
with what is here.
We have two responses:
“What could happen?”
“Maybe it won’t happen.”
Kidding ourselves is what we do best.
Lying to ourselves is what we do best.
Telling ourselves what we want to hear is what we do best.
Shooting ourselves in the foot is what we do best!
The way is plain before
those with eyes to see:
Develop eyes that see!
Eyes that see,
ears that hear,
hearts that understand
are the basic requirements
for knowing what’s what
and what to do about it
in each situation as it arises.
Reflection leads to realization.
What does thinking about
what we think about
keep us from thinking about?
How does knowing
what we think we know
keep us from knowing
what there is to know?
How are we refusing/failing
to see what we look at?
Where does not wanting
to know the answers
keep us from asking the questions?

4445.  09/04/2017— Rocky Creek Trail 2017 01 — Carolina Thread Trail, Great Falls, South Carolina, August 25, 2017

I would wish up a world in which
all people were free
to do their own thing
with self-transparency
and compassion for all others–
where each respected the other’s rights
to a life of her, or his, own,
and helped one another toward
their individual, personal, good,
without neglecting the good of the whole.
We could do a better job
balancing the good of the individual
with the good of the family,
the good of the tribe,
the good of the region,
the good of the nation,
the good of the whole
A lot better job.
Whose good is served
by the good
we call good?
Whose good is neglected,
How good is a good
that fails to take
the good of others
into account?

09/04/2017 — Trump does something
and says,
“I didn’t do that!”
Trump doesn’t do anything
and says,
“I did that!”
Trump likes playing
the Opposite Game.

09/04/2017 — The “Our Father” update:

O Thou who is always present–
whether acknowledged
and invoked,
or ignored
and avoided–
may you always be sought out
and brought forth,
embodied and made known
in our way of life and being.
Help us know we have all we need
to find what we need
to do what needs to be done
in exhibiting your compassion,
grace, justice and truth,
in every situation
and all circumstances
throughout the time left for living,
that the Way may open before us
and the Good flow from us
as a blessing upon all
and a boon missing none!
Amen–May it be so!

4446.  09/05/2017— Catawba River 2017 03 — Lake Wylie Hydro-electric Dam, Tega Cay, South Carolina, August 29, 2017

We all face the same facts
and deal with the same uncertainties
generated by those facts,
but only some of us are burdened
with panic attacks,
drug addiction,
denial/escape syndrome,
suicidal tendencies…
Fear of life–
of being unable to meet
the requirements of life–
restricts/controls the lives of some,
but not all.
All of us stand in some line,
awaiting consequences and circumstances
that will test our ability
to adapt and adjust–
and eventually making life impossible.
How well we live in the meantime
is a matter of what we make
of the facts that impinge upon us,
and the implications they
have for us–
and of how mindfully aware
we are of the process
of “fact assessment and assimilation.”
We have to know what we know–
and what we fear–
and how that is impacting us,
influencing our behavior,
our perspective,
our perceptions,
our attitude.
Reflection leads to realization.
Realization transforms
the meaning the facts have for us,
and changes the way we live our life.

09/05/2017 — We interpret facts
to suit our fancies.
and intentional mindful awareness
are essential to the process
of interpretation and reflection
in the service of realization.
We have to think about our thinking,
like scientists tracking down
the implications of their observations.
The jump to judgment
leads to conclusions
based on inferences,
and presumption.
And facts are wasted on us
because we refuse to honor them
with the kind of painstaking examination
that would lead us to truth.

4447.  09/06/2017— Charlotte Skyline 2017 08 — Marshall Park, Charlotte, North Carolina, August 28, 2017

Thinking you know more than you know
is the core,
the source,
the foundation
of all the evil in the world,
or anywhere else.
Thinking you know more than anyone knows
is beyond evil
into the far reaches of insanity.
Thinking you know more than can be known
is inflation
gone over into absurdity
disconnected from any vestige
of reality.
The hope of life everywhere
is grounded in people
who know what they know
and what they do not know–
and live to explore the latter
on the basis of the former.
Science is the bedrock of life
beyond the law of the jungle
and the fishes–
where Right is determined
by size, power and ruthless ignorance.

4448.  09/07/2017— Congaree 2017 01 HDR — Congaree National Park, Hopkins, South Carolina, August 31, 2017

Being present with what is present with us,
seeing what we look at in ways
that apprehend the antecedents
to our observations,
knowing what we know
and what we do not know,
understanding where we are
and what is being asked of us–
and how we might find
the most appropriate way
to respond to each moment,
each situation,
each circumstance,
of our living–
and having the courage to do it,
regardless of its implications
for us personally,
is all that is asked of us
by what Carl Jung had in mind
when he said,
“Within each of us
there is another
whom we do not know.”
This is the same one,
about whom Carl Jung had in mind,
when he inscribed above the doorway
into his home,
“Invoked or not invoked,
the God is always present.”
Our place is to be present with what is present with us–
regardless of the outcome
or the price we are asked to pay,
or how often we must turn away from
the delightful compulsions of Eden
to embrace the somber consequences of Gethsemane.

09/07/2017 — We are responsible
for knowing where
our own bedrock lies.
We ground ourselves.
Dig our own foundation.
Place our own cornerstones.
We define ourselves–
not by declaring
what we want to be so,
what we wish were so,
but by acknowledging
how it is with our soul
and what makes our little heart sing,
and our little footsies dance.
Nobody can give us the information
to which we alone are privy.
We have to know what we know,
and do what it asks of us
in being who we are
throughout the time left for living.

4449.  09/08/2017— Field Corn 2017 12 B&W — Midland, North Carolina, August 26, 2017

We have to bear the pain of our life,
the pain of existence,
the full weight of our circumstances
and our prospects,
every day
all day long
in a
“This is the way things are,
and this is what can be done about it,
and that’s that”
kind of way.
Growing up some more again,
and doing what needs to be done
in light of all things considered
is always the best available option.

09/08/2017 — Carl Jung said,
“Every problem brings the possibility
of a widening of consciousness
but also the necessity
of saying goodbye
to childlike unconsciousness.”
And that’s another problem.
We grow up in response
to our problems
or not.
Our degree of maturity
is exhibited in the degree
of consciousness
with which we
deal with our problems.
The line separating maturation
and self-transparency
and conscious awareness
of ourselves and our circumstances
is too fine to be drawn.
For all practical purposes,
it does not exist.
Maturity is not to be found
among those
who do not know who they are,
what is going on in their life,
or what they are doing
in response to it.

4450.  09/09/2017— Field Corn 2017 11 — Midland, North Carolina, August 26, 2017

“It doesn’t matter what the facts are!
We know what the TRUTH is!”
So say the white supremacists.
And the climate change deniers.
And the science-haters.
And the champions of profit at any price.
And the religious-right of all times and places.
And Donald Trump and his minions…
Knowledge is wasted upon those
who lack understanding.
The people who know
without knowing what they are doing,
or what to do
with what they know,
are the bane of the world.
We are bringing the end of life as we know it
onto ourselves.
And it isn’t due to a lack of knowledge–
we know enough to know better–
but a complete,
to understand.
Ignorance at its best
is ignorance at its worst.

09/09/2017 — This hurricane preparation business
is a dance in the dark.
We know something bad–
as in bearing no resemblance
to what we would call “good”–
is coming, but.
We don’t know how bad,
or what it will require of us,
or how best to respond.
We buy our canned soup
and our gallons of water,
and wait to see what happens
and what we do about it.
Hurricanes are metaphors
for reality as we do not
like to think of it.
Truth barrelling down on us,
come to show us
who we are
and what we are made of,
what we can take,
for how long.
We have to have the ground under us
to have a chance
with hurricanes
and with life.
Life asks everything of us,
and takes it from us.
How we deal with that
brings us forth
and makes us known
and worth knowing.
A hurricane is always coming
in some form or another.
You don’t know what will be asked of you,
or how you will respond.
Live to find out!
We learn all we need to know
through what the hurricanes
teach us.
If we understand that,
and live in light of it,
we have it made,
as much as we can have it made,
in a world filled with hurricanes
and tsunamis.

09/09/2017 — Live as though it matters!
That’s all you need to know,
as long as you do it,
every day
for the rest of your life.
If you lived as though it mattered,
as though it matters,
what would be different about you?
That’s the difference
that makes a difference
in your life
and in the lives of those
your life touches,
Get out there
and do it
as only you can,
just like it matters,
because it does!

09/09/2017 — Carl Jung said,
“We wish to make our lives
simple, certain, and smooth,
and for that reason
problems are taboo.”
My past,
and yours,
are crowded to overflowing
with people who refused
to acknowledge
their problems–
they knew they were there,
they drank too much,
or their spouse did,
for example,
but they denied the severty
of them,
and refused to square up
to them,
to tangle with them,
understand them,
and do what needed
to be done
about them.
Their life consisted of finding things
to take their mind off their problems.
Sheldon Kopp said,
“We have to solve
our own problems
every day
for the rest of our life.”
We want things to be
smooth and easy.
And that’s a problem.

4451.  09/10/2017— School House 2017 01 Panorama — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, August 2, 2017

We spend too much time thinking,
or too little,
and no time at all experiencing.
Thinking’s place
is reflecting on our experience.
Without the experience,
we are left with thinking about
what we have, or someone else has,
thought about–
or with not thinking at all.
Not thinking
and not experiencing
leaves us following
the path from the barn
to the pasture
back to the barn,
going through the motions of life
without being alive
to the time and place of our living.
Experience and reflection on experience
lead to new realizations
and new ways of living,
which brings on new experiences,
more reflection,
increasing realization,
and a life bursting at the seams.
I served five congregations
during my 40 years in the ministry,
and none of them was keen
on me telling them something
about God they hadn’t already heard.
That is neither experiencing nor thinking.
Thinking what we have always thought
is not thinking.
Doing what we have always done
is following the path
from the barn to the pasture back to the barn.
Do not go to bed tonight
without doing something
you have never done,
without thinking something
you have never thought,
without experiencing the life
you are living.

09/11/2017— There is a connection
between your interests
and your aptitudes.
When you fail/refuse
to honor your interests,
your aptitudes wither,
dry up,
and you are left
with a life that is stale
and moldy,
and unfit to be lived.
Honoring your interests,
on the other hand,
deepens, expands, enlarges
your aptitudes,
and in the company
of your interests and aptitudes,
you find yourself doing things
you never imagined you would do,
and serve as a vital source
of life, and light, and being
in the lives of your neighbors.
It should be clear by now
what you need to be doing.

4452.  09/11/2017— Lake Haigler 2017 10 HDR — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, August 25, 2017

Vitality, joy, enthusiasm, happiness, peace, contentment…
all of the elements that make life worth living,
are the natural by-products
of living in accord with the Tao,
aligned with the way of things,
at one with the such-as-it-is-ness,
with the just-so-ness,
with who we are and what we are doing,
that flows from serving our interests
and being loyal to the call and direction
of heart and soul.
It has nothing to do with money.
We sell out the bedrock of heart and soul
for the glass beads and silver mirrors
of 30 pieces of gold
all the time–
and wonder what is wrong with this picture,
consistently, dependably, reliably,
over time.
Over long stretches of time.
Over generations,
and ages,
and eons.
We are easily distracted,
and live for the wrong things,
refusing the discipline and dedication
demanded by faith in,
and allegiance to,
the interests and delights
of heart and soul.

09/11/2017 — Carl Jung said,
“Thinking is difficult–
that’s why most people judge.”
are all difficult.
That’s why we opt
for knee-jerk reactions,
shoot from the hip,
and adore
the talk show hosts who,
and tabloid headlines that,
tell us how to think
and what to do.
Yet, for all of our refusal
to be accountable
for our thoughts and actions,
our life for its duration
remains our responsibility.

09/11/2017 — Trump and the Republicans
think it is about increasing
the wealth of the wealthy
and the privileges of the privileged,
by reducing taxes and increasing profits
through getting government out of their way.
Trump and the Republicans
are reducing “the size of government”
by refusing to allocate funds
for necessary services–
the number of support personnel
in the State Department,
the EPA,
advertising signup periods
and supporting the ACA,
and letting programs
like teen pregnancy prevention
and civil rights protections
against white-supremacy
and hate crimes
to go unfunded.
Their callous and cavalier
disregard for,
and disinterest in,
“promoting the general welfare,”
and their oath to
“preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”
is a level of failure to govern
and dereliction of duty
never before exhibited
by a ruling President and Party
in United States history.
If the voters of this country
don’t make them pay
for their transgressions
in the 2018 and 2020 elections,
we will be getting exactly
what we deserve.

09/11/2017 — Sit with the word “exploit,”
and see where it takes you.
Then, when you rise,
and step back into your life,
live there in ways
that are not exploitative.

09/11/2017 — If we take exploitation off the table,
it changes everything.
Things are what they are
based upon the assumption
of exploitation.
We live to get what we can
regardless of the impact
and outcome.
Exploitation is good for the economy.
It is essential for the economy.
“Profit at any price”
is the foundation of the economy.
If it doesn’t serve the economy,
it has no place
and is relegated to the fringe
and shadows.
The revolution is led
by those who refuse
to be exploitative–
who will not serve the economy–
who will not play the game.
Living by the principle
of taking what you need
and sharing what you have
inserts a natural,
principle into the frame work
of existence.
It is the way of some monasteries
and communes,
and can be honored
in the lives of individuals
who take it up voluntarily
as unofficial members
of a shadow collective
of those who never come together,
but live as though they are one
in living in ways that support
what they need
while sharing what they have
with those who have less
than they need.
There is no “getting ahead,”
because there is no place to be
that is much different
or better
than where we are
for those with eyes to see.

09/11/2017 — Compassion says, “NO!”
to hate.
Compassion draws lines,
sets limits,
establishes boundaries,
and insists upon respect
for the civil and human rights
for all people.
Accepting how things are
means accepting the fact
of how things are,
and what they require of us–
not allowing things to be
how they are,
Accepting the fact
of how things are
means accepting
the responsibility
for doing what
must be done
to make things
more like they ought to be
than they are.
It means accepting
our role in saying what goes
and what does not go,
in saying what is allowed
and what is not allowed.
It means saying, “NO!”

09/11/2017 — We are not in charge of how we see things,
any more than we are in charge of how we like things,
or, of how we want things to be.
The best we can do
is be aware of how we see,
what we like (and don’t like),
what we want (and don’t want)–
without making any of this
a norm for how things ought to be.

4453.  09/12/2017— Charlotte Skyline 2017 10 HDR — Little Sugar Creek Greenway, Midtown Park, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3, 2017

What is keeping you from living
in pursuit of–
in the service of–
your interests and aptitudes?
Your work is to deal with it,
put it in its place,
get it out of your way,
and on with your business
of living in pursuit of–
in the service of–
your interests and aptitudes.
That is what you are here to do!
If you aren’t doing it,
you are awash in emptiness
and despair,
anxiety, fear and dread,
knowing that you are missing something,
with no idea of what it might be.
It’s your interests and aptitudes.
You have dismissed them as unimportant–
as hindrances on your way
to fortune and glory and happiness ever after.
There is no, or not enough, anyway,
money in interests and aptitudes,
and you have to go where the money is.
You only have to work out the right ratios!
You only have to determine
what enough money is
to pay the necessary bills
to allow you to live in the service of–
in pursuit of–
your interests and aptitudes.
And get going!

09/12/2017 — Inspiration can be found anywhere,
but it isn’t everywhere.
We have to be sensitive
to its presence,
and aware of its absence–
and always alert
to the things
that catch our eye,
that strike a cord,
that resonate
with the inner drift
of heart and soul.
What moves us?
Moves us to do what?
Needs us to do what?
What is being asked of us?
What is seeking
What wants to know
and to be known?
What is the nature
of our bondage?
The purpose
of our freedom?
We all are heroes in the making,
standing before the epic journey
of what remains
of our life,
even now,
even yet.

09/12/2017 — It is not asking too much
that we live in ways
that do not dishonor any living thing–
in ways that do not denigrate,
or demean,
or deride,
or abuse,
or neglect,
or belittle,
or humiliate,
or ridicule,
or disrespect
any living thing.
It is not asking too much
that we live in ways
that honor all living things,
and cherish,
and respect,
and revere,
and appreciate,
and value,
and exalt,
and adore,
and treasure
every living thing.
Beginning tomorrow,
or, even, right now.

4454.  09/13/2017— Catawba River 2017 08 Panorama — Below the Lake Wylie Hydro-electric Dam, Tega Cay, South Carolina, September 12, 2017

The Real Magic comes
with living our life devotionally
aligned with the moment
of our living
and with our interests and aptitudes–
with our gifts–
believing in the value
and the importance
of our being where we are,
and in the opportunity
to transform our life,
and the lives of others,
and the very experience
of life as we know it,
simply by living attuned
to the situation–
to the circumstances–
here and now,
and offering what we have
to give to it/them,
without being concerned
about what we stand to gain,
our how we might exploit
anything or anyone
for our own good,
but merely being who we are
for the good
of each time and place
that comes our way
in a day.

09/13/2017 — The allure of magic
is grounded in
“NO! Not this!
Anything but this!
I cannot stand this!
I have to get away from this!
The Buddha lived through
the heat and heart
of intolerable circumstances
in transforming his world.
So did Jesus.
And Gandhi.
And Martin Luther King, Jr.
And Rosa Parks.
And Harriet Tubman.
The list is long.
No magic wands.
No deals with the devil.
Just compassion and courage
and a deep, abiding, belief
in the value
of the life they were living
in the service of the good
as they understood it to be.
They all were unshakable
in their conviction
that being who they were
where they were,
when they were,
how they were,
was all the magic
they needed.
Their life was magical.
They changed the world
simply by being
true to themselves
and to their vision
of what was right.
You are the magic wand
you wish you had.
The stone the builder rejects
is the chief cornerstone.
You are what you seek.
Be who you are.

09/13/2017 — Trump has a 34-38% approval rating nationwide.
That translates into an 80-something%
approval rating within the Republican Party.
Trump can get by with anything
because 80-something%
of the Republican Party
thinks whatever he does
is just fine.
8-something out of every 10 Republicans
think Trump is JUST FINE!
That should tell you something
about Republicans.
Do not ever lose sight of that!
And vote as though your life depends on it
in every election great and small
that ever comes your way
for the rest of time–
ever again!

09/13/2017 — Each one of us world-wide
is a potential
“still point in the turning world.”
We only have to
“actualize our potential”
to “make it so”
and transform
the way life is lived world-wide.
We begin the process of actualization
by sitting quietly
and finding our bedrock,
our foundation,
what is solid,
and adamantine
about us.
This is who we are
at the core–
our deepest truth,
our highest value.
What shines through
in the darkest times.
What remains
when all else disintegrates
and disappears.
Focus on that,
on being that,
on bringing that forth,
on exhibiting that,
expressing that,
living in ways that are true to that,
in each situation that arises,
in each set of circumstances that arise,
every day,
all your life long,
and you become
“the still point of the turning world.”

09/13/2017 — If you want to be good at something,
at anything,
you have to do the work.
If you aren’t willing to do the work,
all the paraphernalia the something
you want to be good at requires,
e.g., a horse and some cows
if you want to be good at cowboying,
are props,
not tools,
and you just want to look like a cowboy,
not be one.
If you want to be good at something,
at anything,
buy tools,
not props,
and learn how to use them.
Do the work.
You will get better over time,
and may become good at it.
But not without doing the work.

09/13/2017 — The Trump administration
is destroying rights and freedoms
granted by the Constitution,
and creating an environment
in which only the Chosen People
(That would be white, wealthy, Republican people)
are safe,
and rule in ways that grant them
the favored position
in all matters great and small
throughout all eternity,
or until catastrophes of their own making
bring an end to their version
of Never-Never Land.

09/13/2017 — Very few people would be
tempted to cry for Buster Keaton,
or to laugh at Terry Malloy
(The Marlon Brando character
in “On the Waterfront”).
What is the difference?
Keaton is as much the loser
as Malloy is.
He makes his living losing,
as Malloy did.
Yet, we do not “feel his pain”
or experience his agony,
his anguish,
his angst,
his hopelessness,
as we do with Malloy.
Comedy and tragedy
are all in how we view it.
In how we understand it.
In what we take it to mean.
Perspective is perception.
What we see
depends on
how we look.
How IS something
apart from how we see it?
How do we get outside of,
or beyond,
our seeing in order to SEE?
It takes reflecting
on our experience
to form new realizations
about our experience.
Comedy or tragedy?
Or tragicomedy?
Reflection leads the way,
and changes how we see.

4445.  09/14/2017— Congaree 2017 12/13 Panorama — Congaree National Park, Hopkins, South Carolina, September 1, 2017

Our lives are a tapestry
which we weave
with the themes
that suggest,
flow from,
lead to
the bedrock,
the core,
the source,
the soul/self
at the center
of who we are,
the unknown,
but knowable,
other who lives within.
We are here
to express who we are
and to realize who we are
in the act of expression.
We observe and interpret,
experience, reflect, realize
and react or respond
which produces additional expression,
and the tapestry takes shape around,
and flows from,
and is the life we live.
The more conscious we are of the process,
the more we actively participate in it,
become one with it,
until we can say,
along with Gerard Manley Hopkins,
“What I do is me/For that I came!”
And, if what we do is Not Me?
We have the rest of our life
to get to who it is we are
at rock bottom
by living our way there
a choice/decision at a time–
understanding all the way
that even the Not Me
is part of the work/struggle
to find/express the Me.

09/14/2017 — Flashing back to the watching-the-waves-waiting-for-something-unexpected-to-happen-and-follow-it-to-see-where-it-leads-exercise,
we find there a contact point with Mind.
Where Mind and Psyche part ways
is a mystery to me.
They are two aspects
of the same “thing,”
as far as I can tell–
just as you and I are
(different aspects of the same “thing”).
We connect with who we “also are”
by being open to “the mystery”
(that would be the raw experience
of Mind/Psyche)
when it comes along.
The Unexpected intrusion “at the beach”
is one example
of the Mind/Psyche encounter.
Nighttime dreams are another.
Falling in love is another.
Being gripped by a compelling urge/passion is another.
Resonating with something
that “strikes a cord/catches our eye” is another.
Something unexpected is always breaking into
our normal, ordinary, routine existence
to wake us up
and stir us to life.
What we do then
determines everything that follows.
The formula that needs to be followed is:
Which leads to continued/additional
is calling our name
in 10,000 ways,
seeking recognition/expression
in the world
of physical/tangible/concrete reality/existence.
Seeking to be known,
Seeking to come forth
in our life.
Hoping we will champion
its cause
and be its way in the wilderness
from darkness to light and life.
What does that mean for us?
We’ll have to collaborate to know.

09/14/2017 — We make everything up
to suit ourselves.
What we make of it
is what WE make of it.
Of everything.
Of the things we value
and despise,
long for and dread.
Why do we see
what we see
the way we see it?
Why do we like what we like?
Want what we want?
Fear what we fear?
What is to be seen and how.
What is to be liked and avoided.
What we want and reject.
What we fear and relish.
Why this and not that?
We do not know–
we cannot say–
beyond “This! Not That!”
There must be something
past knowing
that knows.
We lived possessed
by urges and compulsions
we cannot comprehend.
“Free will’ is a laugh.
We are not free to will
what we will,
but are bound to will only
what wills through us.
Whose will
is the will we call ours?
What pulls us to act,
or to refrain from acting?
Whatever it is,
we make it up
to suit ourselves.

09/14/2017 — Authenticity and integrity
are separated
“by the edge of the coin,”
as Ortega y Gasset might say.
Together, they enable vulnerability,
which is the sine qua non of intimacy.
Toss in compassion
and mindful awareness,
and you are well on your way
to a complete human being.
How many of those
do you meet in a day?
Work to be the one
you meet in a mirror.

09/14/2017 — Disregarding everything
you have ever heard or read
about God,
including the Bible,
make a list of all
you know of God
out of your own personal experience.
Where would you go
to be emerged in the sense
of God’s presence?
How often do you go there?
As you go through your day,
what are the things
that you recognize
to be “of God”?
What are the things
you recognize to be
Not God?
Do any of the things
on your list
or in answer to the questions
conflict with the things
you have heard or read about God?
If so, which has authority for you?

4446.  09/15/2017— Pharr Family Preserve Trail 2017 02 HDR — Canoe/Kayak/Inner Tube Launch, Carolina Thread Trail, Rocky River, Midland, North Carolina, August 27, 2017 This is typically the launch point for water adventures on the Rocky River Blueway which continues for about 49 miles to its intersection with the Pee Dee River and another 19 miles to Bleweet Falls Lake. This undammed blueway has six canoe/kayak launch locations along its course, with the nearest one being at the Riverbend Farm Trail, 4.5 miles downstream, also in Midland, NC.

If you don’t do anything
but serve your interests
and aptitudes,
while doing what it takes
to pay the bills,
you will have done,
by the end of your life,
and over the full course
of your body of work,
more to right the world
and shore up the good,
than all you could do
trying to keep the commandments,
toe the line,
walk the straight and narrow,
and be blameless and pure
on the Day of Judgment.
Love what you love,
and trust the rest
to fall into place
around that.
Loving what you love
will engage you
with your life–
and enable you
to be a blessing
on all of life–
in ways you cannot imagine,
but will not be able to deny.

09/14/2017— We cannot give anyone something,
they are not ready to receive.
I tell them,
“I trust you completely
to find your own way
to the light.
I would only blind you
by trying to shine it
into your eyes.”

09/14/2017— Life is dynamic.
Nothing alive is static,
locked in place,
and unchangeable
Certainly not God.
Even the bedrock
is alive–
being transformed
by transforming
it touches.
The people who pride themselves
on spraying every hair in place
miss the point
about the spirit being like the wind,
blowing where it wills.
“Not us!”
they say.
“We have it down
just right,
just like our hair.
We aren’t budging.
Nothing is moving us!”
Jesus said,
“Leave the dead
to bury the dead.
As for you,
don’t let your left hand
know what your right hand
is doing.”

4447.  09/16/2017— Bench 2017 02 — Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2017

If you have been with me for a while,
you know the ocean/sea
is one of my core metaphors
for exploring the depths of our life.
We’ve talked of standing on the shore
watching waves and for something
unexpected to come along.
And of finding ourselves
falling suddenly into the middle
of the Atlantic,
with nothing but “Now What?”
to keep us going.
And, I’ve asked you again and again,
and here it comes again:
“What guides your boat
on its path through the sea?”
Where are you going?
How is what you are doing
helping you get there?
By what authority do you live?
Why that one and not another?
Who told you to believe what you believe?
Why do you believe they know
what you should believe?
Why do you believe what you believe
and not something else instead?
Why do you choose what you choose?
Like what you like?
Want what you want?
See the way you see?
Who picked out your perspective for you?
Your values?
Your idea of right and wrong,
good and evil?
Who tells you what to wear?
What to eat?
Who to hang out with?
Which books to read?
Who does your thinking for you?
Who tells you what to think?
And what not to think?
How did you decide on them
as your guide and director?
Why them and not someone else?
What makes you think
you know what you are doing?
How did you get to be
the way you are?
What do you think
needs changing about you?
How would you improve yourself?
Everyone thinks more money would help.
How would that help you?
In what ways would you be a better person
with more money?
What keeps you from moving
in that direction
with the amount of money you have now?
How is today going to be
different from yesterday?
What guides your boat
on its path through the sea?

09/16/2017 — The President,
Members of Congress
and Members of the Military,
and their families
have affordable, premium, health care
that the GOVERNMENT pays for.
And the President
and Republican Members of Congress
do not want tax-payers to have
what they have
at tax-payers’ expense.
That would make government TOO BIG!
They want government to be
BIG ENOUGH to take care of them
but not big enough
to “promote the general welfare,”
which is what all politicians
promise to do
when they take office.
They think they can hand the people
Fake Health Care
and the people won’t notice,
and will be as happy with that
as they would be
with no health care at all,
which, of course,
is another name for what
they will have.
Call, write, email, text, Tweet
the President and Members of Congress:
“We the people want what you have:
affordable, premium, health care!”

09/16/2017 — Health care is not
a states’ rights issue.
Health care is
a human rights issue.
Health needs do not vary
from state to state.
Health needs vary
from person to person.
ALL people need
the SAME access
to affordable, premium, health care!
The Cassidy-Graham Health Care Bill
would pay states
to determine how health care
is done in each state.
Health care must be managed
on a national level
so that every state
offers affordable, premium, health care
to all people everywhere.
The Navy doesn’t offer sailors
a different quality of health care
than the Air Force offers pilots
or the Army offers foot soldiers.
The military offers
affordable, premium, health care
to all members of the military–
at tax-payers’ expense.
It’s time tax-payers got in on the deal!
Tell the President
and Members of Congress
we do not need Fake Health Care.
We need National, Affordable, Premium,
Health Care for ALL Americans!

09/16/2017 — It is depressing and saddening,
the distance between
the way things are
and the way things ought to be,
and the realization
that what keeps things
the way they are
is the inherent failure/refusal
of human beings
to be who they need to be
within the circumstances
that constitute
the time and place
of their living.
Call it The Eden Syndrome.
We can make everything–
better than it is.
“Better for whom?”
you might ask.
“Better for ourselves.”
Examples litter the landscape,
Let’s look no further
than Members of Congress.
Members of Congress
are elected to serve the best interest
of We The People.
They all promise to
“promote the general welfare,”
in addition to
preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution.
Yet, as soon as the first bill comes along,
they are looking after their own advantage,
with an eye always out for re-election.
So much for representing
the people of the United States of America.
So much for things
as they ought to be.
Where do the Best People
hang out,
I wonder.
What do they do
with themselves
instead of seeking public office?

09/16/2017 — If you have ever felt
as though you woke up
in the wrong life,
you have a lot of company.
It is the human condition.
Our work–
The Hero’s Journey–
The Spiritual Task–
The Vision Quest–
awaiting every person at birth
is that of finding our life–
the one we are built for–
the one that is our life to live–
and living it
in the time that is ours to live.
Every child’s parents
should be experts
in the art of aligning ourselves
with our life,
but they are as lost
as their new born is.
This is both ridiculous
and inexcusable.
We are taught to
not ask questions,
but to distract ourselves
in 10,000 ways
from the nagging sense
that things are not right
with our life,
and “just be happy” at all costs.
This is irresponsible
and indefensible.
Dissatisfaction is a sign
calling us to look closer
at what is wrong
about the life we are living,
and at what we can do
to find the life that is right for us.
We all have what we need
to find what we need
to find our life and live it.
It takes courage,
and the will to bear the pain
of not-knowing what we seek to know
for as long as it takes
to turn things around.
We start with experiencing
our life as it is–
listening until we hear,
looking until we see,
reflecting on our experience
in the search for new realizations–
and we open ourselves to the possibility
of being led,
of being guided,
in ways we cannot explain.
Help comes in strange forms.
Doors hope in strange places.
Our expectations,
our wants, wishes, dreams and desires
can get in the way of The Way,
and we will be better off
being aware of them
without having to have them.
Things will begin to shift
in their own time,
in their own way.
Something will catch our eye.
Something will call our name.
The old will pass away,
and, behold, the new will come.

4448.  09/17/2017— Field Corn 2017 20 Panorama — After the Harvest, Chesterfield, County, South Carolina, September 16, 2017

The right kind of reflection
is the heart of the Spiritual Task,
the Hero’s Journey,
the Vision Quest.
The right kind of reflection
requires a noble heart–
a heart of compassion,
and grace–
a heart that is not afraid
of looking until it sees,
of listening until it hears,
of inquiring until it understands,
and is capable of bearing
the pain of all it knows
in light of all it does not know,
and of waiting
for the way to appear,
the path to emerge,
the door to open,
the light to dawn,
then doing
what needs to be done
for the sake
of the situation
as a whole.
Our life is a lot
to take into account.
We cannot begin to do it
without spending time
in the right kind
of reflection.

09/17/2017 — The ground of any life–
of every life–
is its philosophy,
which is its basis
of saying,
“This, not that!”
“This, and that!”
“Neither this, nor that!”
We live between
“This and that,”
between what we value
and what we do not value.
How we determine
which is which
is our philosophy of life–
it is philosophical
because there is no objective way
of determining what is valuable
and what is not.
Every objective fact
has to be interpreted subjectively.
We assign value based on what?
On what we determine to be valuable
at the time.
But, whose declaration of value
is right?
For whom?
For how long?
In light of what?
We answer the questions
out of our orientation,
our understanding
our philosophy.
Universal agreement
is out of the question.
Everyone is talking
but how does anyone know
who knows what they are
talking about?
They all “take it on faith”
that what they say is so
is so–
and as long as that “works,”
that’s all that matters.
Our philosophy
is what “works” well enough
for us to live until we die.
If ours isn’t “working” so well,
we only have to upgrade it
to a different way
of ascribing value
in order to have it made.
What matters most for you?
In light of what do you live?
Your answers to those questions
or, at least, strongly influence–
everything that follows.

09/17/2017 — The gift is life,
serve the gift.
The gift–
serving the gift–
brings us back
to the center
and grounds us
in the reality
of a truth
that cannot
be taken from us–
opens us
to a truth
that sustains us
and enables the work
serving the gift entails.
Seek the gift
and serve it.
Come to life
bringing it to life.

4449.  09/18/2017— Field Corn 2017 24 Panorama — Lancaster County, South Carolina, September 17, 2017

The Gift is ours to enjoy and share,
not ours to exploit.
Exploitation is what Adam and Eve
did with the Garden of Eden.
It ruined things for everyone.
When we live in accord with the Tao,
no one has too much
or too little,
and everyone delights
in the gifts of everyone
and is content with
what they have.
This is the heart of Nirvana,
being who we are,
doing what is ours to do,
offering the right kind of help
in the right kind of way,
in each situation as it arises.
Why is that so difficult?

09/18/2019 — We have to be our own brave heart–
our own champion–
strong in our own cause
and resolute in our own behalf.
That’s the first thing.
The second is like unto it.
We have to be all of these things
in the life of all others as well.
We have such delicate,
connections with the Source
of life and light–
such a frail and fragile
bond with what needs to be done
and with what needs us to do it.
We can be disheartened,
and dismayed
by the mere idea
of calamity
and ruin.
We can give up and quit
before getting out of bed.
Lying there in the dark
before dawn,
we can invent 10,000
compelling reasons
to give up
in any good cause
we imagined supporting.
“Who cares?
Why try?
What difference will it make?
It is all so useless,
and futile!”
The howling winds
blasting up from the Void
make it absurd
to think of lighting our candle
in the darkness of the gale.
We have to embrace absurdity,
and dance–
with the courage of those
who know courage is compelling,
and vitality is vitalizing,
and being good for nothing
is where the best begins.
We have to be our own brave heart–
our own champion–
strong in our own cause
and resolute in our own behalf–
and in behalf of one another.
Every good thing depends on it.

4450.  09/19/2017— Charlotte Skyline 2017 42 Panorama — The Arbor, Midtown Park, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 18, 2017

All I want is a place for everything
and everything in its place.
The trouble with that
is that everything wants a different place.
Nothing is happy in its place.
Adam and Eve have Paradise
at their disposal
and long to make it better.
Every time I buy something,
I sing out,
“There is nothing left to want NOW
at last!”
My place is always improved
by the acquisition of something more.
I live in quest of a better place to be.
So do you.
It is the human condition.
All unrest is reflective
of our inability to be at rest.
There is always something else
to want.
That is the fuel
that lights the fire
of every politician
since the invention
of politics
(which is really
the world’s oldest profession,
with way too much in common
with the one that gets the title).
Promising to give people
what they want
is the trick that power turns
to stay in power.
It works because
wanting is what the people do best.
Being serene and at peace
is what they do worst.
Terminal discontent
is the curse of the species,
and the source
of all that passes
for good and evil.
How long can you
be happy
with things as they are?
It’s about twenty minutes
for me.

09/19/2017 — Inertia is another term for laziness.
It is so easy for things
to remain as they are.
People on ventilators
soon lose the ability
to breathe on their own.
It is too much trouble.
They have to be weened
from the machine
by gradually cutting back
on the amount of oxygen
they are given,
forcing them to make up
for the deficit
by breathing for themselves.
Our life is as it is
because it is easier that way.
The discipline required
to sustain the necessary effort
in the service
of what needs to be done
is the key to a better life,
a better world.
And if we aren’t getting better,
we are getting worse.
The path has to be walked
every day.
The trail has to be bushwhacked.
The way has to be forged
through the wilderness.
The journey is for those
who have what it takes
to make the trip.

4451.  09/20/2017— Charlotte Skyline 2017 17 — Romare Bearden Park, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 18, 2017

Jesus told those he called to follow him,
“Leave the dead to bury the dead,
and seek out those
who can hear what you have to say”
(or words to that effect).
His was not judgment
in the sense of condemnation
and ridicule,
but in the sense of recognizing
what could,
and could not,
be done,
and walking through
the open door.
Our time can be better spent
not banging our head
into a stone wall,
and not trying
to squeeze orange juice
from a walnut.
Assess your situation.
Triage what can,
and cannot,
be done.
And look for those
whose eyes light up
when they hear
what you have to say,
whether with words
or watercolor.
We all are looking
for welcoming
whether we know it
or not–
and the trick
is to be what we seek,
being receptive
and welcoming
to those who come
our way.

09/20/2017 — We owe it to ourselves
and to the country–
call it “Patriotism”–
to do what we can–
to do ALL we can–
to inform ourselves
about what the President
and Congress
are doing,
and to tell them
what we think about it
on a regular basis.
Silence is complicit.

09/20/2017 — Lindsey Graham is using the word “socialism” now,
to categorize–and demonize–
opposition to his health care bill,
and position himself and his plan
as the only viable alternative.
It’s absurd, of course.
Graham and his minions
understand socialism
as “taking from the haves
and giving to the have-not’s,”
which misrepresents the full scope
of the possibilities
(Insurance, for instance, is not
considered to be socialism,
but it draws funds from a pool
of contributions from the many
to pay for the needs of the few)–
while proclaiming the absolute value
of the opposite pole,
“taking from the have-not’s
and giving to the haves,”
which is what Graham’s plan
blatantly and unashamedly does.
In the world of politics,
anything goes
if it serves your purposes
and undermines the opposition.
Those who are being used,
owe it to themselves
to catch the scoundrels in the act
of being self-serving
and deceitful,
and call their hand.

09/20/2017—In the world of human interaction,
this is how it works:
The interplay of interests
has to play its way out
over time
in the field of action
where everything depends
upon awareness and reflection
to guide the process
in the service of the true good
of the whole.
When the process is subverted
by the ruthless imposition of power
forcing its way
upon those with less power,
it all goes to hell
and we have what passes
for the history of the world.
Given the incontestable fact
that power is not going
to hand over what it perceives
to be its advantage
the less powerful are left
with a choice between
violent and non-violent opposition
to interests that run contrary
to their own,
or to submission and acquiescence.
In service to the process
at work in the field of action
where conflicts of interests
are inevitable,
protest must be made
by those who live
at the mercy of the merciless.
We must dance the dance!
Killing our enemy
is refusing to dance.
When Jesus said,
“Those who live by the sword
die by the sword,”
he was underscoring
the impossibility of violence
creating a non-violent world.
Only non-violence can do that–
non-violence that knows
everything depends upon
awareness and reflection,
where we take opposing interests
and sit with the mutual-exclusive nature
of the needs of all sides,
and imagine outcomes
beyond the ability
of any “think tank” to devise.
There are depths to us
beyond imagining,
and it takes all of us
coming together to see, hear and understand
the just-so-ness,
the just-as-it-is-ness,
of the entire situation,
to create an atmosphere
in which realization can occur
as a miraculous intervention
from the center of shared good-will
and open hearts.

4452.  09/21/2017— Field Corn 2017 01 HDR B&W — Midland, North Carolina, August 26, 2017

As the Koch brothers
and the Super PAC’s
buy up the remaining
Republican votes
to bankroll/steamroll
the Graham-Cassidy End of Health Care Forever Bill,
we have to wonder why.
What is in it for them?
Republican ideology
is grounded upon twin bedrock principles:
lowering taxes
and reducing the size of government.
Read: ending social programs
and expanding wealth, power and privilege.
Ayn Rand doesn’t have much to say
about caring for the poor, the sick,
the working class,
and people of color.
Her society is for the heroes
who earn their way
with their diligence and purpose,
and wealth is their reward.
Republicans do not care
if people die without health care
and other government “services.”
It is a small price to pay–
and highly necessary
for low taxes and increased wealth.
Republicans have no interest
in people who are not rich,
who cannot pay their own way,
who need governmental assistance–
the very population
affordable/universal health care
would mean the most to.
Their plight is a sign of their lack
of discipline and devotion to duty.
It is their fault if they
do not have what they need.
Republicans believe
they have earned their way,
as must everyone,
and they care about no one who doesn’t.
They are creating their idea of utopian wonderland
with a form of genocide
unique in its subtlety
and thorough in its implementation:
Cut them off!
Let them die!
They are only a generation away
from glory beyond imagining.
The kink in the hose
is their lack of imagination,
and their utter absence
of the qualities that make life
worth living.
It comes down to thirty pieces of silver
(adjusted for inflation)
as the price for their soul,
and their refusal
to grasp the importance
of things money cannot buy.

4453.  09/22/2017— Lake Andrew Jackson 2017 08 HDR Panorama — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, September 21, 2017

If you think about dancing,
you aren’t dancing.If you don’t think about dancing,
you also aren’t dancing.
The same thing goes
with playing a guitar.
Or a piano.
Or basketball.
There is a place for thinking.
And for practicing.
We think about hitting a backhand
and practice, practice, practice,
so we can hit backhands
when we play tennis.
Discipline, technique, and practice
enable us to dance to the music,
any music.
Yet, we think any fool
ought to be able to live
her or his life
right out of high school
or college.
Where does discipline, technique and practice
come in?
What are we trying to do?
How are we trying to do it?
How well is it working?
What might you be doing instead?
With whom are we talking these things over?
Everyone ought to be given
a Jungian analyst at birth.
A Jungian analyst is not a psychotherapist.
A Jungian analyst is Yoda in your pocket.
She, or he, helps you analyze your life.
Helps you see what you are doing
in light of what you are trying to do
and how well it is working
and what you might be doing instead.
We pay people to teach us
how to play tennis,
and even, sometimes, how to dance.
We think living comes naturally.
We are funny that way.

09/22/2017 — The way we see things
keeps us from seeing things.
What are we not seeing?
The things we do no see
are always in the background,
or in the attic,
or in the dungeon
or buried
beneath the rubble
of 10,000 denials and rejections.
And we are always
having to enlarge our view
to take into account
more than meets our eye.
We have to talk to people
who represent
the worlds we do not see,
the things we do not know.
Not to belittle, deride, denounce,
but to see, hear and understand.
We have to honor
that which is other than we are
with our time and attention.
The simple acts of hearing and being heard
changes the conversation,
and our dialogue opens the way
to worlds beyond worlds beyond words.

09/22/2017 — Reasonable, rational people can disagree
about the meaning of facts–
they can interpret facts differently–
draw different conclusions
choose different courses of action.
Unreasonable, irrational people can disagree
about what facts are.
They can dispute facts
based on nothing more substantial
than their fantasies.
They can call facts “FAKE facts,”
and call their fantasies “REAL facts.”
Reasonable, rational people
and unreasonable, irrational people
live in different worlds,
on different frequencies,
and trying to talk to each other
is like FM trying to talk to AM,
or VHS trying to communicate with VSR.
And when the unreasonable, irrational people
are in charge of running the country,
the country has a problem
that will not be soon solved,
but must be recognized for what it is
and opposed, resisted, at every turn.
Excusing craziness is crazy.
Condoning it is criminal.
The nuclear option is a FAKE option.
We cannot allow that to be mistaken.

4454.  09/23/2017— Tick-seed Sunflower 2017 01 — Lancaster County, South Carolina, September 22, 2017

We tend to buy into a Narrative–
Obama was a terrible President,
The Bible is the literal, actual, true Word of God,
The White Race is superior to all other races,

and remain convinced of its reality
in spite of factual evidence to the contrary.
The approach of science
and the scientific method
is to question everything
considering it to be an unproven hypothesis,
and testing its validity from all angles
until the truth is established
and confirmed
beyond all reasonable doubt.
Anecdotal and hearsay evidence
is not considered to be evidence.
We can be wrong about the way
we interpret the most vivid experience.
Our conclusions can be skewed
by 10,000 things.
Just because a hundred billion
(or more) people believe something
does not make it so.
Popular opinion may never be right
but it will never believe it is wrong.
And that’s the grain of sand
that blinds the camel.

09/23/2017 — “Getting better” means growing up.
Growing up is the hero’s journey,
the spiritual quest,
the essential task of human beinghood.
Growing up means
continuing to evaluate our perspective
and our response to
our life and the things that happen there,
in light of other possible perspectives
and responses.
Growing up means
consciously endeavoring to
enlarge and expand
our point of view
to take all things–
including our point of view–
into account
that determine how we see
and that call/invite
us to see differently.
Growing up means
evaluating our values
and changing our mind
about what is important
in view of what is also important,
not only to ourselves,
but to all living things.
Growing up means
doing all of these things
consistently and continually
throughout our life.
When is the last time
we did any of them?

09/23/2017 — I said in a recent post
“A Jungian analyst is a Yoda in your pocket.”
That is true, but misleading.
More to the point is to say,
“A Jungian analyst connects you
with the Yoda in your pocket.”
“Yoda” is the link between you and
“The Force,”
“The Way,”
“The Tao,”
“God’s Will,”
When Jesus said,
“The Father and I are one,”
and when Paul said,
“I can do all things
through him who strengthens me,”
And I talk about “Yoda within,”
we mean the same thing.
And a Jungian analyst
can help forge the connection
between our conscious Ego
and “That Which Is Within.”
An analyst is the spiritual guide
we all could use
in our life.

4455.   09/24/2017— Field Corn 2017 18 — Lancaster County, South Carolina, September 16, 2017

We never get beyond needing to hear
what is being said to us,
needing to see what we are being shown,
needing to understand
what is being asked of us
in each situation as it arises.
We don’t Get It
and Go Do It.
We are always and forever
Getting It.
“Oh, NOW I see,”
is our perennial response to our life.
The wisest people say very little,
and do practically nothing.
They sit listening,
walk slowly looking,
taking in what they are seeing,
waiting for the time to act,
considering things
from all sides,
knowing what they know
and understanding what it means
in light of
everything else they know,
and asking questions
no one can answer.
They know what they do not know.
That is what makes them wise.

09/24/2017— Republicans are pushing to sacrifice
the lives of millions of people–
for what?
There is no gain that can justify the losses!
Health care for millions,
jobs for millions more,
and desperation
beyond imagining–
for what?
Republicans are locked into having this happen–
for no reason
that can pass muster
by any sane reckoning.
That leaves us with insane reckoning.
They have lost their collective mind.

4456.  09/25/2017— Charlotte Skyline 2017 30 HDR — “Spiral Odyssey,” by Richard Hunt, Romare Bearden Park, Charlotte, NC, September 19, 2017

We pick ourselves up
and go meet the day.
If the lawn needs watering,
we water the lawn.
If a photo needs taking,
we take a photo.
If injustice needs opposing,
we oppose injustice…
It goes like that
all day long.
We assist the work
that is ours to do
in meeting the day
each day,
by having no opinion
about doing
what needs us to do it.
What is with all the opinions?
The internal opposition,
to doing what needs to be done?
After all the remonstrating,
the lawn still needs to be watered.
If we spill the coffee,
we clean up the mess–
and then deal with the next thing,
all day long.
Having no opinion helps.

09/25/2017 — Living in accord
with the Tao
is simply doing
what needs us to do it
the way only we can do it.
That entails
living open to the moment
of our living
without an agenda
or an opinion,
or a will
for anything
beyond living
open to the moment
without an agenda
or an opinion.
It’s the way a tree
might live on a hillside
or in a forest
in the rain.
or sun,
or wind–
or the way a fish
might live in a stream.

09/25/2017 — If Congress wanted to improve
health care for people in this country,
in good faith
(meaning no ulterior motives)
It could be done in a bipartisan manner
with everything in the open,
easy-breezy just like that
When Republicans see it
as an opportunity
to end Medicaid
(and eventually Medicare)
and Planned Parenthood,
and divvy up a hefty tax-cut
among their donator buds,
it gets sticky.
Republicans have to come at this
with the idea of improving health care
for all Americans.
There is nothing wrong with that.
Tell them for me, will you?
They aren’t listening to me.

09/26/2017 — Republicans make a show
of championing health care,
but. Their heart isn’t in it.
They are willing to sacrifice
the health and lives
of millions of people
and their families–
the jobs and lives
of millions more,
and their families–
in a game of talking health care
while delivering tax breaks
to big-time donators
and delivering the coup de grâce
to Medicaid (and Medicare)
and Planned Parenthood.
It is ridiculous, absurd, and impossible
to talk of improving health care
by destroying Medicaid (and Medicare)
and Planned Parenthood–
the foundational programs
providing health care
to those with no other source of help.
Affordable health insurance
would complete the health care picture
and give people the hope for their future
that is the ground of all healing
and wholeness.
It isn’t asking too much for Republicans
to step away from their ruling agenda
and be a source of good faith support
to the people whose lives depend on it.
And that is all we are asking.

4457.  09/26/2017— Graham Cabin 2017 01 HDR — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Dairy Barn Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, September 25, 2017

Living mindfully, compassionately, non-judgmentally, aware
of our life
puts us in the position
of knowing we have what it takes
to find what it takes
to do what needs us to do it
the way only we can do it
in the time and place
of our living.
Once we want something
to the point of having to have it
no matter what,
we abandon the fulcrum
where the past is levered
into the best of all possible futures,
and take up the struggle
of forcing the future we want into place.
As though we know what to want–
as though what we want
is what we ought to want–
as though we are interested in
what we ought to want.
The foundation to a future
worth having
is the ability to sacrifice
the future we want
in the service of the future
we ought to want,
and the wisdom
to know the difference.
Mindful awareness
is the practice
that leads from wanting
to knowing what to want.
Then it is only a matter
of having the courage
to do what needs to be done.

09/26/2017 — Republicans hate health care
and are not going to fund the ACA,
letting it “die on the vine.”
That’s Republicans for you.
They have no use for the sick,
the old,
the blind
and the lame.
Members of that population,
who cannot afford health insurance,
aren’t paying their way,
are a burden on society
and aren’t good for the economy.
Republicans think that it is
their fault for being in the position
they are in,
and do not see as a Republican’s responsibility
to help with their plight.
“God helps those who help themselves,”
they say,
walking away,
neverminding that Jesus said what he did
about showing mercy,
extending kindness,
and being as one with the hungry and thirsty,
the poor and the suffering.
I wish Republicans were more like Jesus
and less like themselves.
Don’t you?

09/26/2017 — Members of Congress
enjoy a health care ride
with the Government
(Read: Tax-payers)
funding 72% of the expense–
but the Republican side of the aisle
doesn’t want to share the ride
with the tax-payers.
72%! needs to be the name
of the next health care bill,
giving all Americans
the same benefit
Congress enjoys.
Let’s see if we can get
some Republican backing
for that idea!

4458.  09/27/2017— Steele Creek Swinging Bridge 2017 02 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Dairy Barn Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, September 25, 2017

It is such a time to be alive!
Everything we do,
or fail to do,
matters so!
There are implications
to every action
and non-action!
We influence everything
that happens
by the way we respond
to what has happened–
to what is happening!
Everything hangs in the balance,
dangles by an unraveling thread!
Time is short!
NOW is the time!
For you to come alive
to the time of your living–
and live there as though
everything depends
on how you live there,
because it does!
You carry the future
with you
through every day.
It is made brighter
or dimmer
by the way you live
in the present.
How are you letting
your little light shine?
Your little feet dance?
Your little heart sing?
What are you making better
by the way you live each day?

09/27/2017 — Carl Jung said,
“Trust that which gives you meaning
and accept it as your guide.”
We live to serve
that which means
the most to us–
to live in ways
that make our life meaningful
every day.
We bring meaning to life
in our life,
or live as the Walking Dead.

09/27/2017 — We each come alive
in our own way.
Different things catch our eye.
Our interests span the spectrum.
What does it for you?
You owe it to yourself
to seek it out,
and serve it with all your heart,
and soul,
and mind,
and strength.
To know what calls our name,
stirs our passion,
and follow where it leads
is to live the life that is ours to live,
and to be who we are.
Got a better idea
about what to do
with the time
we have been given?

09/27/2017 — We all could do a better job
of living authentically–
of being aligned,
inner with outer–
of being in sync with
the rhythms of heart and soul,
the drift of interests and values,
the deep knowledge
waiting to be known
in the unconscious regions
and expressed,
in the world of physical reality.
It would mean compromising,
or perhaps sacrificing,
our idea for our life
in favor of our life’s idea for us.
It’s the difference between
Adam and Eve in Eden
and Jesus in Gethsemane.
Authenticity means vulnerability.
And adventure beyond reckoning.
Our soul is dying
for us to experience
what it has cooking.
We would be crazy
to turn down the offer.
Why die not knowing
what might have been?

4459.  09/28/2017— Whatever You Do… — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Dairy Barn Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, September 25, 2017

We cannot be authentic
if we will not be vulnerable.
The path to authenticity
winds through the dark woods of vulnerability.
We typically deal with vulnerability
by getting rid of it–
by buying guns
and hiding them all over our house,
in our car,
on our person–
by becoming tough,
The stronger
and more powerful
we become,
the less authentic we are.
All of the holy people lead the way.
The Buddha,
The Dalai Lama,
Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Malala Yousufzai,
Shirin Ebadi,
(The list is long).
About all it may be said,
“He was despised
and rejected,
a man of sorrows,
and acquainted with grief
and we esteemed him not.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
like a sheep about to be sheared…”
Superpowers are sought and envied,
and the power of the powerless
goes unnoticed
and unknown.
But no one is authentic
without familiarity with weakness
and fragility.
Therefore, it is essential
that we learn well the art of being vulnerable
and open to the truth
of our insecurity–
yet, okay with that,
and undisturbed by it–
the most powerful position of them all.

4460.  09/29/2017— Congaree National Forest 2017 15 HDR — Congaree National Park, Hopkins, South Carolina, August 31, 2017

There are people who use patriotism
as a cover
to keep from doing
what patriots do–
defend the constitutional rights
of people
this country was created
as a sanctuary
to protect
from the people
who wanted to block them
from all avenues of self-expression,
and personhood.
“Patriotism” has become a platform
for perpetrating and perpetuating
the wrongs we were trying to right
when “We the People of the United States,
in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice,
insure domestic Tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general Welfare,
and secure the Blessings of Liberty
to ourselves and our Posterity,
(did) ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States of America.”

09/29/2017 — I don’t understand how so-called,
self-proclaimed, “patriots”
can attack people
in this country
for doing what the country
was established
to not only allow,
but, more importantly,
to condone:
Justice, Liberty, Equality!
Where there is injustice,
where freedoms are curtailed
or disallowed,
where equality is denied,
denounced, disparaged,
patriots are called
to stand up and right wrongs
and put things back in place
where they belong:
ONE nation–NOT “us” and “THEM,”
with liberty and justice for all!

09/29/2017 — Some people are awake enough

to know they are mostly asleep,

and some people are sound asleep,

dreaming that they are awake.

Walking in their sleep,

they denounce all

that would wake them up.

09/28/2017 — We can serve the good
with no agenda,
even with no opinion of the good.
It’s like the old Taoist adage,
“Eat when hungry,
rest when tired.”
We know what needs to be done,
and we do it,
without wasting time
on theological/moral/political
and with no emotional angst involved,
pro or con.
We get up and do the thing,
and then do the thing after that.
And all of the bad/evil stuff
we work against,
can be seen simply as
Not The Way To Do It
without orations about
the depths and origins of bad/evil stuff.
Good has a good side and an evil side.
Evil has an evil side and a good side.
Trump’s good side is
that by being evil,
he has stirred the nation
to the good.
Obama’s evil side is
that by being good,
he stirred evil to life.
We live in light of the dialectic,
we do not erase
or eradicate it.
Evil is the shadow side of Good
Good is the shadow side of Evil.
Those who sew the wind,
reap the whirlwind.
Instead of letting that stymie us
and render us incapable of acting,
we take it into consideration
and act with it in mind–
letting it inform our doing
and guide our action,
knowing that there will never
be a time
when we can retire
from the service of the Good
and declare, “Mission Accomplished!”

09/29/2017 — Every photograph I take
is an opportunity
to take a better photograph
next time
by creating a situation
that needs redeeming.
Every photograph I take
is also an effort
to redeem previous photographs.
So, always the need
to take another photograph.
The future is the place of redemption.
We live to make the future better
than the past.
We live to right the wrongs
of our past lives–
to be the kind of person
we would like to be.
The problem with getting old
is that I’m running out of future.
I’m losing the time left
for redemption.
So are you.
And we can’t let that stop us
from doing what we can
with the time left for living!

09/29/2017 — Fraser Snowden said,
“The only true philosophical question is,
‘Where do you draw the line?’”
It’s philosophical
because no one can answer it but you.
And because how you answer it
is based on your own philosophy of life,
of when to do what and how,
and what not to do.
Our working philosophy
the the bedrock
of our life and being.
The more conscious we are of it
the better able we will be
to align ourselves with it,
serving what matters most
with intention and deliberation,
and evaluating our values
in light of their impact
on our life and the lives of others.
Republicans are learning–
those who are capable of learning
are learning–
that their philosophy/ideology
is a terrible burden for the people
to bear,
and cannot be borne,
is not able to support and sustain
life, health and happiness
among the whole population
far and wide.
They draw lines in the wrong places
and the people suffer.
So the people must draw their own lines,
and vote the rascals out of office
until they mend their ways
and change their minds.

09/29/2017— To paraphrase Shel Silverstein
(who said it about help):
“Some kind of luck is the kind of luck
that luck is all about,
and some kind of luck is the kind of luck
we all could do without.”
“Getting lucky” doesn’t always work out
to be a good thing,
but it is all that most of us count on.
We pray,
“O God, let me be lucky today!”
before we get out of bed,
and count the prayer as being answered,
if we make it back to bed that evening.
“Just lucky to be here,”
is something we all can relate to.
But this brings to mind
the old sailor’s adage:
“If you don’t know were you are going,
you won’t know an ill wind from a favorable one.”
And we won’t be able to tell good luck from bad.
Which gets us back to one
of my favorite questions:
“Who/what is guiding your boat
on its path through the sea?”
How do we know what to do,
and what to leave undone?
What to want,
and what to not want?
What we should want,
and what we shouldn’t want?
When to say Yes,
and when to say No?
In light of what do we live?
How do we know good luck
when we see it?
Where is our deepest meaning
to be found?
What has been meaningful to us
through time?
How closely aligned with that
do we live?
My bet is that as we get back to that,
and live with it as our guide,
our luck will improve.

09/29/2017 — Colin Kaepernick is missing
a wonderful opportunity
to articulate the meaning of his kneeling
during the National Anthem
and the raising/presenting of the American Flag.
Kneeling does two things,
he should say.
In the first place,
it is the act
of purest homage, loyalty and allegiance.
Knights kneel in liege to their Lady
and to their Lord.
People of various religions
kneel in prayer and in devotion
to their God.
Kneeling is he highest form of respect and honor.
In the second place,
by kneeling, I call attention to the fact
that all of the rest of you
are failing to stand for the Nation and Flag
you say you are standing for,
yet are dishonoring
through the way you live
in ignoring, denying, dismissing, discounting
and shrugging off
the injustices, the disrespect, the contempt,
the scorn, and disdain
with which people of color,
LGBTQ people,
the poor,
the mentally and physically disadvantaged
are treated daily
as a common practice
and a regular routine.
All this in a land touted as
the land of liberty and justice for all!
Let it be so!
Because it is not so!
And it will not be so–
until each of you begin standing
in honor of the Anthem and the Flag
in your daily life,
in your conversations with one another,
in the way you talk about other people,
in the way you honor and respect–
or fail/refuse to honor and respect–all people.
You who dis me for not standing
are not standing yourselves
in a much more telling and significant way.
And I challenge YOU to STAND
for the National Anthem and for the Flag
where it counts
every day
in each situation as it arises!
Until that happens,
I, and those like me,
will continue to kneel
to show our homage
and to expose your deceit and your shame.

4461.  09/30/2017— Parked on the Tracks 2017 03 — Lancaster County, South Carolina, September 28, 2017 — I don’t know how many of these tank cars you can crowd onto a track along a five mile section of back road while you figure out what next, but there they sit.

Waiting.If you are going to live in the service
of what makes your little heart sing,
you are going to have to
retire from the service
of what makes others’ little heart sing.
You cannot play to the crowd
and be yourself.
The crowd is a fickle sort,
with “what have you done for me lately”
coursing through their veins,
and “Please Me Now!”
pulsating rhythmically as a chant
welling up from the depths
of emptiness and boredom.
Your best chance
of making someone happy with you
is you.
You have to be your own crowd,
and your own champion.
Live to serve your own sense
of what needs to be done,
when, where, how and how often–
and do it as though everyone
is in full agreement,
or would be,
if they understood the importance
of your way of life
as you do.

09/30/2017 — What are you not doing
that you could be doing
to make things better
for yourself and/or others?
The common cord
binding all people
at their current level
of well-being
is their unified commitment
to the universal position:
“I will do ANYTHING to improve
my life and my situation,
except the one thing
that is keeping things
as they are!”
We live with problems
we could solve
because of the problems
we have with the solutions
to our problems.
And if you point that
out to us,
we will be quick
to tell you
all the reasons
nothing can change,
while we moan about,
and suffer through,
how things are.
Empowering people
against their will
is beyond the reach
of God.

09/30/2017 — We need the stability to be able
to count on the basic necessities
of food, clothing and shelter
so that we have enough freedom
to give ourselves to the service
of what is meaningful to us,
and help all others find
that kind of stability
and that kind of service.
When we think there is,
or ought to be,
more to it than that–
that there is something better
than doing what is meaningful to us–
we are on a slippery slope
in the search of something
that is always better
and more fun
that what we have.
This is to be endlessly chasing satisfaction.
Which is another term
for The American Dream.
An ever increasing standard of living
is not the same thing
as living in the service
of that which is meaningful.
That service requires us
to pay the necessary bills–
and that requires us to know
which bills are necessary
and which ones are not–
and it requires to know
what is meaningful
and what is not.
Peace and satisfaction
are that close to us all.

4462.  10/01/2017— Little Sugar Creek Greenway 2017 01 — Beneath Charlottetowne Ave, Carolina Thread Trail, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 16, 2017

We want what we have no business having,
and here we are.
Wanting what is wrong for us,
and dismissing what is right,
sets us up
for the drama, comedy, tragedy, suspense, action-adventure
that constitutes our life.
All because we say
yes to this and no to that.
If we knew what we were doing,
what would we do?
Think of the people you know
who always do
what they are supposed to do.
How is it working out for them?
Where would we be better off?
Wanting what is wrong for us
puts us on a path
that many of us
would deem better
than wanting only what is right for us.
When wrong is right,
and right is wrong,
we are left with
taking our chances
and making it work.
That feels more like “me”
than living by some
highly polished standard
of Should, Ought, Must
and never exploring
What If?

10/01/2017 — It says a lot about me,
I’m sure,
that I am so continually astonished
at how my circle of acquaintances
contains so few people have read Beau Geste.
I’m going to start introducing myself
to more people
beginning tomorrow.

4463.  10/02/2017— Rustic Fence 2017 03 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, August 2, 2017

Jesus said,
“You shall know the truth,
and the truth shall set you free.”
Pilate said,
“What is truth?”
Jesus said, “Truth is a two-edged sword,
and those who live by the sword,
die by the sword.
So we must not be surprised
by the turns the road takes.”
Pilate said,
“Then what is in it for us?”
Jesus said,
“Truth is a harsh task-master,
reaping what it did not sow,
and gathering where it did not
scatter seeds.”
Pilate said,
“Like I said, what do we
stand to gain?”
Jesus said,
“I’m telling you how things are
and what to expect,
and you are asking
how to escape the pain
and luxuriate in smooth and easy.”
Pilate said,
“That’s the idea!”
Jesus said,
“Your life is all you have
to work with.
How you live it
is up to you.”
Pilate said,
“I want to live it
with the best chance
of smooth and easy.”
Jesus said,
“The truth is
smooth is a beast
that will eat you alive,
and easy is a mirage
leading you to death
in the desert.”
Pilate said,
“Then what choice do we have?”
Jesus said,
“We choose between
what needs us to do it
and asks us to serve it,
and what whispers sweet
promises of Nirvana forever.”
Pilate said,
“Is that the best you can do?”
Jesus said,
“If you can do better,
do it.”

10/02/2017 — Bear the pain that is yours to bear,
and do the work that is yours to do
in serving the gift that is yours to serve,
with as much grace and compassion
as is appropriate to the occasion,
in each situation as it arises
all your life long.
That is all there is to it.

10/02/2017 — No one is in charge.
Nothing determines what happens
beyond something else that happened.
Why do you do what you do?
We are not in charge of our own wanting.
We cannot make ourselves want
what we do not want,
or not want what we do want.
We talk of free will but.
We are not free to choose our choices.
And it is questionable
how free we are to choose among our choices.
No one decides it is time
for another mass shooting.
Or another individual murder.
No one except the one who pulls the trigger.
The possibility of either act
is put in play by those
in position to make that choice difficult
failing to do what they can do
to reduce the chances
of the choice being made.
We can limit the number of guns
in the hands of people,
and we can restrict the types of guns
people can buy.
We can save lives
by making it harder for people to kill people
using guns.
Why elect people who
by their inaction
are going to make it easy?

10/03/2017 — Bigotry is mindless,
and irredeemable.
And, it is positioned to elect the next U.S. Senator
from Alabama.

It owns the White House
and the Republican Party.
It is the ground of white supremacy,
the NRA
and the Evangelical Christian Right–
which fuel the propaganda machine
that keeps the movement growing.

It is not conservatism that is taking over the country.
It is bigotry.
If you are not with the bigots,
you have to be against them.
There is no neutrality here.
If you are not against them,
you are with them.

Silence is complicent.
Opposition at every point
is the order of the day.
We have to vote the bigots out
by voting in every election,
local, state, and national,
great and small–
and never voting Republican
in any of them.

4464.  10/03/2017— Lake Andrew Jackson 2017 13 HDR Panorama — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, October 2, 2017

Carl Jung said,
“There is in each of us,
another whom we do not know.”
This Other is always speaking to us
from the unconscious regions
to ground us,
center us,
focus us,
settle us,
guide and direct us–
and it is up to us
to listen
and align ourselves
with ourselves
in living what remains of our life
at-one with our inner core.
What is our Other Self
saying to us?
What are we doing in response?
Those are our primary questions
to answer
for the rest of our life.

10/03/2017 — All we have is one vote each.
We have to get those votes together,
and vote as one
against the enemies of Democracy
who have taken over the Republican Party.

10/03/2017 —   Don’t let me scare you but…
You know how easy it was
for the Russians to buy Donald Trump
a ticket to the White House?
What if,
just suppose,
this wasn’t the first ticket purchased?
How many Republican MOC
owe their ride to Russian contributions,
and/or Russian ads?
Was the creation of the Tea Party
entirely free of Russian influence?
How can we be sure?
The attack on democracy,
and on the Constitution,
is going on quite blatantly
before our eyes.
John McCain is calling “Foul!”
but why isn’t there an entire chorus
along with him?
The Government is being reduced
to an ineffective collection
of people looking for direction,
with no one in charge.
The Republic is conflicted and disjointed.
Civil and Human Rights are being erased
and ignored.
The Russians couldn’t be happier.
Are they getting what they have paid for?
I would certainly like to know.

10/03/2017 — Trials and ordeals, Kid,
trials and ordeals.
The Hero’s Journey is
one challenge after another.
We are here to see it through
in the spirit of Odysseus, who said:
“And when the heaving sea
has shaken my raft to pieces,
then I will swim!”
We play out the hand we are given
with courage and creativity,
and the gifts that come with us from the womb,
in doing the work that is ours to do–
bringing our best to bear
on each situation as it arises,
and letting that be that,
regardless of the outcome
every day for the rest of our life.
So, take heart!
And don’t let your circumstances
determine or control
your outlook, perspective, demeanor
or effort in the cause of Good!
There is more than meets the eye
everywhere you look.
Assume that The Invisibles
are with you
and are being served by you
in ways you cannot imagine.
And when the sea shakes your raft to pieces,
start swimming!

10/03/2017 — With the Electoral College in place,
“One Person/One Vote”
is meaningless,
and some votes count more than others.
My Blue vote in a Red state (SC)
has no impact on any level.
I’d like a national conversation
about the value of the Electoral College
and how it might be eliminated,
but there isn’t any interest for that
as far as I can see.
Majority needs to mean Majority!

4465.  10/04/2017— Stream Bed 2017 01 — Lancaster County, South Carolina, August 25, 2017

The conditions and circumstances of our life,
the obstacles and complications,
the trials and ordeals,
are the umwelt,
the environment-as-experienced,
and in which we know ourselves
to be who we are.
We “are of” the time and place
of our living.
The “here and now”
between our birth and death
impose a perspective,
an orientation,
a frame of mind
that enables and limits
who and how we become.
We “are” whom
we are expected, allowed, permitted to be
by the matrix of our experience.
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”–
and when it does,
it is still and apple and not a porcupine.
How different from our “times” can we be?
We live to find out.
aware of the “all-ness” of our being
and the “given-ness” of our
particular way of being
(“the gifts” that are innately ours)
within the possibilities presented to us in our life,
we follow the formula:
Experience + Reflection = Realization
(Enlightenment, Comprehension, Understanding),
and become/express/exhibit/reveal/incarnate
the best we are capable of being
through the process of being alive.
Our “core” meets “the facts,”
and our life is the result of that impact
over time.
It helps if we remember what we are doing,
and know what is ours to do
and not to do
all along the way.

10/04/2017 — Ruthless, unflinching, reflection
is the requirement
for new–
and ever renewing–
No one knows all there is to know,
even about themselves.
Everyone could know more
than they are comfortable knowing–
for the good of the whole.

10/04/2017 — When religious people are told
there are questions they cannot ask,
and to believe and do
as they are told,
taking everything on faith
and they will be eternally happy in the end–
and follow orders–
their development is stunted,
and they never become
who they are capable of being.
They are robbed of their opportunity
to unfold and become–
and bear the burden of a life unlived

10/04/2017 — What are the facts
you do not want to face,
or deal with?
What is the truth of you
that you have to work with
in dealing with the facts
you do not want to face?
You stand with the truth of you
in one hand,
and the facts as they are
in the other hand,
and you get the things
in one hand together with
the things in the other hand,
bringing you to life in your life
just as it is.
It helps to be clear
about who you are
and what you are dealing with.
Blowing it off
and just trying
to get through the day
is called
running from the problem,
sometimes referred to
as denial.

10/05/2017 — The Republican base
embraces values
that have no value
in a democracy
where people must work
to balance the good of the individual
with the good of the whole.

The Republican base
wants enough government
to guarantee its idea
of religious freedom
at the expense of Muslims’ idea
of religious freedom,
but not so much government
that health care for all people
is guaranteed
and gun control is legislated
and enforced.

The Republican base
wants its convictions
regarding the way the world should be
enshrined and imposed
upon the world,
and will not rest
until the rest of the world
submits to its standards
of purity and righteousness–
or is dead
and no longer a threat
to its version
of God’s will for us all.

“Convert Or Die!”
Is its way of expanding its own base.

4466.  10/05/2017— Charlotte Skyline 2017 19 — Romare Bearden Park, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 19, 2017

Grow up
(Some more, again).
Bear the pain
that is yours to bear.
Serve the gifts
that are yours to share.
Do the work
that is yours to do.
With grace and compassion
appropriate to the occasion,
in each situation as it arises,
all your life long.
And let that be that.

10/05/2017 — Growing up
some more again
is the solution
to all of our problems
and every day.
Every day,
there are the facts,
and how we feel about the facts,
and what we can do about the facts,
and what we can do about the way we feel about the facts,
and that’s that.
Too often,
we do not do what we can do about the facts
without allowing how we feel about the facts
to become more of a determinant
regarding how our life is lived/experienced
than the facts are.
If there is something
you do not like about your life,
do something about it.
If there is nothing you can do about it,
stop awarding it with your devoted attention.
Attend the things you can do something about.
Grow up
some more again.

10/5/2017 — How can 11% of the voters in Alabama
be undecided
Between Roy Moore and Doug Jones?
How can 11% of the voters in Alabama
be so unclear about
their own values
that they don’t know where they stand?
That they don’t know which one
of the two men running
for the office of United States Senator
best represents them,
their interests,
their values,
their perspective,
their idea of the way things ought to be?
How can 11% of the voters in Alabama
be so clueless about who they are
that they don’t know to whom to trust
If you are old enough to vote,
you are old enough to know these things!

4467.  10/06/2017— Layers 2005 01 — Sunset, Clingman’s Dome Parking Lot, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina, September 2005

Right seeing,
right hearing,
right knowing,
right understanding/perceiving,
right doing,
right being,
right caring,
right spirit,
have to be blended together
in the right ratio
to produce the right kind
of human being.
Rumi said,
“If you aren’t here
with us in good faith,
you are doing terrible damage.”
If we aren’t being
who the situation
needs us to be
in each situation
as it arises,
we are doing terrible damage.
Each of us has to
rise to the occasion
on every occasion
for things to be
as good as they
can be.
The whole depends
on the parts–
the parts depend
on the whole.
The alternative
is chaos and the Void–
but one person
can prevent
things from deteriorating
into a really awful mess
by being the bell
that sounds the note
that wakes up another
that starts the stirring
that creates the momentum
that brings forth the change
that saves the world.The.

10/06/2017 — My reading of the Constitution
tells me that the government
will not impose religion
or be the advocate for religion
in any sense of the terms
“impose” and “advocate.”
So, what’s with saying businesses
can reject, disregard, ignore
the Constitutional rights of women
based upon the business owners
religious principles, scruples, or beliefs?
How can the government
espouse religion
at the expense of Constitutional rights?
And impose it–
even indirectly–
upon the people.

10/06/2017 — Nothing is more important–
you can fact-check me on this–
than living aligned
with the deep truth
of your own being–
than living in sync with
what rings true,
what matters most,
what makes your little heart sing,
what make your little feet dance,
what you know to be who you are,
even though you do not know why it is
or how it could be.
Nothing is more important
than living transparent to ourselves,
and knowing when we are
on the path of oneness with heart and soul,
and when we are off of it–
and staying on it when we are on,
and getting back on it when we re off.
I don’t have any idea why
all of this is important, but.
I know that it is.
And, if you stop to reflect on it,
I know that you will know it, too.
So, let’s do it,
shall we?

4468.  10/07/2017 — Parked on the Tracks 2017 02 — Lancaster County, South Carolina, September 28, 2017

Living with integrity,
being aligned with the deepest truth
of who we are
within the time and place
of our living
and the context and circumstances
of our life
is the best trick
in The Thick Book of Tricks.
“What a slippery slope this is!
It’s like the edge of a razor!
It’s a double-edged sword!”
When our daughters were born
(Triplets the hard way)
there wasn’t enough money
for diapers and film,
so the camera when on the shelf
until they graduated from college.
I picked it up again in 1998.
It is called “biding your time.”
When competing/conflicting interests
call your name,
you have to decide
what to say yes to
and what to say no to
in light of the good
of the situation as a whole.
We have to carefully walk
“the straight and narrow”
between Who We Are
and Who We Also Are.
This is called
“walking two paths at the same time,”
and we do that
by being intently,
and intentionally,
aware of the other path
while walking this path,
and never kidding ourselves
about the conflicts of interest
which clog the flow of our life.
We “rise to meet the occasion”
all along the way.

10/07/2017 — There is no fortune and glory,
no luxuriating in pleasure seeking
and idleness.
There is only the work
of serving the gifts
and building up
the body of work
of serving the gifts.
We are servants,
come to serve,
not to be served,
to give our life
in the work
of being what is needed
in each situation
as it arises,
as only we can be.
Or, denial, diversion, distraction, escape
for as long as we are alive.

10/07/2017 — So many people
need so much help
in so many ways,
And I don’t see Trump
and most of the Republican
Members of Congress
doing anything
that is helpful
to any of them
in any way.
Throwing a few rolls
of paper towels
is Trump’s idea of
The level of peaceful protests
is going to have to rise
to that of the Civil Rights Movement
and the Viet Nam War.
And, to top it off,
I understand the Trump Administration,
through the FCC,
is in favor of taking the internet down,
in a manner of speaking,
with access much more limited.
That will change our work flow!
But, the work still must be done!

10/08/2017 — Trump and his Republican thugs
see all people who need help
as losers,
and good-for-nothings
who deserve nothing
and are entitled to less.
Only the wealth are entitled–
to everything they want–
because they have worked
for their wealth
and deserve to enjoy
all of the accoutrements
that come with having more money
than they can ever spend.
The wealth are due the free ride
they have earned.
Everyone should understand that,
and give way.
Royalty is the entitlement
Republicans think they deserve.
The wealthier they are,
the more royally they expect
to be treated.

10/07/2017 — Helping those who need help
is one of the critical foundations
of democracy.
Trump and his Republican MOC
are only interested
in helping themselves.

4469.  10/08/2017 — Goldenrod 2017 01 — Lancaster County, South Carolina, September 28, 2017

The idea that
“Whatever God ordains is right,”
is wrong.
Father Abraham says it well:
“Shall not the Judge of the Universe do right?”
Abraham understands
that there is a moral standard
beyond God,
which even God must adhere to–
and, further,
that it is the place of human beings
to set God straight.
Isaiah agrees:
“You who are the Lord’s reminders
must take no rest and give him no rest,
until he has remembered Jerusalem…”
God must be who God is supposed to be,
and human beings are here to see to it
that it is so.
Carl Jung gives this a psychological affirmation
when he says,
“Everything in the unconscious
seeks outward manifestation.”
And it is our place to see to it
that it comes forth
appropriately to the occasion.
We present God in the moment
in a way that is fitting to the moment.
God cannot come forth in just any way.
Moses had to be veiled
when he came down from the mountain.
Humans make God presentable.
We make the unconscious conscious
in ways that are cognizant
of how things are supposed to be done
in each situation as it arises.
God/The Unconscious
cannot be given free rein,
but must be translated/interpreted/presented
to each here-and-now
in a way that is proper
to that time and place.
Consciousness has to fit the unconscious
into context and circumstance
of its coming forth,
else there is likely to be
hell to pay.

10/08/2017 — A President interested in honoring
the flag, the anthem, the military, and America,
would faithfully and contentiously
protect and defend the Constitution,
provide for the general welfare/healthcare,
and condemn every display
of white supremacy
as it occurred
under his watch.

10/08/2017 — Trump is the ultimate abuser
because he has more power
than the regular ruthless
run-of-the-mill psychopath.
There is nothing about him
that would allow anyone
to mistake him
for a caring, compassionate,
human being.

4470.  10/09/2017 — Summer Hillside 2017 01 — Lancaster County, South Carolina, September 28, 2017

Finding the center of who we are
is a matter of awareness
and reflection.
We do not “just know.”
We have to look,
in order to see,
in order to hear,
in order to perceive.
We become the subject/object
of our own meditation.
“Being with” ourselves
means becoming aware of
and reflecting on
we are being
and what we are doing
in each situation as it arises.
What are our emotions?
What are we doing?
What is the source of our
What does this moment
remind us of?
What would it take
to usher us into
a perspective of peace and calm?
What would shatter that peace and calm?
How far from peace and calm
do we generally live?
Upon what does our peace and calm depend?
Our seeing/hearing/knowing/understanding
is enhanced/maintained
by our ability
to hold everything in our awareness–
without judgment
just as it is.
Starting now.

10/09/2017 — Somebody is setting the table for Trump.
The Don is incapable of articulating
his own Executive Orders
or understanding/comprehending
his own Budget.
He cannot even read from the paper
they are written on,
or explain what the words and numbers mean.
Who is propping him up?
Who is making The Don possible?
Who is the Voice behind the curtain?

10/09/2017— The Don runs the country
as though he is a Mafia Boss
and Members of Congress
are his henchmen/hatchet-men/hit-men.

10/09/2017 — Psychopaths have no conscience,
no guilt,
no remorse.
They do not care what they do
beyond enjoying doing it.
Bigots trend in that same direction.
There is no basis of appeal
to either psychopaths or bigots–
no argument,
or line of reasoning–
to wake them up
and turn them to the good.
“What I am doing is good,”
they will say.
“Good for me.”
The Rule of Law
is our only hedge against
white supremacy
and bigotry.
When the bigots
take over
the Executive,
and Legislative
branches of government,
it is a long road
back to regular order.
A long,

10/09/2017 — Retirement means that
I get to live at my own pace.
I cannot imagine a greater gift.
Living at my own pace
brings things into focus,
and provides me with the leisure
to consider them
with the attention
and reflection
they deserve–
without the distraction
of competing demands
and obligations.
This is my idea
of life at its fullest–
the freedom to attend
what catches my eye.

4471.  10/10/2017 — Graham Cabin 2017 07 Panorama — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Dairy Barn Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, September 25, 2017

We are here to create a body of work.
Our body of work
is what we do and how we do it.
We can do what is Us,
and we can do what is Not Us.
Doing what is Not Us
in a way that is “just like Us,”
is included in our body of work.
Doing what is Not Us
in a way that denies, ignores, excludes and erases Us,
is to create a body of work
that is indistinguishable
from that of the masses,
which is to say no body of work at all.
We are here to leave behind
our body of work
as a testament
and a testimony
to who we are–
a witness to,
and a demonstration of,
what had value to us
and how we honored that
in ways that were true to us
and the life we lived.

10/10/2017 —   If spiders knew
what their prospects were,
they would never spin a web.
Nature doesn’t care
for prospects and chances,
odds or percentages.
Every natural thing
does its work
from birth to death
without consulting
the probabilities,
or concerning itself
with likely outcomes.

10/10/2017 — The human quest
is for the freedom
of self-determination,
on one hand,
and for the security
of having some authority
tell us what to do,
on the other.
This might be understood
as the liberal/conservative divide.

10/10/2017 — Everything we seek
is found in the silence.
If we can be quiet enough
we will hear
what needs to be heard–
we will see
what needs to be seen–
we will write
what needs to be written–
we will do
what needs to be done.
If we can be quiet enough.
And there is as much noise
on the inside
as on the outside.
Perhaps, more.

10/10/2017 — Everything in its own time,
you know.
When the time is right,
you’ll know it,
you know.
What we all are waiting on
is the fullness of time,
whether we know it or not,
you know.
All of which is to say
that I have been waiting
for the past sixteen years
to wind my way
through my life
to Ken Burns’ documentary on Jazz.
What I’m hearing
from every scene,
every song,
is what I’ve been saying
for these sixteen years,
and longer.
They are speaking about their music,
but they are talking about me.
It’s all there.
The way, the truth, and the life.
Leads me, again,
to the understanding
that what is true
is the heart of the matter,
and that is what it is,
here and now,
and that is the same thing it was,
then and there,
and the same thing it will be
there and then.
If we find truth anywhere,
we find it to be true everywhere.
And once we realize that,
we can sit back
and find it coming at us
from all sides,
as confirmation,
and encouragement,
us all.

4472.  10/11/2017 — Spideringggggg 2017 01 — Indian Land, South Carolina, October 10, 2017

When we take the time
to see all of it,
it changes our response
to any aspect of it.
We have to take
the Whole Thing
into account
in order to do right
by the bits and pieces.
Flint, Michigan is
where it is
because people
with leadership/decision making responsibility
saw saving money
and ignored/dismissed/disregarded
the need of the people
for a safe water supply.
Seeing everything at the expense of nothing
would have shifted their emphasis
(We hope.
Maybe they knew what
they were doing,
and did it deliberately.
We hope not).
At the very least,
seeing everything gives us no excuse
for acting in uncaring, insensitive, ways.
And, if we care and are sensitive,
it gives us the best basis
for making knowing, compassionate,
decisions regarding the needs
of the parts
in relation to the needs
of the whole.
The more we see,
the better our chance
of making the best choice
the circumstances allow.
If you want to do well,
see clearly.

10/11/2017 — Caring is the categorical imperative.
We must care–
about the things that need caring about–
about the right things,
the essential things,
the things that matter most.
Everything depends on it.
Caring about the wrong things
is worse than
caring about nothing.
We separate ourselves
from one another
on the basis of the things
we care about.
On the basis of our values,
of the things we value,
of our idea about what is valuable,
and what is not.
If you know what someone
cares about,
you know who they are.
If you want to know who you are,
be aware of what you care about.
We are what we value
and how we express that in–
how we serve that with–
our life.

10/11/2017 — Our body knows first.
Maybe our head clues in
and maybe it doesn’t.
Getting our head to know
what our body knows
is our place
in the great scheme of things.
Listen to your body!
Tell your head!
Getting head together with body
is the most important thing
we can do for ourselves,
and for anyone else.
Everything revolves around
and flows from
the body-head connection.
Things go much better
for everyone
when we are in-sync,

1011/2017 — I have been gripped by–
and compelled to serve
(against my reasoned will
and better judgment)–
great absurdities,
to powerful
and everlasting
Like the time I stepped
well beyond caste
and character
and asked Melissa Evans
to go with me to the Homecoming Dance.
I am pleased
to have the shame
of that event
(and others like it)
on my resume,
and remember it proudly/shamefully
after all these years.
It was a bold submission
to the spirit of the moment,
demanded as a rite of passage–
a developmental task
that I had to step forth
and carry out
no matter the wounds
and scars!
Wounds and scars
are necessary accoutrements
of trials and ordeals–
eternal reminders
requiring us to relive
such experiences,
and adjust ourselves
to their lingering effects
over the course of life,
and remember the importance
of following the voices
into unknown regions,
and trusting ourselves to ourselves
in finding the way
of making accommodation to unbecoming outcomes
and being able to walk–
albeit with a limp–
into whatever life brings,
knowing we can enter the dark woods
and come out on the other side.

4473.  10/12/2017 — Charlotte Skyline 2017 18 HDR — Romare Bearden Park, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 19, 2017

When in doubt
sit and listen
to your body.
Learn to read its signals.
Depression and pain
are often appropriate responses
to things being
not like they ought to be–
lights flashing,
warning something is wrong.
What? Where? How? When?
What needs to be done about it?
What is the obstruction
keeping you from doing it?
How are you being bound?
Knowing doesn’t mean
you can change
the circumstances
and conditions
of your life-at-the-moment,
It enables you to know that–
to know that you are stuck
and have to do the work
of realization
and accommodation.
Of having to suck it up
and adjust yourself
to being helpless
before How It Is.
Depression can be read
as a sign saying
you don’t want to do
what you need to do:
Let things be as they are
because they are,
and will be that way
until a shift happens
that you do not control.
You are waiting.
Your burden is lifted
realizing there is
nothing you can do
but wait.
When waiting, wait.
Without embellishment.
When there is nothing you can do,
do that.
Bide your time.
Make preparations.
Be ready.
For the door to open.
The one you don’t know is there.
When it does,
walk through.
And don’t think it is the last one.
The work is never done.
Depressing, isn’t it?
Adjustment and accommodation, Kid.
Adjustment and accommodation!

10/12/2017 — Trump slashes and burns
his way through
Obama’s achievements
and legacy–
intent on erasing all lingering evidence
of his Presidency–
oblivious to the destruction and devastation
his foaming at the mouth
and mindlessly venting his hatred
upon all living things
is causing world-wide.
He is a one-man wrecking crew,
with no purpose in mind
beyond knock it over,
tear it down.
White supremacy
revealed for what it is:
inferiority and insecurity,
fear and resentment,
in response
to Black accomplishment
and success.

10/12/2017 — How things are
is always
how we SAY things are,
how we interpret things to be,
how we spin things
to ourselves and others,
what we emphasize
and what we dismiss,
discount, disregard, ignore…
We evaluate our circumstances
in light of our leanings,
bias, prejudices, interests.
What ELSE could we say?
How ELSE might we see?
How would ALL of the facts
change what we say
about some of them?
What bums us out
doesn’t bother some people at all.
Why us and not them?
We are all victims
of our own selective vision.
Seeing everything–
including our seeing–
changes its impact,
and the way we respond.

10/12/2017 — It is as though the entire country
is under siege–
from within!
As though we are being held hostage
by a psychotic long past feigning sanity,
demanding, not a ransom,
but the very spirit
of our hope and courage
to satiate his thirst for power,
his insatiable need to be GREAT
and acknowledged as such
through all eternity and beyond.
We have been captured by a madman.
A psychopath.
With nothing to redeem him
or to regret about his passing,
only relief and rejoicing that he is gone
when he goes.

10/12/2017 — Who is going to take the lead
in doing right by Puerto Rico?
When the President refuses
to lead,
who steps forward?

10/12/2017 — When the President fails
to do his job,
who calls foul?
How long must Puerto Rico
suffer Trump’s negligence
and abuse?

10/12/2017 — Who’s gonna miss him when he’s gone?
Could be a blues song–
someone needs to sing it!
Who’s gonna hate to see him go?

4474.  10/13/2017 — Catawba River 2017 09 Panorama — Boat Ramp, Lake Wiley Hydro-Electric Dam, Tega Cay, South Carolina, September 12, 2017

There is you,
your heart,
your gift(s),
your tool(s).
That’s it.
Your heart connects
you with
your gift(s)
and the tool(s)
your gift requires
to be expressed,
brought forth,
made known.
You exist to serve
your heart
and your gift(s).
Your life is about
getting you
together with your gift(s)
and your tool(s).
Your life is the matrix,
the milieu,
the gestalt,
the umwelt,
the environment
that calls you
into existence.
Your first birth
is coming into being
in the world.
Your second birth
is coming into being
through the world.
Woe to the person
who is born into a culture
that has no clue
about this process,
and has to find out
for themselves
what is going on.

10/13/2017 — Caring is fundamental–
caring about the right things–
caring about the things
worth caring about–
caring about the things
that have to be cared about,
because the life,
the good,
of the whole
depends upon those things
being cared about,
being served,
being safe-guarded,
being well-kept,
being honored,
by everyone,
without exception,
as our gift to the whole,
to one another,
to everyone.
This is the human contract,
the human commitment,
the categorical imperative
impinging upon all human beings
in all situations
without exception–
the holiest of holies,
the heart of our communal being,
the ground and soul of good faith
at all times,
which Trump desecrates
at every turn.
The Abomination of Desolation
is Trump’s breaking faith
with the world.

10/13/2017 — You might expect that
the President of the United States
would have a foundation,
solid and immovable,
in the values
of Liberty, Justice, Equality.

He talks a lot about
honoring the Flag and the Anthem.
The Anthem was written
in a war to establish
the unalienable right
of all people
to life together as free men and women.

The President seems to think
standing for the Flag and the Anthem
is something people do
before football games–
not what they do
in the way they live their life.

This is how Donal Trump
is living his life this weekend…

4475.  10/14/2017 — Spider’s Web 2017 03 — Indian Land, South Carolina, October 10, 2017

A human tendency is to think
things will be like they are forever.
One of the props of depression
is “things will never change.”
You find the same prop
holding up Polly-Anna-ism
and her naive belief
that prosperity will go on and on.
What never changes
is the work that has to be done
to make things what they need to be
in each situation as it arises.
After the Civil War,
white people continued to think
about black people as “they,”
as “them.”
Same thing with the Civil Rights Movement.
When does “we” happen?
How does “we” come to be?
We won’t overcome anything
until we are one–
and that requires conscious,
awareness and attention
on the part of each of us.
Where are we
in relation to the WE?

10/14/2017 — What matters most
varies in kind, degree, emphasis and intensity
among all of us,
and within each of us
at various points in our life.
Very little,
if anything,
remains what it was to us
throughout our life.
There is a fluid nature
to all of our values,
ebbing and flowing
with the currents of the culture,
of the umwelt,
that surrounds us,
so that we and our context
play off of each other,
influence each other,
create each other,
during the entirety
of our time together.
What matters most depends upon,
and is limited by,
10,000 things.
And if that is not so–
is we are frozen in place,
locked into the idea
of how things should be
that was instilled in us
in our youth–
our development is put on hold
and we never grow beyond
where we have always been.
What matters most
is that we dance
with what matters most
all our life long.

10/14/2017 — Imagine the Buddha,
or the Dalai Lama:
In a POW camp…
Walking through
an earthquake zone,
having lost everything…
At a cocktail party…
How does their sense of peace,
and their peaceful countenance,
vary from situation to situation?
What would it take
to destroy
their peace?
What keeps you
from being as the Buddha?
As the Dalai Lama?

10/14/2017 — The Buddha’s solution to the problems of life
(which he called “suffering”),
was to “Live right.”
He stretched this out
in The Eight-fold Path as:
right perspective,
right aspiration,
right speech,
right action,
right livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness,
right concentration–
and he never spelled out
what “right” consisted of.
He simply said,
“Live right
and don’t worry about
the outcome.”
He called all the things
we might worry about
He might have said
And added,
“All they are is
dust in the wind.”
It comes down to,
“Think about what is right,
and do it–
and don’t let
what might happen
get in your way.”
If you make that
your ground
and foundation,
you won’t go far wrong.

10/14/2017 — The church as it ought to be
is not commercially viable.
It cannot pay the bills–
not the bills
that are customarily
associated with the church.
The church that cannot pay
those bills
will not be recognized
as the church.
The church as it ought to be
will be something other
than the church.
It IS something other
than the church.
It exists all around us,
and has forever.
In order to find it,
you have to know
what you are looking for.
Not theology!
Not doctrine!
and a focus
on living in harmony
with yourself
and all people–
doing right by yourself
and all people–
living in good faith
with yourself
and all people.
When you find that,
you have found
the church as it ought to be.
When you do it,
you are the church as it ought to be.
And there will be a straight line
running from Jesus to you.

4476.  10/15/2017 — Lake Andrew Jackson 2017 17 HDR Panorama — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, October 2, 2017

There are the types of music
that “do it for us,”
and the types of music
that do not.
But music itself
is the language of soul,
of psyche,
of the unconscious regions
yearning to be expressed,
realized,The unconscious depths
do not receive the recognition
that is their due,
yet, from those depths
comes everything we see
when we look around us.
Everything we see
had its origin
in someone’s imagination,
in someone’s unconscious.
We are the expression
of what we do not know,
and seek what is found within–
where we are not looking.
Music is a pathway
to the unknown regions.
As is Art,
and Nature.
There are types of art
that “do it for us,”
and types of art that don’t.
Aspects of nature
that “do it for us,”
and aspects of nature that do not.
Spending time with the things
that “do it for us,”
is a way of communing
with what we do not know,
and, if we explore the pathways,
may lead to realizations
we have yet to imagine–
all because we took the time
and made the effort
to know what we know,
but don’t know that we know.

10/15/2017 — There are things that are your business,
and there are things that are my business,
and there are things that are our business.
As a country and a world
we could do a better job
of keeping your business
and my business
out of our business.

10/15/2017 — Carl Jung said,
“Only what is really oneself
has the power to heal.”
Sickness and health
are indicative
of being in sync and out of sync,
of being in harmony and out of harmony,
of being transparently real to oneself
and being opaquely deceptive and dishonest.
Fooling ourselves is toxic,
and we pay a pretty price.
On personal,

10/15/2017 — Jesus left behind more problems than he solved.
The same will be said of me,
and you.
All those bright young people
who want to make a difference,
and the disenchanted old ones
who wish they had made more of one,
need to square up with the fact
that there is more to be done
than can be done.
How do you raise the level
of grace and compassion
in the world,
or in your family of origin,
or in your nuclear family,
or in you?
How do you reduce the level
of racism,
“We do the best
with what we have,”
and refuse to be discouraged
in the work that needs to be done.
We take that work seriously enough
to do it,
but not so seriously
that we become disheartened
and quit.
What needs to be done
needs to be done,
and needs us to do it,
and “the poor will be with us always,”
which means we will always
be working to relieve the burdens of the poor.
Look at it as job security,
and get back to work.

10/15/2017 — We have all these people
with time on their hands!
That’s a problem.
It’s the source of the rest
of our problems,
or a major portion of them.
What are they going to do
with their time?
They are going to look
for some action.
Any kind of action.
If they don’t find any,
they will create their own.
Action makes the world go ’round.
You can try talking them
into sitting quietly
and looking until they see,
and listening until they hear,
but you’ll be wasting your time.
You would be wise
to simply sit quietly,
and look until you see,
and listen until you hear.
And let your path
flow from there,
with a good portion
of your time
spent sitting,

10/15/2017 — Pick somebody
and lend them a hand.
The right kind of help
extended in the
right kind of way
is the essence
of being human.
How can you be of help today?
And don’t worry
about keeping score,
or being sure
anyone deserves it!
And you don’t get
to decide who your neighbor is!
YOU are the neighbor!
Go be one!

10/15/2017 — Trump wants to be seen
as he wants to be seen
and not as he is.
It’s a problem.
The more he tries
to not be seen
for what he is,
the more he exposes
what he is.
He lies.
I could lie better
in the first grade.
In kindergarten.
Lying is easy.
Don’t be outrageous
is the first rule of lying.
Reserve your lies.
Be stingy with them.
Use them well,
and strive not
to use them at all!
Be humble.
No one likes an arrogant lair.
Everyone expects arrogance
to be a cover for lying.
The best lies are those
told in behalf of others.
A compassionate liar
has the best hope
of pulling off the ruse.
People will excuse compassion
for more often
that they will excuse greed
and meanness.
And don’t get angry
when you’re lying.
Anger exposes a multitude
of deficiencies,
and Trump has deficiencies
past counting–
which is the reason
he can’t do any better
than he is doing:
He can’t do any better
than he’s doing.
We have seen the show.
He can give us more of it,
but it will never be different.
He’s the one trick pony
whose trick is
trying to cover up
for having no trick.

4477.  10/16/2017 — Field Corn 2017 13 Panorama — Midland, NC, August 30, 2017

Exploring the Inner World
and deepening our relationship
with the side of ourselves
we call “the unconscious,”
because we are not conscious
of the things going on there,
expands our realm of interest,
and gives us something to do
beyond the same-old-same-old.
It is a threshold to adventure
in the same way
a trip through the solar system might be.
All of us walk through
the dull routines of our life
carrying the source of life
with us,
waiting for us to collaborate
with it
in ways that transform life
as it if were a fairy tale
or a myth in the making.

10/16/2017 — 58% of white voters voted for Donald Trump.
Republicans are doing everything possible
to limit the non-white vote in 2018 and beyond–
via voter suppression (Picture ID’s, proof of citizenship,
early voting restrictions, limiting polling places,
voting during the week instead of on Saturday, etc.),
and gerrymandering.
Republicans may be
mean and heartless,
and focused only
on increasing the wealth
of Republicans,
but they are crafty
like a fox,
and they are
diligent and relentless
in preparing the way
to remain in power forever.
What are we going to do about that?
Now is the time to act.

10/16/2017 — How much do you do
in a day,
a week,
a month,
a year…
for the pure pleasure–
the sheer joy–
of doing it?
You know,
like playing in a sand box,
or roller-skating.
Not to get your heart rate up,
but just to enjoy what you enjoy.

10/16/2017 — There is something inherently
compelling about a lie
we want to believe.
Trump can say
the most outlandish,
clearly wrong
(“You are going to have
the best health care,
wonderful jobs
and practically no taxes,
with a booming economy!
You’ll see!),
and 38% of us
(The people you can fool
all of the time)
buy it
because it sounds so good
and we wish it could be so–
and maybe,
who knows,
it will be.
Stranger things have probably happened.
Trump denies doing things
he just did
and they believe he didn’t do them,
though they saw/heard
him do them.
We have to give him his base,
his believers,
and out vote them.
Stop trying to convince them
that they are wrong about their Lord.

4478.  10/17/2017 — Crabtree Falls 2006 58 — Blue Ridge Parkway near Little Switzerland, NC, July 2006I

need an infinite amount of grace
to have a chance with you–
any of you, all of you.
And, experience suggests,
the same is true about you
with me,
and all of the rest of us.
Grace is the sacred ground of relationships.
All relationships fail (when they fail)
because of a lack of grace
on the part of both, or all,
people in the relationship.
The person we have
the most difficulty
being gracious with/to
is ourselves.
Grace begins at home.
If we cannot give ourselves
the benefit of the doubt,
we will never be able to fake it
for long with others.
The prime ingredient in relationships
is the ability of each person
to live completely transparent
with themselves.
We bullshit ourselves
with the greatest of ease.
We kid ourselves,
we don’t see ourselves,
we never notice ourselves,
and blame everyone else
for their lack of grace,
and their refusal to cut us any slack.
We cannot be intimate
if we will not be vulnerable.
We will not be vulnerable because
we know we cannot trust ourselves
to be gracious with/to ourselves.
We cannot be more gracious
to anyone else
than we are with ourselves.
Actually, we are generally
more gracious with everyone
than we are with ourselves,It’s an affected grace,
a pretend grace,
to get them on our side
because we are desperate
to have someone on our side.
We certainly aren’t.
Except in an unconsciously
narcissistic kind of way.
Be conscious!
Be gracious!
Be an infinite source of grace
in the world!
It will make such a difference
in the lives of everyone,
especially your own!

10/17/2017 — Republican members of congress
are entirely focused on
increasing their personal wealth
and leverage,
and that of their donor/sponsors
at the expense
of every other consideration–
the environment,
health care,
the poor,
the elderly,
the working class,
… the list is long.
Money is all that matters.
Everything is for sale.
Their soul was the first thing to go.

10/17/2017 — How we handle conflict
is the single most defining aspect
of our life.
Everything flows from,
and revolves around,
our style of conflict management.
There are two elements
that determine/limit/enlarge
our conflict skills:
Our degree of conscious awareness
and our degree of compassion/caring.
We can not know what we are doing,
and we can not care what we do.
Either way,
it makes for tough going
for ourselves
and those who deal with us.
How awake/aware are we?
How caring are we?
Our answers to those two questions
are evident in the life we are living.
Our life won’t change
until our answers change.

4479.  10/18/2017 — Bass Lake 2017 08 — Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 17, 2017

Living mindfully is the solution
to all of our problems–
individually and collectively,
personally and corporately,
privately and nationally–
today and everyday.
Mindful living keeps us
in the center of what we need
to be who we are
and do what is ours to do
with the gifts we have to work with
in each situation as it arises.
We have no business thinking
about anything else.
Who are we?
What are our gifts?
What is ours to do?
Every artist,
every musician,
every writer,
knows how to answer these questions–
and is answering them
in practicing their art,
in serving their gifts.
It is when they/we confuse
practicing their/our gifts
with commercial success
that the bus drives off the road.
It’s about the art, stupid!
Not about the money!
All we need is enough money
to practice the art.
When we begin to make
more than that,
we give it away
to those who are making less.
This is the economics
of grace and peace
and sanity.
Living mindfully
keeps us in the center
of the road.

4480.  10/19/2017 — Blue Ridge Fall 2017 18 Panorama — Linville Cove Viaduct, Hawk’s Bill Mountain, Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls, North Carolina, October 18, 2017

We make it all up.Religion.
Racial superiority/inferiority.
What’s good/What’s bad.
The whole show.
Religion is based on faith.
Nothing is verifiably true.
Taking something on faith
means it is something
that meets your standards
of approval/disapproval.
It’s all right with you.
You are the supreme authority
governing your beliefs and disbeliefs.
You believe what somebody tells you
because you believe it is in your interest
to believe them.
Across the board.
Around the table.
If you are going to be the supreme authority,
why not ground your life
on values that are valuable
to the whole,
and not just part of the whole?
Why not have interests
that are in the best interest
of all concerned?
Why not care about all people
the way you care about some people?
Why not care for the poor
the way you care for the rich?
Why let money matter
more than people?
Grace, justice, compassion, truth, freedom–
particularly the freedom
of self-determination
and self-expression–
are worthy values
in the service of the good of the whole.
The good of the whole is served
when the parts are doing their work
at the expense of no other part.
No part is expendable/exploitable
when the whole is served.
Why not live with that as the center
of life and being?
Across the board?
Around the table?

4481.  10/20/2017 — Skeleton Tree 2017 01 — Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North Carolina, October 19, 2017

Go with the wind
of God–
understanding “God”
to be our psyche/soul/penuma/spirit/soma/body.
All religion has its origin
in our experience
of psyche/penuma/soma.
When the somewhat civilized human species
thought/thinks of psyche/soul,
it thinks “Her”
(So we get Sopia as the feminine
aspect of the God of the Bible).
When it thinks of penuma/spirit,
it thinks “He”
(And the references to the Spirit of God
are all masculine “He”).
And soma has always been
the physical aspect of ourselves.
And I’m positing that “mind”
is the collaboration
of all that is physical/spiritual about us.
We, as that somewhat civilized human species,
are at the place in our development
of changing the way we think of “God.”
God as Psyche/Penuma/Soma
is quite powerful–
almost as
all-knowing,as the God of the theologies and doctrines.
After all, here we are!
Now, we have to move beyond
where we are
as a somewhat civilized species.
And we have to learn
how to go with the wind–
of God-with-us-all,
to wherever we are going
as the whole of humanity,
of humankind.
May we all learn to be
with God!

10/21/2017 — The Republicans
are rewriting the Constitution
by ignoring the parts
they don’t like,
and instituting parts
that aren’t there–
parts that impose
the class/caste
of Preferred Citizen
upon the wealthiest,
and hence,
most influential
of the land,
and the ancient
concept of Indentured Servants
upon everyone else.
The new Classless Society
applies in varying degrees
among the remaining 98%
from the aspiring top tier,
composed mostly of Congressional Republicans,
down to the destitute and homeless–
from the more to the less to the not-at-all deserving.
It is a system of governance
that evolves naturally
among humans,
with every society
“shaking out” accordingly
from the top to the bottom
with wealth/money equaling power
and being the sole determinant
of who lives at the top
and who lives on the bottom.
The people with money
buy power
and power rules.
Republicans are resplendent exampes
of the Will to Power
imposing itself upon a society
pretending to be
“of the people,
by the people,
for the people.”

4482.  10/21/2017 — Smoky Mountain Fall 2017 04 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, North Carolina, October 20, 2017

The value of a person
lies in their value
to other people,
which has nothing to do
with the amount of money
in their possession.
Money is what we use
in the service of others–
not in the aggrandizement,
inflation and embellishment
of ourselves.
Our value is realized
in the quality of our life,
not in the size of our wealth
or in the degree of our power.
Those who know,
know this is so,
and live in light of it
for all to see.

4483.  10/22/2017 — Smoky Mountain Fall 2017 27 — The John Oliver Cabin, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Townsend, Tennessee, October 20, 2017

Be aware of how you are
feeding perceptions of you
by the way you live your life,
and live in the service
of reflecting the kind of values,
the kind of character traits,
you would like to be remembered
for exhibiting–
the kind of values
and character traits
that accurately reflect
who you are and intend to be.
Make it difficult for people
to see you in a bad light,
to think you are
who you are not.
Live like you mean it.

4484.  10/23/2017 — Smoky Mountain Fall 2017 30 — Cades Cove Methodist Church, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, near Townsend, Tennessee, October 20, 2017

Politically Correct behavior
is Correct behavior.
It is the way you behaved
around your mother,
your father,
your grandmother,
your Aunt Bibby
and your Aunt Lois.
The Political aspect of it
is that it is Smart To Be Correct.
To be Apolitical around any
of the aforementioned people
was to be Stupid
and to pay a price.
There ought to be a price
to pay for being Stupid,
because Correct behavior
is essential to the family,
nation,Your clique didn’t care
about your tribe, society, etc.
because it thought itself to be
a stand-alone culture itself.
So, gang members,
for instance,
take exception to Politically Correct behavior,
and despise your parents and your aunts, etc.
in acting out in any way
they decree to be acceptable.
They are enemies of Political Correctness.
They didn’t give a damn
about Political Correctness.
They are Politically Incorrect,
and proud of it.
Whether the gang
is at the bottom,
or effete elites
at the top,
of society,
they are anti-culture
in the same sense of the word.
They do not care about correct behavior
as it pertains to the larger world.
They are Politically Correct
on a small level–
in ways that are admired
by their peers–
while sneering at
and spitting on,
the core values at the heart
of the social fabric
of the whole,
which they deem themselves
to be apart from
and better than.
They are proud to be
Politically Incorrect
when they should be ashamed
for lifting themselves above
the fundamental agreements
that keep the tribe, the society, the culture, the nation
a safe and welcoming place to be.
We have to treat one another
in ways that respect, honor, revere, protect
the fundamental agreements
that make us human:
Grace, mercy, peace, kindness, gentleness,
being true, worthy, noble, right,
pure, lovely, admirable, excellent
and worthy of praise…
in a word,
doing whatever and being however
is Politically Correct
in the largest, best sense
of the term.
Anything less that
is an affront to all that is good
and necessary
in the way we conduct ourselves
in relationship with one another
and all people everywhere.
And we should be ashamed
for living like that.

4485.  10/24/2017 — Smoky Mountain Fall 2017 32/33 Panorama — Spark’s Lane 02, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Townsend, Tennessee, October 20, 2017

Start with this:
1) There is more to all of us than meets the eye–any eye.
2) We know more than we know we know.
3) Make it your top priority to look/listen, see/hear, and know what you know.
Reflection and introspection, Kid,
reflection and introspection.
How much time do you spend
inspecting, examining, exploring, reflecting on
what you know,
what you think you know,
what you know you don’t know?
Increase the amount of time
you spend in the work
to look/listen,
Start with what you think
you see,
know,Let introspection/reflection
become a devotional/meditative
aspect of each day.
Explore you.
Know you.
Grow into you.
That is the work
of being alive
to the life you are living
and the life waiting
for you to live it.

10/24/2017 — Donald Trump is a dysfunctional human being.
He doesn’t have the basic components
of human being-hood.
He is deficient in all the crucial departments.
He is completely incapable
of holding up his end of a relationship.
If anyone thinks they have a relationship with Trump,
it is entirely on his terms.
He is without qualification for the position he holds–
which is true for every position he has ever held,
or will ever hold.
The Republicans have succeeded
in their quest to control
the three branches of government–
without actually controlling the Executive Branch.
And that’s the fly in the soup.
They lose if they attempt to assert control,
and they lose if they don’t.
They are incapable of placing
the good of the country over
the good of the Party,
“And round and round and round it goes,
where it stops, nobody knows.”
But everybody knows
this isn’t a ride worth riding.

4486.  10/25/2017 — Smoky Mountain Fall 2017 02 — Oconaluftee River 01, Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, North Carolina, October 19, 2017

Our focus is staying on the beam–
staying on the path–
being/remaining aligned with ourselves,
living at-one with our heart,
soul, Psyche/Soma,
and trusting everything else
to fall into place around that.
To do that,
we have to walk two paths at the same time,
the path that is Our Path,
and the path that walking Our Path
requires us to also walk.
We have to do our work–
the work that is ours to do,
the work that is who we are–
and we have to do the work
that pays the bills
that allow us to do the work
that is ours to do.
The trick to walking two paths
at the same time
is to keep an eye on both paths at once,
walking this one
with an eye also on that one,
never forgetting who we are
and what we have to do
to be who we are
in all of the times and places
of our living.
A person who doesn’t know
what their path is
is lost, adrift, and at the mercy
of the prevailing winds.
Knowing who we are
is knowing what is ours to do–
the two are one.
This is essential knowing.
If we do not know,
we have to know that we do not know,
and take up the work
of listening/looking,
letting that be our primary path
as we do what is necessary
to pay the bills
while seeking our heart’s true song.
We will probably discover
that we have been doing it all along,
as the background of our life,
and need only to move it
to the foreground
to be on track and in tune
with ourselves.

10/25/2017 — Jesus’ disciples did not grasp Jesus.
Missed what he was saying.
Interpreted him in light of their own expectations.
Passed along what he said and did
according to what they thought it meant.
The disciples retrofitted Jesus
into the mold he came to break.
Theories always expand
to take into account
facts that deny the theories.
Theology and doctrine are theories.
They are not facts.
God is not a fact.
God is a theory human beings
have postulated from the beginning
of human beings
to explain facts
they experienced
but did not understand.
To answer questions
they had no explanation for.
“God’s will” is a catchall
for everything unknown.
Some theories are recognized as such
and are modified to fit the facts,
or rendered obsolete by the facts,
and discarded,
to be replaced by other theories
that take the facts into account.
Some theories are elevated to the sphere
of divinity,
and are held to be sacrosanct
through the ages,
unquestioned and unchallenged
regardless of what facts come along.
The disciples were entranced
by their theories about God,
and could not stand apart from their theories
in order to comprehend and embrace
the new thing Jesus was about–
and blended the new with the old
in ways that fail to honor
the uniqueness of either,
and prevent the evolution of the idea of God
in ways that would allow its expansion
and elaboration
in light of the new facts each age discovers.

10/25/2017 — Too many people refuse
to think for themselves–
are afraid to think for themselves–
have been taught/told/ordered
to not think for themselves.
They think there are
thoughts we should not think,
and they want to be sure
they do not think them,
so they don’t think any thoughts
they haven’t been told to think.
They are all ventriloquist’s dummies,
walking around and talking
like human beings,
but controlled by the Thought Police
secretly watching every
thought they think.
They have learned to mindlessly
go about their business
and never think a new thought
of any variety.
These people form Trump’s base
and will swim through the lava lakes of hell
to vote for him and his Republican minions.
The rest of us have to be willing
to do what it takes
to out-vote them in every election
to the end of elections.
Civilization itself hangs in the balance.

10/25/2017 — Where do you go
to experience the Numen–
the Ineffable Other–
as the moved experiencing the mover?
That experience is the ground
of religion worldwide
through all of the ages of human existence.
Where is it brought home to you?

10/25/2017 — The truer your life
who you are–
in the sense of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ phrase,
“What I do is me/For that I came”–
the closer to what has always been called God
you will be,
and the more Godlike you will be,
and people will ask you
if you are the Christ.
Say, “Yes.”
You will be right.

4487.  10/25/2017 — Smoky Mountain Fall 2017 50 — The Tipton Place 01, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Townsend, Tennessee, October 21, 2017

Our life has a shape and form all its own.
We say yes to that,
or no.
But we do not get to select
the life that would suit us.
We get to live the life
for which we are suited.
Or not.
Our life chooses us
like the wand chooses the wizard.
Our place is to be gracious host,
a faithful servant,
an eager partner
of the Force that dwells within
and invites us to communion
and collaboration
for as long as we are alive.

10/25/2017 — Creativity is a body thing
more than a head thing.
It is a listening, seeing, feeling thing
more than a thinking thing.
Stop thinking what to say or do.
Listen what to say or do.
See what to say or do.
Feel what to say or do.
People always go to thinking
for the answers.
Thinking is a late-comer to the field of knowing.
We were knowing long before
we were thinking.
See what you know.
Feel what you know.
Listen for what you know.
Trust yourself to those things–
to that knowing.
You will be birthing creativity.
Magic is in the air,
just thinking about it.

4488.  10/26/2017 — Blue Ridge Fall 2017 01 HDR Panorama — Boone Fork 01, Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 18, 2017

If we put as much time and attention
into getting together with our life
as we put into getting together with God,
we would be as God
(Or, as Jesus would say about his life:
“The Father and I are one.”)
and the life we would be living
would be of God.
Jesus was never about doctrine and theology.
Jesus was about living in ways
that are true to ourselves
in service to the good of the whole.Doctrine and theology came along
to sidetrack us from the central task
of finding our life and living it
to believing in Jesus
and doing nothing to interfere
with our chances of getting into heaven
when we die.
Jesus did not live to get into heaven.
He lived to be true to himself
in service to the good of the whole.
If we want to be like Jesus,
we have to find our life and live it–
the way it needs to be lived–
in each situation as it arises,
all our life long.

10/26/2017 — Trump is a simple, shallow,
small-brained person
who radiates contradiction
by denying it,
and generates complexity
by refusing to acknowledge
and embrace it.
“Build The Wall”
“Lock Her Up!”
“Repeal And Replace!
“Tax Cuts For Everyone!
“Make America Great Again!”
ignore the questions raised
and the details required
by all of the slogans.
He wants to wave his hands
and make it happen
with no negative consequences
or adverse implications.
Reality does not suit Trump,
so he pretends it away,
and leaves it to others
to deal with the fallout
and clean up his mess
while he creates more fallout
and stirs up more mess.

10/26/2017 — What became of principles?
Of principled people?
Serving in Congress?
Why live in the service
of power, privilege, and prestige
at the expense of principles?
What became of people
who sacrifice everything
in the service of
“whatever is just,
whatever is right,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is excellent,
whatever is noble,
whatever is admirable,
excellent, and worthy of praise”?

10/26/2017 — There is not a time,
a place,
or a condition of life
in which we cannot
be who we are.
We rise as ourselves,
and go meet our circumstances,
even as our circumstances
draw us forth
by asking hard things of us–
things we do not know
we are capable of–
showing us who we are
in ways we would never
imagine ourselves to be.
Our role is to trust ourselves–
to BELIEVE IN ourselves–
to have what we need
to find what we need
to do what needs us to do it,
even though we might THINK
we could never do that,
or that,
or that…
There are depths to us
we do not know,
capabilities we cannot conceive.
We are potential and possibility
waiting to show us
what’s what,
if we will only have faith
that it is so
and live to find out
what we can do
in dealing with the trials
and ordeals of our life.

10/26/2017 — There was no one
to bake her a birthday cake,
or bring her flowers.
No one to rock him to sleep
or read him a bedtime story.
There was no one
to help them with their homework,
or care if they did it.
No one to take them on picnics,
or to ballgames,
or museums,
or movies.
Where would we be
with no one in our life?
That’s where they are.
Imagine the deficit,
if you can.
And catch yourself
thinking everyone
is just like you,
and could do better
if they tried.

10/26/2017 — We have to bear the pain.
That’s the first requirement.
Jesus said,
“Pick up your cross
and follow me.”
He meant, “Bear the pain
that is yours to bear.”
Carl Jung said,
“Neurosis is a substitute
for legitimate suffering.”
And, “Neurosis is the natural bi-product
of pain avoidance.”
We cannot hope
to think about our life
and our place in it–
to find our life
and live it–
without squaring ourselves up
with how things are
and how we wish things were,
and bearing the pain
of that disparity
without being torn asunder
by it.
“Oh, but it’s too hard!
We just want to pass a good time!
We just want some action!
We just want to forget our troubles
and laissez le bon temps roulez!”
And that orientation
sets in motion
a certain action-set
that leads to a certain outcome,
and we run into
what we were running from.
We can do what’s hard,
or we can do it the hard way,
but we cannot escape the pain.
Only when we summons
the courage to bear the pain
do we find our way to the life
that is ours to live,
and know the deep joy
of being one with who we are
in the work that is ours to do.

4489.  10/27/2017 — Blue Ridge Fall 2017 02 Panorama — Tributary to Boone Fork, Julian Price Memorial Park Picnic Area, Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 18, 2017

Your life is your connection
with what has always been called God.
If you want to connect with God,
you have to connect with your life.
I don’t mean the life you are living.
I mean the life that is yours to live.
Think about your life
(the one you are living)
and your place in it.
Do you belong there?
Does it belong to you?
Does it have anything to do with you?
Does it do anything more for you
than help you pay the bills?
Do you spend your “free time”
in search of entertainments, distractions, diversions
to take your mind off the life you are living?
Do you daydream of winning the lottery
and being zipped into some other different better life?
How would that life be different?
More entertainment, distraction, diversion?
Forget those things.
What would you DO
that you are not doing now
that would be truly, thoroughly, YOU?
What kind of life can you imagine
that would be YOU top to bottom,
inside out?
What kind of life would be where you belong?
Where you could bloom
and be at last who you are?
What kind of life would free you to be you?
Be clear about that life down to the fine details.
What can you begin doing right now
to incorporate that life into this one,
into the one you are currently living?
What is keeping you from doing it?
If you want to connect with God
you have to connect with your life–
the one you are not living,
but could be living,
with only a little courage
and determination.
Starting now!

10/27/2017 — Let me explain
why 38% (really 38-33/2%)
of the voters MUST
remain happy with Trump,
and why he panders so
to his base.
The rest of the USA
thinks 38% of 100% is nothing.
Guess what 38% of 50% (or 55-70%) is.
How long has it been since 70%
of registered voters
voted in a national election?
Throw in voter suppression
and gerrymandering
and guess what your chances are
of getting even 58%
of registered voters to vote.
The Republicans only have to win
38% (or less even) of the vote
to be a majority of those voting.
Hang on.
It’s about to get really interesting.
Guess what percentage
of registered voters
hate black people,
LGBTQ people,
and LOVE guns and JEEESUS–
and will vote for anyone
(Trump, Roy Moore, etc.)
who hates who they hate
and loves what/who they love,
and will turn out at a rate
approaching 100% to vote
their heart in every election?
That would be about 38%
of registered voters.
If you get 100% of that 38%
you win.
Are you seeing what I’m showing you here?
Stop thinking about 100% of registered voters,
and start thinking about 50%
and get to work!
In panic mode!

10/27/2017 — Hatred, fear and thirst for power
fuel the forces that rule the world.
Peace, love, justice, equality and freedom
are token values relegated
to the fringe and margins
of culture and society
whose center is grounded
on profit at any price
and security against all foes.
Reversing this order of things
will take some time.
The Yellowstone caldera
will probably blow first.
But, there is no better option
for spending the time
than in protest of the way things are,
and in service to the way things ought to be.
The harvest is always plentiful,
and the laborers are always few,
so take up the cause
and get to work
while the light lasts–
and take heart
(meaning don’t become disheartened)!
We are working against heavy odds
but doing work that must be done
anyway, nevertheless, even so!

10/27/2017 — Your life is your connection
with what has always been called God.
If you want to connect with God,
you have to connect with your life.
I don’t mean the life you are living.
I mean the life that is yours to live.
Think about your life
(the one you are living)
and your place in it.
Do you belong there?
Does it belong to you?
Does it have anything to do with you?
Does it do anything more for you
than help you pay the bills?
Do you spend your “free time”
in search of entertainments, distractions, diversions
to take your mind off the life you are living?
Do you daydream of winning the lottery
and being zipped into some other different better life?
How would that life be different?
More entertainment, distraction, diversion?
Forget those things.
What would you DO
that you are not doing now
that would be truly, thoroughly, YOU?
What kind of life can you imagine
that would be YOU top to bottom,
inside out?
What kind of life would be where you belong?
Where you could bloom
and be at last who you are?
What kind of life would free you to be you?
Be clear about that life down to the fine details.
What can you begin doing right now
to incorporate that life into this one,
into the one you are currently living?
What is keeping you from doing it?
If you want to connect with God
you have to connect with your life–
the one you are not living,
but could be living,
with only a little courage
and determination.
Starting now!

10/27/2017 — It is not in Republicans’ best interest
to be fair,
so they will block federal judge nominees
when a Democrat is making nominations,
and ram them through
when a Republican is making them.
They will pull all stops in suppressing votes
and in gerrymandering districts.
They can expect to win all national elections
in which the turnout of registered voters is 56% of less–
they only have to win a majority of 56%,
and Trump’s 38% approval rate is a winning number.
Don’t look to Republicans
for help with Justice, Liberty, Equality.
That isn’t in their playbook.
Money To The Rich
and Profit At Any Price
are their mottoes,
and they care more about their donors
than about their constituents.
Oaths of Office are minor technicalities
they easily overlook.
“Republican” is a term meaning
“My good at the expense of yours.”
A vote for Republicans
is a vote against democracy.

10/27/2017 — Racism isn’t going anywhere
under its own power.
We have to take it outside
and give it the boot.
No one can do it for us.
It is ours to do alone.
Each of us has to mine
our own inner framework
for the racial forms and images
before it becomes a thought
a feeling,
a word,
an act,
a deed–
and sit with the forms and images
until memories form around them
and we can build for ourselves
a personal history
of racist bigotry,
a background of prejudice and intolerance,
and sit with that
until we know ourselves to be
harboring feelings that presume,
and infer
things about people we don’t know
based on what we think we know
because of the color of their skin,
the shape of their nose,
the slant of their eyes,
the texture of their hair,
the sound of their name,
the cut of their clothes
and the way they cover their head.
And sit with that
until we realize no one could know us
knowing only those things about us.
And be ashamed
to the point of
spending the rest of our life
catching racist impulses
in the act of becoming reactions,
nipping them in the bud,
taking them outside
and giving them the boot.

10/27/2017 — The good people who voted
Republican in the 2016 elections
put Democracy in a hole
from which it will be a long time exiting.

Their fear of
Justice, Equality, Liberty And Truth,
and their desire
for safety at all costs
gave us the reality
of the nightmare
that greets us all
upon awakening each day.

I do so wish
they had shown
some courage,
some trust,
some maturity,
some awareness,
some vision,
instead of being led
by Russian lies
and Tea Party propaganda
to embrace a solution
without a solution.

The people who gave us Donald Trump
did not know what they were doing.
Their ignorance,
their mindless reactivity,
their casual dismissal
of all they were seeing and hearing,
their irresponsible shirking
of the requirements of democracy
upon voting citizens,
their failure to notice,
and care about
what they were doing
opened a door
they cannot shut,
and they blame
anyone but themselves.

Trump was going to build us a wall,
Whatever happened to that?
He was going to make America Great Again.
Whatever happened to that?
He was going to Lock Her Up.
Whatever happened to that?
He was going to give us universal health care.
Whatever happened to that?

There is no fixing Donald Trump,
and no fix for him.
No cure.
No remedy.
No antidote.
No immunity.
Everything he touches
turns to dust.

10/27/2017 — I think it is too much to hope
for the church to reform itself
out of the business
of being the church-as-it-has-always-been,
and into the business
of being the church-as-it-should-be-and-might-become.

But, on the off-chance that it could happen,
I will hereby assign it,
or whatever aspect of it is game,
the task of ditching its theology
and taking up the work
of re-imagining and reinterpreting
its symbols in each generation
in light of the ways that generation
might put those symbols to work in—
and bring them to life in—
its own experience of its life and its world.

For example,
the four central symbols of the Christian church
are the Cup and Loaf of Communion,
the Water of Baptism,
and the Cross.

Removing those symbols from the theology
that surrounds them,
explains and defines them,
and coming up with new, non-theological, explanations
that would be true to their origin
and to our present experience of our life and world
would be the ground
of the church-as-it-should-be-and-yet-might-become.

Of course, that church
would dispense with worship
because when you ditch theology,
you remove any reason to worship,
and would have to find something new
to offer in its place—
to give its people some reason to gather together.

Like lessons on finding and living their life,
individually, personally, corporately.

Published by jimwdollar

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

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