It's pretty easy to follow the road or the path unless it is shrouded in dense fog. Or a swirling snow storm. In that way James finds it difficult to avoid being thankful for that which he does not want to be thankful for.
As he remains here in North Carolina his beloved brother making final improvements to this miraculous Creation of his, and as James helps his brother with some projects, there is so much that our sick culture would tell him to be thankful for. His friendship, The Wonder of watching the Brilliance and goodness of this man pour into the vehicle, a profoundly affordable place to do the work, quiet, safe. Systems and routines that are working out really really well, dual sleeping bags for freezing overnight temperatures, instapot recipes and pasta recipes that are providing an extremely affordable, healthy, food supply with very little effort, and sufficiently tasty and varied. Not yet being in the concentration camps that shortly after 2024 are where James is likely to have his life end torturously, still having Social Security and Medicare that will be Stripped Away by the howling Savage GOP WHITE supremacist male-dominated goons.... this miraculous vehicle that is such a powerful tool for reaching the one in a million Souls that can still be reached in this life on this Earth for their life on this Earth and those that they impact. And I could go on and on.
But being thankful is something that shapes one and if one isn't careful, if James isn't careful, his life becomes what he does not want it to be. The above items are ultimately material wealth of one sort or another even though they're totally devoted to the well-being of others, not that which Jesus understood to be creator, the all almighty power that no one will ever be able to name.
The life of joy is 100% the life of the soul in charge attempting to do good in the world for those in need. And especially and may be entirely, for the profoundly rare soul that can be brought back to the life of joy. 100% of what James wants to be thankful for is in that Realm and nothing outside.
Why does he care about this? Greed. Greed for joy. Greed for Joy for himself, and the extremely unlikely possibility for what Joy he might help lead others to, or back to.
What he is thankful for are those things that have led him to this path, this understanding, strengthen him for it, and for his attempts to live it and thereby share it. Three individuals that were placed in his life path that for decades he could exercise his capacity for unconditional loving especially as it was almost never requited. The root of it all, his father who is the most unconditionally loving individual James has ever encountered. And thereby James understanding of the life of the man Jesus which James thinks is correct and tragically rare. The genuine loving, not to be confused with selfserving convenient affection or kindness, the genuine loving that throughout his life on rare occasions he is received from this individual here, a teacher early on maybe, several teachers early on, and throughout his life the occasional person that was genuinely loving, that is devoting themself in at least some small way to his well-being and Mission, not their own selfish interests. So encouraging and nurturing.
So what James is thankful for to the exclusion of the above, is the path of serving the neediest from the soul in solidarity, for the joy of it, best articulated and exemplified by the man Jesus, by James biological father Edward, the occasional loving Souls mentioned above. Nothing else, though he appreciates things mentioned above that he is not thankful for and is glad of them, but they're transitory, and not important.
... But self-care alone won’t fulfill people’s psychological needs as we rebound from the pandemic. After many months in relative isolation, we must reclaim connection and meaning. That comes not just from caring for ourselves but also from caring for one another. Self-care is vital, but its efficacy is...
If if you have a payroll problem please tell me.
"James, You are a prophet in our times... Don't give up hope James", my most sacred of sisters just wrote. James does his best work living without hope.....
"You are a prophet in our times, James. Our sometimes, very sad times. I understand . Believe me, I understand. Don’t give up hope, my most beloved badger friend! Let me know where to send some cash. Winter is coming! And there are more of us out there. We get too busy and distracted and fail to watch out for our brother and sister."
She also wrote," you are a mess, but a great and ancient soul." I replied, takes one to know one. She replied, " haha!"
James: Actually, that's really strategically true. Takes one to know one. That's why our work is to be one as intensely as we can because it might reawaken that knowledge, that's soul, in another soul. I absolutely believe that's really our entire work. At least it will give the opportunity for joy to another individual, misery, but Joy, and if many were to wake up in time that's the only way. The rest is details.
Sister: Yep. People need models same as you see JC and Gandhi as models. You are a model for persistence through thick or thin, rain, sleet or snow. You raised the bar, little badger!
James: Several days before what I thought would be five years in prison for being arrested at Standing Rock, James realized once and for all he has no hope. And every day since then these recent years has reaffirmed that objectively, objectively, in truth, there is no hope. Because there are not a fraction of the people with Souls still alive to use the technology that we have in abundance to save a habitable future for the children and grandchildren. There is no basis for hope.
But there is a basis for devoting every waking breath to the work of attempting to inflame one's own soul and thereby maybe ignite and or protect the soul in another. Why do so? For the joy of it, and the joy it just might restore to another soul. And if there was a way of wakening Hope beyond that, it would be down this exact path.
And to this she added: "Yep. People need models same as you see JC and Gandhi as models. You are a model for persistence through thick or thin, rain, sleet or snow. You raised the bar, little badger!"
James reply: takes one to know one
And my entire adulthood has been spent doing that in different ways, giving everything I had, not taking the credit of others, not stealing the spotlight, doing the minute-by-minute work of contributing to the lives of others. Not manipulating and exploiting others for my selfish ends, is almost all of us do. I have been and remain a doer, not a taker. I wouldn't have it any other way. That's where the joy is. But a lot of hurt and being used too. And that makes me feel better. And maybe give me some idea of a path out of this Gloom.