Sixty-Six, for Sixty Six, Part XLV: The Enduring and The Fleeting

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July 6, 2017, Santa Rosa, NM-

My day began, fresh and rested, with a stop at Wilson Arch, on the south end of a tourist attraction called “Hole In The Rock”, a collection of trinket shops and oddities.  It was easy to avoid, being closed.  The Arch, though, called out for some meditation time, so I walked to a sandstone bench, where I was able to sit undisturbed, while watching a group of other visitors, clambering up to the Arch, 300 yards away.

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It was getting to be breakfast time, so I headed to the Monticello branch of Moab’s famed Peace Tree Cafe.  The small eatery features a wealth of inventive breakfast items, such as Coconut French Toast, which sustained me for nearly the whole day.

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Continuing to Bluff, a small settlement, off the hipster trail that encircles Moab, I found a functioning laundromat, which was sorely needed, and Bluff Fort- a restored Mormon settlement, and testimony to the hard work and suffering that pioneers experienced, in the late Nineteenth Century.  This story did not, thankfully, involve conflict with Native peoples.  It was all about the harsh terrain that the Mormons found, in the course of settling southeastern Utah.

Here are some scenes of the Co-op store, water wheel and  a few of the sixteen cabins that greet the visitor. The first stop, in a self-guided tour, is the Old Schoolhouse.  Note the beamed roof.

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The brick and mortar building, below, is the Co-op, a restoration of the original, which was burned to the ground by an outlaw, in 1909, after a botched robbery attempt.

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Then, it was on to the water wheel and cabins, which highlight the differences in status among the settlers.

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Despite the seeming differences, it is remarkable that the group braves the harshness of the Kaiparowits Plateau, with its nearly-impenetrable maze of sandstone formations.

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Once laundry was finished, I drove straight on down to Native American Baha’i Institute, where I left a set of crafts supplies, and headed eastward, in short order.  This was punctuated by my scrunching a desperate, nearly heat-prostrated couple into my front seat, and taking them to their utility’s office.  After the errands,  a dinner of  chicken and salad, at Gallup’s Sizzler, and a long haul, across New Mexico, brought me to the lovely Route 66 Inn, in this high desert town.  The motel is run by a wonderful family- grandparents, Mom & Dad and three happy children.

It is amazing, that the pioneers accomplished so much, by working together, in enduring camaraderie, while others seem to be just spinning their wheels, by indulging in caprice and in fleeting acquaintances.

NEXT UP:  Texas to Illinois

Interdependence Day

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July 4, 2017, Carson City- 

We went, together, to a robust carnival

with Funnel Cake and kettle corn.

Little girl got her face painted,

lost and found her favourite stuffed bear,

and got to dance to a song by a local cover band.

She is guarded, carefully,

by all, whose hearts she has captured.

Group got a prime seat,

to view the fireworks,

on the high school field.

We, an eclectic family,

hang together.

Teams fought fires,

across northwest Nevada,

around Arizona,

and probably

in California, too.

Tight were those teams,

which made progress on their fights.

Families, nationwide,

had picnics and barbecues.

Some were simple;

some, elaborate.

Not much gets done,

anymore,

without prior consultation.

A friend in the Midwest

concurred with me,

that our species is evolving,

rapidly,

towards a tighter interdependence.

It is that,

which I celebrated today.

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Trust

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June 29, 2017, Prescott-

Today went much better for me.  A smaller shelter, and a more closely-knit crew, made a lot of difference.  Still, when a member of the “inner circle” showed up, at the end of my shift, I just wanted to get out of the building, as soon as possible.

I realize this is rather irrational, but emotions generally are.  There are relatively few people I fully trust- my son,  mother, siblings,  six or seven cousins, about a dozen friends here in the Prescott area and about fifteen other friends in various parts of the country.  I’m sure those numbers would be higher, were I to have more contact with family and friends, than I do at present.

It has nothing to do with my love for people, but rather, my perception of how they really feel about me.   This goes back to childhood, to my wandering nature and to not having really stuck with one core group of friends, growing up.    It also has to do with the somewhat anonymous culture of bigger towns and cities in the West, and of apartment living in general.  My neighbours, on either side, are rather suspicious of me, and say little, beyond a curt “hello”.  I carry on, with a friendly countenance, anyway.

In the end, we leave the world, alone; yet in the meantime, as people in small towns remind the rest of us, time and again, it is a far better idea to work up some trust.  There have been times when I have let others down, and I’ve tried to make amends.  Lord knows, I am working on my own trust issues, but it’s just not easy.

Those are my thoughts, at the end of a long day.

Clearing the Smoke

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June 28, 2017, Prescott- 

It is no secret that I have several issues with anyone whose priority in life is belittling ,and exercising a faux authority over, others.  Even when one’s position embues responsibility, and therefore a measure of authority, over others, I have always regarded that as a special bounty, not to be viewed as carte blanche.

I have had, as you may remember, some moments of difficulty with certain of my supervisors, at my places of employment, over the years.  These have usually derived from lack of communication, though sometimes the issue has been a superior’s hubris.

This extends to volunteer-based organizations.  There are supervisors, even in an organization such as the Red Cross, who rely on yelling, embarrassing the pro bono help working under them and acting as if such work were strictly a paid position.  These same people then whine, when there is a shortage of staff, for a particular errand of mercy.

People matter.  Volunteers matter, and so do the clients, who like children witnessing an imperious father’s browbeating of his spouse (or vice versa), formulate a sense of justice.  We are, currently, in our area, experiencing a particularly intense and stressful wildfire situation.  The vast majority of volunteers and paid staff for our organization are greatly dedicated to the well-being of our clients.  It behooves those few, for whom this organization represents a neurotic means to power, to step aside, and let those whose hearts are with the good of the people, to get their tasks accomplished, without being browbeaten or made the targets of rancour.

End of editorial.

Burning On

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June 26, 2017, Prescott-

This double haiku refers to the Goodwin Fire, now burning southeast of Prescott.  From 8 PM to 8AM(Tuesday), I will be manning the small shelter set up by the Red Cross, in the village of Spring Valley.

I would get packed,

then, I’d buy two tires

and head on out.

Mother Nature requests pause.

The fire down the road,

won’t be put out.

 

May Beetles, June Bugs

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May 31, 2017, Prescott- 

This has been a grueling, yet vital, month.  In retrospect, though, the transition that has arisen as one of the options I must consider, over the summer, has been bubbling up from the magma flow, for quite some time.

I am likely to hang on to this apartment, for at least the rest of 2017, although rents in this area tend to command 60-70% of the fixed portion of one’s income, thus making it essential to be able to earn one’s keep, above and beyond government checks.  This is as true of “senior” apartments, as it is of the general housing stock.  The other factor is that the chief of our department will need some time to sort out who should work in what capacity.  Although this is hardly an employer’s job market, when it comes to the well-being of children, standards need to be maintained.  This, I understand and support, while being one who poses no threat to any child.

All the while, as I mentioned to an online friend, in a comment, this morning, I am continuously building a network of solid contacts, across the continent, and abroad, so that, even if I am relegated to staying in legitimate campgrounds, in the not-too-distant future, I will be able to hold my head up, engage in acts of service, and earn my way.  I had hoped that this would wait until I reached age seventy, but the Universe moves as it will, and we have to maintain some flexibility.

So, May ends, with me being halfway done with the task of clearing our overgrown back yard, and having been able to serve my Lord, in a few small ways.  June beckons, starting with taking care of an important errand in Phoenix, combined with a small act of service.  I will then complete the yard work; downsize my possessions; go to  Hopi land, for a weekend visit; go to southern California the weekend after, on another errand of service; and toward month’s end, take part in a Baha’i Summer School, at Bellemont, west of Flagstaff.

May slogged along, though not for naught.  June will blaze on out, and I hope to have some sense of accomplishment, when heading to Ventura, Santa Barbara, Carson City and cross country, after Bellemont.

 

Dreams Deferred

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May 26, 2017, Prescott-

In the interests of preventing further problems, for me and others, the chief of department has several questions, which she will raise next Wednesday.  A lot of decisions with regard to children are made, based on second-or third hand information.  There are specific program issues, personality clashes between adults (which do NOT take the children’s interests into account), and matters of style.

Memorial Day weekend has often been a time of deferring action, as there are many year end transitions that have to be accomplished, but people need respite.  I once lived out of my car for the weekend, while a prospective landlord took time off.  He, of course, blew me off on the following Tuesday, but I found a far better place in which to live.

This year brings a similar situation.  The possibility of returning to working with a high school age population is still quite real, but will need to defer to the principle of rest, and to further discussions.  My plan B is to be full-on with the Red Cross, though that will bring $0.  Then, too, there is the option of moving into a less expensive community, and starting over.  As I said, yesterday, quick, not dead.

Sixty Six, for Sixty-Six, Part XXXIV: Different

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May 11, 2017, Prescott-

I have, as most are aware, led a life that has been far from conventional.  My love and I did not play by the rules, as much as we might have, when purchasing our home, in 2003.  I did proudly bring in my mortgage check, for five years, whilst juggling her increasingly unpredictable medical state.  Then came the Madoff scandal, which hit us, indirectly.  Then came the “Great Recession”, bankruptcy and short sale.  Three years later, she was gone.  Son moved on with his life, a testament to our own resiliency, and his.

We, the survivors, are hanging in there.  He’s fine in Busan, South Korea, as far as I can tell.  I am stable in Prescott, as far as I can tell. Money is tight, but no matter.  Those who played by the rules have their struggles, as well.  In the end, we each have what we’ve earned, and little else.

My autism has made me different, from day one.  I approach new situations, new groups of people, from a distance, with some caution.That’s caused issues with others, who jump into newness with both feet, and think a delayed response is a sign of apathy.  It’s caused initial issues with women, who are more in tune with connection.  After reading my heart, much of that has faded away, but it still irks me- that I can’t.quite. be. as forthcoming with new friends, as seems reasonable.

Life is better now, though.  At this age, most of those around me have either been through their own scar-fests (my contemporaries and elders) or are heart-readers (children and teens).  I have one goal, for my own behavioural exchequer:  Feel less inclined to hang back, in new situations.  ACCEPT that most people are naturally inclined to be social, to be accepting, themselves.

It’s okay to be different.

The First Eon, Part II

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April 28, 2017, Prescott- NOTE:  Today marks the Ninth Day of the Festival of Ridvan, during which Baha’u’llah declared His Mission to the world.  On this day, His family joined Him, in the blessed garden, outside Baghdad, preparing for their departure, towards Constantinople (Istanbul).

Each of us is constantly being separated, and reunited, with both our physical and spiritual families.  This is the second part of my own reunion with a very close member of my spiritual family.   Her remarks appear in quotes.  Mine do not.

And so:

I have looked at your mate’s countenance.  He’s intensely devoted to you, as you are to him.  That’s essential, especially in the years immediately to come.

“I’ve been with him, at several levels.  He is a fairly advanced spirit, as you and I are.”

My departed wife was a bit more advanced than I.  She still looks out for me, constantly.

“You are too modest, my brother.  Yes, you have your blind spots, especially when it comes to controlling your physical attractions.  You’re working on that, though, and I recently gave you a boost, up and over two of the more restricting ones.”

That you did, and I’m glad those particular stumbling blocks are in the rear view mirror, so to speak.

“All of our earthly desires can be restricting.  It’s best to channel the basis of those desires into service to the greater Universe, which you and I are both doing now.”

So true, and I am learning from the children, on a daily basis.  Their well-being, and appreciation of nature, remain my impetus, on this plane.

“You’ve been like that, almost from the beginning.  I admit to having been off-track, a few times, but my love for Creation has always brought me back. Again, having a mate who is so close to my own mission, has been a series of blessings, beyond measure. Having you, and several of the others, with me again, is even greater a bounty.”

I’m glad to have you with me, also, dear sister.  There are several of the others who have reunited with me, as well. One of the younger spirits is living not far from you, now, as a matter of fact.  He will reconnect with you soon, I believe.

“It’s so odd, to be using terms like ‘he’ and ‘she’.  We have had to do that on a few other planes, as I recall. I have a sense that the next plane won’t be so.”

Yes, and I feel that raising animal consciousness, to a level higher than that imposed by procreative impulses, is a major task of our presence here.

“Our little troupe of souls will continue, in that regard.  Let’s ever be open of heart and mind, to all whom we encounter.  I look forward to our next physical encounter, and may you be safe and well, in the interim.”

May you be the same, precious soul sister.

Diamond Hearts

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April 25, 2017, Prescott-

A few days ago, I remarked to a friend,

that many encounters I’ve had with people,

over the years,

had met a dead end.

Whenever I make a new friend,

two key questions cross my mind.

First, is how does he/she treat,

and is treated,

by her/his significant other?

At my age, most people I meet have one.

The second question is,

what is her/his story?

Everyone has a legacy of some significance.

Of the people I visited last weekend,

two women have husbands,

whom they love passionately.

One man, who also loves women,

in general, with a passion,

is finding his niche.

One woman looked deep into my eyes,

the day I met her, over a month ago,

and conveyed a message of love.

It was not from Eros.

In fact, I sense that if I met her man,

I’d see the same message in his eyes.

That would, most assuredly, not be from Eros.

I sense the hearts are gathering inward.

There is a call going out, heart-to-heart,

and diamond to diamond.

I got a message, this evening,

looking at a photo of my friend and her husband,

that something huge is about to happen.

The man’s eyes conveyed the notion,

that there is an urgency for people

to set aside their differences.

The woman’s eyes flashed a fierce love,

as they did when I photographed her

and her employer.

Everyone connected to that little cafe/market,

seems to have magnetic energy.

They all seem to be telling me,

stay grounded.

The ladies, and their gentle men,

are telling me, wordlessly,

stay grounded;

there’s a lot of electricity

coming in the air.

I see these things,

when I take the time

to really look

into people’s eyes.

Bless the heart people,

in the towns I’ve come to love, so well,

and bless their diamonds.