Chapter 67


November 28, 2017, Prescott-

Two events occupied my time, this evening,

even as a creeping fatigue occupied my body.

The first was a  tableau of non-profit organizations,

one of which I am deeply connected:  Prescott Farmers Market.

The two young ladies who oversee it are like daughters to me,

never mind that their own fathers are fine men.

I made contact with several other NPO’s.

One was represented by a man with a handshake like a vise-grip.

He’s occupied with reaching out to fatherless boys,

so that grip is a good thing.

Another was represented by a man whose mind was elsewhere.

I spent a few minutes with him, anyway.

An hour later and eight miles away,

I joined an interfaith devotional.

The hostess served up a German chocolate cake,

complemented by another friend’s homemade Green Tea ice cream.

The hostess led a singalong,

which, to me, is best spent listening to her megaton voice.

“Happy Birthday”, though, was a genuine group effort.

I was starting to fade,

when it came my duty to cut the cake,

and was gently reminded of this.

Fade-out didn’t hit, full force,

until my head hit the pillow,

forty minutes after I bid my friends

thank you and good night.

Chapter 67 began

with a reminder of how much

I’m loved here,

and how fallible we each remain.

Sixty-Six for Sixty Six, Part LXVI: Days of Earnestness


November 22-26, 2017, across Arizona-

I cannot not serve others, even on holiday.  I am hard-wired to look for how best to relieve another’s pain and ennui, while finally having learned, thanks to my blessed departed wife, how to involve the other person in the solution to that suffering and ennui.

It comes to me, as to where I should go, on a given day, and who I should visit.  On Wednesday, with no prior schedule, I went out to Superior, to see my friends at Sun Flour Market.  I learned that my friend, whom I felt as if I’ve known forever, had left, to pursue other ventures.  I learned that my friend, who owns the enterprise, is facing a great personal challenge and that my unexpected visit, along with those of a few other friends, was most comforting.  No journey is ever wasted.

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, was spent with my best friend and several of her family members.  It’s always a blessing to be with this woman, and my favourite holiday was no exception.  One of the other men carved the turkey, but I got the best job- trimming all the meat off the carcass, after dinner.  That, to me, has always been the most satisfying task- guaranteeing that there is plenty of meat for many a meal to come.

Friday morning, I went down to Phoenix, and visited a long-time friend who is entering the vacation rental business.  Here is a photo of the house in question.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

If interested in a Phoenix getaway, check this one out:

After looking over the house and yard, I headed up to Cave Creek, lunch at Local Jonny’s and a couple of hours of hiking at Spur Cross Ranch Preserve.  I will have more to say, and show, about this lovely expanse, in a few posts from now, but here are a couple of scenes of Spur Cross Trail and its offshoots.


Above is an oasis, built along Cottonwood Wash.

This is A’s stone ruin, which he built with his mom and grandma.


Here is a Huhugam mano and metate, from the 11th Century.


Spur Cross will see me again, soon.

Saturday morning found me up early and headed out the door by 6:30. A stop fro breakfast at Verde Cafe, Camp Verde, got me well-set for the rest of the drive to Native American Baha’i Institute, at Burntwater, on the Navajo Nation.  The occasion was the Light of Unity Art and Music Festival.  I bought a few things, and took several photos, mostly in low light.  The power was in the music and in the accompanying dance.  Here are a few scenes of the power that radiated outward.  Diversio,  The Treasure Crew and the venerable Benally family laid down that power.








There is unstoppable power in unity.  I haven’t been up to visit the Dineh as often as I might.  My role is increasingly cast in Prescott and vicinity, but as another friend remarked, this afternoon, distance to a friend’s house is ever small.  I will support these great efforts as best I can.

Sunday, I happened over to my best friend’s sister’s house, and ordered a Christmas gift, as she is a rep for a nationally-known cosmetics firm.  This took a couple of hours, well-spent, discussing a variety of subjects, around the display table.

Now, it’s back to work and a satisfying routine.  When I wake up, I will be 67, and a whole new set of expectations come with that seemingly artificial renewal.


Friends Never Leave


November 26, 2017, Prescott- 

I admit it, I am behind the 8-ball on posts about this weekend, as far as my trips to Cave Creek, Phoenix and the Festival of Light and Unity at Native American Baha’i Institute are concerned.

It’s late, and I had a ton of stuff with which to deal today.  So, let me briefly deal with the most important item.

Lest a couple of my dearest friends get the feeling that I am trying to join them at the hip- rest assured:  You will see a bit less of me, over the next several days, except for when you WANT me to be around.  Those whom I haven’t seen, for a few days, weeks or months:  Well, if you are at the weekend events that Prescott is having, over the next three fins de semaine, we may well find each other close at hand.

My take is that friends are ever in one another’s heart, and so even if the physical or verbal contact doesn’t happen for a good long while, there are hundreds of people who go through my mind and heart, in the course of a day.

Now, I must sleep- as the work week begins in earnest, faster than one might think.

Thoughts on A Thanksgiving Just Past, and On Black Friday


November 24, 2017, Prescott-

Why do I wake in a state of love?

Perhaps it’s because the alternative

is nothing but a debilitating illusion.

I was treated to a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner,

courtesy of my hard-working,

always conscientious

best friend,

and her younger daughter,

this daughter’s boyfriend

and BF’s middle sister.

I had the pleasure of

helping out,

before and after the meal.

Helping always makes

me feel a part of the lives

of those around me.

Thanksgiving has its

roots in our primal need,

as creatures,

to praise our Creator.

The Konda Reddy people,

of southern India,

praise their Lord,

when the wild mango ripens.

The Zuni, of western New Mexico,

offer thanks, each December,

by blessing the houses that

have been built or renovated,

during the course of the year.

The wise among us,

do similar things,

once a year.

They also offer thanks,

first thing in the morning

and last thing at night.

Thanksgiving is not

imposed by conquerors.

It is a gift of the heart.

The sweep of commerce,

leaving little sacred,

in its wake,

screams “DEALS!”,

even before one’s

heavenly meal,

is a thing of the past.

Again, today,

I think I’ll pass.



November 23, 2017, Prescott-

The day set aside

for giving thanks

as family,

has not failed me,

for a good many years.

All my married life,

we had blessed meals,

with a couple of minor mishaps,

here and there,

which never quite

detracted from the

overall amazing meals,

which we prepared.

about two-thirds

of the time.

The years of widowhood,

have sometimes seen me

the guest of our Navy,

enjoying copious amounts

of well-prepared food,

or my being somewhat

a guide to the splendours

of Julian Cafe.

This year, my son

is in Korea.

I am here,

and most fortunate

to have a fine chef

as a very special friend.

Her daughter is following


in those culinary


What my friend does,

she does with love in her heart.

So, it went

that one of the most bountiful

days of the year,

was once again blessed.




November 22, 2017, Superior, AZ-

Standards were set,

then protested,

and ignored.

Protests were made,

and overruled.

There is freedom,

in obedience,

when rules are ethical

and standards are

well within reason.

A perfect place,

a desirable site,


and honours

its environment.

These are lessons

that a kind soul

tried to impart.

Now, the kind soul

faces unforeseen


of  a different sort.

I’m glad I came here,

to be of comfort.

Smacked Down, Rebound


November 21, 2017, Prescott-

I was told that I am unqualified to work with international students.

This, after 5 years of working with Korean students, albeit 25-30 years ago, at the university level.

I have to remember, there are two types of unqualified:  Under, and over.

The people running the corporation that minds these students prefer housewives and unemployed retirees, so I am underqualified, in those respects.  They also prefer people who speak Mandarin, and I am definitely not filling that bill.

Getting smacked down by people of other points of view stings only as long as you let it.

My rebound is my writing, so I need to stop making excuses and set the time aside to put one or two books together.  Even if sales are initially spotty, the money that comes in will equal whatever might have come from this other position.  Besides, who knows?  Circumstances in my life show signs of changing.  Life might well have gotten in the way of working for the corporation.  Everything happens for a reason.

Blessed Intentions


November 19, 2017, Paulden, AZ-

I spent the better part of today at a small intentional community, in this mostly agricultural, unincorporated town, in northern Yavapai County.  Paulden is due west of Sedona, and despite being sans Red Rocks, it has a good deal of its eastern neighbour’s vibes.  These have drawn many people whose goal is to live as close to the land as possible.

Dharma Family Farm is made up of six adults and several children, living in conscious connection with the tall grass prairie that is found between the various small mountain ranges of western and southern Yavapai County and the Verde and Agua Fria Rivers to the east.

I met most of them last week, at Convergence, and had the pleasure of taking breakfast with them, last Sunday.  This led to an invitation to visit their farm and join them at table.  So, I took up that offer, this afternoon and evening.

Conversation with three of the farmers ranged on several matters, from not tilling the soil and understanding the nature of weeds, to the worth of intentional communities.  The recognition that rent and mortgage derive from the European manorial system, and earlier, from imperial mindsets in places as far afield as China and Egypt, led to one person’s opinion that having a roof over one’s head should not require half, or more, of one’s income.

It’d be really nice if that were not my reality, or that of millions of others, around the world.  The alternative, gift or trade economy as a means by which to live, is the basis for many intentional communities.  At Dharma, everyone has a set of responsibilities, which they undertake, daily and heartily, in good faith, in exchange for simple but comfortable housing.  Each adult accepts responsibility for the well-being of the children.  There is a group meeting,  in advance of any major event, and a planning board, with an interesting beehive motif, sits behind the common dining table.

If some of this sounds like the communes of the 1960’s and ’70’s, there are features of those entities, such as vegetarianism and natural healing. Fidelity between marriage partners is very definite at Dharma, however, and modesty in dress is practiced by all adults, and children of school age.  Hygiene is excellent.

Here are a few scenes of Dharma Family Farm, bearing in mind that this is the time when preparations are being made for the winter months.


This is a bottle wall.  Glass bottles help prevent cement from cracking.20171119_154703[1]

Artwork is random and eclectic.  I like the creativity of the residents in this secondary house.


Here’s the supply yard. EVERYTHING in this lot will be put to good use, especially during the winter and spring repair and planting seasons.


This is Holly, her youngest daughter, Lunaya, and two of their four dogs.  Holly  and her mate, Landen, were the first of the current group of residents to come to Dharma.


I came away with renewed respect for people in intentional communities.  Their work ethic is as good  as, if not better than, that of many wage and salaried workers, in the wider world.  Their children are well-fed, feel emotionally secure and, from infancy, are not held back from doing tasks that their bodies and motor skills can handle.   There is full equality between the genders, and nobody divides labour, of any kind, by stereotype.   Home schooling is the preferred vehicle for education.  This last would give me a skill to offer, if I pursue a period of itinerant service, following my retirement from my current work, three years hence, as I am sure that other intentional communities may have such needs. Indeed, I spent thirty minutes with a very meticulous two-year-old, assembling a tower from the plastic blocks I had brought as a gift to the children.

I will be back at Dharma, several times, over the next three years, at least.  Life is good, where there is love and devotion.


Knighthood and Benighthood


November 18, 2017, Prescott-

Depending on who you ask,

Charles Manson is dead,

or “not dead, it’s a liberal hoax”.

Depending on who you ask,

Bill Clinton was a good President,

or a ravenous cad,

or maybe both.

Depending on who you ask,

Woody Allen was a fine filmmaker,

or a disgusting rake,

or, again, one and the same.

Both, and.

How many of us,

have transgressed,

against someone,

or many someones,

in the days of adolescence,

in times of emotional stress,

or of moral drift.

Is it a matter of degree,

or a matter of having

overcome and transcended,

the lower nature.

We all have duality.

Some refer to that

as Original Sin.

Others brush it off,

as “his peccadilloes”.

The fact remains,

when one transgresses

the bounds of good behaviour,

of kindness,

of respect,

of dignity,

someone else is hurt,

and often, grievously.

There are no free passes,

no pats on the head,

or “It’s okay, I’ll get over it.”

I’ve felt shame before,

and made amends,

the best I could.

It made no difference,

that they were words,

or mild gestures.

Hurt is hurt,

and I was/am

deeply sorry.

What about the others?

Are they sorry?

Have they,

will they,

make amends?

Has so and so,

who trolled young girls,

in the 1970’s and ’80’s,

been a chaste and loyal husband,

these past 30 years?

Has a man who dabbled in porn,

when his “beloved”

was asleep,

faced and overcome

his afflictive addiction?

Has a woman who preached

Faith, by day,

and romped with men,

by night,

at last chosen her Lord

over her lust?

Many famous names

have been bandied about,

of late.

Fame sheds light

on darkness,

but where are

those of us,

who live

lives that are

not public?

Are we knighted,

or benighted?




November 16, 2017, Prescott-

Today marks the fortieth anniversary of my first day as a full-time educator.  The two-year stint, in a rural area of central Maine, was far from my finest tour of duty, but it was a start.  People there would not remember me fondly, but they may as well know that most of my demons have been cast.

On another note, I have been in touch with my son, regarding the earthquake in P’ohang, South Korea, about two hours drive from his city of Busan.  He’s fine, as is his girlfriend.  I follow such things with alacrity, however, as any parent would.

I am feeling stirrings of outrage, at the ruling allowing imports of elephant parts from Zimbabwe and Zambia, by trophy hunters.  This is too obvious a ploy to let well-connected slaughter tourists have their way.  There should be no more pretense that this helps conserve species.

Then, there is the “accidental” spill of thousands of gallons of crude oil, from the Keystone Pipeline, in northeastern South Dakota.  Wow, who saw that coming?

Both parties, and all points on the political spectrum, have personages who have abused women;  no surprise here either.  Ego knows no ideology.  At least, a few people, Sen. Franken and Louis CK, are willing to take their lickings.  Many more, myself included, have had to undergo a considerable measure of emotional growth, in this regard.  In my case, it’s been a very lengthy process, though I have not, once, forced my attentions on anyone or sought to avoid responsibility for making anyone uncomfortable.  We have made some progress as a society, but not treating people as objects is an area of several segments and one in which each of us must take a measure of responsibility-whether it means changing our attitudes, or encouraging others to change theirs.

So, it’s been a full day, of wide-ranging stirrings in my psyche.