Keeping Truth Safe

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January 9, 2020-

In this age of instant communication, we deal on a daily basis with a welter of material, which combines elements of truth with overexuberant opinion and sloppy research. I see this at all points along the political spectrum, and have been guilty myself of the same, on occasion. There have, in the wider sense of this phenomenon, been several “documents” popping up, which purport to show the 2020 Presidential election was rigged. As of now, my assessment is, it wasn’t. The papers appearing on social media are uniformly rushed, would never have passed Mr. Bly’s Business Law class, back in my Saugus High School days, and quite often seem written when the author was in a fever dream. This lends credence to the notion that the ONLY way to rid our society of the notion that the election was indeed rigged, is to conduct a forensic audit-thoroughly, without haste. (I am quite certain that incontrovetible proof of cheating would be grounds for impeachment, so the winning candidate would do best to let the process flow-and fully co-operate, if for no other reason than to show there is nothing to worry about.)

Haste always raises suspicion. My mother was a past master at smelling guilt, and it is no accident that the most dogged adherents of conspiracy theories are so often seasoned mothers of grown children-having heard all the stories and sniffed out all the lies. A truly innocent person has no cause for prevarication.

At least one of the Democratic Senators recommended just telling the truth. Sounds like a plan to me, and it’d be most welcome. Just to be clear-it works both ways.

The Joy of Underestimation

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January 3, 2021, Mayer,AZ- There are two kinds of stupid: The one is, sadly, unfixable. The other is the kind that the person exhibiting it can fix, and definitely should. Today, I set out to hike a new loop segment of Black Canyon National Recreation Trail. There are three measurements given for this loop: 8.3 miles, 13.2 miles and 15 miles. As I learned, to my eternal chagrin, the last measurement is correct.

Before showing you, dear readers, the delights of this segment, (There are many), let me share my take-aways from today’s adventure: 1. Make sure your phone is COMPLETELY charged, before leaving the car. Yes, I let people know, via Facebook, as to what I was doing, from the crest of one of Copper Mountain’s many satellite ridges. Sarcastically, I referred to the experience as “camping”. More on that in the next post. 2. Make sure there are fresh batteries in your auxiliary flashlight. Just because it worked well, on the most recent night hike, does not mean that is true in perpetuity. 3. Print off a PAPER copy of the trail map. Having AllTrails.com does not amount to much, when the phone dies, as it did when I needed it, towards the end of my hike. 4. Of course, if possible, hike with a buddy. That means ADVANCE PLANNING, which I do-but my tendency is to go it alone, and not want to bother other people. Postitive results, though, also came out of this: 1. Recognizing that any winter hikes need to either be started in the MORNING, or put off until they can be started in the a.m. Fitting in a long hike (more than 5 miles round trip) does not work, when begun only after a regular Zoom call is finished. Trust me, scenery at night, even in winter, is beautiful, especially under clear skies and with the Moon to help light one’s way. Still and all: It’s cold, people who know your whereabouts get worried and as, a local resident of this town observed, not all wild animals are either friendly or shy. He was referring to javelinas- not bears or mountain lions. I have seen and heard bears and mountain lions, on shorter hikes, but they’ve kept their distance-and I report those sightings on my phone, rather quickly.

So, there is the foolishness of complacency, rent asunder by the fact that every hike is different. Now, for the good news: Copper Mountain Loop, done properly, affords some exquisite geological wonders. It is a treasure trove of volcanic debris.

Here are five examples, and Mickey Mouse puts in an appeareance.

View of scattered igneous towers, southwest corner of Copper Mountain Loop
Igneous bench, top of southwest ridge
Igneous tower, top of southwest ridge
Igneous bench and tower, southwest ridge
Igneous benches, northwest ridge
Copper-infused slate-slabs and figurine-shaped rocks, northeast ridge.
Prickly Pear Mickey

As the light that provided these scenes faded, and I lost-then re-found the trail (Thanks to the Moon and my spirit guides, including Penny, I had enough sense to plod on, rather than try and tough it out at one spot. Smidgens of sense are better than none-but for the next hikes, things will change.

The Lessons

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December 30, 2020-

As with any of Earth’s revolutions around the Sun, there were lessons I learned for the first time, this year and lessons that were re-iterated.

Among those learnings that were new:

There is no limit to the ties we can build, in communication, without ever leaving our respective homes. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and media which will surely follow them, have made group communication across the globe exactly what humanity has craved, for centuries, a tool so commonplace as to be nearly as treasured as face-to-face contact.

The tools for healing are, increasingly, becoming available to individuals for careful home use. This year, in addition to do Terra’s Certified Pure, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, I have been introduced to Thrive and Lifewave, complementary to do Terra products and to each other-and most importantly, not at variance with the allopathic treatments needed by so many.

There is also no limit to an individual’s ability to discern truth for self. The availability of means to investigate both spiritual and temporal truth on one’s own has only become amplified, in this day of so many competing “systems of truth”. No one, whether progressive, conservative or anywhere in between, can simply vocalize anything that comes to mind, without it being dissected and verified. The days when people followed leaders blindly are coming to an end.

Among those lessons that were underscored this year:

No matter how dark the scenario appears, there is always a ray of light. All during the pandemic, heroes in scrubs have been tending to the sick and dying, heroes with microscopes have been diligently working to establish an efficacious cure and heroes who are both the first (police, fire, EMTs) and last (funeral and cemetery workers) have tended to the victims, without faltering.

We are one Human Race, whether each of us recognizes it or not. Aside from a handful of people who believe the tragic deaths of this past year were staged, (and even among some of those), the response to excessive deadly force and the overreactions of some police officers has been to begin to view even the most unsympathetic of people with an eye of compassion.

There are forces of nature which will be ignored at the peril of all humanity. Like it or not, humans are part of nature, and have little choice but to exercise due diligence in how we treat the Earth and its other elements. Increasing fire, water and wind activities will keep reminding us of this-with earth itself (quakes and landslides) joining in the fracas-possibly in ways not yet experienced-or perhaps not experienced within the present historical record. (Those who believe there were civilizations before the ones we recognize have not been uncategorically proven wrong.)

I am confident that Coronavirusdisease 2019 will be brought to heel, just as the Influenza of 1918, and its successor diseases, were. It will still continue to be an astonishing decade.

Autumn’s End

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December 20, 2020-

The season of my birth

once again draws to a close.

Three consecutive twenties tell me

it’s also time to embrace life

with renewed vigour.

It is also, as always,

time to be prepared

for what’s coming.

Some astrologers made mistakes

about this year,

missing the pandemic completely

and cheerfully predicting

the Tokyo Olympics.

People other than astrologers

predict an unforeseen catastrophic event.

What do I see coming?

Nothing.

I’m not one to dabble in psychic phenomenon.

Neither am I one to concern myself

with interpretation of Scripture.

I see only the need to ready myself,

to steady myself,

to be able to help those around me

those I love,

through any form the darkness

may take.

Autumn has ended.

Solstice is here,

and with it,

the hidden blessings

that come

with Winter.

I Beg to Differ

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December 11, 2020-

Simply put:

When someone tells me that no one died, six years ago next Monday, at Sandy Hook Elementary School and that all the kids are in Witness Protection somewhere,

I beg to differ.

When someone tells me to shut up about those trying to overturn a free and fair election,,

I beg to differ.

When someone says there is no reason to stop putting fetal humans to death, because they aren’t “real people”,

I beg to differ.

When someone says that advocating the increased participation of people of colour in the life of the nation is itself racist,

I beg to differ.

When someone insists that White people can only lose, if “those others” advance,

I beg to differ.

When someone sprinkles urine, and tells me it’s raining,

I beg to differ.

The days when we ought to accept being treated as if we were all born yesterday are long gone.

Take a hike, wirepullers.

Animal Visions

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December 5, 2020-

As has been the case quite often, of late, I had a vivid dream last night-this one of my being a personal guest of the President of Brazil, at his country villa. I was actually speaking Portuguese, intermittently, with the leader speaking English, in his turn. It was a cordial, and rather casual, visit- with the two of us having an earnest discussion about Amazonia-and me pointing out that there is evidence of a grand ancient civilization in the river basin.

As often happens in dream sequences, the matter went unresolved, with the president excusing himself to go to bed and me being escorted to the guest bedroom. The next dream scene had me being greeted by a full-grown alpaca, which was a house pet-in a different house (and probably a different country). The beast looked out the window and saw a bunch of kangaroos gamboling outside. Alpaca went to the door and looked at me to let him out. I opened the door, and he nudged me to go outside with him. Then I woke up.

I cannot readily imagine either scenario; neither can I rule eother one out. It’s as likely that something I ate may have sparked the unusual, as it was that the books I’ve been reading about ancient peoples of the Americas planted thought threads in my mind. I can’t speak to the animal vision, but perhaps the fact that I’ve been close to animals, most of my life had something to do with it.

I do know that certain spiritual attributes are tied to particular animals, the stereotypes being such as an owl embodying wisdom, a coyote or a fox depicting stealth or treachery or a large feline exhibiting courage and ferocity. For some reason, I have always felt close to the bear, though exactly what lies behind that is unknown to me.

Perhaps each of us does have a true connection with a given animal, in which case, awareness of our true attributes is a good place to begin, in the search for understanding that connection.

Limits

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November 20, 2020-

I cut off all contact with an online magazine today, after about four months of reading sometimes disingenuous articles and abiding others that are perilously naive in their pronouncements.

Over these many years, some have told me that I have the patience of Job. This is largely true, when I am dealing with children or teenagers, and see that they are not hiding behind cunning or willful deceit. Some people just need what seems like forever to make changes. I know that it was true of me, so to penalize another soul for what I did wrong, seems worse than callow.

This was a day of turning aside from those who persist in deflecting attention from the legal maneuvers being conducted, relative to a recent election, by pointing to supposed crimes committed by someone who can barely get out of his own way. It was a day of leaving an online session which was degenerating into pointless argument. It was a day of me telling myself that I am going to limit my presence on Zoom still further, with only my promised hosted sessions, and a handful of others, keeping me tied to the chair, laptop and neck pillow. One could easily become a permanent resident of The Chair and Screen.

Maybe I am showing my age, but I have no time for the trivial and nitpicky-and even less use for those who are still harping about Barack Obama-or Ronald Reagan, for that matter. There are huge issues to be faced, which can ONLY be faced, and resolved, by a unified front. One would think that COVID-19 would have made that very clear, but no-it may take a whole lot more to bring the bickering fringes to a place of sensibility. When that happens, I’ll be hard at work on solutions-just give me a call, or even a Ping.

As for my critics, I have taken advice, from friend and foe alike, about cybersecurity-adding several passwords, facial recognition and two-step verification. I have some more work to do, in that regard. I am not, however, going to devote any attention to self-absorbed narcissists, nor do I care one iota about what Rudy Giuliani thinks that Hunter Biden did. Both are dysfunctional people, in need of help.

Keep the eyes front and center, people.

Treading Water

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November 8, 2020-

Many people are holding back on any plans,

even of short-range span,

because they fear the pandemic will expand.

Yet, is that really the plan?

Many people are treading water,

not engaged in doing what they ought,

for fear of the renewed onslaught,

and not wanting to look like robots.

Still others throw caution to the wind,

offering a conspiratorial spin,

imagining the virus to have been sent by djinn,

and enhanced by the descendants of the Ch’in.

I see my road as set by my guides,

altered only temporarily by the viral tide;

I refuse to run and hide,

and so trusting in science, I abide.

Sorrow Not…..

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November 4, 2020-

“O My servants! Sorrow not if, in these days and on this earthly plane, things contrary to your wishes have been ordained and manifested by God, for days of blissful joy, of heavenly delight, are assuredly in store for you. Worlds, holy and spiritually glorious, will be unveiled to your eyes. You are destined by Him, in this world and hereafter, to partake of their benefits, to share in their joys, and to obtain a portion of their sustaining grace. To each and every one of them you will, no doubt, attain.” (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 327)

I thought of, and recited this prayer, during the time that I was Penny’s caretaker. I have often called it forth, during the past year or so, as well. Knowing that so many will be down-hearted and feeling left out, regardless of the final outcome of the vote count, I offer this prayer to anyone who needs it.

There has never been a time when I viewed my fellow humans as “deplorables”, despite that unfortunate comment of four years ago. I think there are many behaviours that are certainly deplorable, especially the murder of innocent beings, abuse of others-especially of women, children and elders, lying and fabrication, calumny against those with whom one disagrees, and theft. That said, we are all children of God and as such are free to return to the enfoldment of His grace-any time we are willing to renounce our past misdeeds and make amends to those whom we’ve wronged.

My advice, to whoever ends up in the White House, on January 20, 2021, is to redouble efforts to include ALL Americans in the life of the nation. I wrote to President Obama, a few times, urging him to visit the South and other parts of the country which had spurned him. He did make it to several states whose electorate had supported his opponents- though he might have done so more often. It didn’t come across as pandering, and should not, this time around. A listening tour would do either #45-2.0, or #46, and the country, a world of good. A Cabinet that is genuinely inclusive of critics, as well as of supporters, whould go along way towards reuniting this frazzled country.

Heart of the Matter

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November 3, 2020-

By one metric, my heart health is fairly good. By another, it needs a fair amount of attention. I am already moving away from a meat-happy diet, towards one that is more plant-based. That comes with the territory, and as I have left processed, fast foods behind, this is the logical next step. Very rare, anymore, are donuts and cake. Coffee is, generally, one cup in the morning.

Lavender and marjoram are looking to be a morning and evening application. More exercise is also in the mix-four days a week at PF. Fewer Zoom calls and more time outside- COVID or no COVID. I would wager that many people are losing ground in heart health, because of the pull of sedentary. Zoom is good for communicating with people far afield, but there was this wake-up call today, and I need to get on the stick.

Like Robert Frost, I have promises to keep and miles to go, before I sleep.