Tremors

11

July 9, 2017, Wilmette-

To reiterate, as I am drastically revamping the earlier version of this post:  I will recap the past several, enjoyable days, July 5-8, in my next several posts.

For now:

I was somewhat relieved, and gratified, to actually meet a person who had been rather skittish, with regard to such a handshake.  Turns out, she does seem overbooked.  It is either sink or swim, for most of us, so she is swimming, furiously.

I am still frightened by people who pretend to be friends, and exhort the rest of us, with intense, challenging inspirational rhetoric.  Someone posted online, about Mother Teresa.  I remember her as a rather somber, sad woman, not so comfortable with the adulation of an unskeptical public.  I mention this, because we do tend to move in on people who look shiny, on the surface.  Europeans look at Americans, and are stunned by the glad-handing and false promises that occupy many of us, who are out to get a leg up.  So, motivational speakers and preachers get caught with their pants down, some of them literally so.  That’s the thing that frightens me most:  Not traffic, not thugs, but the duplicitous.

I feel much better, this afternoon, having had an extended conversation with my online friend- far from duplicitous, and the epitome of real.  It could not have ended, any other way.  I look forward to continually learning from her, and other correspondents.  This is about purification, and strengthening- a process that lasts a lifetime.

Some tremors are necessary in life.

 

Sixty Six, for Sixty-Six, Part XLI: Bubbles

7

June 30, 2017, Prescott- 

This was a day,

four years ago,

when the world fell in on us.

Nineteen men,

most of them young,

fell before Mother Nature.

The shelters,

to which they had fallen back,

served as their sepulchres.

Four years later,

I sit in another shelter,

dealing with the winding down,

of the fire this time.

It will not be anyone’s tomb.

I think, however,

of the bubbles,

in which many of us

take mental refuge.

They become suffocating,

limiting,

and enervating.

I fell into such a bubble,

over the past few days.

Seeing demon mirages,

letting my mind lead

to a few dark corners.

It’s nice to have a pin,

and pop the bubble.

 

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.

Thirty-fifth

10

June 6, 2017, Prescott- 

So, on this day, thirty-five years ago, I made the wisest move I have ever made, and took the vow of matrimony.  A Baha’i marital vow is simple:  “We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God.”  That divine will took the two of us to great heights:  Pilgrimage to the Baha’i Holy Places, in Haifa and Akko’, with side visits to  Holy Places of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Galilee; various journeys of service around North America, to Guyana and to Taiwan; many years of work with children and youth, on the Dineh (Navajo) and Hopi Nations and perhaps, most consequentially, five and one-half years in Jeju, Korea, the birthplace of our son.  There were depths to be navigated, as well:  Penny’s debilitating disease, the worst effects of which were concurrent with the subprime mortgage crisis, the Madoff scandal and the “Great Recession”-each of which impacted us, directly or indirectly.  Standing by her side, until the end, was simply part and parcel of what my love called me to do.  Likewise, as I confronted my own demons, in the midst of all this, she supported me and her spirit has brought me through to the other side of the tunnel.

I am reminded of so much, this morning, after talking at length with our son, who, likewise, has stood by me, disagreeing with some family members, when they castigated what they saw as my irresponsibility and setting me straight, when he has seen the path veering off in an odd direction.  He’s been right, on both counts, showing that the one thing I have done right in this life has been to raise and guide an exemplary human being.  This morning, I looked at photos of Aram and his sweetheart, sensing that he continues to thrive and find his way along this marvelous, but often treacherous, road.

I have reached a minor crossroads, in my own life.  There is the option of staying the course, which would cause discomfort for my critics, as well as, initially, for me.  There is the option of moving to a more rustic part of Prescott, a place I visited yesterday, and find most salubrious.  There is the option of moving to a high desert community, close to the workplace of two of the most supportive souls I’ve ever known.  In each case, I know it’s time, as I’ve said repeatedly of late, to simplify, to downsize and to detach.

Thirty-five years after we took our vows, my love’s spirit urges me on.

Sixty Six, for Sixty-Six, Part XXXVIII: It’s Not Heat That Hurts

7

June 1, 2017, Phoenix-

I came here to do two things.  First was to deliver a box of books and some food, to a loving, struggling young couple.  An entry error on WAZE  put me in central Phoenix, whilst their home was in a town several miles to the west.  A phone call, a corrected entry and some help from the staff of the apartment complex’s leasing office helped get the job done.  Husband is a mechanical innovator, and a true survivor.  Wife is a sweet lady, and works tirelessly, as well. I am glad to see how far they have come, as a unit.

My second task was easier:  Getting a document for my son.  Since that included stopping at Romanelli’s Deli, not far from his alma mater, I was in the best of graces.  A delectable sausage and peppers submarine sandwich and purified water set the rest of my afternoon on a good footing.  Promise to self:  Spinach and baby kale for dinner, tonight! The document was in hand, ten minutes after I filed my request, and the very professional Registrar gave me her business card, so that the process will be even more streamlined, still.

While tooling about my home city of ten years (2001-11), I felt a still aching pull on my spirit.  The area in which I spent most of my time was where most of the day-to-day heartache occurred, and the west side was where Penny spent her final days.  I know I have to root these feelings out, and not be shy about being in these parts of our blessed Home.  There are many good people in the Phoenix area, people who loved us, and were hurt that I moved away.  The pain, to me, comes from the anonymity of living in a large city, with so many people who came here to be anonymous.

Anonymity brings out the worst in many.  The mentality seems to be:  ” I don’t know anyone here, so why remember my manners?”  This mindset is hardly limited to Phoenix, or to the Southwest.  I’ve seen it elsewhere, wherever there are large numbers of “move-ins”. I tend to think of others, just because it gives meaning to my life.  I’d sooner let a headstrong, overwrought person have a small “victory”, or two, if it:  a) doesn’t cost me much, in terms of dignity and b) doesn’t give him/her a false sense of entitlement.  There are many things in one’s day which are best let happen, rather than having an equally entitled “arbiter” step in and unilaterally make things worse.  I trust in the conscience to kick into gear, more often than we give it credit for doing.

So, I feel pretty good about having come here, today, and it wasn’t all that hot outside.

 

 

 

Wheels On Fire

6

May 18, 2017, Prescott-

“The girl doesn’t want to be saved”,

said her lover’s brother to her lover.

That was from a TV show.

A girl who works

to save herself,

tells me, regularly,

“I’ve got this, Mr. B.”

So she does take care of herself,

and is the singular

real success story

of this year’s efforts.

I am close to

a woman who,

many years ago,

was in a car, which

burst into flame.

She survived,

and made a life

for herself,

and raised

a formidable

family.

She’s Nana to

several grandchildren.

The burning car

did not stop her.

My wife suffered

increasingly,

as years passed,

and kept on,

bearing and raising

the only child

she could have.

The wheels of

misfortune,

burned hotter,

yet she rose

higher,

and earned

three advanced degrees,

in her time.

The other women,

I have been honoured

to call friend,

in the years since,

got past the burning car,

and saved themselves.

That’s what makes them.

Sixty Six, for Sixty-Six, Part XXX: Density

2

,May 2, 2017, Prescott-

The night sky seems denser than usual.

I’m walking home,

from the second of two meetings

held after work.

This one was spiritual, in tone,

so I was not worn down.

Spirituality can be dense,

also.

Yet, that density is what lifts us

to the light,

and sustains us,

in time of an even denser sorrow.

My heart aches for one

who lost her dearest,

a few days ago.

I have been there,

and felt the aloneness,

even when surrounded by friends.

She feels lost, at times,

this I know,

without ever having met her.

There is a fog,

as thick as pea soup,

that envelops the grieving.

Left behind, it seems,

one inches forward,

in the gloom.

Light breaks through,

however,

because that is the nature

of the Universe.

The density of light

is what sustains us.

We stand with you, Senora.

Let us, the friends you know,

and those you haven’t met,

be your light.

The First Eon, Part II

0

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

12

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.

 

 

 

 

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.