And The Bears Came

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October 15, 2019-

On Saturday evening, after I had put in about 7 hours of volunteer work in the kitchen at Arcosanti, I drove back to Prescott, with the intention of helping someone else with an early morning project.

There was a lot of energy generated that night, at Arcosanti.  Some of it found its way to me, at my Home Base.  in the prime dream time that is the early morning, I had a lucid dream that a group of children were in my apartment.  We had enjoyed a small celebration of sorts, and were looking out the window, when I spotted a large, shaggy brown bear heading into the neighbourhood. (We don’t have brown bears here, although the occasional black ursines show up, in the areas near the mountains.)  Kids ran, screaming, into nearby houses, and some came here.  Several more brown bears came, some walking on their hind legs. (Bears do not customarily run in groups.)

I found myself talking, through the closed window, to the bears which were approaching my place.  They understood my firm tone and went away.  One small boy called to  me and said that some “wind energy” had just messed up my bed. As no one had been in my bedroom, it was rather stunning to see that the previously well-made bed was indeed messed up.  I looked out the back window, and saw three more brown bears standing outside, with a nineteen-foot-tall figure, who resembled a character from the Transformers movies, in their midst.  I spoke to the tall figure, and it collapsed.  The bears then dropped to all fours, and went away.

I interpret this dream as meaning that there may be a time, soon, when I will need to safeguard vulnerable people, and speak truth to power.  Ironically, the bear, along with the tiger, is my spirit animal.

Integrity

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October 1, 2019-

Every crisis that strikes between people, and within a person, is a matter of integrity.  The old saw defines integrity as “the way a person behaves when no one is looking.”  The problem is, someone without integrity will have difficulty in code switching.  When one is outside of one’s room, there are most likely going to be other people around, going about their own business, and simultaneously noting what everyone around them is doing.  So, the non-integrated person will go about being foolish, or angry, or drawing attention to self.

A person with integrity, on the other hand, will take the presence, as well as  the legitimate feelings and rights of other people, into consideration, before engaging in an activity.  There will be ownership of that activity, no blame-casting, gaslighting or obfuscation.

I have come by integrity, after much self-work, over the years.  Ownership of my mistakes and errors has at times been painful, and come at a great price.  In the end, I am more worthy of being in the world and have been able to achieve more.

I say this, looking at various public figures, several of whom have a fair degree of integrity and others whose public persona is one of “duck, doge and hide”.  Some of these people are obvious to anyone, whilst others have managed to keep their inner character a secret, behind a facade of  “good works”.

Sooner or later, though, as we have been seeing, the truth comes clear: “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” (Luke, 8:17)  This truth is well to be remembered by BOTH sides, in any given dispute.  The first thing that needs to be established is, “Who lacked integrity first, and to what degree?” Then may the truthfulness of others be established. This is the whole purpose of legal cross-examination and academic rebuttal-that things which are not as they seem, should be made clear.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right” has never been truer.  This is all I have to say, for now, on the current state of affairs in our nation’s capital.

Full Moon Thirteenth

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September 13, 2019-

Some topsy turvy day, this.

The work day was filled with

love and laughter.

Children with Downs syndrome

bring this about.

A crowded room,

at a ribbon cutting,

with children running about,

fully in joy and exuberance,

was better than any nap.

Another request for assistance,

from one of the most vicious people

I’ve ever known,

popped the balloon of joy.

It’s what that dark spirit does.

Am I a lesser soul,

for not putting myself at her disposal?

Prayers and chanting brought me back

to a place of light.

The power and fortitude of youth

imparts strength to those who

may be worn down, just a bit.

All in all, this Full Moon

Friday the Thirteenth

ended on a bright note.

Thus Mom Still Says

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September 10, 2019-

Mom turned ninety-one, and doesn’t care who knows it.  She’s earned the right to think, do and eat whatever she wants.  That’s my opinion, anyway.  In our conversation, this morning, she gave me two thumbs up, for taking the joyful, positive view of life, which is mine, most of the time.  She expects me to keep on caring for myself, not depending on anyone else-for which I’m grateful.  My mother has lost none of her fire and spunk.

I woke this morning, to a report that a 13-year-old girl was sent home for wearing one comfortable outfit that was deemed “distracting for boys” ( I saw the outfit, and as a former school administrator, who held the line against bare midriffs and mid-thigh shorts, I think it was overkill, on the part of the school).  Her father brought a second outfit, which the Principal also found objectionable.  He took his daughter home, then launched a campaign to revisit the dress code.  Good for him; there are many men who still don’t take enough interest in the healthy self-concept of their children, especially of their daughters.

Body shaming has been with us for a long time-both against people of size and of slenderness.  Children are also sexualized, far too soon and far too often.  The father, in this case, pointed out that his child doesn’t flirt with her male classmates; she just wants to be a kid, and be comfortable, in 90-degree heat.  I heartily agree, as does my mother, who raised us boys to not dwell on a girl’s, or woman’s, physical attributes-one way or another.  My sister was always held in high regard, and was taught to think well of herself.  She has passed that on to her own daughters, and granddaughters.

I took a healthy lunch, this noon, at a local cafe (Ms. Natural’s) that thrives on its salubrious menu.  I was one of two men in the place, which was packed with mostly young women, all of whom take care of themselves and carry themselves with dignity and grace.  This is what I wish, for everyone, especially for those who have been kept in a dark emotional space, for far too long.

Mom wants that, also.  I hope she’s around, to reiterate the point, for several years to come.

Back to Harmony

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September 8, 2019-

Yesterday, I let the sour mood pass through. I think it was a reaction to the falling barometer.  We got about 1.3 inches of rain, in this neighbourhood and in points east.  A trip to the laundromat, on the northwest side of town, revealed continued “dry as a bone” conditions. Whilst at Farmers’ Market, I learned, from a vendor, who is a mutual acquaintance, that an erstwhile tormentor had found some peace in her life.  That is comforting, as unhurt people are less likely to hurt people. As the day wore on, and the rain had passed, I felt more in tune.  Spiritual Feast, in the evening, was vibrant and well-attended, another uplift.

Today has seen a nice breakfast at Post 6 come and go.  Now the long and celebratory Farm-to-Table Dinner will occupy my afternoon and evening.  This is one of four large social events of the Autumn-three of them this month and the last, on November 2, which will keep me connected to the community and offer a form of activity, in addition to Planet Fitness and whatever hiking I do, here and elsewhere in the Southwest.  Service projects, other than the above, will also be performed, through the Red Cross.  Home safety, simply put, is our major focus, in areas at risk for wildfire.

The message comes to me that disharmony is, largely, actually a product of not being in sync with the community.  Letting other people’s pain affect my own self-concept is a disservice, to them and to myself.  So, back to a state of balance I go.

Today will make many people happy.

Lack of Imposture

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September 4, 2019-

Every so often, when I get in a situation where it seems my presence isn’t wanted, the default status, known as Impostor Syndrome, jumps out and tries to say “Boo”.

I feel this, particularly when I go into a business establishment and am either given a pro-forma greeting, followed by a brush-off, or am treated rudely by one or more staff.  Then, there are those who cannot maintain eye contact for more than a minute or so.

In the old days, I’d figure I just wasn’t worth it.  Other people were okay, but I was a different matter.  This didn’t so much impact my casual friendships, but it did affect everything from my dating to employment interviews.

Experiences were thus limited and my own confidence had to start from the ground and work up.   Time in the Army helped-as I was responsible for accountable mail.  Time in college, afterward, wasn’t so beneficial, in terms of self-confidence, nor was the first part of my educational career.  It took marriage, the Baha’i Faith and time among Native Americans to build a solid foundation.  Still, I had trouble whenever I dealt with mainstream society.

Having to be on my own, since 2011, has erased most of this sense of imposture.  It started to come back, last Fall, when I was challenged by someone, as to my very basic level of competence.  I made it past that hurdle, only to have self-doubt re-surface, over the past  week.

So, it became needful to spend much of this day in reflection.  Some conclusions:  It is NOT my fault that the bar manager at a local restaurant was in a bad mood and avoided dealing with anyone dining at the bar, and not imbibing alcoholic beverages.  It is not my fault that a vendor at Farmer’s Market would prefer I not stop at her stand, and take her attention away from older women, who may or may not purchase items.  It is not my fault that a Hispanic waitress at a downtown diner prefers to not serve or interact with English-speaking patrons.

I will do what I can to accommodate these people, and others like them, but I will not, any longer, absorb a sense of imposture or unworthiness, into myself.

Inside and Out

6

September 3, 2019-

I stopped, briefly, at the new location of SunFlour Shops, about four doors down from the former SunFlour Market.  My purpose was to deliver a bouquet of sunflowers, on the occasion of the store’s Grand Opening.  This, I did, and was treated to a fine cup of coffee, whilst the owner hobnobbed with the people who will make up her primary customer base.

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The store is more focused on dry goods than its predecessor, although her fresh-baked pastries are still featured, along with espresso and other coffee drinks.

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As a result, seating is less of a priority, at this point. There is, however, a huge patio, which will be amenable to visitors tarrying, in a month or so, when the heat subsides.

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The storefront is not signed, as yet, but I knew the location from the window decorations.

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My time there was limited by two things:  I wasn’t entirely welcome in the shop and there was a meeting of the Prescott Red Cross Chapter, where I was welcome and where my input on a few things was needed.  After being asked if I needed anything else, I left Superior quietly and headed back  to Home Base, getting to the Red Cross office, in time for a barbecue and the brief meeting.

The two situations are a snapshot of my relations with groups.  There have been, historically, few groups where I have been “on the inside”.  The old SunFlour was one of those.  The Red Cross Chapter has evolved into such a place.  My last fulltime place of employment was, as well, until newcomers decided I was not ” a good fit”.

These situations are always fluid, given the vagaries of human nature. So, I’ve learned where, with whom, and how much time, I should focus.  It’s no surprise that some parts of southern California, the Midwest and South are always places of refuge.  The area of my childhood and youth will remain welcoming, also.  Wherever my little family is, likewise, will be home.  Prescott, and a few other places in Arizona, are ever home.

Maybe it’s more because of my more globally-focused nature, that I am more of an outsider.  It’s not something that hurts all that much, though running into closed groups is always a challenge.

 

Gathering My Moss

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August 28, 2019-

I have, at long last, begun writing a series of chapters that outline my life. So far, I have covered up to sixth grade, which has taken four chapters.  I find my long term memory is amazingly intact, a comforting discovery, as this exercise is as much for healing and inner peace, as it is for the sake of memoir.

The remaining six decades will take some time, being as they have been far more involved and take in a lot more territory-both geographic and psychological- than my first, somewhat sheltered, eleven years.

As it is a highly personal account, this volume will be first shared with family, then in a publish on demand arrangement with friends. For now, I am keeping it on Google Drive and will run things by my son, siblings and mother, once I get to a certain point, probably the sections on my high school graduation and transition into adulthood.

Again, the purpose of this is to process and clear up any remaining conflicts within myself, which is one of the insights I drew from a recent energy wave healing session.

Back In The Saddle

2

August 22, 2019-

I got in a full-day’s work today, after five months’ hiatus.  Of course, there hasn’t been a lot of idleness during that time, but I have missing being around children and youth, on  a regular basis, nipping at my consciousness.

Today went very well.  The few who wanted to mess around, didn’t meet with much success.  I am long past the point where I let mischief get to me.  On the other hand, I don’t let it spread.  The rules of the day are set by the regular teacher, so the parameters are already in place.

Children and teens know this is how things work, and those with whom I interact are quite relieved that I am not here to be a slacker.  Simply put, this brief period of my presence in their lives needs to be of support for their broader plans, hopes and dreams, and of deterrence to the obstacles, both self-induced and put in place by others, that would derail those broader plans.

My goal:  To be of maximum support, to each young person who comes into a room where I am working.