The Fast: Day 13- Radiant Acquiescence


March 14, 2018, Prescott-

We each put up with a certain amount of nonsense, on any given day.  Whether it is following a ridiculous instruction, from someone who is in charge of us (parent, teacher, boss, police officer, or random Joe who has connections); waiting in a line, whilst the person at the head finishes a casual conversation or adjusts the money in his wallet; instinctively speeding up a bit, when the driver behind comes rushing towards your car’s rear end, or toots the horn or pumps his fist/shouts/point to her watch.

These are accommodations and we can either continue to put up with them, get our backs up and “fight back” or get creative, as in the person who responds to an impatient person behind him, by slowing down to the posted speed limit. (Oh, the HORROR!”)

The Divine, however, may test us with these scenarios, or with far more serious woes (disease, bankruptcy, divorce, ostracism- catastrophes of a Jobian magnitude).  Job was a model of radiant acquiescence.  He could see the eventual end of all his troubles, as horrific as they were.

Those who’ve been here a while know that I have been through several such troubles.  They’ve been balanced, of course, with good fortune: A stormy, but loving, marriage; a fine young man for a son; a stable, and basically loving, extended family;  a checkered, but honestly driven, career; a small, but stable, financial base;  a wealth of experiences, both at various Home Bases and on the road/trail.

Radiant acquiescence means enduring the downs of life, whilst knowing the silver lining defines the cloud.

The Fast: Day 10, Justice


March 11, 2018, Prescott-

I haven’t done a whole lot, this weekend, and probably won’t do a whole lot during the first part of Spring Break.  It is a good idea to indulge the principle of rest.

This evening, though, I went to see “A Wrinkle In Time”, starring Oprah!  Ms. Winfrey was not the main point of the film, though, by a long shot.  Her credo of empowerment was prominent, though, and that’s always a good thing.

The plot line was true to the novel, as I remember it from the ’60’s.  The  film will not likely be up for any Oscars, but it worked, as a vehicle for showing a path to justice.  There was some violence, towards both the downtrodden, and at least one of the oppressors.  Overall, though, without revealing much more, the violence was minimal and there was no bloodshed.  It was, essentially, a 1960’s children’s story, reworked for the 2010’s.

Justice was served, in the end.  Justice, in the divinely distributed sense, is, according to Baha’u’llah, “The best beloved of all things in (God’s) sight”.


A Thing Called Love — Mental Stimulation


“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”- Ann Landers Love is something that everyone experience at least once in their life. It is a feeling that […]

via A Thing Called Love — Mental Stimulation

ME:  This is a repost.  I see a lot of people tossing around the greeting “my  love”, and not meaning it in the least.  I take my friendships and feelings towards others, very seriously, very deeply.  Think about this, people.  Who are you helping, or hurting?

The Fast: Day 9, Contemplation


March 10, 2018, Prescott-

My second Fasting Saturday featured the usual early big breakfast, and later in the morning, a visit to Farmer’s Market- important, since I missed last weekend, due to my tax return preparation.  That gave me enough food for the next three fasting meals.  I went to Ms. Natural’s, in early evening, and bought the last of Claudia’s Hungarian mushroom soup, to take home of course.  Wild Iris did not have a paint night, this evening, but I did break the Fast there, then headed back to Home Base.

Living alone gives me a lot of time to spend in either contemplation or in fantasizing.  I much prefer the former.  There is simply too much to be done, and a lot of it is in specialized, precise activities.  I need to know how to meet each challenge, head-on.  Fantasy entertained me, in my loneliness, but never got me far.

So, with the aid of various fasting meditations and reading so much that is inspiring, here and elsewhere, I enjoy this time of looking at matters from several angles.

The Fast: Day 8- Fidelity


March 9, 2018, Prescott-

Yesterday was the official International Women’s Day.  I was in the company of my two beautiful co-workers, during the day.  Both have men in their lives, who are luckier than either woman might sometimes suppose.  As an aside, it occurs to me that every day should be Women’s Day.

My mind today, the last day before Spring Break, has been on fidelity.  Faithfulness is the mindset, and chastity the outcome, of a person who feels fidelity, loyalty, to another human being.

I was faithful to Penny, all those years.  There were times when other women would flirt with me, and she made it clear that we’d all get clobbered, if they kept it up.  She needn’t have ever worried.  I wasn’t going anywhere.  The proof of that became clear to her, when we circled the drain together, those eight years.  I stayed close; kept hope alive.  I guarded her from those whose sole concern was getting their hands on what little money we had.  I spoke up for her when an emotionally clumsy male nurse made her cry.

Since I’ve been back on my own, my fidelity has been to friends and to my charges.  Some get it; some don’t.  I have a friend, whom I have at times regarded as my best friend, who has adopted a distance, ostensibly for reasons of our differences in spirituality, which are in truth, basically semantic.  I respect that distance, and stay away.  Most of my friends, even the most emotionally needy, know  full well where my loyalties lie.

I spent this evening, with a few such people, in the comfort of devotional drumming.  We used Baha’i Scripture and prayers for this, but there are many traditions.  Here is the Indian drummer, Sivamani, accompanying a Hindu woman in song.

The Fast: Day 7- Detachment


March 8, 2018, Prescott-

One of the main features of this period of time is the occurrence of mental and emotional tests.  Many of our tests come from the emotional baggage we carry with us.  A tool that the Fast provides us, in overcoming these tests, and jettisoning that baggage, is detachment.

Physically, those between 15-70, under the circumstances I described in Part 1, face detachment from food, drink and all the activities which feature them, during the daylight hours of Fast days.  This evening, whilst attending an American Legion Post monthly meeting, I purchased a light meal, as is customary prior to such meetings, and secured it  in a to-go box, for after sundown, and the meeting’s end.

There are, of course, far more basic and  deeper-seated matters which can be and are, brought to our consciousness during the Fast.  I am facing one, right now, which I will describe later, when the time is appropriate.  I am determined that, this time, I will cast the baggage aside.  It stems from events in my life, over 50 years ago, and had been buried these many years.  Now, it’s just time to put the demons to rest.  Good people, besides me, will be the better for this.


The Fast: Day 5- Patience


March 6, 2018,Prescott-

The realm can try and exhaust, one’s patience.

In times of light and darkness, though, patience

is exactly what must be summoned.

Some young ones push their elders,

and one another, to the limit.

Others are pushed to their limits,

by their elders.

What does one do,

on a day of fasting,

when challenges are tossed about,

like water balloons?

It becomes meditation time,

reflection upon the whims and fancies

of his own youth.

Seeing the way forward

to be one of forbearance,

he returns from the meditation time,

that supplants lunch during the Fast,

and vows to neither be tested

by others or be a test to them.

The Fast: Day 4- Forbearance


March 5, 2018, Prescott- 

We give and receive a fair amount of unpleasantness in this life.  My usual response to scowling and irritable people is to get through the encounter, with a minimum of retort, if any and to minimize my contact with them in the future.

This may be a good survival tool, but it is not what will bring about unity.  I have thus made a fair effort to welcome such people, when they have crossed my path, over the last few months, and at least hear their story.

Some others have been forbearing with me, over the years, and I appreciate that, as it’s never been my object to discomfit or cause harm to anyone.  When I have managed to make a mess of things, reflection brings to mind this intense song.

DISCLAIMER:  I never hurt my late wife, unlike the character in the song.  I am merely referring to the concept of thoughtless behaviour, in general.

The Fast: Day 1


March 2, 2018, Prescott-

Every year, from March 2-20, until I reach the age of 70, my practice is to refrain from food and drink, between sunrise and sunset.  The purpose is both physical and mental cleansing, which is something that could benefit anyone.  Of course, if I am traveling long distances, engaged in strenuous work or become ill, the Fast gets modified somewhat.

Each of these nineteen days will feature a post that deals with spiritual matters- attributes and such, that help us meet challenges.

The first of these is trustworthiness.  I haven’t always been deserving of trust.  Last night, I dreamed of someone whose trust I broke, a few years back.  In the dream, my charge was to deliver some mail to this person’s office, whilst she was, ostensibly, not there.  I had a key to the office, which was to be returned to a third party, after the delivery.  When I made the delivery, I saw the top of the person’s head, over a divider.  I silently handed her one of the parcels, and left the others on a table in the front of the office.  No words or gestures were exchanged, and I went on my way, delivering the keys to the third party, as planned.

Quirks and perceived needs can, and do, impinge on trustworthiness; so do skewed perceptions.  Divided loyalties can enter into the matter, as well.  The fact is, however, that once trust is broken, it can seldom, if ever, be wholly restored.  There are those who have broken my trust, and those, like the aforementioned, whose trust i have broken.  With one forgiving exception, of them are in my life anymore.

Going forward, my choice is to pursue every single encounter with a person, or group, very carefully.  Trust is like glass.

It Goes Without Saying


February 26, 2018, Prescott-

I’ll say it, anyway-

Today was the first day of Ayyam-i-Ha, the Baha’i period of gift giving and gratitude for what we have.

I gifted an intentional community, north of here, with a stoneware baking dish, because they have been jerry-rigging their baking efforts.  Plus, I love those kids.

Actually, I love all kids, and have for years.  Even the ones that others call misfits and brats deserve love and encouragement, though not coddling.  Nonviolent discipline is a vital part of love.

This generation, which some call The Founders, will have its work cut out for it.  How much work, will depend on how much their parents’ and grandparents’ generations put up a fight against their efforts (see #CameraHogg and other noisome garbage that various “Old Guards” are spewing forth).

It will also depend on how seriously the children come to take their own pronouncements about inclusion.  Splitting into cliques and putting up walls will just be more of the same.

“Hallelujah” and “The Sound of Silence” are among the most beautiful songs in the English language.  They’ve been on my evening’s playlist. Then, there is this:

The Baha’i Nineteen-Day fast is coming up, starting Friday, and lasting until sundown on Tuesday, the twentieth of March.  I will refrain, to the best of my ability, from eating or drinking, between sunrise and sunset, for those nineteen days.

Guns don’t kill; hate kills.  Guns make killing easier, as do bombs and flammable liquids.  The bottom line is, though, it’s a hate thing.

I could not live, easily, in a world without women.  It started with Mom, and Grandma, in the early mists that I knew as Saugus, in the 1950’s.  That brings up this:

The harbour lights and the campground lights have meant the same thing to me, over all these years:  There is love and safety ahead.

Know this, my friends and family:  There is not as fine a world, if not for you.  Self-battery should never be an option.