June 1, 2017, Phoenix-
I came here to do two things. First was to deliver a box of books and some food, to a loving, struggling young couple. An entry error on WAZE put me in central Phoenix, whilst their home was in a town several miles to the west. A phone call, a corrected entry and some help from the staff of the apartment complex’s leasing office helped get the job done. Husband is a mechanical innovator, and a true survivor. Wife is a sweet lady, and works tirelessly, as well. I am glad to see how far they have come, as a unit.
My second task was easier: Getting a document for my son. Since that included stopping at Romanelli’s Deli, not far from his alma mater, I was in the best of graces. A delectable sausage and peppers submarine sandwich and purified water set the rest of my afternoon on a good footing. Promise to self: Spinach and baby kale for dinner, tonight! The document was in hand, ten minutes after I filed my request, and the very professional Registrar gave me her business card, so that the process will be even more streamlined, still.
While tooling about my home city of ten years (2001-11), I felt a still aching pull on my spirit. The area in which I spent most of my time was where most of the day-to-day heartache occurred, and the west side was where Penny spent her final days. I know I have to root these feelings out, and not be shy about being in these parts of our blessed Home. There are many good people in the Phoenix area, people who loved us, and were hurt that I moved away. The pain, to me, comes from the anonymity of living in a large city, with so many people who came here to be anonymous.
Anonymity brings out the worst in many. The mentality seems to be: ” I don’t know anyone here, so why remember my manners?” This mindset is hardly limited to Phoenix, or to the Southwest. I’ve seen it elsewhere, wherever there are large numbers of “move-ins”. I tend to think of others, just because it gives meaning to my life. I’d sooner let a headstrong, overwrought person have a small “victory”, or two, if it: a) doesn’t cost me much, in terms of dignity and b) doesn’t give him/her a false sense of entitlement. There are many things in one’s day which are best let happen, rather than having an equally entitled “arbiter” step in and unilaterally make things worse. I trust in the conscience to kick into gear, more often than we give it credit for doing.
So, I feel pretty good about having come here, today, and it wasn’t all that hot outside.