October 28, 2017 – January 3, 2018

 

  1. 10/28/2017 — Blue Ridge Fall 2017 03 HDR — Boone Fork Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 18, 2017

    I do not know how I missed
    Billie Holiday’s aria “Strange Fruit”
    recorded in 1939
    about lynching’s in the south,
    but there is no reason for you to miss it:

    This should be required listening
    for everyone world wide
    as a reminder of where we have been,
    of where we have come from,
    of what our legacy is
    and what we must denounce,
    call out,
    oppose,
    and avoid,
    now and forever,
    on every level of society and culture
    down to the most trivial expression
    of racism,
    bigotry,
    prejudice,
    white supremacy,
    separatism
    intolerance
    and discrimination.
    It is an apt reminder
    of what we are encouraging
    nationally/politically
    with the current relaxing
    of civil rights standards
    in voting rights
    and education,
    and a call to wake up
    and stand firm
    in our national (and personal)
    commitment to equality,
    liberty,
    and justice for all.

  2. 10/28/2017 — Goodale State Park 2017 02 Panorama — Adams Mill Pond, Camden, South Carolina, October 28, 2017

    We live with a foot in two worlds
    and walk two paths at the same time.
    There is what we do to pay the bills.
    And there is what we pay the bills to do.
    To make this work,
    we have to live in one world
    with an eye on the other world.
    We can never lose sight of the other world!
    We live in this world–
    whichever world “this world” happens to be–
    in light of that world.
    Our life in this world
    is informed by our life in that world.
    We cannot lose sight of either world,
    or ever allow ourselves to think
    that this world
    (whichever world “this world” happens to be)
    is the only world.
    We maintain the tension,
    live within the contradiction,
    bear the pain–
    consciously,
    intentionally,
    mindfully,
    compassionately,
    with grace and kindness
    for all concerned
    every step of the way.
    That’s the way to do it.
    The way it must be done.

  3. 10/29/2017 — Blue Ridge Fall 2017 10 Panorama — Julian Price Memorial Park Picnic Area, Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 18, 2017

    I am,
    you are,
    he/she/it is
    we all are
    “the still point
    of the turning world.”
    The world revolves around us.
    We bring the world into focus.
    We take it all in.
    Organize,
    order,
    reorder,
    differentiate,
    categorize,
    decipher,
    determine,
    dissect,
    discern,
    decide,
    experience,
    explore,
    evaluate,
    filter,
    prioritize,
    regulate,
    consider,
    reconsider,
    reflect,
    question,
    inquire,
    investigate,
    integrate,
    realize,
    connect,
    harmonize,
    comprehend,
    understand,
    interpret,
    articulate,
    feel,
    sense,
    grasp,
    wonder,
    imagine,
    play,
    laugh,
    ,
    and do it all
    again
    and again,
    making sense,
    finding meaning,
    making meaning,
    sharing meaning
    with each other
    and all people
    for the true good of the whole
    every day
    throughout our life/our lives.
    It’s what we do,
    and are to do,
    and must do.
    Slowing it down
    by seeing,
    hearing,
    understanding,
    knowing,
    doing,
    being,
    and enjoying it all.

10/29/2017 — I have a theory
about a lot of things–
everything if I think about it,
but who can think about everything?
And though we as a species
have always been in search
of the one unifying theory
which makes sense of all things,
it’s because that would
save us the trouble of theorizing
about every single thing.
At least, that’s my theory.
A theory is different from an opinion.
I know people who have an opinion
about everything,
but they don’t think about anything.
Opinions are a substitute
for one unifying theory.
They save us the trouble of theorizing
about every single thing.
We are all over saving ourselves trouble
by not thinking.
That’s one of the things we do best
as a species.
It’s our specialty.
Which is another theory of mine.
We are into saving ourselves trouble
because our lives are so exhausting.
It wears us out being alive.
Balancing all the things we have to balance.
We are awash in contradictions
and dichotomies
and incompatibilities.
It wears us out.
We sleep as much as possible
just to get away from it all–
and all of our escapes, diversions and distractions
are ways of putting ourselves to sleep
so that we don’t have to think about
our contradictions, dichotomies, and incompatibilities.
But, that’s where we live,
and if we are going to be alive,
we have to wake up
and be mindfully aware
of what’s what with us
in the time and place of our living.
And thinking up theories
to help us deal with it all.
At least, that’s my theory.

10/29/2017 — Trump will save his people
from the things they detest:
Socialism,
black people,
immigrants,
feminists,
Muslims,
LGBTQ’s,
Latinos,
foreigners,
liberals,
Democrats,
etc.
And save for them the things they love:
guns
and Jeeesus.
Trump can do anything he pleases
as long as he provides his base
with what they long for.
And they will do anything for him.

10/29/2017— The quiet times are when it all comes crashing down on us, all of our losses, mistakes, wrong turns, bad decisions, all of the things we have done and the things that have been done to us. This is the Buddha under the Bo Tree, Jesus in the wilderness. It’s terrible. The trial and ordeal par excellence! It’s the angle with the flaming sword guarding the entrance to paradise. There is no peace without bearing the pain of the silence that harbors “the still small voice.” But who can bear it? Who can stand it? That’s the quandary. “What a slippery slope this is! It’s like the edge of a razor!”

There is an aversion to stillness, solitude and silence worldwide across time. We can think ourselves to death! And so, we have to counter the “death-trap thinking” with awareness of it–holding it in our awareness in a “this too, this too,” kind of way, and expanding our awareness beyond the despair to the realization of our identity with the whole of humanity, and the wellspring from which life itself springs, in recognizing the existence of “more than meets the eye,” and experiencing ourselves as being upheld and encouraged by “more than words can say,” and called beyond our anguish to that which has need of us “even now,” “nevertheless, even so,” and live on in the strength of “the everlasting arms,” without going over into theology and doctrine, but staying, mindfully, with the experience without trying to explain, understand, control, own, possess that which possesses us.

10/29/2017 — Sheldon Kopp said,
“Some things can be experienced,
but not understood,
and some things can be understood,
but not explained.”
This is the foundation of all good religion.
Bad religion attempts–
through its theologies and doctrines–
to explain what cannot be understood,
to understand what can only be experienced.
We only have to open ourselves to the experience
of the truth at the ground of existence–
which is as close as stillness and silence,
as art, music, and nature,
as a mother’s touch,
a child’s laughter…
and let that be that.

10/29/2017 — We have to know what exhausts us,
depletes us,
and avoid it where possible,
and compensate ourselves for it
when unavoidable.
Compensation is essential soul-care
and is not to be neglected or delayed.
It is necessary for balance and sanity,
and for maintaining heart and spirit
for the trials and ordeals
of the journey.

  1. 10/30/2017 — Bass Lake Fall 2017 04 Panorama — Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 17, 2017

    Would you go to hell for your life?
    For the sake of your life?
    To be able to live your life?
    Or,
    Is your life itself the hell
    you are trying to escape?
    These questions are at the core
    of every addiction.
    What are we living for?
    Another high?
    What is the nature of our highs?
    What is our drug of choice?
    What are we running from?
    Refusing to face?
    Refusing to do?
    What is so hard about our life?
    What are we living for?
    What would it take
    for us to spring out of the bed
    each morning,
    eager to step into the day?
    Ready for whatever the day
    has to offer?
    Looking forward to the experience
    of exploring another day?
    Everyone who is addicted
    to something other than their life
    is cut off from their life–
    from the life that is their life to live–
    and is living an inauthentic existence
    in the wasteland of endless discontent.
    How to escape the escapes
    is their problem.
    How to find the way back
    to authenticity–
    to the integrity of being and doing,
    the oneness of who we are
    and how we live,
    to the life that is so genuinely “us”
    that we would go through hell itself
    in service to it,
    in faithful devotion to the work
    that is ours to do–
    is the quest that calls us from escape
    to freedom.
    The freedom of being a liege servant
    to the tasks,
    the agonies,
    the trials and ordeals,
    of the life that is ours to live.

10/30/2017 — Adjustment and accommodation, Kid,
adjustment and accommodation!
We meet the trials and ordeals
of our life
with adjustment and accommodation.
Not with submission and surrender!
The caveat here
is that we have to be right
about being in the flow of our life
and not lost in a fantasy of our own making,
pursuing ends that are not legitimately our ends,
forcing outcomes we have no business seeking,
and being at odds with purposes
that are truly ours.
When we are on track,
on the beam,
at one with the intention
working its will through us,
and serving the gifts that are ours to serve,
then obstacles and setbacks
are tests of our mettle,
and call us forth
to champion our own life
against all opposition–
and that is where adjustment and accommodation
come into play.
The stream finds a path
around all obstructions,
and in every life
there are times
to take No! for an answer.
When to do what
is the call only we can make.

10/30/2017 — Integrity–the achievement
and maintenance
of integrity–
is the work of our lifetime.
We never complete it,
and must never lay it aside.
Carl Jung said,
“If a person wants to be cured
(of his/her neurosis) it is necessary to find a way
in which (his/her) conscious personality
and (his/her) Shadow can live together.”
The work of integrity
is the work of wholeness/completion/oneness,
wherein the conscious Ego,
external personality,
is an extension and expression
of the inner unconscious/psychic personality.
The mask mirrors–
it does not conceal–
the inner reality,
but makes it palpable in ways appropriate
to the time and place of our living.
Our life has to fit who we are.
Our life is to who we are
as the channel is to the river.
When our life blocks the flow
of the river,
symptoms pour out and over
and flood our world.

  1. 10/30/2017 — Blue Ridge Fall Star Tree 2017 01 — Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain, October 19, 2017

    When we are in the grip of purest agony,
    the tendency is to escape
    any way we can.
    The best strategy is to bear it out.
    We generate agony
    when we run from agony.
    Our word “agony”
    is from the Greek “agone.”
    It’s the word Paul used in his,
    “I have completed the agone,
    I have kept the faith.”
    Completing the agone
    is bearing the pain of our life,
    the pain of being alive.
    Wynton Marsalis said,
    “My great-great grandmother used to say,
    ‘Life has a board for every behind,’
    and it is just to fit yours,
    so that your board
    isn’t going to work on someone else’s behind.
    And when it’s your turn,
    that paddle is going to be put on your booty
    and it’s going to hurt as much as it can hurt.”
    The agone is part of everyone’s life,
    and we we refuse to bear it,
    we spread it around,
    so that our agone is borne by our spouse
    and our children,
    and the people in our family of origin,
    and the people we work with.
    But they have their own board,
    their agone,
    and if we dump ours on them,
    we increase the likelihood that
    they will run from theirs,
    and the amount of agone in the world
    increases exponentially in a short period of time.
    Instead of bearing our own agone,
    we have been creating agone
    throughout history.
    It is a reversible trend
    that we can turn around
    simply by “keeping the faith”–
    by keeping good faith with one another,
    and bearing our own agone.
    When life takes the paddle to us,
    we don’t run.
    We welcome it
    and bear it out,
    growing up some more again.

  2. 10/31/2017 — Blue Ridge Fall 2017 Roots 02 — Trail to Beacon Heights, Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, October 19, 2017

    We have to work it all out for ourselves.
    WE have to make it work.
    And there is no common agreement
    as to the meaning of “work.”
    What works for some
    doesn’t work for many.
    What works for one or two
    doesn’t work for any.
    What works today
    won’t work tomorrow.
    What works is a very subjective thing.
    And quite unreliable over time.
    So, from the start,
    we are up against it,
    with no firm footing
    or precise, dependable, bearings.
    It is a new world every day.
    Every hour.
    Who can be confident of anything?
    Who can trust anyone?
    Yet, we have no choice.
    Everything depends upon
    our pretending that
    everything is dependable.

    We do that with an eye
    on all of it.
    Knowing that we might
    have to start over
    any time.
    The fires in California,
    the hurricane in Puerto Rico,
    the shooting in Las Vegas
    and Sandy Hook,
    and Charleston…
    Who would have thought it?
    Policemen shooting black men for sport?
    Who would have thought it?
    The world has no moorings.
    Nothing is as we have been told it is.
    What can we count on?
    We can count on having to work it out for ourselves
    again and again.
    On having to make it work again and again.
    On having to find our ground and center,
    and start from there again and again.
    We are all we can count on.
    Our own courage, resiliency, determination,
    imagination, creativity, compassion,
    sense of direction and vision of what is right
    buoy us up
    and carry us along.
    We better have an unshakeable relationship
    with ourselves,
    faith in ourselves,
    trust in ourselves,
    because it is going to be up to us
    to find what we need
    to see us through–
    to find others like us
    to hold one another up
    and be what each other needs
    all along the way.
    Community starts with being
    the kind of person
    community is all about.
    Who can we trust?
    Who can trust us?
    It starts there.

  3. 11/01/2017 — Page’s Mill Pond 2017 11 HDR– Lake View, South Carolina, October 31, 2017

    Our personal sovereignty
    is the ground of our being–
    and has to be recognized as such,
    and guarded accordingly.
    We say what is right for us
    and what is wrong.
    We say were we start
    and someone/anyone else starts.
    We say what our business is
    and isn’t.
    Where our boundaries lie,
    and don’t.
    No one can tell me where to stand
    when I take a picture.
    There are countless decisions
    and choices
    that are ours alone to make
    regarding the experience
    and expression
    of ourselves.
    People who want to “help” us
    by taking over our sovereign duty
    of deciding for ourselves
    who and how we will be
    are offering the kind of help
    “that we all could do without.”
    People who “know what’s best,”
    are the kind of people
    who have no idea of what
    “helping is all about.”
    Our body knows who they are.
    We only need to listen
    to what our body is saying
    to know whom to avoid
    and where to draw hard lines.

  4. 11/02/2017 — Old Sheldon Church Ruins 2014 01 Panorama — Wedding Day, Yemassee, South Carolina, September 2014

    We cannot think–and live–
    in terms of
    advantage,
    acquisition,
    achievement,
    ..
    We have to think–and live–
    in terms of
    experiencing
    and expressing
    what is deepest,
    truest,
    and best about us–
    the values,
    principles
    and characteristics
    that are the ground
    of our being
    and the foundation
    of who we are
    and what we are about,
    in each situation as it arises
    all our life long
    regardless of
    the implications
    or the outcome,
    no matter what.
    Boy, that would change the world.

  5. 11/02/2017 — Blue Ridge Fall 2017 Boone Fork 05/06 HDR Panorama —
    Boone Fork Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 18, 2017

    Good religion begins
    with knowing what we know
    but cannot say.
    It has nothing to do
    with believing what someone else says.
    What someone else says
    connects with what we know
    or not.
    If not, we keep looking
    for those who know what we know.
    Artists and musicians and poets
    and auto mechanics and jockeys
    and astrophysicists and kindergarten teachers

    talk the same language.
    They share the same “religion.”
    And, on a larger scale,
    they all share the same religion
    if they can get past theology and doctrine
    to talk about what they know.
    White supremacists, for instance,
    and Nazis and Fascists, etc.
    have to deny what they know
    to talk about what they believe–
    about what they believe they know.
    People who know what they know,
    can set aside what they know
    to listen to someone else talk about
    what they know
    until something strikes a cord
    and they all begin to resonate
    with the music of the spheres.
    People who are stuck in some ideology–
    any ideology–
    cannot do that.
    Knowing exists on a level
    beyond thinking and believing.
    Good religion is based on
    knowing what we know
    without knowing how we know it,
    or how to talk about it.
    It’s like music.
    All music is good religion.
    All good religion is music.
    That is all we need to know.

  6. 11/03/2017 — Lake Haigler Fall 2017 05/06/07 HDR Panorama — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Forth Mill, South Carolina, November 2, 2017

    Mindful,
    compassionate,
    non-judgmental
    awareness
    is the basic requirement
    for living attuned
    to the time and place
    of our living–
    as a full participant
    in what is happening
    and a servant
    of what needs to happen–
    conscious of
    the just-so-ness,
    the just-as-it-is-ness,
    of the wholness
    of the situation,
    and of the ought-to-be-ness,
    the needs-to-be-done-ness,
    that calls us to act
    in the field of action
    as a champion
    of the good of the whole
    and of the parts
    making up the whole,
    all things considered.
    This is all
    that could be asked
    of any of us,
    ever–
    and it is asked
    of every one of us

  7. 11/03/2013 — Goodale State Park Fall 2017 01 — Adams Mill Pond, Camden, South Carolina, October 28, 2017

    Carl Jung said:
    “At bottom, there is only one striving,
    namely, the striving after your own being.”
    Who am I?
    What am I to be about?
    What would I be doing
    to not be wasting my time here?
    How shall I live my life
    to experience and express
    my gifts/talents/interests/enthusiasms/etc.?
    How might I live
    to be more aligned
    with who I am
    and less shackled to
    who I am not?
    Why doesn’t everyone around us
    from birth throughout our life
    understand that these
    are the questions
    we all are born to answer–
    and assist us in asking
    and answering
    them?

11/03/2017 — The Republicans’ agenda
is to appease their Super Pac donors
with large tax reductions
as a return on their investment
of funding Republican campaigns.
The environment,
infrastructure,
health care
and the welfare of the commonwealth
are not their concern.
Republicans will defend gun rights,
work to end abortion,
reverse civil rights gains,
erase LGBTQ rights,
and make white Christian religious freedom
the Law of the Land.
And that is all you can ever expect
of Republicans.
If there is lead in your water,
and if you can’t breathe the air,
and if your children are being taught
conspiracy theories instead of
history and science,
that’s your problem.
You have your guns and Jeezus,
and at least the Democrats
aren’t in control.
So be thankful it isn’t
as bad as it could be,
and don’t complain.

11/04/2017 — We are not going to argue even fringe Republicans
into being Democrats–
or even into voting for a Democrat just once
to see if their convictions are well founded.
Republicans are terrified of Democrats,
or despise them,–
or both.
Democrats will force their daughters
to have abortions,
and turn their sons into homosexuals.
Democrats will take their guns away,
and make reading the Bible illegal.
Democrats will require everyone to say
“Happy Holidays,”
and raise their taxes
to support lazy, stupid, free-riders,
and open the nation’s doors to
terrorists and other foreigners.
And that is just the beginning!
Democrats are straight from Satan,
and are capable of the worst
blasphemy and heresy imaginable–
and even worse things beyond imagining!
All of which is patently absurd,
but.
Just walk into a room full of people
who feel that way–
and 38% of eligible voters feel that way–
and try to talk any of them
out of their assurances about Democrats.
You have those two famous chances,
Fat and Slim.
It doesn’t matter what you say,
or how you say it.
Facts bounce off of them,
and logic and reason
make no impact.
That leaves us talking to people
who are not Republicans
about the future they want to live in,
and hope they will turn out to vote.
Because 38% of the people voting
are going to vote Republican.
And there is nothing you can do about it.
Out-voting Republicans is the only way
to deal with them.

  1. 11/04/2017 — Page’s Mill Pond 2017 02 — Lake View, South Carolina, October 31, 2017

    You come alive
    in the presence of some things,
    and shrivel and die
    in the company of others.
    Go where the life is,
    and spend as much
    of the time left for living
    with the things that bring
    you to life
    as you possibly can.
    Without pausing
    to defend,
    explain,
    justify
    or excuse
    what you are doing.
    Why do you care
    what people think,
    if what they think
    kills your soul?

11/04/2017 — Living in good faith
with ourselves
and one another
is the foundation of community
and the hope of the world.
Good faith comes down to
being who we say we are
and doing what we say we will do.
No duplicity.
No hidden agendas.
No pretense.
No games.
Everything on the table
and out in the open.
It doesn’t mean we don’t
have sides of ourselves
that no one sees.
It means we are open
about having sides of ourselves
that no one sees–
and it means that we
do not have sides of ourselves
that we do not see.
Self-transparency is the ground
of life with ourselves
and with one another.
Kidding, fooling, lying to
ourselves is the ultimate form
of deception
and the bane of society.

11/04/2017 — One of the core assumptions
of dream work/interpretation
is that each night’s dreams
are metaphors/snapshots
depicting how things are with us
in our life at the present time.
It takes sitting with the dream
to make the connections,
and that is as valid a form
of meditation/prayer
as any of the others
in the history of religion.
If you don’t dream,
or do not remember your dreams,
you can achieve the same
insight/realization
by putting yourself in a daytime
fantasy and watch the action.
For instance, you are in a stage coach
in the old west…
put yourself there,
see what happens
without trying to direct–
just watch…
allow the fantasy to play itself out
and ask yourself
what that has to do
with the way things are in your life.

  1. 11/05/2017 — Blue Ridge Fall 2017 15 — Boone Fork Bridge, Julian Price Memorial Park Picnic Area, Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 18, 2017

    You have to believe in you
    and in the work that is yours to do,
    which is not the same
    as the work you do to pay the bills
    to do what is yours to do.
    Your work won’t seem to be much.
    It isn’t likely to convince you of its value.
    You will have to “take it on faith”
    that it is really your work
    and worth your time and effort.
    It won’t be obvious.
    It will be like “a root out of dry ground”
    with nothing to commend it
    beyond making your little heart sing
    until you shame yourself for liking
    something so obviously devoid
    of importance and prestige.
    You have to make your work
    the center point of your life
    in spite of the catcalls and eye rolls,
    and give yourself to it
    as though it is a pearl of great price
    or a treasure of lasting worth–
    because it is,
    to you–
    and trust that everything
    will fall into place around that
    regardless of the lack of sustaining evidence.
    You have to believe in you
    and in the work that is yours to do.
    Everything depends on it.

  2. 11/06/2017 — A Walk in the Woods Fall 2017 05/06 Panorama — Indian Land, South Carolina, November 5, 2017

    Living aligned with our life is the work of our life.
    We cultivate alignment by:
    Listening to our dreams,
    Listening to our body,
    Listening to our heart, and
    Practicing the art of
    mindful/compassionate/non-judgmental awareness
    throughout the time left for living.

11/06/2017 — Republicans think Russians
are to be preferred
over Democrats.
Russians hate gay people,
poor people,
people of color,
feminists,
abortions,
and civil rights
of all shapes and sizes.
Republicans think Russians
are just like them.
And they may be right.
I do not know what to say
to Republicans
to change their mind
about anything.
I don’t think it is possible.
The same thing goes for Russians.
I wonder where Republicans
part ways with Russians.
I wish a Republican
would make that clear.
But, it is clear they think
Democrats are the worst people
in the world.

11/06/2017 — I’m having difficulty
coming up with areas
of common agreements
between Republicans and Democrats.
Republicans get elected
on not being a Democrat,
and don’t stand for any
policies impacting social programs,
infrastructure
or the environment.
They talk about small government
and tax reductions
for the wealthiest among us,
and are against
civil rights,
voting rights,
LGBTQ rights,
women’s rights
immigrant rights,
human rights…
Where would the conversation begin?
George Lakoff says
Democrats and Republicans
separate regarding how they
answer the question,
“If your baby cries during the night,
what do you do?”
If we can’t agree about that,
I don’t see a livable minimum wage
having a chance.

11/06/2017 — Freedom requires a significant degree
of latitude, leeway,
room in which to move around.
We cannot talk about “freedom”
in an atmosphere
in which people are bound
together in a narrow little range
of options and opportunities.
I have to be able to live my life
in ways that I deem to be fit and proper
as long as I don’t encroach
on your ability to live your life,
and vice versa.
Your business is yours
and my business is mine,
and the Rule of Law
makes it possible for each/all of us
to live our lives without crashing
into one another.
It is a good system,
and the Constitution with its Bill of Rights
is very clear about the things
each of us can count on from the rest of us.
The Trump Administration
and Republican Members of Congress,
are ignoring the Constitution
and creating a crisis wherein
voting rights are being squashed,
civil rights are being erased,
rights of women and minorities are being denied,
and the Rule of Law is being ignored.
And there is none to call FAULT
and institute penalties.
And freedom is becoming
a wealthy person’s privilege
and not an inalienable right of all.

11/06/2017 — Trump seems to relish
inflicting misery and suffering
on people just because he can.
He isn’t motivated by,
“Whom can I help today?”
Hurting people is his forte.
2,500 Nicaraguans
who have been here
since 1998,
when Hurricane Mitch
demolished much of Central America,
have 14 months to leave the US.
And go where, Trump doesn’t care.
Trump.
Doesn’t.
Care.
And he’s proud of it.
Ask and he will tell you–
he does a better job at not caring
than anyone who didn’t care
ever did.
And, that would be one time
he told the truth.

  1. 11/07/2017 — Lake Haigler Fall 2017 01 HDR — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 2, 2017

    Embrace your contradictions.
    Bear the pain.
    Live knowingly–
    mindfully,
    compassionately,
    non-judgmentally
    aware
    of the all-ness,
    the just-as-it-is-ness,
    the just-so-ness
    of each situation
    as it arises.
    Strive for harmony
    with all things.
    Negotiation and compromise, Kid,
    negotiation and compromise.
    Be at peace
    with the way things are
    in the sense
    that “this calls for that,”
    and because things are like this,
    you have to respond like this–
    if you spill the milk,
    clean it up
    without being overwrought about it–
    “This Means That,”
    that’s all–
    if the baby’s diaper needs changing,
    change the diaper.
    Know what you know,
    and what you do not know.
    Don’t kid yourself.
    Don’t strive to impose
    your idea of how things ought to be
    on things as they are,
    but when a door opens,
    walk through.
    See what you can
    get by with
    in the service of
    your idea of what is good for you
    and for the situation as a whole.
    Take no for an answer
    when that is what is called for.
    Do not take no for an answer
    when that is what is called for.
    Know what is called for
    and serve it with your life.
    Ask the questions
    that need to be asked.
    Say the things
    that cry out to be said.
    Do the things
    that must be done.
    And let the outcome
    be the outcome.
    Love what you love
    and let things settle out
    around that.
    If you can find better advice,
    take it.

11/08/2017 — Knowing we can do it
is a lot better than
thinking we can do it,
believing we can do it,
or hoping we can do it.
DOING IT is empowering,
emboldening,
grounding,
convincing,
transforming…
Let’s get it done in Alabama!
Doug Jones needs our help.
Cash encouragement
is always helpful.
Explore the Resistance Movement
to see how else you might be helpful–
the opportunities are abundant,
the need is great.
Find a place to fit into
the work that has to be done.
Put bigotry in its place–
a shameful memory
in the annals of time.

  1. 11/08/2017 — Lake Crandal Fall 2017 01 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 3, 2017

    Principles,
    character
    and human values
    remain
    long after
    money,
    fame,
    and celebrity status
    have disappeared
    and been forgotten.
    Who are you?
    What do you stand for?
    Whose are you?
    What owns you?
    What of you will remain
    when you are dead and gone?
    That is the kind of immortality
    that makes a difference–
    for better or worse.
    Live to make the right kind
    of difference,
    even after you are dead and gone.
    The only thing money is good for
    is what you do with it–
    how you use it
    to change things for the better
    in the lives of others.
    The trick is to spend your money
    and your life
    doing the things that matter most.
    It is never too late
    to begin living well.
    The past is inertia
    exerting its influence
    on the present.
    The future is calling
    for vision and creativity
    in the service
    of principles,
    character,
    and values–
    beginning now.

11/08/2017 — People will vote for people
who are doing right
by the people–
not just the wealthy people
or the radical, fundamental, evangelical religious fringe people,
but WE, the people of the United States
who come together again and again over time
“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 t
o ourselves and our Posterity,
do (re)ordain and (re)establish
(the) Constitution for the United States of America.”
The people will vote for the people
who are doing that in good faith,
from the heart,
serving liberty and justice for all.

11/08/2017 — Our common agreements have to deal with
who is in charge of a woman’s body,
and a woman’s and a man’s
sexual orientation
and gender identification,
and religious choice and expression.
If I am a woman
and someone tells me
I cannot wear a hijab,
I have to be clear
about how they
came to have authority
over my life,
and where they think
they stop and I start,
and what makes them think
they know more about my business
than I do,
and why they think
that what they think
matters more than what I think,
and who are they
to invade my life?
Our common agreements have to include
where the lines lie
and who gets to draw them.

11/08/2017 — The false aura around
the myth of southern honor
and Old South Heritage
has to be challenged and exposed
for the lie it is
for as long as the lie is cherished and revered.
There is nothing honorable
about chains and whips and lynching’s.
A heritage of white sheets and cross burnings
is shameful to the core.
Racial hatred, violence, intolerance and bigotry
are not things that need to be brought forward
into every present eternally always and forever,
but are things that need to be relegated
to the increasingly distant past
as lessons learned
which are never to be repeated–
and not kept alive in anyone’s heart
as some twisted and evil ideal
which will one day rise again.

  1. 11/09/2017 — Blue Ridge Fall 2017 Linville River 02 — Linville Falls Visitor Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, October 19, 2017

    We think life is automatic
    and under our control.
    We say things like,
    “It’s MY life and I can do
    whatever I want with it!”
    And use phrases like
    “The master of my destiny,”
    and
    “The Captain of my ship.”
    And we set about to
    conquer, conquest, vanquish,
    achieve, acquire, amass
    to our little heart’s content.
    But our little heart isn’t contented
    at all,
    ever,
    by any of it.
    And we think if we had only made more money
    owned more stuff
    (“The one with the most stuff wins, you know),
    achieved greater fame and glory,
    we would be happy beyond euphoria forever.
    Sometimes, it occurs to us
    that we were wrong about it all.
    That realization could be the turning point.
    To often, it is the threshold to despair and dismay.
    The Spanish/Latinos among us
    have a saying,
    “Aqui estamos. Y ahora que?”
    (“Here we are. And now what?”)
    Everything yet to be
    hinges entirely on what we do NOW.
    Never mind what we have done
    or failed to do,
    or what has been done to us,
    or was not done for us–
    “Aqui estamos. Y ahora que?”
    Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!
    Examine our assumptions!
    See what we thought was so
    that is not so.
    Start over with our seeing and doing.
    Life is not automatic.
    We are not in charge.
    See what we look at!
    Hear what is being said to us
    on all levels,
    inner and outer.
    Know what we know
    and what we do not know,
    and what is happening
    in each situation as it arises,
    and decide what to do about it
    with the gifts that are ours,
    all things considered.
    And see where it goes.

  2. 11/09/2017 — Smoky Mountain Fall 2017 25 HDR Panorama– Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, North Carolina, October 20, 2017

    Thinking is great for some things, but.
    We cannot begin to think our way
    into the life that is life for us.
    We cannot think our way
    through complex choices
    where we don’t have enough information
    to know what needs to be known.
    We cannot think our way through adolescence–
    whether we are the adolescent
    or the parent of the adolescent.
    When thinking goes in circles
    and comes up blank
    it is time to sit and listen.
    Listening is the solution
    to all of our problems.
    Listen to your body.
    Listen to your heart.
    Listen to your dreams.
    Listen to the stillness.
    To the silence.
    To the sea.
    If you cannot get to the sea,
    Google “sound of the sea,”
    and listen to that.
    Listen yourself into knowing what to do.
    If you do it and explodes in your face,
    listen yourself into knowing what to do then.
    Believe in listening
    even when it doesn’t appear to be helping.
    Listening was helping
    long before thinking came along.

  3. 11/10/2017 — Page’s Mill Pond Fall 2017 21 — Lake View, South Carolina, October 31, 2017

    You have to bear the pain,
    the agony,
    the agone
    of life, living, being alive.
    You are the Buddha under the Bo Tree,
    Jesus in the wilderness
    and in Gethsemane
    and on the cross.
    You are Ulysses on his raft
    and Rosa Parks in the front of the bus.
    And you have to do it like they did it.
    It is the foundational work of being human.
    You cannot do the work
    without being grounded upon the foundation
    of YOU.
    It is you alone with YOU
    in the pain/agony/agone of life.
    You wake up and it is all gone–
    all of the answers,
    the solutions,
    the cliches and the platitudes,
    the truisms and the banlities
    (“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”
    “God doesn’t give us anymore than we can stand!”)–
    even God goes,
    and there is nothing there but YOU,
    and you have to find what holds you up,
    what sustains you,
    in the aftermath of the complete loss of everything
    you thought was sound, dependable and trustworthy.
    Where/what is your ground,
    your foundation?
    When there is nothing but absurdity and nonsense
    everywhere you look,
    and nothing stands to reason or makes sense,
    what keeps you going?
    If I ask you that, there,
    I’ll be looking for the glint in your eye,
    and the beginnings of a smile
    at the corners of your mouth,
    and a chuckle welling up from the depths,
    evidencing the recognition
    that you do not go because of any thing.
    You just go,
    and nothing can stop you.
    You are grounded in YOU.
    And “when the heaving sea
    has shaken your raft to pieces,
    then you will SWIM!”
    And we will laugh at the very idea
    of needing a raft,
    when all along we could SWIM!

11/10/2017 — Notice what about you
you dismiss, discount, despise.
What about you
do you ignore, reject,
treat with contempt,
scorn and derision?
Consider it in light of
the Biblical observation
that “nothing good comes from Nazareth,”
and that “the stone the builders cast off
becomes the chief cornerstone.”
Look closely at what you are throwing away,
and reconsider
what you are doing.

  1. 11/11/2017 — Boone Fork Fall 2017 07/08 Panorama — Boone Fork Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 19, 2017

    We push to hard
    to have what we want
    the way we want it
    NOW!
    Nature takes its own sweet time,
    waiting for things to fall into place
    when the time is right.
    My father used to ask me,
    “When are you ever
    going to grow up?”
    back when I was 14, 15, 16, 17…
    As though he were grow up.
    I’m still waiting to grow up.
    One of my most grown-up things
    is accepting that I will never be
    all grown up,
    but always growing up.
    Letting the work be never done,
    yet always doing the work
    is a twist on Sisyphus rolling the rock.
    Look your life over
    and you will find plenty of places
    where the work that needs doing
    will never be done
    and will always need doing.

    The.
    Work!
    Democracy is like that.
    We can’t elect the perfect President,
    (much less the Worst President Imaginable)
    and think we can exit politics
    because the politicians
    will now do their jobs
    the way they ought to be done,
    and we can devote ourselves
    to living our own life.
    Vigilance and a shoulder to the load
    are always required.
    Things are never as we want them to be
    for long.
    There is always work to be done.
    Even in Nature,
    the time is right momentarily,
    and then it is wrong for ages,
    and the dance goes on.

11/11/2017 — How many people do you know–
have you known–
who are content to be
who they are–
who are happy to be
who they are–
who are eager to be
who they are–
in each situation as it arises
all their life long,
and look forward to the next situation arising
because it will bring them forth
to meet themselves
in ways they cannot imagine,
and they will discover again and again
who they also are
in the simple act
of being themselves?

11/11/2017 — Trump has never acknowledged a fact
that is different from the way
he wants things to be.
His reality is HIS reality
imposed upon the world around him.
He lives as though HIS world
is THE world in a
“This isn’t how I SEE things–
this is the way things ARE!”
kind of way.
This is a problem
for everyone but him.
All of his problems
are someone else’s fault,
and are not connected to him
in any way.

11/11/2017 — I have to work my side of the street
and you have to work yours.
I’m not here to work your side.
You aren’t here to work my side.
I don’t tell you how to do your work.
You don’t tell me how to do mine.
We live to know our work and do it.
Everything depends upon,
and flows from,
our good-faith relationship with our work.
If we do not know what our work is,
we interfere with everyone else’s.
The world as we know it
exists as it is
because too many people
do not know what their work is.

11/11/2017 — The older I get,
the less time and energy I have
for things that are Not Me.
The fewer diversions/distractions the better.
If it is none of my business,
I stand aside.

11/11/2017 — Our life will be aligned with something.
Let’s break down the possibilities
to our own personal good
and the good of that which is greater than we are.
This could be thought of as the “I” and the “Thou.”
Do we live to serve ourselves,
or that which we think of as “Thou”?
(Those whose good we do not serve at all
might be thought of as the “Them.”
Do we live as an enemy of the “Them,”
merely oblivious to “Them”?
How do we treat “Them”?)
Whose good is served by the good we call good?
How deep is our dedication to its service?
How would people know of our service
by looking at our life?
Whose good would a disinterested observer
say our life is aligned with?
The point here is to be mindfully/consciously aware
of the good we call good,
evaluate its value in light of all we know of “the good,”
and live deliberately with determination and dedication
aligned with its service
in all that we do
throughout the time left for living.

  1. 11/11/2017 — Goodale Fall 2017 09 HDR Panorama — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, October 28, 2017

    Meet everything that comes your way–
    success and failure,
    joy and despair,
    satisfaction and disappointment,
    gladness and heartbreak,
    and all things better and worse–
    with a quality of mindfulness
    that receives whatever it is
    and holds it in awareness.
    Then wait,
    watching and listening,
    for the response
    that is fitting to the occasion
    to arise spontaneously
    and express itself
    through you
    in the field of action.

  2. 11/12/2017 — Lake Crandal Fall 2017 02 HDR Panorama — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 3, 2017

    Our life is always asking something of us,
    something difficult,
    which requires us to grow up
    some more,

    If we do not answer the question,
    we suffer forever for the failure
    of nerve,
    of resolve,
    to meet meet the question head-on
    with the best we have to offer.
    The life we live
    is our string of answers
    to the questions life asked of us
    all our life long.
    The questions we do not answer
    keep coming back.
    As we keep refusing to answer them
    our life becomes increasingly shallow
    and uninteresting,
    and we become increasingly
    a cardboard cutout
    going through the motions of living
    without being alive.
    Life requires us to feel what must be felt,
    to see what must be seen,
    to hear what must be heard,
    to know what must be known,
    to do what must be done
    and to be who we must be
    in each situation as it arises
    all our life long.
    No running, hiding, denying, escaping!
    No distractions, diversions, dismissing, discounting, discarding
    what the moment is asking of us.
    Always standing up,
    squaring up,
    stepping forward,
    and dancing with
    the challenges,
    the ordeals,
    the trials
    that each day brings.
    In the spirit of those
    who can’t wait to see
    how they will handle this test,
    eager to discover
    what this new obstacle
    will bring forth from us
    that we did not know
    we were capable of producing.

  3. 11/13/2017 — Beaufort Fall 2017 01 Panorama — Salt Water Marsh, Beaufort, South Carolina, November 12, 2017

    One of the early lessons in photography and life is this:
    “One time is NOT as good as another.”
    Photographers wait for the right time,
    and train themselves to know it when they see it.
    People with cameras
    (and iPhone cameras are better in a lot of ways
    than anything Ansel Adams, et al, worked with)
    click their way through the day without evaluating
    any scene in terms of its “wall worthiness,”
    and are imminently happy with every one.
    Photographers evaluate everything about each scene,
    and are never happy with every one of their images.
    “One time is NOT as good as another”
    should carry over into the way photographers live their life.
    So that they evaluate every occasion,
    each situation,
    in terms of what is right for each time and place,
    and what is wrong.
    All moments are not equal.
    Some situations call for this, now,
    while other situations call for that, then.
    The trick is to live in each situation
    in ways appropriate to the time and place of our living,
    and to wait, wait, wait
    for what we have to say,
    or what we want to do,
    to fit the needs of the moment,
    and its ability to benefit
    from what we have to offer

  4. 11/14/2017 — Beaufort Fall 2017 03 Panorama — Beaufort, South Carolina, November 12, 2017

    Rapport and resonance are guides
    to life,
    through life.
    What “strikes a cord,”
    “rings a bell,”
    “catches your eye”?
    What doesn’t?
    Knowing the difference,
    and going with what does–
    even without
    being able
    to explain, justify, excuse, defend
    your choices–
    will make all the difference.
    As will overriding
    your “Yes’s” and No’s”
    in favor of some completely
    reasonable, logical and advantageous path.
    There is more to everything
    than meets the eye.
    Learn to trust your sense
    of things unseen,

  5. 11/14/2017 — Dockside 2017 06 Panorama — Port Royal, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    We ground ourselves in our own values,
    principles and character,
    and go forth to meet the world.
    We do there what needs to be done
    in each situation as it arises,
    in light of all things considered–
    regardless of the implications
    that might have for us personally.
    We act out of who we are–
    not to gain an advantage
    or serve our interests,
    but to express,
    exhibit,
    incarnate,
    and bring forth
    the best we have to offer
    and the gifts we have to give
    for the good of the whole,
    including the least important
    members of the commonwealth–
    whether anyone joins us,
    or even notices,
    and regardless of how much good it does
    or how much of a difference it makes,
    because that is who we are
    and what we do.

  6. 11/15/2017 — Hunting Island 2017 01 Panorama — Hunting Island State Park near Beaufort, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    We have to know what does it for us
    and do it.
    We have to know what our business is
    and tend it.
    We have to know what the commonwealth requires of us
    and serve it
    (Think of the commonwealth as “the good of the whole,”
    “the welfare of each other–
    with no one excluded because of who they are”–
    the larger community of which we are a part).
    We have to honor the “I” and the “We” and the “All,”
    and know where the lines lie between/among us
    and respect them.
    We have to know when our business
    is going over into someone else’s,
    and when theirs is spilling into ours–
    and maintain the boundaries.
    We have to know what is ours to do,
    and do it,
    even when it doesn’t do it for us.

11/15/2017 — The enemies of Democracy
are running the country.
“What a fine kettle of fish this is.”
It gets worse.
They are working to take away
our ability to vote,
and packing the court system
with judges loyal to their agenda.
If we were a Banana Republic
their conspiracy would be called
a bloodless coup.
We ARE a Banana Republic!
Wake up!
And Resist!
Vote while you can!
Make noise any way you can!
Do not go submissively into that Dark Night!

11/15/2017 — All of the people who voted
for Donald J. Trump
console themselves with
“At least he isn’t Hillary!”
They will take that with them
to their death.
The rest of us will take THAT
with us to our death.
How can so many be so duped?
It would be fascinating to explore
that aspect of human nature
if it weren’t so deadly for us all.
We can be fooled
by that which kills us,
and can talk ourselves
into anything.

11/15/2017 — If the GOP has no margin to lose
the coming Tax Hike/Health Care Destruction Bill,
we have to turn two votes to NO!
You know the ritual:
Phone Calls
Emails
Post Cards
Letters
to the Republican MOC most likely to be Human:
Collins
Murkowski
Corker
Flake
McCain
and anybody else you think might have a heart.

  1. 11/16/2017 — Johnson Creek Fall 2017 04 — Gay Shrimp Co., St. Helena Island, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    Our values (principles, character)
    inform, direct, guide, shape, form, produce, birth, determine
    our life.
    If you are going to be clear
    about anything,
    be clear about what matters most
    and allow it to matter most to you.
    Our life is the search
    for what matters most.
    THAT is the Hero’s Journey,
    the Spiritual Quest,
    the driving force
    propelling us into the Field of Action
    insatiably starving
    for what-we-do-not-know.
    What matters most?
    We have to find it–
    and be right about it–
    and serve it as our Liege Lord
    throughout the time left for living.
    It helps to know
    that we do not know–
    and have to know–
    what it is.
    Here is a hint for you:
    Do not take anyone’s word for it.
    You have to discover/find it
    for yourself.
    On your own.
    And know it because YOU know it,
    and not because someone
    handed it to you
    and told you to take it on faith.

  2. 11/16/2017 — Beaufort Fall 2017 05 Panorama — Marsh Morning, Beaufort, South Carolina, November 16, 2017

    When the door opens, walk through.
    Live to know what “the door” is,
    and what “open” is,
    and what “shut” is,
    and what “making something happen” is,
    and what “forcing something to happen” is,
    and what “allowing something to happen” is,
    and what “waiting for something to happen” is,
    and what “willing something into existence” is,
    and what “wanting what you have no business having,” is,
    and what “needs to happen” is,
    and what “needs me to do it” is,
    and what “needs me to do it whether I want to or not” is,
    and what “I have to do this–I have no choice in the matter” is,
    and what the difference between the moved and the mover is,
    and act in each situation as it arises,
    out of what you know.

  3. 11/17/2017 — Old Sheldon Church Ruins 2017 01 HDR — Yemassee, South Carolina, November 12, 2017

    It’s hard.
    It was hard for the Buddha.
    It was hard for the Christ.
    It was hard for their disciples.
    There has never been anyone
    for whom it wasn’t hard–
    for whom it won’t be hard.
    And it is,
    and will be,
    hard for us.
    That is the first–
    and most often repeated–
    lesson of life.
    If we can come to terms with that
    it gets easier,
    in the sense that we do not expect
    it to be easy,
    and are not surprised
    and undone
    when it becomes hard.
    So it’s hard?
    Surprise, surprise, surprise.
    Get up and do the hard stuff,
    every day for the rest of your life.
    And, enjoy the days
    when it isn’t hard at all.

  4. 11/27/2017 — Harbor River 2017 01 — St. Helena Island, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    Placing ourselves in accord with the Tao
    has a lot in common with learning
    to hit a backhand in tennis,
    or a forehand,
    or a serve.
    It’s about putting our socks on
    before we put our shoes on–
    and putting both on before our slacks.
    It is knowing what is called for
    in a certain situation.
    It is knowing
    who, what, when, why, where, how and how often–
    and living in light of what we know.
    It is knowing what we know
    and what we do not know–
    and living in ways that take into account
    what we know
    and do not know.
    It is living transparent to ourselves,
    with mindful/compassionate/non-judgmental awareness,
    and doing what is called for
    in ways that are fitting to the circumstances
    in each situation as it arises
    all our life long.
    God couldn’t do more.

11/17/2017 — We do not move from the center–
from the bed rock–
from the foundation stone–
the heart and source of life–
the defining realization
of who we are
and what we are about.
‘What I do is me/For that I came,”
said Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Find that and do not drift away from it.
Do not let anybody talk you out of it.
Do not bother to defend, excuse, justify or explain
what matters most.
Live it out
and let others draw their own conclusions.
Do your work
and what they think won’t be a distraction.
Serve your gift
with the reverence
of the moved for the mover.
And let that be that.

  1. 11/18/2017 — Beaufort Fall 2017 02 Panorama — Pigeon Point, Beaufort, South Carolina, November 12, 2017

    An abused person–
    man, woman, parent, child–
    can assume an identity
    not her or his own
    in an attempt to please
    his or her abuser
    and be safe.
    We can destroy the village
    in order to save it.
    Our abuser removes us from
    our rightful place
    as the Choice-maker
    regarding the things that are Us
    and Not Us,
    and becomes the de facto ruler within
    for life–
    even long years after disappearing
    from our life.
    We unconsciously replace our abuser
    with surrogates to appease and please,
    obey and serve,
    after our original abuser has died,
    or we have moved away.
    This is called “climbing over the fence
    and still being in the world.”
    What to do to achieve freedom?
    Bear the pain of emancipation!
    We have to sit with the memories–
    perhaps in the presence of a therapist
    we can trust–
    and meet the abuser as the adult
    we now are
    with: “NO! YOU AREN’T MAKING ME
    DO THAT ANYMORE!”–
    every time we are inclined to do “THAT”
    (Maybe just dusting the furniture
    to make her or him happy with us,
    and not to make ourselves happy just for us).
    We have to reclaim ourselves,
    and do the hard work
    of discovering whom we are striving to please,
    of knowing what is US and Not Us
    at last.

11/18/2017 — Gerard Manley Hopkins said,
“What I do is me/For that I came.”
May we all be as clear about–
and as dedicated to expressing–
who-we-are/what-is-ours-to-do,
so that our being and our doing
is one thing exhibited
as eternal integrity of being/doing
throughout our life!
It is always a struggle,
our work to be and to do as one.
We are forever caught
between the Me and the Not-Me,
torn by desire for who we wish we were
and rejection of who we despise and denounce,
and called to acknowledge the ever present truth
of the Also-Me at work
to deepen, expand, enlarge
our understanding of the Me and the Not-Me
in each situation as it arises
all our life long.
Self-transparency is our only tool
in the process of realization/confession/atonement
as we come to terms again and again
with the truth of the disparity/contradiction/polarity
that lives within and seeks expression without,
growing up some more once more
forever seeking the oneness
that calls and eludes us throughout our life.

  1. 11/28/2017 — Old Salem Church Ruins 2017 15 — Yemassee, South Carolina, November 12, 2017

    My “thing” is to see what I look at,
    say what I see
    and how I see it,
    which changes what I see
    and the beat goes on
    and on.
    The struggle/work to articulate
    what we see
    changes what we see.
    The more we say,
    the more we see,
    and the work is never done.
    Things “are” what we say they are,
    and there is more to everything
    than meets the eye,
    so we never get it said,
    we never get it seen.
    We act on inadequate and insufficient information,
    draw premature conclusions,
    content ourselves
    with what we have said
    about what we have seen,
    neverminding that there is more to everything
    than we have seen and said.
    It’s a problem
    where white supremacists’ relationship
    with black people,
    and people of color,
    and LGBTQ people,
    and feminists,

    are concerned.
    It’s a problem in countless ways,
    our dismissing things as “nothing but.”
    Our failing/refusing to sit with things
    to see what more
    we might see and say about them
    if we mindfully consider our seeing and saying.
    Everything changes when we see it
    in its “just so-ness,”
    in its “just as-it-is-ness,”
    in its relationships with everything else,
    including ourselves
    and our inferences and projections and history
    about/with the thing and things similar.
    But.
    We don’t have time for it.
    The Reader’s Digest Version
    is good enough for us.
    And we have wars and rumors of wars
    because we say what we see
    without seeing what we say
    and nothing changes ever
    because we like it that way.

11/18/2017 — Think of your gifts
and how they form and shape your life.
Think of your life
and how it forms and shapes,
or denounces, denies, dismisses, discounts, ignores,
your gifts.
How do your gifts direct your life?
How do your gifts disappear in your life?
I would like for our gifts to be our life–
for our life to revolve around and serve our gifts.
We tend to think our life is about
disappearing our discomfort, inconvenience and pain,
and increasing our comfort and good times
in a smooth and easy kind of way.
Serving our gifts is too much trouble–
too much outlay and not enough pay back.
Doing something for the sake of doing it well,
with no monetary profit
makes no sense to too many of us.
And I need to talk to all of us about
that very thing–
because our gifts are our salvation,
and we have to start serving them
with complete devotion and fealty.
I’m sailing into a gale
with no chance of making headway,
but my gifts demand it
and I’m having the time of my life.
I’ll be back at it tomorrow!

  1. 11/19/2017 — Johnson Creek Fall 2017 01 Panorama — Low Tide, Gay Shrimp Company, St. Helena Island, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    Beauty dies with us.
    We bring beauty–
    and pathos–
    to life.
    Without us,
    a rock is just a rock,
    and a sunset or sunrise
    is nothing to rave about
    or worship.
    “Us” has to be understood
    in its broadest sense
    as “more than human,”
    because what separates “us”
    is entirely uncertain at this point.
    Elephants and whales,
    apes and chimps,
    dogs and deer,

    may well have the capacity
    for appreciation and wonder–
    an affinity for the numinous reality
    at the heart of life.
    Whoever “we” are,
    we keep the light alive
    by noticing
    and knowing
    beauty when we see it,
    and creating it,
    and sharing it,
    and being one with it–
    being beautiful ourselves–
    and dancing with it
    throughout our life,
    and being torn by the knowledge
    of its passing
    and ours.
    The pathos of life
    is the knowledge of its beauty
    and its passing.

  2. 11/19/2017 — Hunting Island Fall 2017 35 Panorama — Hunting Island State Park, St. Helena Island, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    Hunting Island State Park has been the site of severe beach erosion for several years. Hurricanes Matthew and Irma contributed significantly to the degree of erosion and wind damage away from the beach–over 5,000 trees have been cut and removed from the inland areas of the park. Cabins, camp sites and restrooms have been destroyed, and the park exists as a testimony to the impact of rising seas and global warming.

  3. 11/19/2017 — We elect Members of Congress
    to make decisions
    that serve the good of the country
    as a whole.
    Special interests buying their votes
    wrecks the foundation of democracy
    and makes a mockery
    of the patriotic dream.
    You cannot design a system
    that money cannot subvert–
    and that’s the kink in the hose.

11/19/2017 — Everything depends upon
the good-faith participation
of everyone in everything,
across the board,
around the table,
through the ages.
You know, by now,
where that leaves us.

  1. 11/20/2017 — Beaufort Fall 2017 13 — Pigeon Point, Beaufort, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    We all are busy in some variation of “our work,”
    and we all could do better at what we are doing–
    perhaps by not doing it at all
    and doing something else,
    something more closely aligned
    with what Our Work truly is,

    But.
    It is our call to make all the way:
    What our work is,
    and what it is not.
    The catch is that we have to be right about
    what we say is “right for us.”
    We cannot just make up something
    to save ourselves the trouble
    of doing the thing with our name on it,
    in season and out of season,
    in all times and places and weather conditions,
    whether we want to or not,
    whether we are in the mood for it or not,
    whether we feel like it or not,
    for no reason other than because
    it is our damn work
    and no one can do it the way we can do it
    but us.
    And.
    That means we also have to do the work
    of allowing everyone else
    to do the work of finding their way to their true work
    through a wasteland full of
    surrogate, pseudo, faux, fake, facade, charade work
    winking at them,
    throwing them kisses,
    and promising to be better than the real thing
    and a lot less actual WORK.
    We cannot do their work for them,
    and we cannot hand them their work
    and tell them to do it.
    We have our hands full with our own work,
    and they have the responsibility
    of figuring out for themselves
    what their work is and isn’t.
    Some things we have to do all on our own,
    one wrong turn,
    false start
    and dead end
    at a time.

  2. 11/20/2017 — Beaufort Fall 2107 04 Panorama — Beaufort, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    Be aware of the discordant forces
    at work in a situation,
    and hold them in your awareness
    while you consciously
    put yourself in accord
    with the deep harmonies
    of goodness and truth.
    Ocean waves might
    remind you of those rhythms,
    or a Buddhist Singing Bowl,
    or the AUM at the heart of life.
    Practice living within the discordant realities
    as one who is in accord
    with who and how you are.
    Respond to the things that happen
    out of the integrity of your own oneness of being
    in each situation as it arises.
    Be the Buddha under the Bo Tree,
    Jesus in Gethsemane,
    Rosa Parks in the front of the bus.
    Grounded in YOU,
    face the world.

  3. 11/21/2017 — Dockside 2017 14 Panorama — Port Royal, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    There is a saying in the Bible–
    the most important saying–
    “Saul has slain his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands.”
    There is another saying in the Bible
    of equal importance.
    John the Baptist says it of Jesus,
    “He must increase
    and I must decrease.”
    Jesus says the same thing,
    in a manner of speaking,
    to his disciples,
    “You must increase
    and I must decrease.”
    Saul could not say that about,
    or to,

    And that is the stone
    that stumbles the camel.
    Throughout history.
    We have Saul in the White House,
    who can’t get David,
    who just left the White House,
    out of his mind,
    and the world suffers his madness.
    The camel has tripped and fallen.
    Again.
    And we with it.

11/21/2017 — Those Who Know Best
are in control.
Our only play is to vote them
out of control.
They are laying the ground work
to install a government propaganda machine
and take away our internet access,
sealing us off from each other
and telling us what they
want us to know.
The end of democracy.
The end of Constitutional rights and freedoms.
The beginning of Oligarchy.
Or Autocracy.
Or Anarchy.
All because
Those Who Know Best
do not trust themselves to the People.
We may have the Mid-Terms
to disrupt their plans,
but if they hold the majority in both houses,
their aim is to hold all the cards by 2020,
and we will know how those like us
live in Russia and China, etc.
And a Military Coup may not
be out of the question–
and may be our best hope!
Such interesting times!
Vote while you can–
and not for a Republican!

  1. 11/22/2017 — Hunting Island 2017 02 Panorama — Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    We have to make compassion and equality
    the conscious/intentional/deliberate/constant
    driving force/motive/directive/purpose
    of our life,
    and live in the devotional awareness
    of its importance,
    and in the regular incarnation/expression/exhibition
    of its practice,
    in each situation as it arises
    all our life long.
    AND
    we have to be diligently, mindfully, aware
    of the way hatred and fear
    impinge upon our life,
    insert their way into our life,
    obstruct our way through our life,
    and rise up in countless,
    subtle,
    inconspicuous
    ways to corrupt and subvert our devotion
    to compassion and equality,
    and make it easy for us to reject
    the Constitutional standard
    of Liberty, Justice, Equality for all,
    and live in ways that
    are callous and uncaring and hurtful/harmful
    to those who are not like us
    in any one of the ten thousand ways.
    AND we have to override those tendencies
    and oppose their encouragement
    and expression,
    in each situation as it arises
    all our life long.
    Everything rides on it.

    Good.
    Thing.

11/22/2017 — Republican Members of Congress and Donald Trump
care about those who deserve to be cared about,
and they do not care about those
who do not deserve to be cared about.
They have perpetuated, embraced and believe
the myth of the undeserving poor,
and look at all social assistance programs,
Medicaid in particular,
as entitlement benefits
to slackers, freeloaders and layabouts.
Tax cuts for the wealthy
may also be considered an entitlement benefit,
but the difference is the wealthy deserve it
by virtue of their hard work and undeniable success.
Poor people wouldn’t be poor,
so goes Republican logic,
if they only worked harder at being successful.
Republicans do not care about poor people,
LGBTQ people,
people of color,
feminists,
immigrants,
Latinos,
the elderly,
the sick,
the physically and mentally handicapped…
the list is long,
and their policy of disregarding
the needs of these people
falls more in the category of malicious hostility
than benign neglect.
It is a subtle form of genocide,
and should be understood as such,
and called by name.

  1. 11/22/2017 — Johnson Creek Fall 2017 05 — Gay Shrimp Company, St. Helena Island, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    Carl Jung said, “I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life.”

    “The questions of life” are not so much
    the questions we ask about life,
    but the questions life asks us.
    We are the answer–
    our life is the answer–
    to the questions life asks us:
    Who are you?
    What are you about?
    What are your gifts?
    How are you serving them with your life?
    What matters most?
    Toward what are you living?
    In light of what are you living?
    What makes your heart sing?
    Where is your satisfaction to be found?
    What do you pay the bills to do?
    What is “you” and “not you”?
    How much time in a week
    do you spend being “you” doing “you” things,
    and how much time do you spend
    being “not you” doing “not you” things?
    What will you do
    with the time left for living?

    The poorer the quality of our answers,
    the poorer the quality of our life.

  2. 11/23/2017 — Hunting Island 2017 Fall 03 Panorama — Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle (A narrow passage way in the streets of Jerusalem) than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    That is, in part, because money becomes God
    for the rich people of the world.
    Their world is money.
    Their motivation is money.
    They cannot get enough money.
    Once they have money,
    they have to have more money,
    and then they have to have The Most money.
    And they spend it on the most frivolous things
    because they don’t know what to do with it
    beyond using it to make more of it–
    for what purpose, they do not know.
    Wealth is a sickness.
    Perhaps the greatest sickness.
    Consuming all of those who possess it.
    It’s the price we pay for getting what we think we want,
    instead of giving ourselves to what wants us.
    Either way, we lose ourselves,
    but in the service of what is the question.
    That’s really the only important question,
    and the one we live to answer.
    We can assume a posture, s
    trike a pose,
    but our life tells the tale.
    Our life does not lie.
    “Here,” it says
    to us and to all the world.
    “This is who you are.”
    The only choice we get–
    which is reflected/exhibited/incarnated
    throughout our life by our life–
    is who/what we will serve.

  3. 11/23/2017 — Old Sheldon Church Ruins Fall 2017 02 HDR — Yemassee, South Carolina, November 12, 2017

    Carl Jung said, “Neurosis is the natural by-product of pain avoidance.”
    And, “Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.”
    Put these two statements together
    and you get:
    The way to wholeness and well-being
    is the way of bearing appropriately the pain
    that is ours to bear.
    No one can bear our pain for us.
    We have to shoulder the truth of our life
    and what we have done with it,
    and failed to do with it,
    and step into the next moment,
    to do,
    or not do,
    there what needs to be done–
    what needs us to do it–
    the way it needs to be done,
    in each moment that comes
    throughout the time left for living.
    How we deal with the pain
    of the experience of being alive–
    the disappointments,
    the failures,
    the betrayals,
    the abuses,
    the griefs,
    losses
    and sorrows–
    determines how well we do
    with what is ours to do
    in the life that is ours to live.

  4. 11/24/2017 — Beaufort Fall 2017 08 Panorama — Saltwater Marsh, Beaufort, South Carolina, November 16, 2017

    We have to bear our own pain.
    Nothing grows us up like facing our pain
    and coming to terms with it.
    How we deal with our pain
    is the determining factor
    in how well we live our life.
    What is the nature of your deepest pain?
    Remorse/regret?
    Shame?
    Fear?
    Hatred?
    What you have done or failed to do?
    What has been done to you or failed to be done for you?
    The plight of others?
    Sit with your pain
    and get to know it–
    its origin,
    its triggers,
    its place in your life…
    Talk to it.
    Interview it.
    Be curious about it.
    Ask it questions.
    Tell it all you have to say to it.
    And do it all with mindful awareness,
    letting one thing remind you of,
    connect you with,
    other things,
    so that your pain becomes
    a doorway to your past, present and future,
    opening everything to exploration
    and reflection.
    Let a Meditation On Pain
    become a regular feature of your life.
    No more escaping
    into your entertainments,
    distractions
    and addictions!
    Square yourself up with your life–
    and see what it has to show you,
    and what it is asking of you
    even now,
    even yet.

  5. 11/24/2017 — Congaree Fall 2017 22 Panorama BW — Congaree National Park, Hopkins, South Carolina, November 21, 2017

    We can know the truth only through
    Exploration,
    Experience and

    Only through
    Asking,
    Seeking and
    Knocking.
    The search for–
    and the service of–
    truth
    is carried out best
    by answering the questions:
    What am I interested in?
    Where do my interests lie?
    What am I enthusiastic about?
    What is meaningful about my life?
    What has been meaningful about my life?
    Where do I find meaning in my life?
    And then allowing our interests to lead us
    and what is meaningful to be our guide.
    We trust ourselves to ourselves,
    take no one’s word for what we
    are to believe and do,
    and decide for ourselves
    what matters most,
    and honor it in the ways we live.

  6. 11/25/2017 — Beaufort Fall 2017 06 — Saltwater Marsh, Beaufort, South Carolina, November 16, 2017

    The fundamental Right
    is the Right to Vote.
    It is the foundation of all the other rights,
    and the cornerstone of Democracy.
    All those wars guarded/protected/guaranteed
    our Right to Vote!
    All those men and women
    in every branch of the military
    who fought and died
    through all the years
    of this country’s existence
    so that we might be free,
    fought and died
    that we might be free TO VOTE!
    Not free to choose whether to vote or not!
    Voting is not an option!
    Voting is an obligation!
    Voting is a duty incumbent upon every living citizen!
    No one gets to pass on election day!
    No one gets to “opt out”!
    No one gets an excuse!
    Voting is not a privilege–it is a requirement of citizenship!
    Pass the word–
    and vote yourself,
    in every election
    great and small.
    You are creating the future,
    not only for yourself,
    but also for every person
    of every unborn generation.
    Democracy depends upon your willingness
    to bear the burden
    of the responsibility
    of Democracy.

11/25/2017 — We have to know where we belong
and what is ours to do–
what our business is
and isn’t.
There is a point at which
we are not our brother’s
or our sister’s
keeper.
Their life is their responsibility
and we cannot force them
do right by themselves,
or by us,
or by anyone.
Carl Jung said,
“It is the individual’s task
to differentiate himself (or herself)
from all the others
and stand on his (her) own feet.”
We cannot make someone else do that.
It is enough
that we make ourselves do it.

11/25/2017 — I know people
who cannot be anywhere
because they always have to be
somewhere else–
who cannot do anything
because they are behind
and have to do something else.
And they medicate themselves
in one,
or more,
of the 10,000 ways
to get through the day.
But.
The next day is just like
the last one.
You can see where this is going.
Nowhere.
In spite of all their going
and doing.
I would like for you to talk to them
for me.
Maybe they will listen to you.

11/25/2017 — Listening,
feeling,
thinking.
That’s the proper order
for the production of well-being
and right relationship
with all things.
We think our way
past feeling
and listening,
thinking thinking is the way to life
in all its splendor and glory.
We need to re-think
the importance of thinking,
and put thinking in its place,
behind feeling
and listening.
Listen to your body.
Listen to your heart.
Listen to your dreams.
And think what to do
about what you hear.

11/25/2017 — People who don’t register to vote,
or register and don’t vote,
are betraying,
not only themselves,
but every person in the country.
Democracy requires the participation
of We The People
in electing the President
and Members of Congress,
and are Constitutionally obligated
to vote for those
we believe will represent fairly
the interests of the good of the whole,
and of the individual parts making up the whole–
and will work in good faith
toward a future that serves,
nurtures and enhances
life on all levels.
To vote is not asking too much
of each of us,
and it is expected of every one of us.
To fail to vote
in every election
great and small,
is reject the fundamental obligation
of citizenship,
and to be a dead weight
holding back the progress
toward realizing the ideals
of Liberty, Justice and Equality for all.

11/25/2017 — I love the new developing tradition
wherein during the holiday season
there are increasing numbers of references
of how sugar and salt are toxic–
that is poisonous–to us all.
Isn’t that great?
We are telling ourselves
that we are killing ourselves.
Maybe eventually we will begin listening
to what is being said.

  1. 11/26/2017 — Harbor River 2017 02 Panorama — Sea Eagle Fish Market, St. Helena Island, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    Too many people refuse to step onto the field of action
    because they do not have good enough choices.
    They live and die in protest–
    one might say “in pouting”–
    because the world is not the way
    they want the world to be.
    “Why is the sky BLUE???
    I cannot LIVE under a BLUE SKY!!!”
    Suicide is the ultimate protest/pout
    about something about the way things are,
    but there are 10,000 other ways
    of refusing to participate in the world
    on the world’s terms.
    “Life Eats Life!”
    How’s that for obscenity?
    We live because something else dies!
    That is the basic blasphemy!
    The fundamental contradiction/dichotomy/refutation
    of every value ever declared to be good!
    And the basis of life.
    How can sensitive, compassionate, caring people
    live in a world where life eats life?
    Sensitive, compassionate, caring people
    have to bear the weight
    of the polarities of existence
    just like everyone else.
    We all have to square ourselves up
    with the way things are
    and with the way things also are,
    and do what we can imagine doing
    in a lifetime that is too short
    for anything worthwhile
    (another antithesis to all that is good)
    to serve the best we are capable of doing
    with the options available to us
    in each situation as it arises
    all our life long.

    Are we in and up for it,
    or not?

  2. 11/26/2017 — A Walk in the Woods Fall 2017 16 Panorama — Indian Land, South Carolina, November 25, 2016

    Getting ahead ranks high
    as a concern of life
    among all of those
    who think where they are
    isn’t good enough.
    Getting ahead wasn’t
    an interest of the Buddha,
    or the Christ,
    and isn’t one for the Dalai Lama.
    And nothing the Buddha,
    the Christ
    and the Dalai Lama
    have to offer
    would hold any interest
    for those intent
    on getting ahead.

  3. 11/26/2017 — Hunting Island 2017 04 Panorama — Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    Carl Jung said,
    “One can feel correctly
    only when feeling is disturbed
    by nothing else.
    But nothing disturbs feeling
    so much as thinking.”
    Feeling puts in touch
    with how we are in relation
    to people, things, events and circumstances,
    and guides our response
    to things internal and external.
    When thinking/reacting interferes
    with our ability to feel our feelings,
    we are adrift in a world
    calling for action
    without knowing what action
    is called for.
    Thinking our way into acting
    without awareness of the deeper wisdom
    of our body
    prevents us from seeing around corners
    and anticipating unexpected outcomes
    beyond the purview of articulation and explanation.
    “Knowing more than words can say”
    is the genius of the feeling function,
    which we would do well to nurture,
    attend and access
    in a regular way.

  4. 11/27/2017 — Old Sheldon Church Ruins 2017 04 HDR — Yemassee, South Carolina, November 12, 2017

    Hugh MacLeod, in his book on creativity: Ignore Everybody, said:
    “Whatever choice you make, the Devil eventually gets his due.
    He means there is always a price to be paid.
    To get this, you have to give up that.
    Or, to get this, you get that as well.
    It’s a trade off, Mate,
    and you cannot refuse the terms,
    because to refuse the terms is to pay a price.
    And we want to know where we are better off.
    Here’s where:
    We are better off coming to terms
    with knowing we will never know
    where we are better off.
    Trying to be too cute
    and avoid all of the pitfalls of life,
    so that we overthink everything
    and rule out anything
    that looks as though it might
    ask something of us
    is one of the great pitfalls of life.
    Hiding inside
    with the shades down
    and the doors locked
    keeps us from experiencing the wonder
    of “the full catastrophe.”
    Embrace the catastrophe!
    “Oh, the pain! The pain!”
    Bear the pain!
    Dance with uncertainty,
    contradiction,
    anxiety,
    fear
    and angst!
    Don’t know what you are doing!
    Take your chances!
    Don’t worry about the odds!
    Love what you love
    and do what is meaningful to you
    in each situation as it arises–
    even when that means also
    doing what you don’t love
    and what is not meaningful at all!
    Give the Devil his due,
    and live the life
    that calls you to live it.
    And don’t bother wondering
    if you might be better off
    living some other life.
    You would always be better off
    somewhere else.
    Are you where you need to be
    here and now is the question.
    Are you doing what is yours to do
    as well as it can be done?
    We all have the same work:
    Finding our life and living it.
    And letting the Devil have his due.

11/27/2017 — The Republican Party is a propaganda machine. They control the minds of people, particularly in the south, and have postured Democrats as ghoulish slaves of Evil. Automatic thinking is triggered by “hot” words. That is not thinking.

11/27/2017 — In every winning hand of poker,
or solitaire,
the cards dealt or drawn
had to be arranged in a particular order
instrumental to the play of the hand.
An arrangement implies an arranger,
does it not?
It could not “just happen,” could it?
Aren’t the cards “there” for a reason?
Placed there for YOU–
so that YOU might win?
Who could this Arranger be
who has your good so solidly in mind?
And why does he/she turn on you?
And give you nothing but trash?
It is thinking like this
that is the foundation of all superstition
and all religion.
This is called “The Theology of Poker and Solitaire.”
You could spin it out in the form
of doctrines, dogma and spiritual laws,
and form your own church,
and play cards–
on SUNDAYS!

  1. 11/28/2017 — Johnson Creek Fall 2017 03 — Gay Shrimp Company, St. Helena Island, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    We are where we are
    by way of a combination
    of luck, courage and determination.
    We haven’t quit–
    despite the odds,
    regardless of our chances,
    here we are.
    That’s the Pluck and Luck
    required by every Hero
    on the Journey.

    When you think about quitting,
    don’t.
    The tide goes out,
    the tide comes in.
    The time between the tides
    can seem like eternity.
    Eternity is much longer.
    Wait it out.
    That’s the solution
    to all of our problems today.
    Any day.
    Every day.
    Do what you can
    and wait it out.
    And, when the door opens,
    walk through.

11/28/2017 — Contradiction is the bedrock of reality.
The war of opposites
is a clash of perspectives
in a “now you see it, now you don’t”
kind of way.
The less we see that we don’t see
what we are looking at,
the more we are blindsided
by the sudden unveiling
of how things also are
just when we thought
we had how things are
all sorted out
and neatly arraigned
to our liking.
The clash takes us to the heart of the matter.
And how we accommodate ourselves to it,
deal with it,
tells the tale,
which, in the telling,
disrupts some apparently tranquil scene,
or interjects calm repose
amid the chaos of grief, loss and sorrow.
The disconnect is the connection
between background and foreground,
gestalt and realization.
This has everything to do with that,
and vice versa.
And life is an optical illusion,
dizzying in it’s sudden,
unpredictable,
shifts–
which we keep trying to control
by explaining and understanding,
and explaining some more.
It’s better that we dance,
laughing,
at one with the “full catastrophe,”
and ready for the music to change,
or stop,
without warning,
at any time.

  1. 11/29/2017 — Hunting Island 2017 05 Panorama — Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    The wonder and privilege of being alive
    is grounded on
    seeing what is to be seen
    and doing what is to be done.
    It is solely about the work
    that is ours to do,
    and the situations and occasions
    that are ours to influence.
    It is not
    as it is so completely, totally and absolutely
    thought to be
    about achievement, acquirement, accomplishment and success.
    We are not here to amass wealth
    and do what we want.
    We are not here to be entertained
    and coddled.
    We are here to find our life and live it–
    to match our gifts, interests, proclivities and enthusiasms
    up with the needs of each situation
    as it arises,
    and to do there what only we can do
    the way only we can do it,
    and allow the flow of conditions and circumstances
    to carry us along,
    being who we are,
    doing what is ours to do,
    without bothering about maximizing our advantages,
    but looking to be of help to others
    with the tasks of seeing, doing and being,
    and letting our little heart sing,
    and our little feet dance,
    all our life long.
    How long has it been
    since you have sung and danced
    to your heart’s content?
    Why put that off any longer?

  2. 11/30/2017 — Dockside 2017 07 — Port Royal, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    Our first order of business
    is to ground ourselves
    in the values and practices
    that we know to be essential
    to our life in the world.
    Silence, reflection, self-transparency,
    listening to my heart, my body and my dreams,
    integrity (saying is doing) and compassion,
    clear boundaries and mindful awareness
    are all things I trust with my life
    (And don’t exhaust the list).
    These are things I believe in,
    have faith in,
    without which I cease to exist
    as the “I” I know myself to be.
    They form the core of my self-concept,
    and represent who I am to me.
    When my world is rocked
    by collisions with forces beyond
    prediction or control,
    I remind myself of what I know to be true
    about myself and my place in the world,
    and wait for things to settle out
    so that I can access what is happening
    and make some preliminary determination
    about what needs to be done in response.
    Taking the time to sit with a situation
    and absorb the experience
    of being walloped is instrumental
    to all that follows.
    How much time depends upon
    the severity of the blow
    and its shock to my systems
    providing balance and direction.
    I have been betrayed by my assumptions
    and expectations several times,
    when my world exploded,
    and I’m still dealing with some disappointments.
    We do not get over some things,
    but “walk with a limp” always
    as we go about our business in the new world
    of this present reality–
    and we have to allow for that,
    and let it be because it is.
    Things will never be what we want them to be,
    but that doesn’t mean
    we cannot deal with the way things are
    in ways that make the here and now
    an acceptably good place to be.
    The work to do that requires
    us to be grounded in the values and practices
    that make it possible.

  3. 12/01/2017 — Ginkgos 2017 02 — Charlotte, North Carolina, November 28, 2017

    Landscape photography is a wonderful way
    of reminding yourself
    how quickly things are changing,
    how short the light lasts,
    how little time we have
    to do the work that is to do,
    how fast it all is moving,
    how nothing changes even though nothing lasts,
    how “a good photograph”
    in the beginning of photography
    is still a good photograph,
    how seeing what you look at
    is always the task we never master,
    how being where you are
    is always the goal never fully realized,
    how realization is the heart of the matter
    and is always requiring additional
    tweaking/revamping/throwing out and starting over,
    how being with a duck on the water
    helps us be with anything/everything all the time,
    how being with things and people matters most
    no matter what anybody tells you.

  4. 12/02/2017 — Lake Haigler Fall 2017 15 HDR — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 4, 2017

    The phrase, “Putting oneself in accord with the Tao,”
    is completely meaningless
    because we have no idea what “the Tao” is,
    and it cannot be defined or explained.
    “The Way,” is as close of an approximation
    as we can make, but.
    “The Way” to what?
    Of what?
    We cannot say.
    We do not know.
    Any more than we can say, or know,
    anything communicable about
    “the way of a snake upon a rock,
    or the way of a ship upon the sea,
    or the way of a man with a woman.”
    We can experience the wonder
    of being alive
    in all the ways we can be alive,
    but we cannot say what that means.
    We can talk about knowing with words,
    but we know through experience.
    And what we know through experience
    is the difference between “it”
    and “not it.”
    Back to the Tao,
    which is the ground of human experience.
    To be “at one with the Tao”
    is to be “with” whatever we are doing
    in a way that merges us with the thing we are doing
    so that “the dancer becomes the dance,”
    and “the singer becomes the song,”
    and “the archer becomes the arrow,”
    and “the pitcher becomes the ball,”
    and we become the life we are living.
    Practice that until you can do it without thinking,
    so that “the right hand doesn’t know
    what the left hand is doing,”
    and doesn’t need to know,
    because it has its business,
    and the left hand has its business,
    and sometimes it is the same business
    carried out in cooperation and collaboration
    without thought or explanation.
    When we are in accord with the Tao,
    we move as one with our life,
    responding to the moment,
    to the situation,
    in ways that are appropriate
    to the occasion
    without even noticing what we are doing.
    We “eat when hungry, rest when tired,”
    and do everything with the elegance
    and effortlessness of a bird in flight.

12/02/2017 — Landscape photography is grounded
in knowing the difference between
the right time and the wrong time.
This is also the foundation
of a well-lived life.
“The fullness of time” is the time for action.
When action is called for: ACT!
When it is not: DON’T!
Learn to know the difference
and you have it made.

12/03/2017 — Great Blue Heron 2013 01 — The Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina, Timeless Grace

Grace is the bedrock of everything.
In theological jargon,
grace is “unmerited benevolence.”
But.
Benevolence is a matter of interpretation,
and grace is at work even there,
enabling us to know benevolence
when we see it.
Some people never see it.
It is always “Woe is me, woe is me!”
with them.
The whole thing is unmerited.
We don’t deserve anything we get.
It’s all a gift,
or a curse,
waiting to be designated as such
by someone who thinks they know
which is which.
Which is itself an act of grace–
that we should think we know anything
or “realize” we know nothing.
It’s all grace.
“The way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the sea,
the way of a man with a woman.”
“The way, the truth, the life.”
“The Way.”
“The Tao.”
Everything is the Tao.
Everything is the Way.
Everything is Grace.
“By Grace we are saved!”
“And lost!”
“And found!”
“And live!”
“And die!”
The Grace of Realization,
of Awareness,
of Mindfulness…
Of Justice, Truth, Liberty and Equality…
The Grace of all Values and all Value
lies in the recognition of the wonder of being,
the wonder of all things,
the wonder of being alive…
We wake up to the wonder of Grace
when we wake up to the wonder
of waking up.
It is Grace all the way down.
And up.
And all around.
The timeless grace of being.

12/03/2017 — This Joe Scarborough quote from Sen. Orrin Hatch reflects the core perception of the GOP, and is precisely what we are up against as a country in dealing with the Republican Misconception of Value–they cannot perceive what is truly valuable (or what is truly not):

Joe Scarborough‏Verified account @JoeNBC

.@SenOrrinHatch talking about children’s health care: “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves – won’t lift a finger – and expect the federal government to do everything.”
12/03/2017 — The idea that everyone
could be self-sufficient
and self-reliant,
independent, sovereign, autonomous
and fully capable
of taking complete care of themselves
IF THEY ONLY TRIED
is the point of demarcation
between Republicans and Democrats.
“If I can do it, anybody can!”
neatly ignores the fact
that every Republican office-holder
is where they are
thanks to the Donors who pay their way
and keep them in office.
Not one Member of Congress
pays their own way.
And every Republican MOC
thinks they deserve everything they have,
and that they did it all
by themselves.
Misperception keeps them from seeing
what they look at.
Keeps them doing what they are doing:
Serving the wrong values.
Despising the right ones.

  1. 12/04/2017 — Price’s Mill Pond 2017 19/20 Panorama — Lake View, South Carolina, October 31, 2017

    We have to atone for our own failures to be
    who the situation needed us to be–
    for our own refusal to do what needed to be done,
    in ways appropriate to the occasion.
    And we have to do it in good faith,
    with mindful awareness
    and complete self-transparency.
    A failure/refusal to do so
    seals us in a life that is inauthentic
    and cut off from its own ground,
    bedrock, foundation,
    lost in a wasteland
    of our own discontent.
    To make atonement,
    we have only ourselves to appease–
    by squarely facing
    what we have done
    and what we have not done,
    refusing to deny, dismiss, discount or ignore
    the truth of our disgrace,
    but living to redirect our life
    toward the goal of being who and doing what
    is called for in each situation as it arises
    throughout the time we have yet to live.
    Tomorrow’s right is grounded in yesterday’s wrong.
    And we are here today to see that that is so.

  2. 12/05/2017 — Ginkgos 2017 05 — Charlotte, North Carolina, December 2, 2017

    Insight is another word for realization–
    both are functions of reflection/connection,
    seeing the implications and ramifications
    of everything.
    Who looks that closely,
    listens that well–
    to see,
    to hear,
    what they look at,
    listen to?
    Who makes the kind of inquiry–
    who asks the kind of questions–
    that seeing and hearing require
    in order for seeing and hearing
    to happen?
    Those with something to gain
    from our seeing and hearing
    what they tell us to see and hear
    do not want us asking the questions
    that seeing and hearing require.
    Think about that,
    if you will,
    and see what you come up with.

  3. 12/05/2017 — Pitt Street Sunset 2017 06 — Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 5, 2017

    Grace, kindness, tenderness, gentleness…
    Where do you experience these things in a day?
    Where do you exhibit them?
    What can you do to increase the length of each list?

12/06/2017 — The term “sheep without a shepherd”
comes to mind
when I think about the people
worldwide
who have no experience with
“a mind of their own.”
Theirs is a tribal mind,
a “we” mind.
They way they do things,
think about things,
is the way “everyone” does things,
thinks about things,
with “everyone” being the people
in their caste/class/circle/tribe–
those who are as they are,
the generic WE to whom they belong.
They do not know “their own mind.”
There are thoughts they do not
allow themselves to think.
Thoughts they will not allow
themselves to acknowledge thinking.
Asking them to vote
means telling them whom to vote for.
Asking them to choose
means telling them what to choose.
Asking them to let their conscience be their guide
means telling them to do what
they know they are supposed to do.
Their shepherds are Those Who Know Best.
The Guardians of the Tribe.
Asking the members of the tribe
to grow up and be who they are,
is beyond their capacity to understand and to do.
They think they are grown up.
They think they are being who they are.
And there we are.

  1. 12/07/2017 — Pitt Street Sunset 2017 03 Panorama — Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 5, 2017

    Exploiting a situation to our personal advantage
    is what we do best.
    Nothing comes along
    that we can’t try
    to turn to our advantage.
    Every day it is the same thing:
    What can I do today
    to turn things to my advantage?
    This isn’t just a Human Thing,
    it is a Life Thing.
    Every living thing
    strives to have things
    better than every other living thing–
    at the expense of whatever it takes
    to have it.
    This is the ground of incentive
    and desire,
    aspiration and motivation.
    The Buddhists think there is an advantage
    to letting things be.
    How does having to have the advantage
    get in our way?
    Work to our detriment?
    What are the disadvantages
    to having he advantages?
    Where are we truly better off?
    Where would we be wise to draw the line?
    What is the advantage
    to not having the advantage?

  2. 12/08/2017 — Black And White — A Photoshop Creation, December 8, 2017

    We have to rescue the princess.
    This is all the more important
    when we realize
    we are the princess.
    Sex and gender fall into place
    around the understanding
    that we seek in another
    what is only found within.
    That which is stirred to life
    in the form of the other
    is a projection
    of what is being ignored within.
    WE are the one we seek!
    How many “love affairs”–
    how many “marriages”–
    do we have to go through
    in order to comprehend
    that all the others
    are lacking the key ingredient
    that only we can supply?
    All of our affairs and marriages
    are calling us to grow up
    and be who we are,
    and do what is ours to do–
    what we only can do
    the way only we can do it.
    We have two feet–
    we have to stand on them.
    We have to find our foundation–
    the bedrock of our heart and soul–
    what we know to be so
    because we know it to be so,
    and not because someone told us it is so.
    We do not need to take anyone’s word
    for what we know to be real, and true, and valid, and reliable,
    and has the central place of highest value for us–
    what our life has shown us to be
    the face that was ours before we were born–
    who we are and who we are called to be
    In Carl Jung’s summation:
    “We are who we always have been–
    and who we will be.”
    And in his revelation:
    “There is within each of us,
    Another whom we do not know.”
    That’s the one we seek in the face
    of strangers–
    the Princess waiting to be rescued
    and wed
    as a prelude to happily ever after,
    though it be at great price
    and require us to walk two paths at the same time,
    treading one slippery slope after another,
    walking the straight and narrow
    along the razor’s edge.
    It all comes together under the euphemism
    Rescuing The Princess,
    though it could be called
    Living With Integrity,
    or Living In Accord With The Tao,
    or Becoming The Christ/The Buddha Within.
    It’s the best trick in the entire Book of Tricks,
    and requires us to become the master magician,
    the sorcerer,
    the wizard,
    the wise old man/woman
    we are
    in bringing ourselves forth
    and being who we are and also are,
    so that the two become one
    and we know ourselves to be whole at last.

  3. 12/08/2017 — Charleston Harbor Sunset 2017 05 — Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 5, 2017. I flipped the sky to create the faux reflection.

    To live in good faith
    is to step into each situation as it arises,
    mindfully aware of what is happening there,
    transparently real to ourselves
    and to the people present with us,
    with no ulterior motives or hidden agenda,
    seeking only to see/hear/understand
    what action being called for
    that is appropriate to the occasion,
    and responding with the gifts
    that are ours to share/serve
    for the good of the whole,
    to the extent that we are able
    to apprehend it.
    Good faith is incompatible
    with mindlessness,
    exploitation,
    manipulation,
    posturing,
    affectation,
    deception,
    dishonesty,
    smoke-screening,
    stone-walling,
    lying,
    and being less than forthright.
    Do everything in good faith
    and the world will notice it,
    and be glad.

  4. 12/09/2017 — Shem Creek 2017 01 — Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 6, 2017

    Shooting ourselves in the foot is what we do best.
    Knowing when we are getting in our own way
    is the kind of knowing
    that knowing is all about.
    How are we setting ourselves up
    for more of the same?
    How do we live our way into better choices?
    How does what we choose
    limit our choices
    to the choices we always have,
    and always make?
    How do we recognize a transitional choice
    when one comes along?
    How many transitional choices
    do we get in a lifetime?
    How do we stop thinking
    about exploiting our options,
    and start thinking about making better choices
    among the choices available to us?
    Which choices require us to grow up?
    Which choices keep us comfortably where we are?
    What are our favorite ways
    of shooting ourselves in the foot?
    What do we think about
    that keeps us from thinking about
    these things?

  5. 12/09/2017 — Hunting Island 2017 38 — Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island, South Carolina, November 15, 2017

    How free are we to walk into each situation as it arises,
    and see what is happening,
    and know what needs to happen in response,
    and act in light of that knowledge
    with the gifts we have to serve/offer
    toward the good of the situation as a whole?
    How bound are we to imposing our idea
    for the situation on the situation?
    To force our will for the situation
    upon the situation?
    To act as Those Who Know Best
    in every situation we meet
    without regard to the time and place
    of our living,
    but reacting out of our blind allegiance
    to How Things Are Supposed To Be,
    with no interest in,
    or concern for,
    any other thing?

  6. 12/09/2017 — Lake Crandal Fall 2017 01 Panorama — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 3, 2017

    Putting ourselves in accord with the Tao
    is putting ourselves in accord with the way things are
    is putting ourselves in accord with responding
    to the way things are
    in ways that are appropriate to the occasion,
    to the situation as it arises.
    When we spring something on a situation
    that is out of harmony with the situation–
    that does not belong there–
    everything suffers.
    The “disruption in the force”
    is felt throughout the system.
    Do something out of character
    at the dinner table–
    or anywhere–
    and the universe will tilt on its axis,
    the poles will reverse,
    time will run backwards,
    and the dog will leave the room
    as people try to adjust themselves
    to a situation where things are radically out of order
    and not at all what they are supposed to be.
    The world loves to hum right along,
    or, better perhaps, to AUM right along.
    We have to put ourselves in accord with the Tao
    of the aging process,
    of arthritic knees,
    of dimming eyesight…
    the list is long
    and we have to adjust ourselves
    to the way things are now
    in one situation after another
    all our life long.
    When we do that with grace and aplomb,
    everybody notices and settles into the rhythm
    of their own life,
    the dog comes back into the room,
    and everything settles quietly into place
    around the new beat,
    the different key,
    as the band plays on.

  7. 12/10/2017 — Dockside 2017 12 — Port Royal, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    “Free will” makes no sense
    when we are not free to will our choices.
    “Do you want to wear the red one or the blue one?”
    is not freedom.
    All propaganda comes down to:
    The red one or the blue one?
    And the “choice” is presented in ways
    that lean us toward one and away from the other,
    as the propagandist boxes us out of
    all the other choices available to us,
    and deftly keeps us from thinking about
    the choices that are not ours to choose.
    Religion–bad religion–is great about
    forcing choices between red and blue
    as though those are our only possible options:
    “You don’t want to go to hell, do you?
    Well then, if you want to stay out of hell,
    Jesus is your only alternative!
    Because the Bible says….”
    Wait a minute!
    Where did the Bible come from?
    How did it get into the conversation?
    Don’t we have a choice about that?
    Not with Bad Religion at the door.
    We don’t get to choose whether the Bible
    is authoritative for us or not.
    We are TOLD the Bible is the only authority,
    because, you guessed it,
    the Bible says so.
    Red or blue?
    How about naked?
    How about staying home?
    How about going as Peter the Pirate?
    Or Martha the Mouse?
    Who says our choices are limited
    to the choices we are asked to make?
    You can decide for yourself, but
    I’m not choosing
    until I get better choices!

12/10/2017 — The Republican fallacy is:
“If everyone worked hard enough,
there would be no need for government assistance.”
This ignores the facts:
A) It is impossible to “work hard enough”
at jobs that do not pay a living wage.
B) Wealthy people make their money
on the strength of government assistance
in the form of tax cuts, deductions, exclusions and considerations.
Republicans think of “government assistance”
as “paying people to not work,”
and cannot see it as “helping people make ends meet.”
No one can meet the expenses
of catastrophic health issues,
or natural disasters,
without the “safety net”
of Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security
and related forms of government assistance.
And it is insensitive–
no, insane–
to think otherwise.

12/10/2017 — Republicans believe their own lies.
They are bound to–
and blinded by–
their own ideology.
They are insulated from,
immune to,
and incapable of being impacted by
facts,
reality,
reason,
truth,
actuality.
They are locked into
their own world,
and are convinced
that the way they see things
is the way things are.
The only way to deal with them
is to vote them out of office,
and never elect them to anything
ever again.

  1. 12/11/2017 — Pitt Street Sunset 2017 02 Panorama — Charleston Harbor from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 5, 2017

    “The consolations of nature”
    are a steady, constant, on-going, eternal reminder
    that “this is the way it is,”
    like it or not,
    always and forever.
    Black holes swallow entire galaxies.
    Earthquakes and hurricanes
    destroy landscapes and create new ones.
    Tomorrow can be radically different from today
    just like that.
    Life eats life.
    There is no mercy,
    no immunity,
    no escape
    from the immutable
    “Law of the Fishes–
    where the big ones eat the little ones,
    and the little ones better hide.”
    And, it is our place to let that be,
    because it is,
    and to do what we can to bring
    human grace, compassion and kindness
    to life in an otherwise mechanical and graceless environment–
    and to relish the beauty of sunsets
    and sunrises,
    marvel at the wonder of the harmonies
    within the chaos,
    celebrate the majestic
    and ineffable impact
    of the cyclic and unpredictable
    unfolding of natural forces
    from microscopic to cosmic levels.
    and to take our place
    within the givens of this framework,
    with arms open wide to it
    and a wholesale affirmation of it,
    as those who are one with it,
    glad to be/to have been a part of it
    in a “This, too. This, too.” kind of way,
    allowing that to square us up with the
    ebbs and flows of our own life,
    as we square ourselves up with the
    comings and goings of the whole show.

  2. 12/11/2017 — Boone Hall 2017 01 Panorama — Boone Hall Plantation, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 5, 2017

    Greed seems to be the basis of civilization,
    but cannot coexist with the self-transparent,
    mindful, compassionate, awareness
    of human values and how they impact human existence.
    Greed requires the willful disregard
    of the spin-offs and implications of greed,
    and grounds itself upon a combination
    of ignorance and naiveté
    that allows it to believe it can have all it wants
    and everything else will remain exactly as it was forever.
    Greed cannot proceed in light of the full impact
    of its actions,
    so it denies them,
    and tells itself it can give itself tax cuts and considerations
    that rob the middle and lower classes of their security
    and burden them with paying off the national debt
    incurred by the actions of greed–
    and nothing will happen
    beyond the steady accumulation of wealth and power forever.
    Denial married to stupidity is a force nothing can withstand–
    except the immovable wall of truth/reality.
    The bodies, hopes and dreams
    at the bottom of that wall
    should be an everlasting testimony
    to the empty foolishness of greed,
    but the force of greed is irrational and all-consuming,
    and the powerful are helpless in its grasp.
    That is the story of civilization,
    past, present and future.
    Generations yet to come
    may mature beyond the spell of greed,
    and live immune to its Siren Song of Glory Beyond Imagining,
    but that is little consolation
    to those who live with the current level
    of maturation of the species,
    and deal with the power of greed
    in control of their world every day.

12/11/2017 — Denial and escape
via diversion and distraction
are our favorite ways
of dealing with our life.
Putting ourselves in accord
with the Tao–
with how things are–
never enters our mind.
And here we are.

  1. 12/12/2017 — Super Moon 2017 02 — Indian Land, South Carolina, December 3, 2017 — If Neil deGrasse Tyson is to be believed, the only difference between a Super Moon and a regular, old, every month moon is too small to be seen. He suggests taking a soda straw and looking at the moon through it when it is an ordinary full moon, and doing the same when it is a Super Moon. That should put aside the conversation about how big it is. Hype creates conviction, politically and astronomically. And too much of what we believe isn’t so.

    We can “do our thing”
    anywhere,
    any time,
    anyhow–
    for no reason other than
    it is our thing
    and it is what we are here to do,
    so, we are going to do it,
    and we are not going to be stopped by
    “What good would it do to do it?”
    because
    “What good would it do to not do it?”
    Arise each day and do your thing,
    without keeping score.
    Just you and your thing,
    dancin’ and singin’ in the rain.
    Or snow.
    Or earthquake, wind, heat, cold, fire, flood and drought.

  2. 12/12/2017 — Pitt Street Sunset 2017 32 — Charleston Harbor from Pitt Street, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 5, 2017

    I see dreams as nighttime revelations
    declaring: “This is how it is right now in your life!”
    Helping us bring to reflect, bring to consciousness,
    and hold in our waking awareness
    the realization that we are living the dream,
    which works to enable us to
    “put ourselves in accord with the Tao”
    that is being borne out in our lived experience each day.
    The past few nights have seen me
    coming up against foes of various origins,
    but all being super-villains
    and me being, well, me.
    I didn’t have a chance in any of the dreams,
    and was left as each dream faded
    wondering “What can I do about this situation?”
    I wake to the world of Donald Trump,
    and Roy Moore,
    and the Republican Tax Hike Bill
    with its inherent Loss of Everything Good
    Congress has done over the last 70 years,
    and on and on, like that.
    Super-villains in control.
    I have to come to terms with that
    and put myself in accord with it.
    I do that by not kidding myself
    about the odds,
    my chances,
    and my prospects–
    and not letting that stop me
    from doing what I do.
    I reflect on the state of things
    and I write about it
    from the vantage point
    of silence and solitude,
    grounded in the natural world
    and reflected in the photographs I take,
    the pursuit of which
    casts me into the natural world
    which counteracts, offsets, and balances out
    the political horrors of the day.
    I do what I do because that is who I am and what I do.
    Oysters don’t have an impact either,
    but that doesn’t stop them
    from doing what they do,
    in an environment that is as unfriendly as mine is.

  3. 12/13/2017 — Dockside 2017 08 Panorama — Port Royal, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    Mindfulness leads the way.
    Everything flows from, follows, and falls out around
    being mindfully, compassionately aware
    of everything.
    We cannot do that in a hurry,
    pressing and rushing to get things done.
    We have to take our time,
    look around,
    sit and listen,
    sit and reflect,
    make inquiries,
    explore inferences and assumptions,
    holding it all in our awareness,
    waiting to see what we do
    until the time for action arises on its own,
    with a particular urgency and direction,
    taking us with it to destinations unknown,
    and courses unplotted,
    enfolding us in the mystery
    at the heart of life and being,
    in the service of what
    we do not know,
    with a rightness and truth
    that cannot be denied
    or refused,
    sweeping us along in currents
    coursing through time,
    at one with the rhythms and harmonies
    of the spheres.
    All because we look until we see,
    listen until we hear,
    ask until we understand,
    knock until it opens
    and carries us away
    in arms everlasting.

  4. 12/13/2017 — Pitt Street Sunset 2017 16 — Charleston Harbor from Mt. Pleasant, December 5, 2017

    I would like a Do Over
    from any point in my life.
    I could do better,
    and so could you.
    I would like to do college over,
    and seminary,
    with the right attitude.
    My life lived with the right attitude
    would be something.
    So would yours.
    It takes living to understand that.
    It cannot be told.
    We can know what we are told,
    and repeat it back,
    even word for word.
    Understanding at the level
    of the marrow of our bones
    is beyond instruction.
    We have to live our way there.
    So the first life needs to be
    for the development of understanding,
    then we need to go back and do it again,
    with understanding,
    and, of course, compassion and grace–
    which understanding would understand.
    That would be something.

  5. 12/14/2017 — Old Sheldon Church Ruins 2017 11 — Yemassee, South Carolina, November 12, 2017

    We make too much of what happens to us
    and what doesn’t.
    The context of our life
    brings us forth–
    birth us, again and again–
    in ways and with character
    we would never develop
    lolling around in our ideal world
    with just what we want
    coming in on cue,
    only with better accoutrements
    than we had imagined.
    We grow up against our will.
    And in our dream world
    there is no growing up at all.
    So, step away from the woe this
    and woe that.
    Life will never be the way we like it for long.
    That’s the best thing about it.
    It’s better than Disney World and Epcot combined.
    We never know what is coming
    or how long it will last.
    The bad is always coming too fast
    and lasting too long,
    and the good is always coming too slow
    and leaving too soon.
    How we deal with the coming and going
    is the key to all of it.
    WE are what our life is about.
    It is trying its best to mold us
    into who we are capable of being,
    and we are whining all the way,
    “Not this! Not that!”
    Whatever it is,
    is the matrix of our living,
    the places we become who we are.
    And we have more of a say–
    and more of a stake–
    in our own outcome
    than in the conditions and circumstances
    that make us the us we turn out to be.
    What is being asked of us
    in each situation as it arises?
    Who and how is it asking us to be?
    It doesn’t matter what we like or don’t like.
    It matters who we are capable of being
    in the mix of the moments
    and the mess
    we make our way through
    each day,
    and how well we live in
    and deal with,
    each one.

  6. 12/14/2017 — A Walk in the Woods of Fall 2017 17 — Indian Land, South Carolina, November 26, 2017

    Rhythm and harmony disappear
    in direct proportion
    to the degree in which we try
    to force something to happen
    or keep something from happening.
    If we are living in the flow of the moment,
    aware of what is happening
    and what doors are opening
    and what doors are closed,
    we will find ourselves
    dancing with the music
    and doing what is appropriate
    to the occasion–
    at the time,
    and in the way,
    that it needs to be done.
    This is called
    being at one with the here
    and in tune with the now,
    or living in accord with the Tao
    of time and place.

  7. 12/14/2017 — There is nothing more important
    or necessary
    than sitting down with yourself
    and listening
    with compassionate mindfulness
    to everything yourself has to say,
    and to how you react/respond,
    noting where this goes,
    what it uncovers and asks of you.
    Then reflect on this experience
    with compassionate mindfulness,
    seeing where reflection leads you
    and what realizations dawn.
    Repeat this process–
    this practice–
    in a regular and recurring way
    throughout the remainder of your life.
  8. 12/14/2017 — The concept/idea of enough
    begs the question,
    “Enough for what?”
    There is never enough
    because we do not know
    “Enough for what?”
    Because we are not living
    in the service of anything
    larger than ourselves,
    we live to serve our appetites
    and desires.
    But we are insatiable
    and never satisfied for long.
    Always the need for more–
    for bigger barns,
    and larger houses,
    and more cars
    and boats
    and castles
    and kingdoms…
    Because we do not know
    “for what” we live.
    Our education should start
    with that question
    and we don’t graduate
    until we answer it.
  9. 12/15/2017 — Hunting Island 2017 16 Panorama — Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island, South Carolina, November 14 2017

    Good religion is not good for the economy.
    It requires people to take up the practice
    of examining who they are
    and what they are doing
    and getting the two together
    so that what they are doing
    exhibits, expresses, incarnates, reveals, declares, etc.
    who they are–
    and that process opens them to,
    connects them with,
    the Numen,
    the inexpressible, ineffable,
    source and essence
    of life and being.
    And the people,
    in becoming one with themselves
    and one with their actions
    become one with
    that which has always been called God–
    and all is one and one is all,
    and integrity shines bright
    on all the faces,
    and that is all there is to it.

12/15/2017 — Joseph Campbell said
the moral of the Bhagavad Gita
is “Get in there and do your thing,
and don’t worry about the outcome!”
That should be the story of our life.

12/15/2017 — The interplay of opposites
produces the world as we know it,
and all the worlds beyond.
Everything,
from the smallest microorganism
(Mycoplasma genitalium, by my latest reckoning),
to the largest galaxy,
is in the business
of seeing what it can get by with,
in conjunction with everything else
bent on the same task.
All that conflict and competition!
Parasites killing hosts!
Planets colliding!
Parents yelling at children!
Children yelling at parents!
The whole thing is a wonder and a marvel!
I would not consider being anywhere else
under any circumstances!

12/15/2017 — What matters most
is always in plain sight,
overlooked or ignored
by those who walk by unseeing.
The stone the builders reject
is the chief cornerstone.
The pearl of great price
lies in the display case
unnoticed by customers every day.
What was true in Jesus’ day
was true in Moses’ day,
and is still true in our day.
We look but we do not see.
We say, “Here it is! Over here! Over Here!
We found it! We found it!”
But that isn’t it.
We haven’t found it.
We pour our life
into climbing the ladder of success
but it is leaning against the wrong wall.
The Buddha understood,
and Gandhi,
and Rumi,
and Martin Luther King, Jr.,
and Helen Keller,
and Harriet Tubman,
and Rosa Parks,
and so many others, but.
Understanding cannot be passed along.
Jesus’ disciples were as blind
as the Scribes and Pharisees.
Seeing cannot be taught.
Hearing cannot be passed out and around.
How do we know?
How do we know that we know?
And that we do not know?
I know that we do not know,
and you know that we do not know,
but how we get ALL of the to know it?
Or anything?
When most of them think they know everything!

12/15/2017 — Life is not possible “within the means”
of too many people–
and Republican MOC
cannot/will not comprehend that fact.
Facts make no impression upon Denial.
Upon Abject, Willful Denial.
Republican MOC are the lowest/worst form of humanity
the current generation of Americans
have ever experienced.
Welcome to life as it is
in Third World countries.
We have become a Third World country
ruled by the oligarchs of the First World.

12/15/2017 — Republican MOC telling poor people
to live within their means
is Marie Antoinette telling people who have no bread
to just eat cake.
When the bread runs out eat cake.
When the money runs out live within your means.
Republican MOC are heartless,
cold, cruel and without a care or concern
for what they are doing
beyond making themselves and their Donors
rich beyond their dreams.

12/15/2017 — Republicans and Democrats
cannot talk to each other.
It’s AM talking to FM.
It’s VHS talking to DVD.
They speak and listen,
but there is no hearing,
no understanding,
no comprehension.
They live in different worlds,
have different values,
and different agendas.
I don’t see this working out
to anyone’s satisfaction.

  1. 12/16/2017 — Beaufort Fall 2017 11 Panorama — Beaufort, South Carolina, November 13, 2017

    What we do for a living,
    and what we live to do,
    are not often the same thing.
    Too often, we let
    what we do for a living
    determine everything else.
    It is better to know
    what we live to do
    and let the rest
    fall into place around that.
    What we live to do
    doesn’t get much attention.
    It is as though we think
    anything will do
    in occupying the time
    not spent in doing what we do for a living.

    The quality of our life,
    the depth of its meaning,
    the extent of its joy,
    the degree of its vitality,
    the nature of its impact,
    all depend upon
    the realization of its importance
    and the devotion of our allegiance
    to its service.
    It is not something we do
    when the mood strikes us,
    or nothing else is more inviting.
    Dancers dance.
    Writers write.
    Singers sing.
    Gardeners garden.
    Artists draw and paint.
    Teachers teach.
    Thinkers think…
    You know, like that.
    Beyond wanting to,
    in spite of not wanting to.
    We are all capable of–
    and called to–
    live in the grip of something
    quite beyond us,
    which we do not make up,
    and can only accede to and serve–
    as partners with the urge to be and to do
    all our life long.

  2. 12/16/2017 — Charleston Harbor Sunset 2017 11 — Taken from Pitt Street in Mt. Pleasant, December 5, 2017 — I copied and flipped the sky and attached it to the original image to produce the apparent reflection and achieve an abstract sunset of colors I love.

    There is us and our life–
    the one we are living,
    and the one that is ours to live.
    Our place is to get us together with our life–
    the one that is ours to live–
    while living the life we are living.
    It’s called
    walking two paths at the same time,
    and it constitutes the Hero’s Journey.
    If you are not consciously,
    deliberately,
    intentionally,
    involved in the work
    of getting yourself together
    with your life–
    the one you are living
    and the one that is your to live–
    it’s time you get started.

12/16/2017 — Our perspective is our responsibility.
It isn’t our place to argue Republicans
out of their perspective.
It is our place to point out to them
that their perspective is their responsibility,
and they are responsible for
the way they see things–
and for the damage
the way they see things
is doing to the country,
and to the world.
“The way you see things
is your responsibility,
and it impacts everything.
You bear the burden
of the impact of your perspective.”

12/16/2017 — “Round, and round, and round it goes,
and where it stops, nobody knows.”
It doesn’t stop.
Nor does it start.
And “it” can be whatever you want to call it.
“The Tao.”
“Creation” (But that is a misnomer–
nothing is “created” and nothing is “destroyed”).
“Existence.”
“Life.”
“The Way.”
It has been called many things,
but by whatever name,
no start, no stop.
We aren’t going anywhere.
We’re just going.
Stop thinking about “the end.”
Start thinking about “here, now.”
Start living “here, now,”
based on what is happening “here, now,”
and what needs to be done about it,
in response to it,
with the gifts, art, genius, talent, grace
that is yours to impart,
and offer that,
do that–
in every “here, now” that comes your way
all The Way.

  1. 12/17/2017 — Page’s Mill Pond 2017 10 HDR — Lake View, South Carolina, October 31, 2017

    I come from stock that knew what they liked
    and what they didn’t like.
    They were open to not liking what they did like,
    but there was no way they would ever
    like what they didn’t like.
    Not liking what they did like
    was their way of keeping you in line.
    Liking what they didn’t like
    might have given you the impression
    that anything you did would be okay maybe eventually.
    That was definitely not the case.
    No variation was permitted.
    If I hadn’t moved away early,
    I would have died soon–
    either literally or metaphorically.
    I lived among the metaphorically dead
    until I escaped beyond the tribal boundary,
    but I have a difficult time going back
    even today.
    History is replete with cultures
    that borrowed widely from other cultures,
    and with cultures that built walls
    and locked themselves away
    from all contact with barbarians, heathens, the infidel
    who lived outside the gates
    and were never allowed inside.
    The winds of time favor the cultures
    which sailed bravely beyond sight of land
    and trusted themselves to their own ingenuity
    as their curiosity carried them into strange lands
    with strange ideas
    that turned out to be brilliant
    and transformed how they thought and lived.
    If we build walls and hide behind them
    we die
    literally or metaphorically.
    Life is found outside the gates,
    beyond the sight of land.

  2. 12/18/2017 — Smoky Mountain Fall 2017 42 — Cade’s Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, Tennessee, October 23, 2017

    Inertia and lethargy equal laziness.
    Laziness is the Cyclops
    on the Hero’s Journey.
    “It’s too hard.”
    “It’s no fun.”
    “I don’t feel like it.”
    “I’m not in the mood for it.”
    “It’s not a good time.”
    “I don’t want to.”
    “Not now.”
    “Maybe tomorrow.”
    “Maybe later.”
    “Some other time.”
    This is all that is standing between us
    and life as it ought to be lived.
    “Eat when hungry/Rest when tired,”
    has come to mean,
    “Just do what you feel like doing.”
    It means:
    “Do what the situation calls for
    whether you feel like it or not!”
    It means:
    “Do NOW what needs to be done NOW–
    no matter what!”
    It means:
    “NOW is the time!”
    “Do it NOW!
    Whatever needs to be done NOW–
    past all objections,
    obstructions,
    resistance,
    and disinclination!”
    Mindfulness,
    Reflection,
    Meditation,
    Seeing,
    Hearing,
    Understanding,
    Knowing,
    Doing,
    Being
    are all spiritual practices
    and are necessary in the work
    to change/transform the way things are.
    If your spirituality isn’t transforming you
    and your life–
    the way your life is lived
    and the way your world works–
    you have been diverted into a religious eddy
    away from the current requiring
    attention, focus and effort
    in the field of action,
    challenging the status quo
    and making things more like
    they ought to be
    than they are.
    Religion that devotes itself
    to thoughts and prayers
    is the kind of religion
    we all could do without.

12/18/2017 — Propaganda’s unwavering goal
is to immerse us all
in a sea of implanted assumptions
and expectations
to the point where
“everyone knows” the truth of a reality
that is not true,
or real,
at all.

12/18/2017 – When you are lead to believe
that “everybody knows,”
“everybody thinks,”
“everybody believes,”
“everybody feels,”
“everybody does,”
anything,
you are the victim of propaganda
positioning you to recognize
a certain image/person/race/group/religion/product/etc.
in a way that “everybody” would.
Your personal/individual way or assessing reality
has been replaced by a generic, “group think,”
way of seeing the world.
Wake up
and see how you are being led to see
in ways that are suggested to you
in 10,000 subtle ways
throughout the culture.
For example,
evil is never presented as a “Barbie” image.
Evil is always dark/black and sinister.
Heroes never are disheveled, unclean and poorly dressed.
We have cultural assumptions
and profiles
that are implanted by people who are themselves
victims of cultural assumptions and profiles.
Why do we think the way we think?
What makes us think the way we think
is the way to think?
How have we been propagandized to think the way we think?
What are the messages,
the narratives,
the inferences,
that direct our lives unconsciously?
We have to counteract the unconscious influences
by becoming conscious of them
and holding the up to the light of inquiry
and examination.

  1. 12/18/2017 — Goodale Fall 2017 03 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, October 28, 2017

    Endeavor to mindfully live out your days
    with grace and compassion,
    kindness and tenderness,
    gentleness and good faith
    for all that comes your way.
    This entails
    seeing, hearing and understanding
    in ways that enable you to know
    what is happening
    and what needs to happen in response,
    and doing what you can do
    to help meet that need
    with the gifts, genius, talent, art, proclivities
    that are yours from birth,
    in light of the true good of the whole–
    bearing consciously the pain of the contradictions,
    and holding all in awareness,
    until the proper action arises
    in the fullness of time,
    allowing you to be at one with yourself
    and with the moment,
    in each situation as it arises.
    This is to be as Zen-like,
    as Christ-like,
    as Buddha-like,
    as You-like,
    as you can be in meeting the full truth of the day.
    Beyond that,
    there is little to ask for,
    seek or desire.

  2. 12/19/2017 — Smoky Mountain Fall 2017 22 — Oconaluftee River, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Cherokee, North Carolina, October 24, 2017

    The Pilgrims,
    and everyone else,
    came to the New World
    seeking a better life.
    We are still seeking it today.
    It is all we have ever sought.
    You might think,
    after all this time,
    we would have it figured out.
    You might think,
    we would know what “better off” means,
    and at what point more looking
    means making things worse,
    and what is worth having,
    and what is a mirage
    calling us past the good
    to the appalling, atrocious, abhorrent…
    You might think,
    we would know when we are well off–
    or well-enough off-
    and quit pushing it
    in the pursuit of more than we need.
    If there is a new world out there–
    or just a different one–
    it must be better than this one,
    and we can’t wait
    to put everything on the line
    to find out.

12/19/2017 — The weight of Resistance
is the unending nature
of the process.
There is no final victory,
no lasting peace.
There is only eternal vigilance
and ongoing opposition
to the forces of ignorance, fear, hatred, greed, and evil.
It never ends.
The work is that of Sisyphus and Prometheus.
We have to take it up
knowing what we are doing,
and commit to the task
as long as the journey lasts,
raising our children,
and growing old
along the way.

12/19/2017 — The reality of politics is the loss of innocence:
the realization that how things are
is not how things ought to be,
and that people cannot be trusted
to be who they say they are.
Politics is a betrayal of good faith,
a house built of lies,
deception and empty promises.

  1. 12/20/2017 — Pitt Street Sunset 2017 15 Panorama — Charleston Harbor from Pitt Street, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 5, 2017

    We have been led to think
    that we are going somewhere.
    The whole purpose of “here”
    is to get “there.”
    We are supposed to be getting ahead.
    Becoming successful.
    Having it made.
    This is the ground assumption
    of our existence.
    We are to make something of ourselves.
    What we are isn’t nearly enough.
    We have to have ambition,
    aspirations,
    incentive,

    We have to be dissatisfied!
    If we aren’t striving to have more,
    do more,
    be more,
    we are a source of shame
    upon the entire species,
    and the worst thing that could happen
    to our ancestral heritage.
    Wait! Stop! Enough!
    The core cultural assumption is baseless.
    We have to immunize ourselves against this plague
    upon soul and spirit
    by catching ourselves in the act
    of being possessed by it
    and exorcise the demon
    by calling out its deceitful, lying ways–
    and turn our full attention
    to doing right by the moment at hand.
    What is being called for here and now?
    What is being asked of us
    by the situation at hand?
    Meet the moment on its terms
    with the best we have to offer–
    and do it again in the next moment.
    What is called for?
    What can we do about it?
    How do we prioritize all that is coming at us?
    What do we act upon?
    What do we dismiss/ignore?
    In light of what are we living?
    What is guiding our boat
    on its path through the sea?
    If we listened to our heart,
    listened to our body,
    and listened to our nighttime dreams,
    what would they say
    about how we are living our life?
    To whom–to what–are we going to listen
    in determining what we do with the time
    that is ours to live?

  2. 12/21/2017 — Hunting Island Fall 2017 17 — Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    There is me
    and there is you
    and there is us
    and there is all of us
    and we have to work it out
    we have to make it work
    for the good of the me
    and the you
    and the us
    and the all of us.
    There is one way to do it
    and there is one way to not do it.
    The way to do it is called “in good faith.”
    The way to not do it is called “in bad faith.”
    “In good faith” is the way
    of integrity,
    transparency–
    including self-transparency,
    so that we live in good faith with ourselves,
    and don’t kid ourselves
    about who we are and what we are doing,
    mindfulness,
    openness,
    troth,
    and dedication to the task at hand,
    that is, working it out and making it work.
    “In bad faith” is the way
    of duplicity and deceit,
    and striving to have the advantage
    at the expense of someone else,
    maybe everyone else.
    It al depends on each of us
    being who we say we are
    and doing what we say we will do,
    and we cannot force that upon anyone,
    we can only bring it forth in ourselves.
    How we deal with the disparity
    between being forthright
    and protecting ourselves from those
    who are not being forthright
    is the story of the history of humankind.
    Each generation writes its way into that history.
    How I do it is up to me.
    How you do it is up to you.
    How they do it is up to them.
    And everything depends upon how it is done.

12/21/2017 — Vote while you can.
Voter suppression
and gerrymandering
are making our vote
less possible,
less likely,
and less significant.
When Texas implemented
a photo ID requirement for voting,
Texas also closed the DMV offices
in counties with a high percentage
of voters who were the wrong color.
When federal courts found this to be unconstitutional,
Texas shrugged,
and said in effect,
“What are you going to do about it?”
The question hangs in the air.
The abuses continue.
Trump’s Voter Integrity Commission
(What a name.
The Republicans name things
with the exact opposite meaning
from what they actually do.
It’s a sly, crafty, slick trick
right out of Nazi Germany’s playbook)
is following a track of making voting difficult,
and people complain,
and suits are filed,
and Trump/The Republicans continue on their way
to the complete control
of the way votes are cast and counted.
Democracy is being redefined, reduced, restricted
by people who are saying
“We aren’t doing anything
and even if we were,
what about Crooked Hillary?”
And consequences aren’t being bought to bear
because the same people are in charge
of both the consequences and the crime.
So vote while you can,
and do not vote Republican.

  1. 12/22/2017 — Lake Haigler Fall 2017 03 HDR — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 2, 2017

    We are responsible for our perspective–
    and for being mindfully aware
    of who we are,
    what we are doing,
    and how we are doing it.
    Mindfulness leads the way.
    Mindfulness provides
    and requires
    a certain degree
    of silence
    and solitude,
    and non-judgmental compassion.
    If you have an agenda–
    an idea of how things should be–
    that does not allow for
    the right kind of interplay
    of these elements,
    you are going to make things difficult
    for yourself and others.
    You are responsible for your perspective.

  2. 12/20/2017 — Charleston Harbor Sunset 2017 07 — From Pitt Street in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 5, 2017. I flipped the top half of this image and merged it with itself to create the apparent reflection to produce the abstract sunset of colors I love.

    Look at it this way:
    The game of Solitaire is all religion
    in condensed form.
    Whatever you say about it
    depends on how you see it.
    For instance:
    “There is no strategy to Solitaire,
    it all depends on the cards
    you get to play.”
    Or:
    “Everything depends upon
    the strategy you devise through
    years of playing,
    and how it changes
    as your experience deepens.”
    Which way is it?
    What is the True Doctrine of Solitaire?
    It depends on how you see the game.
    “God is in charge
    and arranges the cards
    in every hand.”
    Or:
    “The cards fall out
    in a completely random way.
    Chance and ‘The Luck Of The Deal’

    Our beliefs are what we tell ourselves
    to make sense of our experience.
    What we believe
    determines how we see
    (Our perspective)
    and how we see
    determines what we see
    (Our perception)
    in a self-validating kind of way.
    If we believe white people are superior
    (The Religion of White Supremacy–
    which often hides under the guise
    of Right-wing Evangelical Christianity)
    we will see/say facts that confirm our perspective,
    and ignore/dismiss facts that refute it.
    This is how all superstition
    and Bad Religion work,
    with people being mindlessly unaware
    of how their beliefs create the world
    they believe to be The Way The World Is.
    The game of Solitaire
    is an example of how this works
    in our life.
    Examples are everywhere.
    We build the world we live in,
    oblivious to our place in its construction.

  3. 12/24/2017 — Dockside 2017 11 Panorama — Port Royal, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    Our perspective is
    a view point,
    a point of view,
    a vantage point,
    a point in space and time,
    a portal into who we are,
    and where we have been,
    where we have come from,
    what has happened to us
    and what we have done about it,
    with it,
    to be who we are as we are
    here and now
    in every here and now
    that comes along.
    Our perspective is
    all that we are
    and can be
    at any (in every) particular moment.
    It is our way of appraising,
    assessing,
    evaluating,
    ascribing value,
    interpreting,
    understanding,
    defining,
    expressing,
    exhibiting,
    declaring
    what has meaning for us
    and what does not.
    Our perspective is
    how we declare
    what is significant
    and what is not,
    what matters
    and what does not,
    who we are,
    and who we are not.
    Our perspective is
    the most individual,
    unique
    and defining thing about us–
    and when we adopt
    a perspective
    without thinking about it
    examining it,
    evaluating it,
    assessing it
    and affirming
    that it does indeed
    say all that can be said
    about us
    and IS indeed who we are
    and who we mean to be,
    we fail to live in good faith
    with ourselves
    and one another,
    and betray our calling
    to be bring forth we are
    in relation to all others
    who are bringing forth who they are,
    and fail to make anything
    of ourselves
    and the time
    that has been given to us,
    ..
    Why?

  4. 12/24/2017 — The day before Christmas
    was just another day.
    So was Christmas.
    After your own personal awakening
    everything is transformed.
    Sober alcoholics can tell you
    the day they quit drinking.
    When did the light come into your world?
    If it hasn’t arrived yet,
    what can you do to be open and receptive
    to its coming?
    Christmas is about the coming of the light
    of realization/awareness/understanding–
    which is different from knowledge.
    Knowing is no substitute for understanding,
    for comprehension,
    for Aha!
    Christmas is about Aha!
    We set aside one day each year
    to remember our Aha! moment,
    to remember all of them,
    and to rejoice and be glad
    for the turnaround
    and the difference it has made in our life.
    And, if we haven’t had an Aha!,
    Christmas is a reminder of the possibility
    and a call to prepare the way of its arrival.
    My favorite ways of both celebrating and preparing
    are silence and solitude,
    and immersion in art, music and nature,
    and the practice of seeing what you look at,
    and hearing what you listen to,
    and feeling what you feel,
    and sensing what you sense,
    and knowing what you know,
    and what you do not know,
    and waiting,
    trusting that it will all come together
    to astound and amaze,
    confound and delight
    in the fullness of time.
    In the meantime we celebrate and prepare for
    the experience of Aha!

12/24/2017 — We can seek,

but we can’t hurry finding.

We can practice,

but better comes in its own time.

But, we can seek

and we can practice.

 

  1. 12/25/2017 — Boone Hall 2017 02 — Boone Hall Plantation, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 5, 2017

    Perspective is a super weapon
    in the same league as a nuclear bomb
    or the Elder Wand–
    not in terms of protection from
    (or prevention of) the unwanted,
    but in terms of mitigating its impact
    and enabling the right kind of response.
    We do not spend enough time and effort
    learning to attend, control, develop and master
    our perspective.
    We think we are helpless before it,
    that whatever our perspective is,
    it is inborn
    and impervious to our efforts
    to alter, amend and improve.
    No Jedi,
    and no wizard or witch,
    was born knowing how to use
    the powers at her or his disposal.
    All had to be trained in the practice
    of the magical arts.
    Our charge is the same as theirs.
    The Ancient Masters of our own realm–
    Lao Tzu,
    the Buddha,
    the Christ–
    had only one thing to work with:
    Their perspective.
    None of them thought,
    felt,
    saw,
    understood,
    perceived,
    or believed
    in the beginning as they did at the end.
    As with them,
    so with us,
    as we take up the task
    of becoming aware of,
    and working with,
    how we think,
    feel,
    see,
    understand,
    perceive,
    and believe
    regarding the worlds
    of internal and external reality
    and their impact upon us,
    and our response to them.
    As we do so,
    we will be embarking
    consciously/mindfully
    upon the path of conscientious maturation,
    the most powerful tool
    in the entire repertoire of tools,
    for the transformation of the world
    and our place in it.

12/25/2017 — We like not having to think,
not having to confront
our own contradictions,
inconsistencies,
incongruities,
disharmonies,
dichotomies,
polarities,
conflicts,
inner strife…
and bear the pain
of that realization,
and the pain of working things out,
making peace within.
So we don’t.
And that’s the reason
things are as they are.
And the reason
things won’t get better
until we square up with ourselves,
and come to terms with the truth
we live to deny, dismiss, disregard, ignore.
I will if you will.
You go first.

  1. 12/26/2017 — A Walk in the Woods Fall 2017 21 — Indian Land, South Carolina, November 26, 2017

    We will not think about our thinking
    and refuse to practice the art
    of mindful,
    compassionate,
    non-judgmental,
    awareness
    of ourselves
    and our circumstances.
    We know what we like,
    and what we do not like,
    and that is all the knowing
    we need to know.
    If everyone else would only
    do it like we do it,
    everything would be fine.

    It only takes about 27 seconds
    of self-reflection,
    self-examination,
    self-awareness,
    self-inspection,
    self-analysis,
    self-appraisal,
    self-scrutiny,
    self-monitoring,
    self-assessment,
    self-transparency
    in order to know
    we don’t want to know
    “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
    “We can’t handle the truth.”
    So we spend our time
    talking about,
    thinking about,
    dwelling on,
    THEM.
    And, of course,
    THEY are doing the same thing,
    so we never get beyond
    hating,
    fearing,
    despising,
    shunning,
    shaming,
    killing
    each other.

12/26/2017 — When you are at-one with your life,
everything falls into place around that.
When nothing is in its place
and rhythm, flow and harmony
have left the country,
or maybe the world,
get yourself back in sync with your life
and the universe will shift
into focus.
We get ourselves in sync with our life
by remembering the things
that mean the most to us,
and doing them the way
they need to be done–
by remembering what matters most,
and serving it with our gifts,
our art,
our talent,
our genius.
When we forget about
trying to exploit our situation
and serve our interest,
and live in ways
that are meaningful to us,
we are in accord with the Tao,
and vibrate with the great AUM
at the heart of life and being.

  1. 12/27/2017 — Hunting Island 2017 15 –Hunting Island Lighthouse, Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    Whatever our current “path”/experience is–
    if we participate fully in it
    and cooperate with it–
    is preparation for “the journey,”
    for what is coming,
    for what is next.
    Full participation and cooperation
    are synonyms for
    “being in accord with the Tao.”
    Resisting,
    opposing,
    forcing,
    insisting,
    demanding,
    requiring,
    our life to be different than it is
    is a lifelong style of living
    that puts us at odds with our life
    at every point,
    and prevents us from being in harmony
    and at peace
    at any point.
    Everybody is seeking a better life,
    and it becomes better instantly
    when we accept it for what it is,
    allow it to be what it is,
    and respond to it as it is
    in the spirit of
    “What is being asked of me here and now?
    How can I offer what is appropriate
    to the moment
    in this moment?
    What is this requiring of me?
    How can I best comply?”
    The moments do not end.
    Something else is asked of us
    in each one.
    It is better to dance
    than to complain about the music–
    and to get better at dancing
    with any music
    because the band is always changing tunes.

12/27/2017 — I was a minister for 40 years,
and through that time I developed
a radical idea of religion
that calls for the rejection of all theology/doctrine
and the mining of our personal experience
for encounters with “that which has always been called ‘God’”
in the form of the Numen,
the ineffable,
which comes upon us all from time to time
as we engage our life
as full participants,
cooperating with what is being asked/required of us
in each moment.
We are being “led” to full development/expression
of ourselves through full participation in the experience
of being alive—IF we cooperate by living mindfully,
compassionately, non-judgmentally aware
of what is happening within and without in each moment.
It’s all a process of being alive to the moment of our living,
which prepares us for the next moment–
but there is no “arriving”
or “getting anywhere.”
Just better at living in sync with,
attuned to,
in harmony with,
each moment just as it is.
That’s my take on religion,
having been “in the business” for my career.

12/27/2017 — All organized religion requires
its adherents
to take something “on faith.”
Two things are wrong with this:
1) Why take on faith what they tell you to
and not something else instead?
Why take their religion on faith?
They will tell you you are going to hell
if you don’t–
but you have to take that on faith.
Why would you take that on faith?
If you are going to take something on faith,
why not take evolution on faith,
or global warming?
Or the equality of all people
and equal rights around the world?
Why take going to hell on faith
and insist that evolution be grounded
in solid, irrefutable, fact?
2) Taking anything on faith
means you are taking someone’s word
for it being so, but.
How do they know?
They take it on faith.
Which means they make it up
and convince themselves that it is so,
and now they are trying to convince you
that they know what they are talking about
when they merely made it up.
They don’t have any basis for believing what they believe
other than they believe it
and say it is True Belief, but.
They take it on faith that it is as they say it is.
That’s nonsense.
All belief is self-validating.
That is the basis of superstition.
Believing is seeing in this regard.
Believe something is so
and your experience will eventually confirm it,
and dismiss/discount/disregard/ignore
all evidence to the contrary.
That’s how superstition works.
And Organized Religion.

  1. 12/28/2017 — Greed and bad faith
    are the source
    of all that is evil and demonic.
    Generosity and good faith
    have their work
    cut out for them–
    the ground of which
    is to not lose heart!
  2. 12/28/2017 — Pitt Street Sunset 2017 10 — Charleston Harbor from Pitt Street, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 5, 2017

    Everything rests upon,
    and flows from,
    how we interpret,
    grasp,
    understand,
    perceive,
    see,
    hear,
    comprehend
    what we look at/listen to.
    We decide what things mean,
    what they signify,
    what they suggest,
    imply,
    require,
    call for–
    and what to do about it.
    When we are right,
    and act accordingly,
    we are at one with the Tao,
    in the center of God’s will,
    grounded upon the bedrock
    of truth and value,
    in sync with the flow
    of life and being.
    When we are not,
    or don’t,
    the world is a wasteland,
    madness reigns
    and chaos rages across the land.
    Look closely,
    listen carefully,
    see and hear well,
    act wisely
    in each situation as it arises

    Carelessness
    and mindlessness,
    greed
    and bad faith
    are the four horsemen
    of the Apocalypse.
    Don’t house them
    in your own barn
    or allow them to graze
    in your pastures.

12/28/2017 — The Republicans are going after food stamps.

The Republicans have never been hungry.

Do not know what it is

to live with hunger as a constant companion.

Think that being hungry is a side-effect

of being a lazy good-for-nothing Free Rider,

and will not consider the possibility

that you will not eat very well

working 40 hours a week

on minimum wage–

or the number of people,

single moms among them,

who cannot work

and provide child care,

or take care of invalid parents/spouses/siblings,

or, well, the list is long

of what people need to have in place

to be able to work for not enough money

to live on.

Republicans don’t care.

We have to go to the mat with them

on food stamps,

Medicaid,

and Medicare,

and other programs

that help people with their lives.

No one should be hungry

in the wealthiest nation in history.

Chronic hunger has no place with us.

Make sure the Republicans know and understand that.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/09/the-bipartisan-beginnings-of-the-food-stamp-act/541302/

  1. 12/28/2017 — Blue Ridge Fall 2017 13 Panorama — Boone Fork, Julian Price Memorial Park Picnic Area, Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 18, 2017

    Live to do what means the most to you–
    what matters the most to you–
    while simultaneously doing
    what it takes to pay the bills.
    In this culture,
    and in this sense it is actually
    the culture of the entire world,
    we value what we do
    in terms of the money we make doing it.
    We may live our entire life
    without making any money
    doing what means the most to us, but.
    We got to do what was meaningful
    our entire life long!
    How can you beat that?
    Living in the service of what matters most to us
    is life at its best–
    and we don’t have to do anything to do it,
    except do it!

  2. 12/29/2017 — Pitt Street Sunset 2017 09 Panorama — Charleston Harbor from Pitt Street, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, December 5, 2017

    The light has always been the ground of religion.
    And always will be.
    And darkness, said Rumi,
    is the cradle of light.
    It is a whole, and is whole,
    darkness/light,
    good/evil,
    love/hate,
    all of the dichotomies
    and polarities
    and contradictions,
    war/peace,
    chaos/tranquility,
    are separated, as Jose Ortega y Gasset might say,
    “by the edge of the coin.”
    And all waits to be seen as such,
    and embraced,
    affirmed,
    celebrated,
    revered,
    worshiped,
    served,
    by those who know
    we are part of the whole
    and everything belongs–
    and put ourselves in accord
    with the unfolding
    and realization
    that is the on-going coming
    of the light
    in the darkness of life and being.

  3. 12/30/2017 — Page’s Mill Pond 2017 03 — Lake View, South Carolina, October 31, 2017

    When you listen to your heart,
    to your body
    and to your nighttime dreams,
    and wind up in a bad place,
    keep listening to your heart,
    to your body
    and to your nighttime dreams
    to get out of there!
    And dismiss
    your fear,
    lethargy,
    and inertia,
    in writing what needs to be written,
    and doing what needs to be done,
    saying the things that cry out to be said,
    asking the questions that beg to be asked,
    feeling the things that need to be felt,
    thinking the thoughts that need to be thought,
    and none of the thoughts that do not,
    without worrying about the outcome.
    If it leads to fame, fortune and glory,

    If it does not,
    fine.
    Your place is to see what is happening
    in each situation as it arises,
    and to know what needs to happen in response,
    and do what you can do about that
    with the gifts, genius, art, abilities
    that are yours to serve and to share,
    and let that be that–
    as you do what it takes to pay the bills,
    and walk as many paths at once
    as it takes
    to get it done,
    letting mindfulness,
    compassion,
    silence,
    reflection
    and good faith
    lead the way.
    You will be surprised
    at the impact you have
    without trying to make an impact–
    at the difference you make
    not trying to make a difference.
    Joseph Campbell said,
    “The influence of a vital person vitalizes.”
    Live to see what he means
    by becoming a vital person,
    living in the service
    of what is meaningful to you.

12/30/2017 — The developmental tasks
are required in order to
adjust ourselves to the
necessities of each new
stage of life.
There is no “one and done”
on the road to maturity and grace.
Every turn, dip, valley and hill
has its own version
of “the Dark Woods,”
demanding that we
grow up some more again,
forcing us to do what
we do not want to do,
and asking us to
find what it takes
to meet the day
on its terms
which prepares us
bit by bit
to meet every tomorrow.
These tasks are
the initiation rites
required to pass from
one station in life to another,
and cannot be refused
or neglected
without remaining stuck forever
in a world that has passed us by.

  1. 12/30/2017 — Smoky Mountains Fall 2017 19 — Cades Cove Methodist Church, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Townsend, Tennessee, October 19, 2017

    If I could give you anything
    it would be the ability
    to listen with understanding
    to everything you hear.
    If you hear something
    and respond with some variation
    of “I know…”
    you are not listening with understanding.
    It isn’t about what you know.
    It is about the level of your understanding.
    Do you understand/comprehend/get
    the meaning–
    the full meaning,
    including the implications,
    the impact,
    and the feelings
    that are wrapped up in and around
    what you are hearing?
    And this applies to what you are hearing within
    as well as from without.
    What you are saying,
    or trying to say,
    to yourself
    is at the top of the list
    of the most important things
    you will ever hear.
    Are you listening?
    With understanding?
    Understanding is the heavy part of hearing.
    It will weigh you down.
    The pain of understanding
    is the pain you have to bear
    if you are going to listen well.
    And that’s the big reason
    no one listens to the depth of the pain–
    which is to say the reason
    no one listens.
    Listening with understanding
    will take your breath away,
    and force you to see the world
    in a different way.
    And force you to see.
    I would give you the ability
    to listen with understanding
    to everything you hear.

  2. 12/31/2017 — Dockside 2017 09 — Port Royal, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    Go with the things that resonate with you
    and let the rest fall out
    according to how much
    it matters to you.
    Ground yourself
    in the values
    that are truly valuable.
    Do what is meaningful to you
    and live in its service.
    If you can find better advice,
    take it.

12/31/2017 — We are here in part
to seek and serve
what is meaningful to us.
If our life is not wrapped up
in and around what is meaningful,
we are kidding ourselves
about what is important
and wasting our time on the earth.
How meaningful
is what is supposed to be important?
We answer that question–
and all of the others that matter–
through self-reflection,
self-examination,
self-assessment,
self-awareness,
self-realization,
self-evaluation,
self-appraisal,
self-analysis,
self-knowledge,
self-understanding,
self-direction,
self-correction…
No one else can tell us
the important things.
We have to find our way to them
on our own.

12/31/2017 — To be fully alive,
we have to be living for something
greater than ourselves–
for something that calls us forth
and asks hard things of us.
The things that keep us
from being fully alive
are fear
and lethargy,
and the ease
of saying
“Maybe later.”
“Maybe tomorrow.”
“Maybe one day.”
“Soon, maybe soon.”

01/01/2018 — There is a saying:
“Desperate times
call for desperate measures.”
Too many of us have
never been desperate enough
to know what dangers lurk
in desperation.
Trump and the RMOC are pushing
too many of us to that limit.
In doing away with health care,
In refusing to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program,
In refusing to enact a clean Dreamer’s act,
In putting Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security
and other federal programs
(Head Start, School Lunch Programs, etc.)
designed to help people help themselves
in danger of being axed,
the Administration and Congress
are creating desperation
on a level that will equal,
or surpass,
the Great Depression
as we watch.
And. They. Do. Not. Care.
They rather enjoy it.
Because they hate the poor and needy,
the old and the lame,
and all those who are a burden to society.
They reduce the profits
that would be available to the rich-and-greedy-for-greater-wealth,
and need to be disappeared.
Republicans look at these programs
as havens for freeloaders and lay-a-bouts:
“They had rather be on welfare than work!”
Ignoring the numbers of people
who have used the resources offered
by these programs to work their way
out of poverty and into productivity–
and discounting, disregarding, dismissing
the truth that a living wage
would reduce “the welfare rolls”
in a way that is much healthier and hopeful
than ending welfare could ever be.
This is because Republicans
have bought into their own propaganda,
and cannot think things through
to possibilities and destinations
that have been discarded by,
and buried beneath,
three or more generations
of dissing programs providing people
with hope, direction, courage and opportunity.
They cannot see what they will not consider.
And that is where we come in.
We have to vote them out of office,
and not let them back in.
They have abdicated their responsibility
to be good for ALL of the people,
and have demonstrated again and again
that the best future they can imagine
is endless wealth for themselves and their donors.
It is our place to see to it that 2018
is a NEW year in the fullest sense of the term.
Out With The Old! In With The New!
Commit to vote for,
to support,
and to work for the election of
the people who will indeed make America great
by being public servants
of all of the people, all of the time.
A worthy future for us all
depends upon each of us doing at least that much.

  1. 01/01/2018 — Goodale Fall 2017 07 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, October 28, 2017

    We are all vulnerable in our own way.
    Facing up to that
    and coming to terms with it
    is our first order of business
    in finding our way
    to the service of
    all that is meaningful,
    indelible
    and lasting about us and our life.
    Nothing lasts.
    Or is meaningful.
    It is all useless, pointless, empty and absurd
    and coming to a very bad end–
    and how we live in the meantime
    makes all the difference.
    We have to live AS THOUGH
    it is all meaningful,
    purposeful,
    powerful,
    significant,
    relevant,
    consequential,
    linear,
    valid,
    worthwhile,
    and coming to an end
    that is splendid and glorious
    beyond compare.
    We all tell ourselves something
    about our life.
    We all take something on faith.
    Make it that,
    and live as though it is so.
    We have to square up to our vulnerability
    and our liabilities.
    We have to look our chances in the eye,
    and see them for the Cyclops blocking our way
    that they are,
    gather ourselves,
    and say, “So what?”
    And live like how we live matters–
    Anyway,
    Nevertheless,
    Even so!
    Even here,
    Even now,
    Even yet.
    “And when the heaving sea
    has shaken our raft to pieces,
    then we will swim!”

01/01/2018 — Carl Jung said,
“Most of our difficulties
come from losing contact
with our instincts,
with the age-old forgotten wisdom
stored up in us.”
Guiding our way along new paths
to an unknown future
are the insights we developed
as a species
along the old paths
of a forgotten past.
We have to get back to what we know
to know what we need to know
to deal with things our early ancestors
could have never imagined.
It’s funny, or strange, or striking,
that it works that way, but.
We have within us all we need
to know what is being asked of us
and how to respond to it,
we only have to learn
how to access it
and then trust ourselves to it.
We begin with our–
you would never guess this–
perspective.
Our perspective is how we see things.
It is what we see when we look at things.
How we see modifies/limits/determines
what we see.
So we start with how we see.
“This isn’t how I SEE things, Jim,”
said the old farmer standing in his field.
“This is how things ARE!”
When we think we see how things ARE
we aren’t seeing our seeing,
or being responsible for the ways
in which we participate in the construction
of our own reality.
The farmer I’m remembering here
was a white supremacist talking about black people.
His ideas of black people did not originate
with his observations of black people,
but from what other white people
had said about black people
from his his birth.
His observations were biased in favor
of his assumptions and expectations
and deepened by what he abstracted/selected
from his experience
and dismissed, discarded, disregarded, denied
about his experience.
How he saw things determined what he saw.
Perspective determines perception.
We have to see our seeing
in order to put some distance
between how we see things
and how things are.
We begin by being mindfully aware of our seeing,
by seeing our seeing,
and asking of everything we “see,”
“What makes it easy for me to see this the way I see it?”
“Where do my ideas about this kind/type of thing come from?”
“Why do I think that the way I see is the way things are?”
We have to get to the bottom of it.
Of all of it.
We have to see that how we see what we look at
is grounded in assumptions/interpretations/expectations
that are, themselves, founded in a worldview
which has little, if anything, to do
with the world we are viewing.
And then wonder,
“If I didn’t see things the way I see things,
how else might I see them?”
Our perspective conceals our inferences.
Our inferences cover up our instincts.
We don’t seek to see, hear, and understand
what we look at
because we KNOW what the truth is already.
Inferences are shortcuts to decision and action.
Never mind thinking, listening, looking, making inquiry!
We have to catch ourselves in the act
of rushing to judgment
and Stop! Look! and Listen!
To get back in touch with
“the age-old forgotten wisdom”
lying latent within.

01/01/2018 — We have to find our own paths,
and make our peace with
the ones we have chosen.
Here we are.
Now what?
The possibilities are infinite,
or close enough.
We have to choose where we go from here
and make our peace with our choices.
and so on
ad infinitum,
or close enough.

01/01/2018 — Our perspective changes
when we become transparent to ourselves
and see ourselves and our seeing,
and evaluate it without having anything
at stake in the outcome,
asking all of the right questions
and reflecting on all of the available facts
and our response to them
(which is, of course, another of the facts
we take into consideration).
Knowing is a matter of understanding
the meaning of what we know
and its implications for us
in the field of action.
When we incorporate all of this
into our perspective,
we see like we have never seen before–
perhaps like no one in the world
has ever seen before.

  1. 01/02/2018 — Smoky Mountain Fall 2017 24 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Cherokee, North Carolina, October 20, 2017

    How we see things
    and what we chose to do about it
    are two of the tools we use
    in constructing the life we live.
    The essential third
    is our degree of mindful
    (compassionate, non-judgmental)
    awareness of both seeing and doing.
    If we spent more time
    developing these three tools
    and less time
    trying to force our way
    through our life,
    we would be more firmly grounded
    in the things that matter most.

01/02/2018 — It helps to know what our business is,
and what it isn’t.
“Taking care of business”
is a great motto
as long as it is our legitimate business
and not some kind of monkey business.

01/02/2018 — We generally can be trusted
to know when we
are being treated well
and when we
are being treated poorly.
And, we know when others
are being treated well
and when they
are being treated poorly.
We may not be able
to articulate
what it means
to be treated well or poorly,
but we sense it–
we know it–
when we experience it.
My wife thinks cold is in the low 50’s (F) to high 40’s.
I think cold begins at about 65
and gets colder as the temperature
descends from there,
but we both know “cold” when we experience it.
Understanding that there is a continuum
between “well” and “poorly,”
and that everyone in the world,
from the dawn of the species until now,
would fall out somewhere along that line
when it comes to evaluating how they,
and others,
are being treated.
Standing in the center
of the normal distribution curve
along that continuum,
we could say
“This is what being treated ‘well’ means,
and this is what being treated ‘poorly’ means.”
That would be a consensus.
The same would hold true
with being treated
fairly, justly, compassionately, graciously, kindly, etc.
We know it when we experience it.
All of which is to say that
the consensus knows what it is talking about,
and that Donald Trump
and the Republican Members of Congress
can say what they will
about what “great” means,
and what danger immigrants pose is,
and how much more money wealthy people need
to finally be well-off,
but everybody else knows where the truth lies,
and charges of “False Facts”
and “Fake News,”
will not change that in the least.
How we see things is not arbitrary,
but experiential,
and the more fully/completely/consciously/intently
we experience our experience–
reflecting on the allness of our experience,
examining the facts,
exploring the possibilities,
considering our assumptions, inferences, expectations, desires, fears, interests
and the stake we have in the outcome,
asking the questions that beg to be asked,
and looking for all we might be missing–
the more fully we will be able
to assess what is happening
and understand what needs to be done about it
in each situation as it arises
all our life long.
Then, it is only a matter of having what it takes
to do it.
May it be so for each of us forever!

01/02/2018 — Our perspective is our responsibility.
We are responsible
for how we see things
and what we choose
to do about them.
“They said,”
“They are,”
“They think”
“They …”
isn’t enough.
What do YOU say?
What makes you think
what YOU say so?”
How much time in a day
do you spend in
self-reflection,
self-examination,
self-awareness,
self-analysis,
self-correction,
self-determination?
How transparent are you to yourself?
Who is guiding your boat
on its path though the sea?

  1. 01/03/2018 — Beaufort Fall 2017 09 — Salt Marsh, Beaufort, South Carolina, November 14, 2017

    There is, at least,
    an infinite number of ways
    of looking at an elephant,
    and everything else.
    What we “see”
    when we look at an elephant,
    and everything else,
    is a function
    of who is looking
    and what we are interested in.
    If it is a rogue elephant
    and we are interested in
    getting far away fast,
    we will see a certain set of things.
    If it is a rogue elephant
    and we are interested in
    cataloguing the behavior
    of rogue elephants,
    we will see a completely different
    set of things.
    The things we see
    say more about us
    than about the things we see.
    Look at something.
    Consider it from the standpoint
    of Abstraction/Projection.
    What we abstract about the thing
    is projected onto the thing
    by the brain trying
    to figure out what the thing is/means.
    Whatever we look at
    is seen through the filter
    of our previous experience
    with that thing–
    which includes no experience at all.
    What does it bring to mind?
    What associations does it stir within you?
    What feelings does it bring up?
    Whatever we look at
    is “seen” in its relationship
    with all that has gone on with us
    before we looked at it.
    We do not see anything new.
    Everything we “see”
    has been “seen” before.
    Black people,
    White people,
    Latino people,
    Poor people,
    Rich people,
    Gay people,
    Street people,
    Male people,
    Female people…
    All people/everything
    come/comes to us with a history attached–
    OUR history with them/it
    or things like them/it.
    Every objective fact
    is interpreted–“seen”–subjectively.
    In order to see them/it
    relatively separate from us
    (our expectations,
    assumptions,
    inferences,
    biases,
    prejudices,
    )
    we have to see
    what looking at them/it
    brings up in us,
    and separate what we are looking at
    from who is looking,
    and what it says about us
    and how that influences
    our opinion/judgment/evaluation of it
    and its significance for us.
    But.
    Who would take the time to do that?
    Who would take the time to read this
    to this point in the writing?
    Who cares enough about seeing to see?
    And where does that leave us?

01/03/2018 — We cannot be fully aware of anything.
There is more to everything
“than meets the eye.”
We cannot say all there is to say about anything.
Why do we say what we say
and stop there?
“Gay people are _____.”
Put anything in the blank.
Why that and not something else?
Why stop there?
We “abstract”–
that is “reduce it to its essence,”
(with “essence” being
what the person/place/thing
represents/means to us)
something about everything,
and let that abstraction
represent the person/place/thing
in its entirety,
in its wholeness,
and do not think about the person/place/thing
any further–
which is not thinking about him/her/it at all.
Which is living mindlessly unaware
of what we are doing,
serenely untroubled
by the trouble we are creating
through dismissing large aspects of reality every day.
What do we mean
by refusing to know/be aware of/understand
what we mean?
What leads us to emphasize “this”
and discount “that”?
Laziness.
Lethargy.
Fear.
Greed…
Our life is smoother
if we don’t take the time
to pay attention to
what we are doing.
Never mind if that means
living like dead people.
It’s easier that way.

01/03/2018 — What a person/place/thing means
needs to be considered
from the standpoint of
A) What it means in-and-of itself:
its own such-as-it-is-ness,
its own just-as-it-is-ness,
and its place in the world of time/space.
B) What it means, if anything, to itself:
its sense of “I-ness,”
“Me-ness,”
“My-ness.”
or “We-ness,”
“Our-ness.”
C) What it means to other persons or things.
The question,
“What is the meaning of life?”
begs the question,
“To whom?”
Meaning as an absolute,
as a generality,
is vague to the point of uselessness,
and is no more than words about words.
It certainly is unlikely
to grip you in a vice-like passion
and hurl you into your life,
against all odds,
regardless of your chances,
in spite of everything in your path.
What do you mean?
is a better question–
What do you mean with your life?
What do you intend to do with it?
What is meaningful to you?
What is the meaning of you?
What do you serve that is meaningful to you,
that other people equate with you,
and will remember of you,
long after you are gone?