The Power of She


September 29, 2021- Today is my sister’s birthday; tomorrow marks the anniversary of my late wife’s birth. Earlier this month, there occurred the birthdays of our mother and of two very powerful young women, whose full mark has yet to be made, but which will certainly be indelible.

From where does the first lesson about power derive? Boy and girl alike sense that power, in the loving embrace, soothing voice, warm smile and, quite often, the nourishment provided by mother.

The first lessons come from the mind and heart of the most dedicated teacher a child could ever want.

The first reassurance after each of life’s blows, whether they be glancing or crushing, comes from the spirit which gave life in the first place.

This love, this solid rock, stays with a child, long after adulthood has been reached. It is this which sustains throughout fire, flood and famine.

So, in all the world, as much as man or boy look to initiate, procreate and dominate, nothing of substance happens, save for the power of she.

Old Dreams, New Paths


September 28, 2021- Yesterday, thoughts of new bullet points, on a well-worn path, started to materialize. Today, things became clearer.

It is ever more likely that I will have a replacement for my road warrior, soon. When that vehicle arrives, it will be exclusively for work and for journeys within the Southwest and southern California. Travels further afield will be by train or bus, with car rentals taking up the slack, in visits off the beaten track. There will be an occasional airplane flight, as with this coming Thanksgiving, but mostly I will stay earthbound.

Working with children will be a part of life, as long as I am of sound mind and body. The assignments, though, are becoming more selective. No longer will I sign on for work with those whose style is controlling, manipulating or degrading. I’m not talking about students, but about adults.

The same holds for volunteer work. It requires a bit more forbearance, as people in crisis are often at their worst. Nonetheless, I will expect the communication to be clear and will not indulge anyone in games of “gotcha”. Power and control have no place in a healing environment.

The most important aspect of all this is self-care, and towards this end, maintaining my current regimen of natural supplements, as organic a diet as possible, regular exercise and rest when needed is one bullet point that will not change.

The other aspect of self-care is the use of time. I find that I am less oriented towards mandatory attendance at gatherings, lest the organizer be woefully offended, and more towards joining those gatherings at which I am moved to be present, out of genuine interest. Recently, those have included both long-planned events and those more of an impromptu, spontaneous nature.

I fully plan to make my journeys abroad, over the next four or five years, as conditions allow. Most ocean crossings will probably involve air travel, but I am open to journeying by boat or ship, as well. Again, in the spirit of the above paragraph, I make no commitments to being somewhere, out of an odd sense of obligation to online correspondents. Lord knows, COVID has disrupted that whole process, as has the occasional hyperintensity with which some have tried to get my attention.

The whole process is just becoming less frenetic and more organic.

The Glass is Swept…


September 27, 2021-

The quiet voice assured me, “See, your soreness is fading, your range of motion is fine. The car served you well; it is now being broken into re-usable parts. The glass is swept, the tires can be re-sold. The fluids have been drained and the battery is stored safely. Your life is going on, because it must. The bullet points of your mission shall be modified, and the manner in which they are carried out may require different media, but the overall mission is the same. Some friends are cooling in their attitudes towards you because you no longer serve their purposes. Indeed, you probably never did. Others, the ones you see now and then, will stand by you, and you, them, for all time. Be gentle with yourself, as you are with the blessed children. The glass is swept. The body is recovering. The road ahead is clear. ”

Acknowledging Changes


September 26, 2021- Today is another of the birthdays of women who mean the world to me, and which just happen to be clustered in the month of September. I don’t see her all that often, unless it is to support one of her laudable efforts on behalf of our community, as well as of our planet. She is one of dozens of special souls to whom my message is “Do you, and we’ll connect our efforts at the right time”.

The changes that we want to see in the world are those that will benefit everyone who draws breath, and those who will in years, decades, centuries to come. Those changes, of course, start with the ones that are taking place now. Decisions being made far from here, for example, will ripple downward and sideways-especially with regard to the economy. Some of those decisions are being made in a skewed manner, and without consideration to their deeper ramifications. Part of this is due to the fact that the lives of those making the decisions will not be greatly affected by the choices made, at least initially. The decision-makers “have theirs”, so it is no big deal to them, if the ordinary people of the nation have to go without. I refer, as an example, to the blase’ attitude being shown towards the National Debt ceiling.

I have lived a full life, up to now, and can make do with whatever the powers-that-be decide I should. I do, however, take exception to the idea that my son and daughter-in-law, my nieces and nephews, my younger friends, their children (including those yet to be born) and the generations yet to come should suffer because Senator ____________, Representative _____________ and the President are largely concerned with poll numbers and re-election.

I had a vision, early this morning, of my granddaughter (who isn’t even, as yet, conceived)- of how vibrant and talented a person she would be. That image will stay with me for a long time, and will be a good part of the basis for any and all decisions I make, going forward, about the course of my remaining life on Earth. I will also consider the potential needs of her yet unborn sibling(s), of my grandnieces and nephews, of other children close to me (the Sandovals, Schaellings, the kids in my neighbourhood, in the area schools and in the world over). I will consider any child(ren) my yet unmarried young friends might someday have, as well.

All of them matter far more than the re-elections of the elite, especially of those my age and older. Changes are coming, and they will be in the interests of the rising generations.

Full Circle


September 25, 2021- In September, 2011, I returned from a cross-country journey that was soothing in some ways and difficult in others. The stretch of a week or so that followed was a period of waiting for certain payments to be cleared for deposit into my bank account. I was also the owner of two cars: A 2007 Saturn Vue and a 2005 Kia Optima. I chose to keep the Kia, as it was a gift from my father-in-law, and so I sold the Saturn.

Fast forward ten years, almost to the day, and I found myself looking at a 2007 Saturn Vue, in good condition, whose owner is making preliminary moves towards selling it, in advance of a cross-country move. Having, ensured that parts and maintenance are actively available for the vehicle, I am first in line to purchase, once the present owner has no further need of it, come mid-October. Thus, automobile-wise, I will have come full-circle.

There were several “explanations” that come my way, regarding Thursday’s accident: Two workers getting overly concerned about getting to their next jobs; sun glare limiting the vision of both of us; several vehicles converging on the scene at once; a voodoo curse thrown out by someone whose request for monetary assistance was recently turned down. The speculation could go on for a long time, to no avail. My own view is that I should have looked to my left again, and waited a few seconds longer.

The upshot, though, is that once again I am being given a chance to make a certain situation right. I will keep my end of the handshaken agreement and get where I need to go, in the meantime, with a rental car. There are still ‘promises to keep, and miles to go…..’

And After The Ending…..


September 24, 2021- The tough little road warrior took to squealing its displeasure, as soon as I popped the trunk. The alarm, that we all figured was dead, went off and stayed squawking, almost until the trunk was empty. It took less than an hour to clear everything out of the Elantra and transport it back to Home Base. My farewell to Elantra was shortened by the presence of a visibly irritated yard manager, at the body shop to which I had taken it. My friend’s car was taking up much needed space in the yard, so with one last tap on the road warrior’s roof, we left it to its destiny with USAA.

Picking up the rental, which I will pretty much need until the next car is purchased, was quick and easy. Ditto for processing the Transfer of Title and another document. It was the practical end to a strange, dreamlike 36 hours. I looked online, at several used car sites, and knowing the severity of the computer chip shortage, am mentally set for a rather long haul.

The evening was sweeter. I went downtown and joined the local rally for Earth, dubbed Climate Strike. Several friends were present, with a young lady I love as if she were my daughter being one of the leading organizers. I am very proud of her efforts and those of the earnestly involved team. With few, if any, exclusionary statements, the speakers stressed the importance, to every resident of this planet , of making efforts at curbing pollution and taking whatever practical steps that can be taken to ameliorate the daily and intermediate-term effects of climate change-whether it be in the form of extreme heat or extreme cold; whether it means extended drought or an increase in the frequency and severity of storms. The key term here is sustainability.

As I spent time, after the rally, sipping iced tea and enjoying an evening of funky music, at Raven Cafe, Annie and two friends walked in, offered a cheerful greeting and went upstairs to the roof patio. Knowing we have one another’s back, my friends and I also let time flow, being together sometimes and doing our own things, the rest of the time.

My back is slowly but steadily recovering, less stiff today than yesterday and will get better soon.

The Death of Elantra


September 23, 2021- At 7 a.m., this morning, I was three blocks from the place of my work assignment. Stopping at a country intersection, I found the sun glaring intensely as it came up over the horizon. I counted to five, and having looked once in each direction, proceeded northward. The screech of the tires was followed all too swiftly by the crash of the large red truck into Elantra’s rear driver’s side door. It missed me, and missed the gas tank, but airbags deployed and I crawled out the passenger side door. Elantra had met its end.

Five years ago, when my Nissan Altima, already on borrowed time, fizzled and died in front of a gas station in Newtown, CT, I was able with family help to buy a 2013 Hyundai Elantra. The intrepid little car took me across the country and back, five times. Its windows were broken out, in 2018, when someone who had been tracking me, in Montreal, wanted my nearly dead computer. Quick action by my insurance carrier got the windows fixed, and I was able to get back back into the United States with no trouble and go on to attend a major family wedding.

Elantra took me back and forth, twice, this summer alone. I may well seek to replace it with another Hyundai, once the insurance paperwork is done and the money part is settled. There was nothing more than a slightly bent bumper on the truck and the police noted the sun factor, though we all concurred that I should, somehow, have been able to see the truck coming, before entering the intersection.

Stuff happens, and each time, another lesson is registered. From now on, I will count to ten and look right and left twice, on even the most countrified of roads, as is already the practice in the city.

As for me, I am home and feeling a bit sore, but better than I was before the chiropractor treated me, this afternoon. Elantra will be missed, but it was time.

More About the Circle


September 22, 2021- The pleas were almost incessant, but in the end, they were about maintaining a fragmented, capricious view of the world. They were a biproduct of the colonial mentality-that those perceived as rich should help a small number of those who regard themselves as poor, to become a new elite.

In the unbroken circle which I inhabit, there is no trading one elite for another, or for simply welcoming a select few into some kind of upper echelon-especially since I have no interest in occupying that echelon, myself. I am only about the kind of family bonds that are treasured by the sincere among conservatives and progressives alike- and I know plenty of people across the spectrum who hold that ethic dear. I am only about the kind of community bonds that open the door to all of good will, regardless of any physical trait, ethnicity or method of worshipping the Creator. I am only about empowering children and youth, from where we may find them to the point where they might thrive on their own and achieve their dreams in an authentic manner.

Two things happened today: First, Dr. Donald Streets, an international educator, whom I knew for many years, was laid to rest, after a long life of promoting holistic, empowerment-oriented education-in the United States, Canada, and the Czech Republic. He is out of pain now, and knows how much his work achieved.

The second thing, infinitesimal in the Universe, but huge to one person, was that the humble soul, sitting on a curb with his dog and a splayed out deck of cards, got a fresh muffin from a passerby. It was the first food he’d had in two days.

Life plays out, and changes form, in many wondrous ways.

The Circle Is Unbroken


September 21, 2021- After stopping by Prescott College’s Crossroads Cafe, for a small lunch and time in the Meditation Garden, I drove past a small, but noisy, group of ultraconservatives, one of whom briefly stepped out into the street and blocked traffic, prompting some genius on the other end of the spectrum to stop his vehicle and offer a one-finger salute. I was four cars back, just wanting to get back to Home Base, and so waited the three extra minutes to do so. No harm, despite the foul.

I am more of a progressive and inclusive bent, though being so through a faith-based lens. Thus, I find gifts from both sides of the continuum, and base my own philosophy of life accordingly.

To wit: Life begins at conception, and life is sacred. Thus, I maintain that abortion is a tragic act, should not be the basis for either enterprise or have its victims’ remains used for scientific research, without the express and informed consent of the surviving, grieving family-any more than any other deceased person. The mother of the child does have a choice, and invariably, I hope she chooses life.

That same life that is being defended by conservatives does NOT lose value, as the person gets older. So, the support for suffering people being exhibited by those on the Left is no less valid than the concern shown for pre-born people by those on the Right. The hollow hue and cry about “reckless spending” by some in Congress should fool no one. Money can be found, and most of it through means already detailed by the proponents of the large-scale efforts. The whole obstructionist effort is being made for no other reason than to hold onto personal power. We may not need cradle-to-grave socialism, at the expense of personal and collective self-discipline and incentives to achieve, but we certainly need efforts to lift up those whose very sense of self-worth has been decimated by those whose attitude is : “I’ve got mine, pal, so suck it up.” (Disclosure: I did sever ties today, with someone in another country whose whole premise for friendship was to get me to fund his children’s private school education. Every child on the planet deserves an education, but no one is entitled to derive their family’s extraneous well-being on the backs of others. If that makes me a hypocrite in your eyes, so be it.)

I stand for a life of service, connectedness, affirmation and validation, not for its opposite-hoarding, separation, negation and lack of initiative. The circle is unbroken.

Summer’s End


September 20, 2021- This has been a strange eight days. I chalk most of it up to the change of seasons, which often finds me out of sorts and seeing darkness where none is intended. That, in turn, leads to trusted friends drawing back a bit and my being in a somewhat isolated state, for a few days. Taking the hint, this year, it’s a time to take care of a few things that have gone neglected for a while, today, and be in nature tomorrow-the day of Equinox.

It didn’t help matters any, that a planned deployment with the Red Cross fell through-only because I didn’t make a second consecutive phone call to the dispatcher-when I was expecting a confirmation call from that individual. Funny, how the protocol from last year has changed. At any rate, given my emotional state, I would not have been on game and mistakes may have happened, that would not have served well. Things, no matter how confusing, happen for the general good.

Today begins a second series of September birthdays (Mom’s and my middle brother’s being the first set, earlier this month). This one starts with the birthday of someone with whom I have had scant contact, in this life, but an inexplicable bond from some other realm of existence. It includes the birthday of my sister and ends with the commemoration of Penny’s birthday, both next week.

Summer’s end caps a season that took in a second cross-country journey, saw some friendships start to fade, others generate and renewed my bonds with good-hearted people. It included a longer work project than I had planned, but the results were fairly successful. It is now time to look towards Autumn-the season of harvest, and of my own birth. It will bring me to southern California, for a few days next week; complete Red Cross training that I feel is needed, in early October; and make a journey to places in New Mexico that have longed called out. Fall will also bring a couple more sessions with the dermatology team and hopefully see my little family come out here for Thanksgiving. I may yet also go on deployment for a couple of weeks.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” – Dan Wilson, “Closing Time”

Now, for another song, from a master songwriter: