The Eve’s Eve


October 31, 2020-

Some nights bring almost an altered state of consciousness, even when one has not indulged in mind-altering substances. Last night was one of those nights.

Hallowe’en (All Hallows Eve) is one of those evenings which has grown so much in popularity, that it has its own Eve-especially when it falls on a Saturday or Sunday. So, yesterday featured many people in workplaces, in costume.

After a quotidian day of paying rent and bills, it was time to head over the mountain, to Synergy, where the Friday musical gathering, these days, typically offers a more balanced energy than the testosterone fests of Saturday night. It was anything but disappointing.

The Real– At first, it was a quiet affair, with a few of us musing about the need for both social companionship and for space to recover from a dissolved relationship, as one of my young friends is experiencing now.

The venerable drummer came in first, almost as a herald. We exchanged thoughts about the general atmosphere of the community. He allowed as how he missed the presence of children, in the transitory neighbourhood, in which he lives.

The flood tide of people came in, in wavelets of 3 or 4, first sitting and engaging in several conversations, whilst sipping their drinks and nibbling artisan chocolate or cookies. The music began in the back, and I stood tapping on the door sill, for want of another instrument. When the owner of a cajon drum left it and went away for a while, I borrowed it and joined in accompaniment to two guitar players and a flautist. Upon her return, and subsequent departure with the cajon, I used a table top for a while. This let me know that I need to get a drum of my own-preferably before my next visit to Synergy.

Going into the front room, I sat in a swivel chair, and fell into a meditative state, whilst still tapping in unison with the rising crescendo of a group that had gathered in the area outside the shop. So much joyful noise, being made by loving beings, and I have not felt this level of positive energy in a large group, since the Convergence at Arcosanti, in September, 2018.

I left, around 11 p.m., as an hour’s drive homeward remained. One of these times, I will spend the night in a small motel not far from Synergy, and thus be part of the gathering until it is finished. The drive home was serene and uneventful, but for a brief stop by a police officer who was doing sobriety checks.

The Dream– Sedona, Bisbee and Boulder, Colorado mashed up, as I was sitting in my car at a curb. A man and his little daughter got in the back seat, thinking I was an Uber driver. They asked me to take them down an alley. When I stopped to wait for another vehicle that was backing up, I turned around and there was another man sitting by himself in the back seat. I asked what had happened to the other man and little girl. He said, “They got out to go to the grocery store. Could you take me to my neighbourhood?”

This was getting interesting, and did not leave me disconcerted. For some reason, though, the road was closed, after a few minutes. I got out and started walking, with the man beside me. Three pit bulls appeared, with one of them leashed, I took the leash and walked the animal, while the other two were alternately licking my hands and playfully tussling with one another. The two unleashed dogs spotted a cart, which had several caged parrots. They headed towards the cart, but I called out to them, while Passenger # 2 just stood, staring blankly into space. The leashed dog followed my command to stay away from the cart, and just before one of the others got to one of the parrots, a window opened, from a room overlooking the street. A small boy called to the parrots, startling the pit bulls. A light came on, the front door opened, and a robust man came out, speaking firmly to the dogs, in Spanish, and holding a hose, from which he shot water towards them.

I received a call from Uber, saying a small amount had been paid them electronically. I explained that I was not an Uber driver, and had no idea which of the two parties who sat in my car would have made that payment. By then, the stoner had disappeared, but along came the first man and his daughter, apologizing for their abrupt disappearance, while he asked for his $40 back. When we walked back to my car, the owner of the three pit bulls came and apologetically took his animals back. I looked in my cup holder and there was $40, along with a credit card receipt, for $14.78. The dream ended, then and there.

It must have been the chocolate beverage that I had at Synergy. Please, though, if you have pit bulls, keep them away from othe rpeople’s parrots.

Respite, Loss and the Cusp of A Birth Month


October 30, 2020-

I have a day off, and am using it to take care of several loose ends- not the least of which was returning the classroom key that I had pocketed yesterday morning, and promptly forgot.

It is a crisp, mild morning, here in Prescott-with a forecast that the weather will remain so, through next Friday-after which cold, but still dry, weather will predominate.

A woman, who I could fairly call the Angel of Manhattan, passed on, early this morning. She was the mother of a cherished friend and colleague here, and I had the honour of meeting her twice, on her visits to Prescott. She was an intensely active worker in New York Public Schools, during her working years, and treated all her charges as her own children-which is the idea, when one works with kids. In the end, she was graced by her biological children at her side, and went to her Lord, in her sleep.

People in Izmir, Turkey and Samos, Greece were not so graced. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that ravaged the southeast Aegean, earlier today, left 12 dead and nearly 400 injured in Turkey, with 2 dead and scores of others injured in Samos. This occurred around the same time as the latest in a series of “minor” quakes took place west of New Delhi and in India’s northeast. There were no reports of casualties, from the Indian tremors. Nonetheless, changes of season tend to bring an uptick in serious earthquakes and the actual tsunami that occurred in the Aegean harkens back to the horrific event of December 26, 2004- when the entire Indian Ocean basin was ravaged.

The last two days of October find me feeling like the coming month, leading up to my eighth decade, will be especially purpose-driven. All the plans I described in an earlier post seem to be still on, with the addition of possible jury duty, from Tuesday-Friday of next week. It would be my first such experience, as all previous summonses have ended up being canceled, at the last minute. Stay tuned.



October 29, 2020-

No ssoner had I written yesterday’s plaint, than I listened to a trusted cosmic adviser, saying, in no uncertain terms, to not take things personally-as it is a waste of time and energy. This person has been right on point, in the seven months that I have listened to and read her daily and weekly obeservations. Indeed, for the most part, I have maintained progress in tidying up dirty corners, smoothing jagged edges and casting baggage aside.

I look back at some life lessons that came my way, well before the losses, and the gains, of the decade just past. In each case, I had a sign to go in a certain direction, ignored it and ended up both losing focus and wasting both my, and other people’s time. There is nothing to be gained from rehashing the details here, but I have learned, especially since 2013, to not go counterclockwise, when the reverse is shown me by my spirit guides.

It has thus been a far more productive life-and certainly less stressful, than at so many earlier points along the way. I expect this will continue, and probably accelerate, in some ways. Certainly, the past few weeks have shown me how I might have been a far better teacher, all those years ago, and in the 2000s. Finally knowing to foster the thinking process, rather than focusing on cramming content, leads me to apologize, here, to anyone who may have been disserved by my hobbled efforts. My current students, who change every so many days, are certainly the better off.

My friendships have been genuine and heartfelt, only stymied by a few short periods of grief-induced detours. These, again, would have been avoided, had I listened to my spirit guides.

So the accent will again be on the positive, here; there being plenty of negativity elsewhere.

Omaha, etc.


October 28, 2020-

I am now 69 years, 11 months of age. The most transformative decade of my life is almost ready to give way to a time which is bound to be even more transformative.

I wrote, yesterday, about children and elders deserving to be valued by everyone in their community. So, it was with great consternation that I learned of thirty or so people stranded in bitter cold, after a political rally in Omaha, last night. Granted, there was a storm and it was hard to navigate icy roads, but this was Omaha-where such things happen regularly. The well-being of children and seniors should have been taken into account-before the rally even started. Let the blame fall where it belongs, but I hope there are, finally, lessons learned- and that nobody ends up dying from it.

Closer to the everyday ground, what is it with people who accost strangers in stores, and demand attention, by blocking the stranger’s path-all the while not observing physical distance and breathing all over the items the stranger(s) are trying to purchase? I am not asking for myself, but for those who have had difficulty, of late, with rude people standing in front of them, and refusing requests to be excused. I have a hard time with passive-aggressive folks, in the first place, and have gotten better at (nicely, at first) calling them out.

My hope and prayer is that these cases of viewing other people as unimportant will NOT result in acts of violent retribution.

These Are What Matter


October 27, 2020-

A “new poll” chirpily predicted a “surprise Republican blowout”, next Tuesday.

I don’t care.

What matters is what happens afterward. Regardless of whether this poll is genuine, or just a fabrication, designed to “make the liberals cry again”, the fact remains that, on Wednesday, November 4, on December 9 and again on January 21, we are each going to be essentially the same people we were, before the voting took place.

The thing that matters most is that no one loses heart. There are universal truths, with which it seems all people of good will ought be comfortable:

All life is sacred;

Everyone bleeds the same;

Calling another person a derogatory name, does not make it so;

Everyone is worthy of being treated with respect;

No one person, or group, is entitled to lord themselves over others;

Children are worthy of being loved and nurtured by everyone in their community;

Elders are worthy of being treasured and safeguarded by everyone in their community;

Our planet, and its life forces, deserve good stewardship, not ravaging for the sake of making more money than the maker knows how to handle;

All knowledge comes from the same Source-and it is not a human one.

One Storm Has Passed


October 26, 2020-

It was forecast, last week, that we would have some rain and/or snow today. This being Prescott, in a La Nina year, that didn’t happen. Up country did get some snow, and for those of us downriver, that is a secondary comfort.

That storm has gone on towards the Plains. There will be several others, in mid-November and afterward. Meanwhile, the storm of COVID continues, with more people getting infected, nationwide-and around Arizona. I maintain my protocol and keep my immune system strong.

There will be a series of storms over how Justice-designate Amy Barrett will vote on any number of issues, well before any vote is taken by the Supreme Court. I repeat my own appeal: What sort of world do you wish to leave to your children, Madame Justice? A world in which conceived children are protected, even if they, like me, have additional needs, is a fine one-AND it should be a world in which all mothers and all abortion survivors, are envelped in love and recovery.

Health care is a human right. Pre-existing conditions should never be a pretext for denying care, because of money. If that had never been the case, Penny might still be here, As it is, a dear friend, in Texas, is seeing the love of her life suffer, because his physician will not treat his illness; nor will a laboratory allow him to enter their facility, to test his blood. Ethics has taken a holiday, it seems.

Voting is a right, for ALL adult citizens, including those of colour; including those who espouse a philosophy that disagrees with that of the sitting president. I hope the Supreme Court will remember that, when they are again asked to curb voting in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, later this week. Certainly, the converse is also true-anyone is as free to vote for the sitting president, as they are to vote for either one of his principal opponents.

Everyone who is created is a child of God. That a person may not fit the mould set by an exlusive, exclusionary group of human beings, does nothing to cancel out his/her humanity. We have had this back-and-forth, for as long as humans have been on this planet. Other intelligent beings-such as dolphins and elephants, practice exclusion and are given to bullying. We, humans, are a cut above, and it’s high time we act like it. I have had to set a few people outside my circle, for reasons of self-preservation. It would not take all that much, for them to be welcomed back in-and in any case, I will never seek to deny them their basic rights.

I say this, to those I love dearly, but who are making the case for punishing people whose sexual orientations are not the same as theirs, or mine. It does not fall to any of us, to act as arbiters of private behaviour. We can, and should, protect the innocent from the nefarious-but beyond that, adults engaged in private behaviour that harms no one else, should be left alone.

These storms will continue to rage, and I stand firm until they pass.

Saving Grace


October 25, 2020-

“An ant has no quarrel with a boot.”- Tom Hiddleston, as Loki, in “The Avengers”.

A fair number of first-time voters, across the country, who are weighing social issues, are finding themselves wanting to “stay the course”. There was a time, when I thought that such an approach was prudent, as the incumbent surely knew what was best for the nation, and the nation already knew the incumbent.

It’s been several years since I have taken that view, but no matter. Every generation has to find their own voice. All the same, it is crucial to weigh the chances of pursuing dreams, both individually and collectively, given one outcome, as opposed to the other.

The rub comes when one takes the measure of his/her relative worth and power, in comparison to those of the State. There are the David/Goliath model and “We are the State, and the State is us” point of view. In the first, as can be surmised, a fearless individual, or small group, takes on a power that either practices division or arranges affairs in such a way that the strength of individuals is seemingly eroded. In the second, so well-practiced by Fascists and Communists, alike, during the mid-Twentieth Century, and still de rigeur in China, North Korea and a few other countries, there is an oddly-skewed sense of patriotism, which goes beyond flying a nation’s flag and supporting a just government, in a healthy way.

Our country’s saving grace is its Constitution, which has pulled us back from ruin, on three separate occasions: The War of 1812, the Civil War and the Watergate Crisis. My fervent hope is that the Constitution will do so again, regardless of who wins next week’s election, and regardless of how loudly the opposing sides may continue to react to one another. Our Constitution has inculcated, in the American character, a definite sense that the dignity of the individual is paramount and that equality is a clearly-established, if ever-evolving, tenet of this nation’s fabric.



October 24, 2020-

Thoughts on a day well-spent, and the memories conjured:

The young man reflected on times recently endured,

as we rode to and from his former home.

The tempest has calmed,

everywhere but in his memory.

Progress, though, is an insistent taskmaster,

and will chase his storms away.

A long ago student of mine

played story-songs,

to a transient audience,

coming and going in the evening coolness.

He learned more,

outside of the school where we shared

frustration and challenge,

dealing with the antiquated system

and its remnants.

The tempests of racism and false superiority

still cause pain in his heart.

So long ago, yet still irksome

in my heart, as well.

I recall the storms which tossed

the lives of innocent children,

just by reason of their indigenous heritage,

seen as a threat,

to the self-styled dominant culture.

Live music brings to mind,

all you could have achieved,

little one.

You would have been thirty, this year,

perhaps with a legacy

of having walked barefoot as a teenager,

having gone to the college of your choice,

and having given full vent to all your musical passions.

Maybe you would have been guided down the aisle,

leaving the first loving man in your life,

for another, forever love.

You would have made a soulful, loving Mommy.

Most importantly, you would have been a powerful force,

in whatever filed your adult self chose to pursue.

The tempest in another person’s life

led to all those dreams, being snuffed out,

when you were only six.

Tempests raged, in my own true love’s life,

as other storms raged in mine.

We traded storms, and came through a few,

as onlookers clucked and tut-tutted,

with no true understanding,

of the love that guided us,

to a measure of calm and certitude.

Let the tempest that rages now,

in the life of a sorely-tried nation,

find its way to being settled.

Peace shall come to the people.

Greetings and Salutations


October 23, 2020-

I finished up at Liberty Traditional School,this afternoon, taking care of odds and ends, once the testing was done. There were no lost children today, so I was out the door on time.

A phenomenon that I first encountered some years ago, in Colorado, seems to be increasing in frequency, around here lately: People saying hello to one another, or asking how I’m doing, five minutes after they said hello, or asked the last time.

I am curious about this. It is an extension of common courtesy, yet it seems a bit of overkill. Are our memories shorter? Is someone anxious, that maybe we won’t see each other again, after less than an hour? Are we just not paying attention to whom we are speaking? This doesn’t just happen at work. I noticed it this evening, at the gym.

Another phenomenon that has seemingly increased is the practice of daily, almost mandatory, greetings online. This is not particularly troublesome, either, but it does have an undertone of anxiety-that unless I greet each person, every single day, it will seem to them as if I’ve forgotten them.

There are people with whom I haven’t spoken in months, who I will never forget and for whom I pray daily. Time to relax, my friends.

Most Essential


October 22,2020-

This year was supposed to be one in which I spent a goodly amount of time wending my way around the Pacific Northwest, Canada and the northern tier of states, from Maine to Montana.

Instead, COVID, hurricanes and just a general sense of being present here at Home Base came to the fore. I am grateful for all the experiences, from close to home ( in some local schools and as an online host for Baha’i events) and in Hurricane Alley (Red Cross disaster responses in Louisiana and Texas).

Nowhere do I feel more useful, though, than when making sure that little ones are guided to the right, safe place-especially at the end of the day, when it’s bus or parent pick-up time, That has happened twice in three days, just because it’s all new to our five-year-olds. It breaks my heart that they should feel ashamed for needing help with learning this routine.

The most essential thing is for human beings to feel safe, especially in what, for them, are novel experiences.