As Stupid Does

9

May 21, 2108, Prescott-

I woke this morning, to a message of excoriation, from someone who I deeply respect, but who can hardly be said to hold me in like regard.  It happens.

I’m no one’s slave, though I am gladly of service to many.  Don’t demand that I do your bidding or be at your beck and call.  I will serve a person’s needs because that’s what the Creator, through the Universe, has messaged me to do.

Slavery should never have happened, in the first place.  I hear, from minds more perceptive than mine, that extraterrestrials instituted the practice.  Whatever.  It should NEVER have been put into practice, period.

So now, as Dr. Joy DeGruy has so profoundly explained, in “Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome”, people of colour get to deal with the emotional and social sludge of slavery’s legacy.  People of pallour get to face up, and ‘fess up, to all that our forebears ignored and many of our contemporaries wish to sweep under the carpet or kick down the road.  Frantz Fanon and James Baldwin warned us of this, all those lovely years back, and who listened, exactly?

My angry correspondent dismissed me as just another stupid individual, not worth his time.  At least he has not banned me from reading his incisive work-so no loss on my part.  I will keep reading, and listening, and learning, because true stupidity comes from indulging in backlash, from putting up barriers, from being, “all in all……just another brick in the wall.” (Thanks, Roger Waters).

Instagram Maze

7

May 20, 2018, Prescott- 

In case anyone reads this, please give me a lesson on Instagram 101:  To wit- How can I access my phone keyboard, whilst on IG, so as to consistently write a text to go with the pictures that the site intermittently allows me to post?

Instagram is a cipher, with no clear means of explanation.

Peace, At Last?

4

May 19, 2018, Prescott- 

I reeled, a bit, at the latest slaughter on a school campus.   Truth be told, there isn’t much more room for me to be knocked over, anymore.  What the alt-right can’t refute, it denies completely. Yes, every time innocent kids are killed, my mind goes back to Sandy Hook, and the imbeciles who threatened a man who took in other people’s children and hectored the families of the slain.  I was angry enough, at that time, to go to Connecticut and dare them to continue with their outrageous attacks.  In the true sense of justice, they’d have faced charges of accessory to murder, after the fact.

I stayed put, here in Arizona, and while time has tempered my anger, it has not changed my view.  There was more than one killer, in Santa Fe, TX, yesterday.  The adults who bullied the young man who took so many lives (13, at last count) are just as guilty as he.   in addition, anyone who does him the disservice of excusing his actions, is an accessory to murder after the fact.  He gave himself up and, at least for now, is showing the courage to face justice for his deadly behaviour.

The larger question, ever since the Texas Tower slaughter of 1966, has been preventing the mentally ill from owning, or even having access to , any kind of deadly weapon, let alone a firearm.  I know there is a Federal law that allows confiscation of a weapon that has been specifically used to threaten the life of a person, because Bureau of Indian Affairs  police seized three guns from a man who had stated he would kill another man, back in 1998.  I know this, because I made the call that brought them into the matter.

I have been told, by my Congressman, that there are  a number of state and Federal laws that also regulate the possession and use of firearms by those not of age or of sound mind.  This is all well and good, but this passel of laws needs to be uniform. Otherwise, the many loopholes and jurisdictional disputes that allow illicit access to weapons- by people not affiliated with gangs or other criminal elements, but who are nonetheless a danger to self and others, will continue to find the path to mayhem all too enticing.

This leads me to mental health and bullying, which will be the next topics of discussion on this issue.

Putting My Foot Down

9

May 16, 2018, Prescott-

You say the only reason I am

involved with things

that don’t involve you,

is because I want to hide

from you.

You say the fact that

I do things that

are not directly

involved with matters

of faith

is because faith

is not my priority.

You say these things

and you are

just

plain

wrong.

Faith is my life.

You are not my overseer.

Faith is my life,

and I will work,

volunteer,

engage with community,

commune with nature,

travel the roads I choose,

with faith in my heart.

That heart soars, and

my feet are firmly on the ground.

The Kiosk

3

April 30, 2018, Prescott-

(This piece is based on real events in my life, recently).

As Gregory was walking through the Saturday Market, he noticed an unusual kiosk, offering raw  cacao beans and blended products.  A winsome lady smiled and beckoned him over, then proceeded to explain the efficacy of cacao, as a health aid, whilst offering samples of both the raw bean and blends.

“I’m Greg, and these are delicious items.  Let me buy this peanut butter-cacao cup and a bag of maple infused flakes.!”  “Thank you, Greg.  I am Medina.  It’s nice to make your acquaintance.”

“And I am Gerhard”, came a deep but not unpleasant voice from Greg’s rear.  “Geri is my beloved”, Medina interjected, “We work together on this project.”

Gerhard changed the subject, inviting Greg to sit, in the back of the kiosk. “Gregory, we know who you are.  I have been watching you since the tragedy.  You have done well, keeping your health, as Leanna would have wanted.  You have branched out some, traveling widely and learning to not let naysayers tie you down.”

“Yes, it has been a time of growth for me.  I know Lee wants me to do these things.”

Gerhard held up a hand.  “You must visit this kiosk, every Saturday that you are here, for the foreseeable future.  On each visit, you will encounter an angel, who will teach you a key step in your continued growth.  You will also encounter a challenger, who will try to ensnare you with the darkness of your past environment, making it seem like a way to pleasure. Medina and I will witness, and the beings may interact with us.  You, though, will make the choice.”

Greg felt a wave of reassurance, and on each subsequent visit, he indeed met both teacher and charlatan.  He listened carefully to both, whilst making a decision to more carefully honour the angelic.

On the penultimate kiosk of the winter season, Medina cautioned Greg.  “You are in late middle age, yet you are attractive to several women-other than me.  Some are close at hand; others far away.   Towards some, you will feel a like attraction; others will not entice you in the least.  Some are close to you in age; others could be your child..  You must, of course, treat each and all with profound respect.”  “My mother always told me these things, when I came of age”, Greg replied, ” I have held them in my heart, all these years.”  “Yes, and you were most loving to Leanna”, Medina intoned. “Soon, though, you will encounter five women.  One, a decade your junior,  will be your prime mentor, and will alternately encourage and chastise you.  Another, very young, will love you from a safe distance, always wanting your attention but feeling guilty about it, with all the drama this conflict entails.  A third, also a decade your junior, will want you to return to the Faith of your past, as a condition of friendship.  The fourth will correspond with you for a time, and will prove a challenger, enticing you, then disappearing.  The fifth, close to you in age, will dally with you from a distance, and will ignore your lack of interest in romantic interlude with her, pleading, for what will seem like an eternity, that you join her in the desert.  You will choose among them, but I must caution, as your mother surely would, to hurt none of them.”

Greg was taken greatly aback by this admonition.  He vowed to not let either his attraction or disinterest lead him astray.  A few years earlier, after all, his mourning for Leanna had clouded his vision, and caused two fine women considerable harm.

Across town, Nikki thought of the older man who frequently came into her store and had been uniformly interested in her as  a person, if shy.  She wished he would come by this day.

Observations on A Mid-April Morning

6

April 19, 2018, Prescott-

I appreciate the attention so many have paid to my reblog of the post on Bleach Enemas.  In what dimension anyone could think such a procedure is anywhere near good, I don’t know.  My blessed mother fought tooth and nail for our well-being, and would have clobbered anyone who even dared hint at something of this nature.  Dad loved us dearly, and would have had one thing to say to the suggestion of bleach enemas:  “Pig’s neck!” (His polite term for BS.)

Barbara Bush left a grand legacy of literacy promotion, continued by her daughter-in-law.  The gift of literacy is one key element, in the package of empowerment that loving people can offer to others.  Long may her legacy thrive!

Ridvan begins tomorrow evening, at sunset. It is the twelve day festival, commemorating Baha’u’llah’s Proclamation of His Mission to the world and His departure from Baghdad, towards Constantinople (Istanbul), on horseback and on foot, in April and May, 1863.  My Lord lived a life of exile, imprisonment and torture, yet, like unto Christ, never once turned His back on humanity.

Chalk-It-Up is Prescott’s annual art fair, at which a wide variety of chalk art is available for public view and on which viewers may vote.  I will be insanely busy on Saturday, but Sunday will find me taking in the wonders of human imagination, in that temporary gallery.

Arizona’s educators are winding up a vote, as to whether to walk out, or not.  I’ve cast my vote and will keep my own counsel on the matter.  My first loyalty, in any event, is to the students.

Speaking of whom, several students at our school will be out on the front lawn, in a 17-minute vigil, tomorrow morning, honouring the memory of the Parkland shooting victims.  They will then return to their studies.

Have a blessed day, my friends.

Out of Water

19

April 15, 2018, Tempe-

I felt like a fish out of water,

yesterday and today.

It’s not that

the place is awful.

It’s quite beautiful here.

It’s not that

the people are disagreeable.

Even in expressing

an alternate opinion,

my fellow Baha’is

are quite loving.

No, the problem was,

I left my do Terra supplements

at home.

These make all the difference,

in my body chemistry.

(Two hours later, in Prescott, I am back on an even keel.  This is not a mistake I’ll make again!)

Love vs. Romance

22

April 11, 2018, Prescott-

It’s no secret, among those who know me, that I am a loving soul.  I have no reason to despise anyone, among my wide circle, either in real time or online, and disagreements about politics or religion cannot negate that, at least on my end.

I have had only two real romantic relationships in  my life.  One lasted a whopping three months, in 1972-going nowhere, because of my immaturity.  The other, as most know, was durable, a thirty-year courtship/marriage, cemented by adversity and challenges.  My lover became my angel, my spirit guide.

Of course, like many who go through the trauma of loss, there were a couple of cases, after Penny went homeward, where I imagined myself having feelings, above and beyond those of friendship.  Fortunately, for all concerned, these did not go very far.  No harm, no foul.  Both women have fallen off my radar screen, so I hope they are okay.

Right now, other than an occasional message from someone who imagines herself having post-traumatic feelings for yours truly (also not going anywhere), romance and I live separate lives.  I enjoy real friendships with several women, across ages, faiths, political mindsets and national boundaries, and very much like it that way.

Friendship has the strictures of honesty, loyalty and mutual respect.  Romance, if it does not remain rooted in mutual respect, becomes toxic. Therein lies the fallacy of an affair that comes solely as the result of trauma-based illusion.  I thank my loving angel, for guiding me away from the toxic.

More Than That

6

April 7, 2018, Prescott-

It’s been 6.5 years, but I remember:

He- “Your life has been one disappointment, after another.  Your delivery has been horrible.  You SEEM to expect others to carry you along.”

I (Thinking)- “My life is far from over.  I may not have my nose to the grindstone, but I am NOT letting one person condemn me to the scrap heap.  I may or may not amass the fortune he seems to expect, but I am going to get back to a quality life-on MY terms.”

The uncomfortable morning passed, and I’ve held my own.  There has been no fortune amassed, but there is a decent life.  I paid the above person back, every cent owed at the time.  We have a strong bond, again, and a mutual respect has been rebuilt.

I write this, in response to a young correspondent expressing a high level of self-directed anger, in the midst of a rough patch.  Some of us, indeed, hit more than our share of speed bumps, and some are imposed by other people- or by institutions, including governments.  There is no limit, however, on how many times one can get back up and continue onward.  Remember, Mohandas Gandhi, before he was Mahatma, and when he was a supporter of the South African government, was knocked down, repeatedly, for voicing a difference of opinion with that government.  Each time, he got back up, and eventually earned a meeting with the Prime Minister.

This resilience is true, for each area of our life.  I am known in my family to be nothing, if not as stubborn as an ox- and this has been the deciding factor, in keeping me alive and well.  There is no reason why any person can’t climb out of a hole- despite the depth.

Each of us is more than that.

And So On

13

April 1, 2018, Prescott- 

Happy Easter, and Passover, one and all.  I have spent much of today, fighting with my WP feed, trying to go back to those posts I missed, last flipping weekend and onward.  I have hit upon keeping one window open for my Reader- and one for this side of my site.

This laptop will need to go in for repair soon. To do that, I will finally re-open my account with Geek Squad, the Best Buy Technical Support arm.  This will do one of two things:  Either my 7-year-old laptop will continue to support my photo posts, or it will need to be replaced.  Either way, it’ll be a week before I post any photos on these pieces, as Windows File Explorer is constantly in buffering mode, which tells me my old friend is very sick.

I haven’t done much today, but then again, yesterday found me in Phoenix, walking with three other people around a neighbourhood called Sunnyslope, which is an important place in the annals of Penny’s and my last ten years together.  I am glad to have helped install 13 smoke detectors, in 7 of the 25 houses we visited.  6 went in one house, alone. The most important were those placed in the bedrooms of youths.

Visiting a friend in Superior, and finding her working alone, on a Saturday afternoon, was bothersome.  I stayed long enough to enjoy a nice lunch and to help her just a bit, with tidying up and offering moral support.  This person is going through something similar to what I endured, with a spouse suffering debilitation.  I hope her co-workers will get a grip and start pitching in more.

Today, though, I am thinking of someone,  very far away, whom I have never met face to face.  Something about her, though, has drawn me in.  Like anything else of this nature, we’ll see.

I watched a short video about the Sumerians.  It challenges conventional wisdom about our origins as a species.  I have one question, though:  If there are some beings that are responsible for our intelligence, and they “civilized” us, then left, why aren’t they back?  Perhaps, they know better.  I think I will stick with my God, and the God of us all.

My Memorial Day to Independence Day travel schedule is mapped out- Nevada, Colorado, eastward through Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, Montreal, New England, Pennsylvania, down the Delmarva, Hampton Roads, across Virginia, the Carolinas and Tennessee, before an I-40 zip, back to Home Base and Prescott’s fireworks.  Most of this route is to see friends and family-some of whom I have not seen in a very long time.  Good Sam Parks and hostels will be well-researched and penciled in, beforehand.  There will be a birthday party or two, a family wedding and a Xanga/Facebook gathering.  If this sounds like a lot, it’s because it is.

In the meantime, we have a month of standardized testing at our high school, which means unusual schedules.  Then, there is Graduation Month.  In both April and May, I will also be occupied with Baha’i activities, to boot.  I would not miss any of this, or rush through it, for all the world.