So Fleeting, It Is

1

May 23, 2017, Prescott-

I have felt a lot, welling in my heart, today. Sitting on the floor, after hours, keeping a little boy out of harm’s way, whilst waiting for his guardian to arrive and take him home, two of us encountered his simplistic view of things:  If he were only allowed to, he would run after the bus, in stocking feet.  Somehow, he knew the bus would be late, and it was; but guardian was already en route.

This is our clairvoyant child, who warned me not to think of a new friend of mine in a romantic way.  I would not have done so, anyway, but he had no way of knowing my heart- or maybe he did see a hidden danger lurking.

It has been a tempestuous month:  Two deaths of friends, one expected; the other, a bombshell.  Both brought communities together.  An aged mentor, to many of us in my Faith community, went back to God, last Wednesday.    Then, this week, a colleague in the Red Cross passed on, after a serious illness.

Now comes Manchester.  A young lady of considerable, as yet unrealized, talent, sought to bring the joy of her dance hall style of music to another generation of youth.  A crazed and puritanical misfit set out to destroy her efforts.  The resulting carnage will live in my heart, for a long time.

Some in my circle have taken to responding to me, of late, with curt, businesslike replies.  Others, are acting as if we’ve never met, in the first place.  Life is fleeting, so why not friendship and connection?

It’s often said, that if you love something, set it free, and if it comes back, it is yours.  If not, it never was.  So, my friends and family are always free to come and go.  The spot they have in my heart will still be there, should they come back.  This is life, and it goes on.

Manchester

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May 22, 2017, Prescott-

So many youths,

glad for an evening

of music that made them

dance,

on the floor

and in their hearts.

Nineteen are gone,

fifty hanging on,

because of one

with a detonator.

A light-hearted young woman,

seeking to make her fans’ lives

a bit more carefree,

sits crestfallen,

broken-hearted,

in a hotel room,

in Manchester.

Home

5

May 21, 2017, Kelowna,BC-via Prescott

“Wherever you have friends, that’s your country. Wherever you receive love, that’s your home.” Tibetan proverb quoted by the Dalai Lama in The Book of Joy (I highly recommend this book!) This quote brilliantly summarizes my experience of life with and as an exchange student. Half your heart has moved to a new location.

via quote- home — Shawn L. Bird

Falling, Gently

7

May 21, 2017, Prescott-

Yesterday could have been seen as somewhat of a bust.

I didn’t spend all that much time at a memorial picnic.

I felt there were some serious issues of trust,

coming from some of the people closest to the man,

in whose memory we were gathered.

Earlier, I had been at a place where trust HAS been earned,

and, in honour of my maternal grandfather,

enjoyed a Chicago-style Polish Sausage.

I never met Papa, in this life,

but his forebears hailed from Silesia,

when it was German turf.

There was, then, as now,

a great deal of interplay between German and Pole.

So, Polish sausage, with sauerkraut and Dusseldorf mustard, it was.

There was great food at the picnic, as well,

and the Mariachi were heartfelt in their performance.

It was a magnificent tribute,

frayed only by that lack of trust,

something that the honoree would never have countenanced.

I moved on, and read, just this morning,

a horoscope that told me,

those who hurt you were doing the best they could,

under the circumstances.

None of us, really, are ourselves,

in the wake of shattering loss.

I wasn’t, from 2011-14.

A lot of people were hurt,

in the wake of my mourning.

Some have never forgiven;

most have moved on.

Last night,

I happened on a troubadour.

Her message, sung across the miles,

to the one man she loves with every ounce of her being,

was just how lucky he made her.

The audience, mostly late middle-aged couples,

heard it in their hearts, too.

I know that feeling, so well.

My spirit angel was one of a kind.

She said to us, to me, if you’re struggling,

hang on.  It’ll all work out.

She sang of falling gently,

as she did for the man who waits for her,

back in Cape Cod.

Enjoy the accompanying message, from Monica Rizzio,

and if you’re ever in Cape Cod, catch one of her gigs.

Thoughts on A Morning World

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May 20, 2017, Prescott- 

My spirit got me out of bed at 5:45,

just because this time of year,

with work winding down,

and the relative relaxation

of June approaching,

fills the spirit

with affirmation.

It’s easy to get off track,

when competing agendas,

of straight and narrow,

clash above my head.

This morning,

there is no such noise.

The lively Farmer’s Market

is always good for

several minutes of relaxation,

and live music,

even if one has to sit

on a curb,

as the tables are occupied

by people I’ve not met.

I’m just not so forward, yet.

My shyness goes back

a long way,

but no matter.

Let everyone

just enjoy themselves.

I think of a little girl,

whose name I know not,

who greets everyone

at school with

a hopeful smile,

and those she trusts,

with “Good Morning!”

Would that we could

all bring ourselves

to do the same.

I think I am going to buy

and put up, a hummingbird feeder.

It’ll be by the front window

during June,

and again from

August, forward.

I think I am

going to get rid

of lots of other stuff

in June,

and again in August.

I am going to make

Superior to Globe,

my getaway mainstay,

from September to May.

There is no romance,

that’s not the point.

There is intense spiritual energy,

vortical sustenance,

in many parts of the Southwest,

but especially along

that Copper Road.

These are my thoughts,

in this Saturday morning world.

Now it’s time to do a few errands,

pull a few weeds,

and eat a hot dog,

in honour of  Armed Forces Day.

Happy Weekend, one and all!

 

Wheels On Fire

6

May 18, 2017, Prescott-

“The girl doesn’t want to be saved”,

said her lover’s brother to her lover.

That was from a TV show.

A girl who works

to save herself,

tells me, regularly,

“I’ve got this, Mr. B.”

So she does take care of herself,

and is the singular

real success story

of this year’s efforts.

I am close to

a woman who,

many years ago,

was in a car, which

burst into flame.

She survived,

and made a life

for herself,

and raised

a formidable

family.

She’s Nana to

several grandchildren.

The burning car

did not stop her.

My wife suffered

increasingly,

as years passed,

and kept on,

bearing and raising

the only child

she could have.

The wheels of

misfortune,

burned hotter,

yet she rose

higher,

and earned

three advanced degrees,

in her time.

The other women,

I have been honoured

to call friend,

in the years since,

got past the burning car,

and saved themselves.

That’s what makes them.

The A-Team

8

May 17, 2017, Prescott-

In my twelve years of public education, 1956-1968, there were mostly competent educators, a few misfits and twelve stand-up, top flight professionals, who either were my teachers of record or served as mentors beyond the immediate classroom.

One, Miss Bernis Hanlon, passed on, over the weekend.  She was my fifth grade teacher, and one of two at the Felton School, Saugus, MA, who went above and beyond, when it came to building character.  It was largely Miss Hanlon’s influence that brought me out of my shell, had me at least approach a modicum of competence in a few sports and join the Boy Scouts.  She taught us that boys and girls, working together, accomplish three times as much, as the genders working separately.  She taught me that having a  then little-known disability (mild autism) was never an excuse for not doing one’s level best.  She built on the framework which my third grade teacher, the then Miss Joanne Nugent, had started.

Fast forward, to 1966-67, my Junior Year at Saugus High School.  I had survived junior high school, the awkwardness, the quirky behaviour, which had generated taunts from otherwise good people, and the fires of our eighth grade year.   Only the stalwart protection of Mr. Paul O’Brien, who died earlier this year, and Mr. Ron Ahern,  and the character education of the late Miss Gladys Fox,kept me on an even keel.  I had endured inept teachers, in three of my freshman classes.   I had mastered grammar and punctuation, with the guidance of Miss Miriam Kochakian, as a Sophomore. It was the junior year that brought Mr. John Quinlan and understanding of Algebra,  Mr. Bernard Hussey and a stellar United States History class, Mrs. Lillian Pittard Bisbee, and love of prose, and the renewed mentorship of Miss Hanlon, by then a colleague of Mrs. Bisbee and a full-on enthusiast of poetry and drama.   The two ladies set the stage for Mrs. Katherine Vande and the best creative writing instruction I have ever had (Senior English).

Miss Hanlon was an integral part of that A-Team of mine, and I can’t imagine how my life would have played out, without her presence.  I know she is smiling down on all of us whom she loved, with that reassuring, infectious Irish grin.

Nephilim

2

May 16, 2017, Prescott-

Some say there are giants

buried in the earth.

They say this explains

the great mounds of Ohio

and Cahokia.

The giants,

the story goes,

fouled the planet,

yet also built the Great Pyramids,

and dug the canals of Arizona.

They built Stonehenge,

and arranged the boulders

at Carnac.

These giants,

their chroniclers say,

were evil.

If  this is true,

I’m glad they’re gone.

I had a dream once,

that I was in the presence,

of such a giant.

I had the opportunity

to torture him,

to inflict

extreme pain.

I declined.

Loathsome as he seemed,

he was a creature of God.

It was the Almighty’s call,

as to his fate.

The giant

and his own captors

were puzzled by my response.

I went my way,

in peace,

and the giant fell,

of his own weight.

This is the way of the Light.

Those who carry darkness,

find it the most unwieldy

of burdens.

 

 

Mothers and The Ides of May

10

May 15, 2017, Prescott-

There was no obligatory Mother’s Day post here, this year. The Second Sunday itself was largely taken up with funerary rites.  Mom got a call from me in the evening, though two earlier attempts were made.  She’s on the move yet, during the day, so evening always seems to work best.

She loves the roses, and will hopefully have some idea of what I can do, come July, regarding helping to renovate our family home of 62 years.   Those are more welcome gifts than tying up the phone, which she finds tiresome, after ten minutes or so.  Perhaps the best gift I can give her, though, is maintaining a positive attitude.  It’s gotten her through nearly nine decades, and keeps her on top of what goes on, day by day.

My second brother, also a model of positivity, came through today’s medical procedure, ready as ever to get back to taking on the world. He helps guide the company that produces some of Boston’s finest frankfurters (“hot dogs” is not the term of choice there).

That news is indicative of this month:  Warm and cool days intermingle.  Death and suffering are dovetailed with love and recovery. Years ago, my over-correcting, on a California surface road, almost derailed our pending marriage, but warmer hearts and cooler heads prevailed.  Fifteen years later, I had walking pneumonia, which took well into June to disappear.  Now, twenty years further on, I am in the penultimate week of a challenging, but largely successful, academic year, and my first full-time stint since 2004. ( A brief internship with a rather mercenary “social service” agency, in 2009, hardly counts.)

May, 2017 has met its Ides, and the year as a whole is moving along, much faster than the previous two. I wonder what Quantum Physics has to say about such things.

 

 

 

So He Loved and Has Now Flown

15

May 13, 2017, Prescott-

Another long-suffering soul has gone home.

His first comment to me,

thirty-six years ago,

was to not soak a tub of beans overnight,

unless the plan was

to stay up and watch them.

This, as we saw that someone had

done the opposite.

The ground was littered

with soft pintos.

Ants were emerging,

to savour the feast.

His last remarks

to his family, were

that he wanted to go home.

Yesterday afternoon,

he did just that.

In seventy-five years,

Moses Manybeads Nakai

had been a steadfast believer

in the Oneness of Mankind.

He married a young nurse,

who had come to the Navajo Nation,

to serve both the Dineh and Hopi.

They raised two daughters,

both of whom are

college-educated professionals.

Moses went many places,

in his life,

from Samoa to Alaska.

He always came back,

though,

to his beloved Dinnebito.

It was there that his father

practiced traditional healing.

It was there that his mother

made the best mutton stew

in the universe.

It is there that his sister

still lives,

with her husband and family,

living the traditional herding life.

Moses left us,

while in the comforting environs

of Montezuma Well.

It gave him solace

to know that

there is a deep connectedness there.

Only days ago,

a rare red snapping turtle

emerged from the well.

It had navigated the channels,

of which we seem to know little.

Moses knew,

and the Navajo people know,

quite a bit about such things.

One more bit of connectedness

has now gone through the veil.

I trust

that I will hear from you,

again soon,

my friend.

Embrace the Light.

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