Radiance

8

April 22, 2018, Prescott-

While my laptop is, sadly, not able to upload photos from a SIM card, owing to a scratch either inside the port or on the adapter, I want to make mention of this weekend’s Chalk-it-Up.

We had live entertainment today.  A friend of mine was performing, as the lone male member of a group of ukulele players, doing spirited renditions of hits from the ’60’s and ’70’s.  They were accompanied by a very serious and limber little girl, dancing solo, with not a care for anyone watching.  She was a joy to behold, and the gleams in her grandparents’ eyes said it all.

Then came a radiant young hoop dancer, a woman of about 22, I’d say, also dancing her way into the hearts of all watching.  She reminded me of a dear young friend, who used to dance with both hoops and light sticks, before her untimely death in an auto accident, six years ago.  I thought of Jayme, whilst watching this dancer and her sharing of her hoops with several children in the audience.  My friend egged me on, to try a hoop myself, but I am awkward with such things and it would have been even more awkward being the only other adult jumping into the fray, alongside the winsome instructor- young enough to be my granddaughter.  Oh, well.

Chalk-it-Up is always a joyful event.  Here are some scenes of the more colourful drawings.  In their honour,  let’s take joy in the radiant beings around us.

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These Five Things

5

April 22, 2018, Prescott-

I am not given to talking so much about myself, but yesterday, I received a nomination from someone who has been friendly and supportive, of late:  Amberley Griffin.

This is to invite me to list five things I like about myself.  So, here goes.

First, I like my resilience.  I have been able to bounce back from several mishaps, setbacks, or what not- from bankruptcy and the loss of my wife, Penny to having the brake linings of my car cut, a few years back and losing it in a ditch.

Second, I like my health.  I have been able to maintain good health and a somewhat youthful energy level.  It takes fastidious practices, including essential oil-based supplements, chiropractic treatments, power naps after work, regular work-outs and a fastidious attention to diet.

Third, I am fairly pleasant company.  I get along well with most people and am doing better at not taking offense when people are standoffish or cross.

Fourth, I have a quick, though situation-based, sense of humour.  I cannot produce jokes on demand, but things come to mind at the oddest of moments, while being apropos to a situation.

Fifth, I am a loyal friend, even to those who, for philosophical differences, I have not seen or heard for a few months, or years.  If those people needed me, I would do the best I could to be there.

I am a work in progress, and so, while I have irritated some here, lately, bear with me.  My whole is pretty good, overall.

Whither Goest Thou?

10

April 21, 2018, Prescott-

I was brusquely informed, this morning, that I was headed for Hell.  My crimes? I believe in the unity of spiritual truth.  I believe that it was last revealed to mankind by God, come in the Spirit of the Father, in the person of Baha’u’llah, just as it was revealed to us, some 1, 987 years ago by Him, come in the Spirit of the Son, in the person of Jesus the Christ.  This is a threat to those whose purpose is to keep us divided.  This is a dire catastrophe to those whose grip on power over the common people depends on a belief in us vs. them.

The fact remains- I will continue to work with everyone, serve anyone, love even those sworn to enmity- because Baha’u’llah said so; because Jesus said so; because every religious Teacher since the world began has said so.  Only the inner cravings of humans, for power, for control, for dominance, say otherwise.  Our lower nature-personified, in the Words of Zoroaster, Christ, Mohammed and Baha’u’llah, as Satan, the Demon, is behind all work to maintain division.

So, I’m not concerned with the allegorical Fire.  I won’t stop serving, loving and looking towards the Light, in this life or the next.  My next act of non-remunerated service will be among Baptists, in fact, on Monday evening, helping my friend, a Baptist youth pastor, named Randy, in his humble soup kitchen.  Randy doesn’t care that I am Baha’i.  To him, it is our shared love for humanity that counts the most.

Funny, that my accuser of this morning should have touted her admiration for the late Billy Graham, whose attitude in his later years, towards the advocates of division, was: “Get thee behind me, Satan”.

That’s the end of my preaching and screeching, for now.  I just needed to clear the air.

Answers to “Getting to Know Me” Query

19

April 20, 2018, Prescott-

The day begins with the news that there will be a teacher walkout, across Arizona, next Thursday.  What that means for us, at Prescott High School, remains to be seen.

In the meantime, here are some answers to questions posed by gaillovesgod.

  • What are my strengths?
    • Faith in God
    • Steadfastness
    • Love for humanity
    • Being proactive
    • Adaptability
  • What are my short term goals?
    • Serving my school and community, for at least the rest of the academic year
    • Visiting friends and family, across the continent, between Memorial Day and July 4
  • What are my long term goals?
    • Remain faithful to the Lord God
    • Finish my work in Prescott
    • Itinerant service, through Workaway, or a like organization
  • Who matters the most to me?
    • God
  • What am I ashamed of?
    • Not treating others as I wish to be treated
  • What do I like to do for fun?
    • Hikes
    • Writing
    • Game Night with friends
    • Drum Circle
  • What new activities am I willing to try?
    • Anything that elevates the human race
  • What am I worried about?
    • Being careless
  • What are my values?                                                                                                                       Honouring human dignity                                                                                                         Developing my strengths                                                                                                             Good stewardship
  • If I had one wish, it would be…?
    • To do what God expects of me, without fail
  • Where do I feel the safest?
    • Anywhere in His Light
  • What or who gives me comfort?
    • God’s Love
  • If I was afraid, I would…?
    • Pray, and get myself into a safe place
  • What is my proudest accomplishment?
    • Having helped raise my son
  • Am I a night owl or early bird?
    • Early Bird
  • What does my inner critic tell me?
    • Bring self to account each day
  • What do I do to show my self, self-care?
    • Bathe and groom
    • Start day with devotions
    • Take natural supplements, each evening
  • Am I an introvert or extrovert?
    • Ambivert
  • What am I passionate about?
    • Life
  • What do my dreams tell me?
    • My spirit guides are with me
    • My life will unfold in a good way
  • What is my favourite movie?                                                                                                         The Fisher King
  • What is my favourite band?
    • Arcade Fire
  • What is my favourite food?
    • Fiery chili
  • What is my favourite colour?
    • Navy blue
  • What am I grateful for?
    • God’s Revelation is continuous
    • I have many good friends
    • Large extended family
    • My good health
  • When I am down, I like to:                                                                                                                 Breathe deeply
  • I know I am stressed when
  •          I start making odd mistakes
  •           I get tongue-tied

Observations on A Mid-April Morning

6

April 19, 2018, Prescott-

I appreciate the attention so many have paid to my reblog of the post on Bleach Enemas.  In what dimension anyone could think such a procedure is anywhere near good, I don’t know.  My blessed mother fought tooth and nail for our well-being, and would have clobbered anyone who even dared hint at something of this nature.  Dad loved us dearly, and would have had one thing to say to the suggestion of bleach enemas:  “Pig’s neck!” (His polite term for BS.)

Barbara Bush left a grand legacy of literacy promotion, continued by her daughter-in-law.  The gift of literacy is one key element, in the package of empowerment that loving people can offer to others.  Long may her legacy thrive!

Ridvan begins tomorrow evening, at sunset. It is the twelve day festival, commemorating Baha’u’llah’s Proclamation of His Mission to the world and His departure from Baghdad, towards Constantinople (Istanbul), on horseback and on foot, in April and May, 1863.  My Lord lived a life of exile, imprisonment and torture, yet, like unto Christ, never once turned His back on humanity.

Chalk-It-Up is Prescott’s annual art fair, at which a wide variety of chalk art is available for public view and on which viewers may vote.  I will be insanely busy on Saturday, but Sunday will find me taking in the wonders of human imagination, in that temporary gallery.

Arizona’s educators are winding up a vote, as to whether to walk out, or not.  I’ve cast my vote and will keep my own counsel on the matter.  My first loyalty, in any event, is to the students.

Speaking of whom, several students at our school will be out on the front lawn, in a 17-minute vigil, tomorrow morning, honouring the memory of the Parkland shooting victims.  They will then return to their studies.

Have a blessed day, my friends.

Let’s Talk About Bleach Enemas

10

Yes, this is apparently a thing- just like Tide Pods. Except, it’s not Millennials and Founders doing this to themselves. It’s parents-of various generations, doing this to their kids. BLEACH.IS.POISON.

Wibbly Wobbly, Neuro-UNlogical Stuff

A few days ago in a parenting facebook group someone posted asking about parasite cleansing protocols. I asked if they were referring to bleach enemas, which got some LOL responses. Turns out, people thought I was joking. They didn’t know that some parents are so insistent on “fighting autism” and “reclaiming” their child that they squirt bleach up their kid’s butts to “kill the parasites.” And post pictures of the shredded lining of the intestines that come out, insisting it’s the dead “parasites” that are causing their child’s autism. This is a real, actual thing, and people need to know about this.

Horribly enough, this isn’t even a new thing. If you Google “bleach enemas” there was a lot of uproar about it 5 years ago. It was in the media a bit and a change.org petition was made, but that is useless because it’s not the government or…

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Haunted

10

April 17, 2018, Prescott-

What is it with you?

Only the muscle-bound are welcome

in your gym.

Does the presence of the imperfect

spook you?

What is it with you?

Hoisting yourself up onto

a kitchen counter,

when a point of view

different from your own,

is spoken by someone

sitting on a stool,

in your dining area.

Does the presence

of a caring soul,

who is imperfect,

frighten you?

What is it with you?

Turning aside from

a person,

or people,

who would give

their lives

for you,

because they don’t

fit the mould.

Does the presence

of  elders

haunt you?

 

Mr. Ribeiro

15

April 16, 2018, Prescott-

The cicadas started early this year.  Spring Break is usually not a time for such serenades.  Truth be known, my Nonna wishes there were never such a festival della canzone. It keeps her awake, tossing and thrashing- so she puts on a CD of the late Pope John XXIII, talking about the saints.  That of course, sets her to crying, and brings Mama, ever ready to console, into her bedroom.  In short order, the rest of us are up and making plans to start the day.  It is 3 A.M.  Not even the bakers are awake, in Little Italy, at this hour.

Baltimore is ready for action, though, at any time that one chooses to get going.  Papa gets showered and dressed- and expects us boys to follow suit.  “I got some deliveries we can handle, Gennaro.  Santino, you go over to the Flower Mart, and drop off the bags of mulch.  Ribeiro ought to already be there.  He has nothing else to do, after all.”

Antonio Ribeiro had come to the Flower Mart from New Bedford, where he had been the odd duck in his south side neighbourhood, preferring to cultivate flowers, rather than run numbers, or crack cocaine for the Shower Posse, who were ubiquitous in southern New England, in the early ’80’s.  His boys protected “Simple Tony”, and besides, the girls were all over him- and would have not taken well to the Jamaicans mistreating him.

He’d been a fixture in Baltimore for ten years now.  Antonio lived in a small room, in the back of his Flower Mart stall.  “It saves capital”, he told his clients.  He needed no car, did not have any prevailing vices and slept on a woven mat.  His meals were obtained by barter- his flowers, gratis, to local restaurateurs, in exchange for small meals:  Simple Tony, simple diet.

My brother pulls into the Flower Mart, right around 4 A.M.  Mr. Ribeiro is up and at ’em, with the rows of pots and vases 2/3 full- ahead of the 5 o’clock opening.  “Buon giorno, young Castaldo”, he chirps at Sonny.  “Back at ya, signor”, brother responds, while plopping the sacks of mulch on their customary pallets, “Pop says it’ll be two and  a quarter.”

“Tell your father I’ll need to settle with him on the First, Santino.  Things are a bit tight, this third week of August.”  Sonny massages his chin, turning a flinty eye towards the flower vendor.  “Okay, Mr. Ribeiro, that’s what my Papa figured you’d say.  Guess there’s no mulch until September 1.”  Santino, my hulking brother, alley-oops the mulch back into his truck.

He doesn’t feel the cudgel that knocks him cold.  My hulking brother is found, unconscious, in the cab of his otherwise empty truck, at 7 A.M., at Pier 26, in the Inner Harbor.

Simple Tony Ribeiro is not quite so simple.

Lucky

4

There are no words that can fully describe my disgust and anger at the way the filth of sexual violence is deepening, in too many parts of the world. That it is being defended at all is even more disdainful.

Megha's World

This poem is fifth in the anthology of poems based on Social Evils.

Please read the previous ones here

  1. Rape is a severely under-reported crime with surveys showing dark figures of up to 91.6% going unreported.
  2. A United Nations statistical report compiled from government sources showed that more than 250,000 cases of rape or attempted rape were recorded by police annually. The reported data covered 65 countries.
  3. 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).
  4. Every 98 seconds another American is sexually assaulted.

I have seen how the definition of this heinous act has degraded over the years.Initially, just being raped was a taint to someone soul and body and now as the humanity degrades further and flushes the morals down the drain even more, just being alive after being raped is considered “lucky”. So where are we heading?

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Out of Water

19

April 15, 2018, Tempe-

I felt like a fish out of water,

yesterday and today.

It’s not that

the place is awful.

It’s quite beautiful here.

It’s not that

the people are disagreeable.

Even in expressing

an alternate opinion,

my fellow Baha’is

are quite loving.

No, the problem was,

I left my do Terra supplements

at home.

These make all the difference,

in my body chemistry.

(Two hours later, in Prescott, I am back on an even keel.  This is not a mistake I’ll make again!)