Dribs and Drabs, On A Final March Morning


March 31, 2016, Prescott- I woke this morning, to an insistence from the Universe, that I not move too quickly, at first.  So, the shower was leisurely, a “hit the ground running” job request was declined (Throwing myself together, for a forty-five minute drive, at the last minute, would not have ended well, this morning.)

Some readers think I’m too self-centered.  I guess it can look that way, from a distance.  Truth is, not an hour goes by, that thoughts and prayers aren’t with someone less fortunate.  My thoughts right now are with a young lady whom I regard as a niece, dealing with her second severe loss, in less than a year, and with three young people, in different parts of this continent, whose financial woes are presented as intractable.  While I wish I had the resources to get several people straight, my inner Dave Ramsey gets channeled and I can best send them the spiritual energy to make do with what is, and build from there, as I have made myself do- thanks to two men named Dave.

The March lion is a bit tamer today.  It’s a bit cool, but that will change, drastically, as April arrives.  We’re anticipating temps in the mid-80’s here, next week.  Water conservation, at least in my apartment, continues unabated.

My Reading List for April is,at present:  Continuing, and finishing, “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself:  How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One”, by Dr. Joe Dispenza ( This is a “get out of your comfort zone” book, lent me by a dear friend); “Atlantis:  Insights From A Lost Civilization”, by Shirley Andrews (This one relies on actual science to extrapolate how things were, in that fabled place.); “Marco Polo:  The Journey That Changed The World”, by John Man (also relying on historical records to tell the story of the man who helped get Europe out of its medieval doldrums); “The Billionaire’s Vinegar”, by Benjamin Wallace (This is the last of the books given me, by my paternal uncle, and weaves a classic tale of fraud, perpetrated on a naive and greedy man of means); “All The Light We Cannot See”, by Anthony Doerr (This is a tale of two young people, in the Brittany of World War II, who are brought together, in the most harrowing of circumstances.)  These, and study of a Baha’i text, will take up my reading April.

The rest of today will be getting errands done, and catching up with friends in town.  The lamb is rearing its head, so I must get going.

Out Like A Lion


March 30, 2016, Prescott-  I’ve been pretty busy this week, with work, and a brief foray into the “after work” social gathering scene.  I find it still as shallow as it was when I frequented such gatherings, before Penny came along.  People have their closed groups, and no matter that one or two might invite a newcomer, out of courtesy, it doesn’t take long for the body language to stiffen and the eye contact to move to those familiar faces.

My thoughts went today to the places where, and the people with whom, I feel at home.  Not all are my ever-agreeable supporters.  Some are critics, but they are honest critics, and are often quite helpful.  As my beloved always said, “The opposite of love is indifference”.

In this hour of a March that is headed out like a lion, after treating us to icy wind and a dusting of snow, I want to honour the places that are homes to me, in the West, since it’s been a while.

Prescott and vicinity, Flagstaff, Marana, Tubac, Bisbee, Thatcher, the Sunnyslope area of Phoenix,  Holbrook, Hopi land, Pine Springs, Reno and Carson City, San Diego and vicinity, Dana Point, San Clemente, Lomita, Santa Barbara, Ojai, Ashland (OR), Portland, Spokane, Anacortes, Wrangell, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Afton (WY), Cortez, Boulder, Colorado Springs, San Luis (CO), Socorro, Albuquerque, Truth or Consequences. I can go to any of these places, and there will be a welcoming presence.

I will talk further about my homes in the Midwest, the South, the Northeast, and the rest of the world, in subsequent posts.  The point is, I am ever grateful for all who have reached out, kept faith in me, and not abandoned me out of difference of opinion, hurt feelings, or convenience.

Let’s see whether the March Lion gives way, willingly, to the April Lamb.

Shante’s Dream


March 27, 2016, Marana-  He has only been among us, here in Arizona, for about ten days, along with his two brothers and two sisters.  None of the kids speaks English, and they only know a smattering of French. Swahili is their mainstay.  Shante (SHAN-tay), age 3, and his siblings, have come to us from DR Congo, by way of Tanzania. The children, and their caretakers, joined thirty-four others of us, at a Unity in Diversity musical festival, on this bright, but thankfully breezy and cool, Easter Sunday.

Despite all his family’s travails, Shante walks with a swagger, and a purpose.  His take on life is strictly one day- or one moment- at a time.  That is the joy of being three, nothing has assumed an air of permanence in life, as yet.  He looks up at the tall, well-built drummers, themselves having come here from the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville, speaking just enough Swahili to make the kids feel welcome.  They show Shante their drums, and lift him up, so that he may tap on the skin and feel his own rhythm start to stir.

After a few minutes of this, and a ping-ping, on the keyboard of a Cuban musician, fresh from the city of Holguin (visited by Pope Francis I, last Fall), Shante comes back down, off stage, and lingers by my seat for a bit, then goes along his way, back to be with his sisters.

They take part in a second-round hunt for plastic eggs, filled with jelly beans.  The girls manage to find all remaining eggs, within two minutes of search.  Shante gets his share of the take- four plastic, jelly-bean filled delights.  He eats one jelly bean, and that’s enough.  For a child who has seen, and tasted, little of sweetness, a little bit goes forever.

Shante has his dream- as yet locked behind the door of linguistic disparity, and development.  A three-year-old’s Swahili is, after all, no more proficient than would be his contemporaries’ Norwegian, Spanish, or Kwa Zulu, in other parts of this hard, but exquisite home of ours.  His eyes, though, are scintillating.  This boy is sharp, and will make his way in the world, regardless of circumstances.  He shows interest in the music, whether African, Caribbean or Bluegrass, and dances to whatever tune is being offered.  He examines a blind man’s Australian bush hat, carefully fingering its strap and felt covering, as the patient man abides the probing. He works the crowd, and sizes each of us up, by looking us in the eye, for a minute or two, before moving on to the next person of interest.  He offers a brief opinion of what he has seen and heard, to his oldest brother, who nods in assent and holds Shante close, for a few minutes.

I keep saying this:  We, the elders, are in good hands with the generations that are rising.

Light of the World


March 25, 2016, Prescott-

The Light spoke:  “I came unto you, and offered Myself unto a crucifix,

upon the Plains of Ganges,

and you slumbered.

Later, I showed you Light and Darkness,

and you made them into caricatures.

I then showed you the Eight-Fold Path,

and you found it too complex.

When I came to you, as a Carpenter, a Fisher of Men,

you asked for Barabbas, and worshiped Mithras.

So, I again let Myself be crucified, that you might be saved.

You responded by quarreling, as to which of you heard Me correctly.

I came to you, in a time of darkness, and showed you the ways to

nationhood, and the gathering of knowledge.

You were  most interested in the battle techniques of My generals.

Still, each time I came, there were those who heard the truth.

Their genetic memory was strong enough, that I came yet again,

and through a life of great heartache and sacrifice, I have brought

you the way to unity, a path towards reaching the Day that shall not

be followed by Night.

As you commemorate My prior sacrifice, will you listen to Me now?”

(This is offered as testament to the Truth, which sacrificed Its

Messenger, on this day, some 1,983  years ago.  It has never left us



Trafficking, and Obfuscation


March 24, 2016, Prescott- I watched an episode of a network television show, on my laptop, this evening.  It dealt with the abuse of teenaged girls by a sex-trafficking ring.  The piece was outlandish, on the surface, having, as its antagonists, two powerful members of the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy in New York. The piece was fictitious, yet showed how diligent police work, and an appeal to the humanity of a low-level operative in the ring, gave up the culprits.

It was no surprise, though, that during the early stages of the investigation, the ringleaders turned to obfuscation, to role reversal, and smoke-screening, in their attempts to get out from under the encroaching detectives. This is a common modus operandi  of wrongdoers with means.

This stays in my mind, because yesterday I read an article in the Global Post, an online news magazine I have trusted for several years.  The article takes issue with widespread concern over sex trafficking, specifically in the country of Cambodia. The author quotes an “expert”, who has “lived with the sex workers” in that country, as saying that a Cambodian woman who enlisted the aid of U.S. journalist Nicholas Kristoff, in shining a light on the problem of sex trafficking in her country, was exaggerating, had falsified and embellished her reports, and that making human trafficking a cause celebre was, in the case of Cambodia at least, a misrepresentation of the facts.

This is what the powerful do, when their activities, and the income they derive from those, are threatened:  Obfuscate, discredit and go back to business as usual. Maybe there are plenty of women who choose a life of compensated sexual promiscuity, whether out of economic despair or the sense that this is the only way that they will ever know physical intimacy with a man.  They, however despondent their lot, are not the primary focus of those who have taken up the cause of bringing an end to human trafficking.

The shameful attempt by Global Post to becloud this whole matter will never stop those of us who are committed to ending the imprisonment and torture, to which  thousands of women and children are subjected, world-wide, day by excruciating day.  I urge each person reading this to stand up to those beguiled by their own perceived power and authority, and work to free those, in every nation on Earth, who are held in virtual slavery.

Bruxelles, Mon Amour


March 22, 2016, Prescott-

Bruxelles, mon amour,

I hear your screams

As the hosts of tyranny

Hose your streets with blood.

You welcomed me warmly,

Giving a festival of peace,

French, Flemish, Algerian,

Standing side by side,

As the games of comradeship and hope,

Played out, in front of my eyes.

Paris, mon amour,

I recall your sons and daughters,

Taking time out of their frenetic days,

To help an oft bewildered Americain

Find my way across your arrondissements,

With nary a hint of hauteur, in their demeanours.

Rouen, ma cherie,

I think of all you endured,

As the scene of travesty,

When the Light of All France

Was immolated,

Just a stone’s throw from where

My paternal ancestors were first blessed.

Damascus, my friend,

I have not had the honour of your presence.

Yet, I hear and feel your anguish,

And, yes, I know these horrors are

Not what you wish,

For yourself, nor for the cities

Which weep alongside you.

All my friends and beloved ones,

Know the horrors and cruelty,

Will pass, must pass.

Soon comes the day,

Which will not be followed

By night.

This Singing House


March 20, 2016, Prescott- I had the good fortune, this weekend, of being in two amazing places, locally.  The first was Chapel Rock Conference Center, of which more in a coming post.

Today being Naw-Ruz, the first day of the Baha’i  calendar, as well as an ancient Persian cultural festival (which used to last twelve days, I’m told, in the time of Zoroastrianism), I focus now on our community’s local celebration.

It was held, on this glorious afternoon, at the self-built home of two amazingly inventive and eclectic people, who I have been honoured to call friends, for over twenty years.  Each time I visit here, there are new items either added to the house, inside or out, or in the works, in one studio or another.

When we sat for the devotional part of our celebration, the hostess was asked whether recorded music would be part of the program.  She said “No”, and at that moment, the house itself began its music- in the form of three sets of wind chimes taking turns.

The chimes were not overly clangy, which would have not set a good mood, but gently interspersed our readings.  Afterwards, we had a light meal, which sufficed this one’s appetite for the rest of the day.  Some days are just meant for one meal, supported by snacks.

Here are some scenes of this lovely home, atop a bucolic hill.


Yard art, Prescott


The Seven “S’es” of Naw-Ruz

(See my next post, for a detailed description of this elegant holiday arrangement.)

Here are a couple of the reasons my friends were drawn here, in the first place.  Note the embedded iron ring, atop the crag.

So, another fine year has begun  for us Baha’is.  I wish all my friends north of the Equator a lovely Spring, and all to the south, a bountiful Fall.

The Collision of Two Fears


March 19, 2016, Prescott-  I see  on the news that a large crowd amassed, in front of a Trump rally, in an attempt to make the would-be participants turn back.  This was a bit like asking  a leopard to shed his spots, rather than merely change them.

The whole incident shows what happens when one group of like-minded people become so fearful- of another fearful group- that all reason goes by the boards.  Isn’t this how wars get going, full-on?  The fact is, as I mentioned on a conservative friend’s page, elsewhere:  There is a First Amendment, that allows people to gather, and give voice to their opinions, no matter how odious those might seem to others.

The key is to let them rant, while holding one and all to a civil code that draws the line at violence.  Not letting people speak, because one is afraid of what they might say, is pretty much a guarantee that they will say it more often, and louder.  I think the man who slugged another man, at a rally in N.C., was crossing the line.  Yet, so too, was the mob that blocked traffic in a town west of Phoenix, this afternoon.

I have friends who support a variety of candidates for President.  Each has the right to their opinion, and I, to mine, which I am keeping to myself.  I would not deign to presume that a given person should vote differently than the way they feel.  All I know is, giving in to one’s darkest fears is no way to solve a problem-ever.

Old Sod


March 17, 2016, Prescott- 

Paddy, my brother,

what did you find,

while walking the fair isle’s countryside?

Brigid, dear sister,

it gleamed up at me,

a golden shamrock,

which I’ve brought home to thee.

Paddy, o brother,

I fear that you’ve erred.

The golden stone surely

was meant to be interred.

Brigid, dear sister,

do you mean to say

the sprite named Liam

shall spirit it away?


I sense his presence,

on the roof.

Liam! Stop,

let us have the shamrock.

Sorry, kiddos-


The Moon Is Green


March 16, 2016, Prescott- I’ve had an affection for things Celtic, since long before things Celtic became trendy.  My half-English mother forbade the playing of Irish music in the house, but she’s come around to at least allow its play, on the music channels of her cable service.

My own affection for such is part of a lifelong connection with those who are close to the soil.  So, I feel bonds with the indigenous- not only my Penobscot ancestors on my paternal grandmother’s line, but all Native Americans, Inuits, Siberians, Hawaiians, Australian aboriginals and those whom I called, in my childhood ignorance, “the natives” (tribal Africans).

I associate Celts, ancient Teutons, Slavs and the nomadic peoples of the Eurasian steppe with the land, also.  It seems they ravaged one another, in wave after wave, and usually just as the one group was settling into sedentary life, there came the next horde.

That’s been the way of humanity, since we headed up, out of Africa, and wherever else we may have mastered the art of upright mobility, and spread across the continents.  We have so often looked to the other’s yard, for prosperity- or at least for a change of scene. Indigenous people had these conflicts, too, though when the Europeans came to these shores, with visions of commerce and gain, the American peoples were in the process of establishing a peaceful network of trade routes, from southeast Alaska and the taiga of Canada, to Tierra del Fuego, and so many points in between.  It is highly likely that there was trading between the Aleuts and the people of Japan; between the Greenland Inuit and the peoples of Scotland and Norway (even before Iceland was settled); and, possibly, between the seafaring people of what is now northeast Brazil and the kingdoms of western Africa.   Then, too, nobody could hold a candle to the masters of the ocean:  Those who went east, from the Malay Peninsula, and became the Micronesians and Polynesians, or west, and became the Malagasy.

We face, possibly in my lifetime, if not in my son’s, a decision about the proper use of the resources on our planet’s Moon, then those of at least the near planets of our solar system.  Green- the colour of many of our wardrobes, tomorrow, will continue to have different connotations to different people.  Mean green, or gentle green?  Commerce, at any cost, or careful stewardship?  It seems this has gone on, since Croesus minted his first coins, or even since the nations that pre-dated the Great Flood, if one believes in such things.

Where are you, in this debate?  (My Xangan friends, in particular, please know that I don’t take umbrage at contrary opinions, even if I get a little spirited once in a while.)  Express yourselves, and Erin Go Bragh!