Aggression: Macro,Micro, Nano

0

September 13, 2017, Prescott-

Of course, I endure aggression- macro and micro, on a daily basis.

Fortunate, I am, that macroaggression is rare,

and is usually the flailing of a frightened child,

or the blaring horn of a vehicle,

driven by someone in the throes of misdirected rage.

Microaggression is more common:

The supervisor who tells self

that control of subordinates is paramount;

the restaurant server who rushes a lone patron,

through a meal,

so that a hypothetical party of two or three

will not be inconvenienced;

the neighbour who walks about,

nose in the air,

lest the great unwashed might

deign to speak their peace.

Those who minimize the suffering

of victims of natural disasters,

as, after all, “it’s not happening here!”

Are there  nanoaggressions?

I hope not, as this might

smack of paranoia,

on the part of the beholder.

 

 

Polarities

2

September 10, 2017, Prescott-

I called my mother, to wish her a Happy Birthday.

She, to whom I was made to listen, for the first part of my life,

can now barely hear me, even when I am in full voice.

I pray her life will go on, for quite a few years yet,

and I will rely on the written word, to stay in contact.

The beaches of the Leeward Islands,

and the Florida Keys,

have taken quite a beating.

The emerging forests of Greenland,

just now rising from the Ice Cap,

are ablaze,

before they can even reproduce.

Disney World is closed,

and the lakes of The Villages

resemble mini-seas.

The Mediterranean, meanwhile,

is a lake surrounded by fire.

It’s being said that the Feds

are probing the ionosphere,

and that this may aggravate

climate change,

by pushing air currents

down into the stratosphere.

Meanwhile, we still

have relatively scant knowledge,

of our ocean depths.

These things cross my consciousness,

as I ponder whether

to go back outside,

and clear more weeds.

A Tale of Two Campgrounds

2

July 23-25, 2017, Sarcoxie, MO- 

My summer’s journey is winding down, with one last family visit, before I am back in the Southwest.  I chose Ferne Clyffe State Park, in southwest Illinois, for the night’s stay, after Paducah.  I could have stayed at a campground in Kentucky, but the urge for closing the gap won out, and I moved along, to the precincts of Dixie National Forest.  Ferne Clyffe’s fee collector was gone home, by the time I arrived, but other campers assured me he’d be there, bright and early, Monday morning.

I had a nice night, sleeping under the stars, with few insect problems.  This was the scene, as I waited for Chief Ranger to arrive, for my payment.

 

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I then got on the road, looking for a little cafe, at which I might grab some breakfast.  It turns out the the local farmers all eat at home, so the nearest spot was the Nu Diner, in Cairo- about twenty miles to the southwest.  I’ve been to Cairo, six years ago, and made a more extensive visit to the town, at the time.  Despite its location, at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, Cairo is fading, and the mayor, popping into Nu Diner, to greet his constituents, had few words of encouragement, at this point in time.  He knows what everyone else knows:  Jobs aren’t coming back, anytime soon.  I like the little town, and hope that hydroelectric, or some new technology, can   keep it going.  Cairo is not in the middle of nowhere- Paducah and Sikeston are each a half-hour away, in opposite directions.  (The waitress at Nu Diner allowed as how she finds going to Paducah a headache.  I guess it’s all in how one looks at matters.  Then again, I was there on Sunday evening, so I can’t speak about workaday traffic.)

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Speaking of Sikeston, the bustling little city, at the top of Missouri’s Boot Heel, has Lambert’s Cafe (Huge, but sorry, I’m still full from a Nu Diner breakfast) and Jerry James Melon Stand, with huge watermelons to be enjoyed.  I picked one up, for Cousin Lisa and her husband, Curt.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Driving across southern Missouri, I opted for state highways, and experienced a bit of what the locals are enduring, with ‘slow or no’ wireless fidelity, from Poplar Bluff to very near Springfield, nearly 200 miles.  This, to me, is a sign of things to come, should Net Neutrality be removed, and Internet Service Providers be allowed to charge extra for service that is now fairly standard, in much of the country.

I got into Sarcoxie, close to where Lisa and Curt live, around 4:30, catching a decent dinner at Hungry House, right off the freeway.  Then it was setting up camp at Beagle Bay Campground, on the other side of I-44.  The owner was a bit flinty-eyed, and looked at me with suspicion for a few minutes, before her husband came in and said I could use one of the “primitive” camp sites (as tent sites are known, in these parts).  There isn’t much primitive, about Beagle Bay.  There are showers, a game room and a stocked fishing pond.  I carefully set up camp, and repaired to the game room, to hook up my lap top and catch up on e-mail and other doings.

This morning (Tuesday), I checked out some of the campground’s features.  An old atrium has been preserved, just east of the main campground.

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The family that camped next to me headed for the fish pond, early on, and I followed suit, though skirting their fishing stand, and taking in a few scenes of the pond itself.

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I connected with Lisa, who expressed frustration at, TA-DA, her phone being out of order.  Now it was back in service, and we met at Hungry House for breakfast and catching-up on Boivin family happenings.

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I like having family here and there, in various parts of the country, and it’ll be all the more enjoyable, over the next few years, as I head back and forth, in summer.  Then again, I’m hardly ever isolated, with a network of reliable friends.  So, I think I will see what southern Kansas has to offer, before dropping down to Enid, and looking in on an old friend.

NEXT:  Baxter Springs and Sedan

Trust

9

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

13

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.

Need v. Want

10

June 2, 2017, Prescott-

I postponed tomorrow’s scheduled drive north,

due to complications with finances.

It’ll all get straightened out,

a matter of need trumping want.

Several people have posted “Go Fund Me” blurbs,

some for making rent,

others for buying a plane ticket,

still others for medical care,

or meals.

I won’t do such a thing,

for myself,

as there is no NEED.

In my family,

Dad said “If you want it, earn it”.

I still go by that.

If I get extra, from the Universe,

beautiful.

Mostly, though, it’s what I have made.

Those waiting for their gifts from me,

will just have to wait a bit longer,

until the mess gets sorted out.

In the meantime,

my car payment goes out, tomorrow.

Dreams Deferred

8

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 XXXI: Type Cast

5

May 3, 2017, Prescott-

I have always had difficulty

with Type A personalities,

if their insatiable drive

works in tandem,

with a need to embarrass

co-workers and subordinates,

by calling them out,

publicly.

It’s one thing,

to want to be in charge.

Many great things

have been achieved,

by the driven.

It’s quite another,

to want to be in charge,

and need to put

others down,

in a  quest for power.

Seems that the more

things unravel,

the more there is

a tendency to blame,

to micromanage,

and to misjudge.

Selective, or Snooty?

6

April 24, 2017, Prescott- 

It’s no deep secret that I have issues with those who build walls of snobbery around themselves. I’ve found them everywhere, from my home town of Saugus,  to Jeju, Korea, and to my present home base of Prescott.

Usually, snobs rely on “isms”, to validate their choices.  There are those who fall back on their self-perceived intelligence, while forgetting that the late George Plimpton, and others, routinely ridiculed their insolence.  There are others, “hipsters”, who brag about their sense of aesthetics, overlooking the beauty of simplicity.  Money, status in the community, and a misperceived “racial purity” are other sources of walls. Even in small communities, and communities of colour, subgroups operate to either maintain a false sense of superiority or to ingratiate themselves with those in power.  Seventeen years ago, a woman spread filth about my family and me, in a small desert community.  She had arrived  ten years earlier, from Ohio.  Here in Prescott, another individual, an attendant at a local fitness center, turns her head, sharply and disdainfully, whenever anyone over the age of forty approaches.

I have my own sense of selectivity.  I stay clear of fast food restaurants, many chain stores, and most Big Box establishments.  There is no shortage of people who would cry “Snoot”, at this information, and perhaps they’re right.  I do not, however, treat others with disdain, based on age, physical appearance,  mannerisms,perceived intelligence level, economic status or skin pigmentation.  Even the snobs get a fair hearing.

I have made the observation that fear is behind most snobbery.  If the wall-builders would stop and take several deep breaths, perhaps they would realize that nothing of consequence would befall them, were they to open the blinds, and take off the blinders.

Flat’s Where It’s At?

17

April 11, 2017, Prescott-

I opened my social media today,

to see a Flat Earther posting

that there is, in fact, no gravity.

He posits that the person walking

across the Earth will meet only

a sharp, high cliff, at the end of his journey.

The Sun is, according to this latter day sage,

a bright little ball that serves Mother Earth,

around which it revolves,

from a scant sixty thousand feet up.

I have two questions:

Is there a hotel, at each end point?

When will Sun tourism begin, and might we just float up there?

(This is, for the hyper-serious, a bit of levity, in the wake of the Flat Earth Society’s recent postings, on various Facebook sites.)