Acker Night

9

December 7, 2018, Prescott-

Every strong community has its special day of community gathering-whether it be a Founders Day or Day of Incorporation.  Prescott has several days of community celebration, including Frontier Days, in July, and Tsunami on the Square, in September. Acker Night, in honour of local arts patron James Acker, is celebrated on the first Friday night in December, and features a variety of musicians, holding court in over 130 downtown businesses.  The aim is to raise money for arts scholarships, and the donations are usually copious.

I’ve gone down there, for 6 of the seven years I’ve lived here continuously and for both Decembers that Penny, Aram and I lived here, previously.  It’s always a incredibly joyful time, regardless of weather or temperature.  I end up taking in at least three performances, usually more.

Tonight, the American Legion post had its annual Christmas Dinner, which took up most of the time allotted to Acker Night.  I still managed to run into a trio of friends, in the heart of the Square.  A couple of visits to performances in the Shops at Hotel  St.Michael followed.  I ended up at the shop of a friend:  Ms. Natural’s and caught their guest guitarist winding up his act.  Claudia’s apple cinnamon cake and a robust coffee  topped off the evening, and I slipped out quietly, so the ladies could finish their closing activities.

On the way back to my apartment, these scenes caught my eye.

Over two thousand people, many from the Phoenix area,  as well us locals, attended this evening’s festivities.  It’s events like this which help give Prescott the moniker, “Everybody’s Hometown”.

Illusions that Limit

10

December 4, 2018, Prescott-

I read about you today,

the “chamberlain” drinkers,

who contrive beverages of everything

from cough syrup to aerosol propellant.

These are to help you escape,

what you see as an untenable,

unbearable reality.

I read about the stock market,

flailing, and looking for any excuse,

to take other people’s money,

to strike back at the government

or to just take the money and spend it,

willy nilly.

I read about the lawsuits,

going in both directions,

to also strike back

at one’s political opponents

or at people with whom

one disagrees in areas

as widely separated,

as religion and commerce.

These pastimes are those

of the lost,

of those whose faith is

in scarcity.

My faith is in abundance.

I have a duty to my body,

to see that what goes into it,

is at least digestible,

does not poison my vital organs,

or numb my brain.

I have a duty to my elders,

including the departed,

to take what they have

so generously left me,

and nurture it.

I have a duty to my fellow humans,

to not besmirch their dignity,

to not savage them,

for their different viewpoints,

but to encourage their growth,

along with my own.

My faith is in abundance.

One Heart’s Fortune

2

November 30, 2018, Prescott-

This evening, with a fairly peaceful week of work behind me, and a resolution to the dilemma, that I described in the last post, having been put into motion, I attended the opening night of a play, “Hannah’s Heart”, about a 10-year-old girl in Depression-era Prescott, her family, and two benefactors.

Like many families in the 1930’s, the Meadows’ were a brood led by a swaggering father, who was, ironically, recovering from an injury, and a stoic mother, focused on what she could do to make up for the loss of her husband’s productivity.  The ebb in their fortunes led to older daughter Hannah Grace, stepping up to make tree ornaments, by the sale of which she could provide gifts for her family.

The flow that this effort provided helped reverse the family’s low fortune, at least temporarily.  She was aided in her work by two angelic figures, an elderly woman who lived alone and who was befriended by the Meadows’ and a robust man from Texas, who took on the work, around the family farm, that Mr. Meadows was unable to do.  Both of them mentored Hannah, encouraging her to follow her heart.

I enjoy this sort of down-to-earth, human interest story.  It mirrors the many tales I’ve heard over the years, from both sides of my large extended family, as well as from my departed in-laws.  The format of the play has an elderly Hannah Grace, in the present day, telling her Millennial granddaughter about the events of that long-ago Christmas.  It behooves all present-day youth to learn what they can of that time in history, from those who lived it if possible, so as to be better able to handle similar situations, which could very well arise, in their own lifetimes.

 

Bumps

4

November 29, 2018, Prescott-

It was overcast, almost gloomy, this morning. It seemed the community was almost at a standstill.  Lines were a bit longer; traffic, a bit heavier.  Our students were a bit later, getting to school.

My new phone will wait until the weekend, to get set up. Snags appeared, in getting to my mother-in-law’s services.  There was an overall mood of grouchiness, hereabouts.

Noon came and went, with the day being fairly routine, once we got going.  By 2 p.m., the sky had cleared, at least for a time.  By 4, a possible solution to the above mentioned travel snags had presented itself.  I had a good chiropractic session and took a blessed nap.

Bumps in the road are temporary, if we can see past them.  The other thing is to not be attached to a given outcome.  I would be a bit saddened, if it turns out I don’t get to pay my respects to “Bunny” at her gravesite.  I will not be shattered, though.  There is plenty of need for me to be right here.

Tomorrow, November will bid us farewell and yet another festive season will take its place on stage.  I am another 360 around the Sun, and still sense a lot of fine things are in store, especially if we endure their opposite numbers.

Full Speed Ahead?

5

November 28, 2018, Prescott-

It was certainly a whirlwind birthday, after I got off work.  The crew gave me a lovely fruit tart, which I cut in fours and shared with them.  There were plenty of balloons with which the kids enjoyed playing, when we were not busy with tasks at hand.  Otherwise, it was a fairly peaceful day, in the room.

Afterwards, I set myself towards getting my new phone set up.  Other than getting the SIM card installed, though, it was a no-go.  T-Mobile has too many hoops through which to jump, for someone like me to go DIY.  I may be able to still set the phone up online, once I locate certain passwords and PINS; otherwise, it’ll wait until Sunday, when I will be in Phoenix for other business.

It was far more rewarding to visit the mother of a local friend, in hospital.  A little pine plant and a Christmas healing card seemed to make her very happy.  I spent about an hour with mother and daughter, before the evening nurse visit signaled it was time for me to head out.

Once back home, after dinner and a brief session on Planet Fitness massage equipment, I spent a while on the phone with Aram.  Looks like the Korea visit, next March, is moving full speed ahead, in terms of my hosts’ plans for the week.  Passport is still in progress, but I think that’ll be resolved by mid-December.

More readily will be the trip to Washington, to pay last respects to my mother-in-law, as her interment will be on December 11.  So, without further ado, I will be making travel arrangements, tomorrow and Friday.

Besides the above, 2019 is looming as a year without a full-on agenda.  I know, from past experience, that this will change.  My small universe abhors a vacuum, as much as does the larger one.  I am just glad to wake each morning, go and take care of tasks at hand and be loving to those who cross my path, whether that love gets reciprocated or not.  I still remain wary of those whose rage seems to eclipse whatever good qualities they have, but we take some people one step at a time.  Most everyone else, though, treat me like royalty and they get the same back.

Now, on to the blessings of the last two days of November and of 2018’s closing month.

Letting Go; Not Giving Up

4

November 26, 2018, Prescott-

This day is to honour  ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Who guided the Baha’i Faith, from the Ascension of Baha’u’llah, on May 29, 1892 to His own  passing, on November 28, 1921. It is called the Day of the Covenant, as ‘Abdu’l-Baha symbolized the agreement between Baha’u’llah and His followers.  He explained much of His Father’s Revelation to us.

‘Abdu’l-Baha suffered, physically, for much of His life on Earth.  He came to North America and Europe, from 1911-13, visiting many major cities, and maintained a schedule that would have been daunting for someone half His age.

He made this journey when He was between the ages of 67-69. As I will turn 68, in a few days, I have to admire His fortitude.  The example set was a strong one, and was derived from both detachment and commitment, in equal balance.

An example came when He was in San Francisco, and it was requested by some Baha’is in Los Angeles, that He visit their city. Bear in mind that this was in 1912, and there were costs involved that seemed insurmountable.  ‘Abdu’l-Baha did not impinge on anyone, in meeting His expenses.  He at first told the Los Angeles friends that He would not be able to make the journey, though it caused Him great sorrow.  A short time afterward, though, money was found. ‘Abdu’l-Baha and His entourage made the train trip south to Los Angeles and spent a day or so there, specifically visiting the grave of the first American to declare his faith in Baha’u’llah.  That man’s name was Thornton Chase.  ‘Abdu’l-Baha showed that, by letting go, a person gives the Divine, the Universe, room to muster its energy and bring things to fruition.

I have been in many situations, including this year, where it has been prudent to let go of plans and expectations, and to move with the flow of energy.  These situations have, in the long run, not hampered my well-being and have actually helped to purify my life.  There will be others, I’m certain, as this year winds down and subsequent years unfold.  I can rely on the example set by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, in pondering my reaction to the changes that are in store.

Sunshine Blogger Award

16

November 25, 2018, Prescott-

sunshine-blogger-award

The rules of this Awesome Sunshine Blogger Award are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.

The questions:

 

  1. Are you the  jolly type or serious type personality,  and why ?

I am easy-going, most of the time, with a sense of humour about most situations. I am serious, when the situation calls for careful, sober behaviour.

2. When you are irritated, how crazed you can become ?

I am rarely driven to intense anger. Rape, child abuse and unlawful imprisonment are what make me angry, when I encounter them.  I would not allow myself to beat someone senseless, but would certainly pursue justice for a victim of such crimes.

3. What is your opinion on live in relationship ?

I believe in marriage.  Sex outside of marriage is wrong, except in cases of extreme chaos and massive casualties in a population, when people need to live together, for the sake of security.

4.   Your thoughts,when you realised that next minute you are going to die …

I have lived a wonderful life. My beloved is waiting, on the other side of the veil.

5. Can you tell me,what is the necessity for so many religions to come into the existence ?

There is a misconception, among most people, that each of the Divine Messengers is separate from all Others.  Each person thinks “his” or “her’ Messenger is the sole Voice of God.  Then, there are those who follow a variation of a revealed Faith- (Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Sunni, Shiite, Sufi, Theravada, Hinayana, etc.)  There is, in fact, one Spiritual Truth, which is revealed to the extent the people of the time can understand.

6.  What is the one fulfillment ,you demand from God ?

I demand nothing from God.  He is the Creator and I am one of His creatures.

 

7.  Do you Love & marry the person or Marry and then Love the person ?

I sense that, by “love”, you are referring to romance and sex.  I believe that sex should only happen after marriage.  I love several women, as friends.  I could be romantic with a single woman, but not involve myself sexually unless I married her.

8.  At what limit of your income,you feel satisfied ?

I am content with an income of U.S. $ 30-40K.  I would accept, and invest, more, of course.

 

9.  Which part of your childhood you cherish most ?

I enjoyed my middle childhood, ages 8-11, the most.

10.  What is/was most embarrassing moment in your life ?

Being set up by a small group of adults and teens, whilst taking over a supervisory role with two of the teens.  They were given money by unknown adults, to finance a get-away from residential school, on my watch.

11.   What is your favorite quote ?

“The Earth is but one country and mankind, its citizens.”-Baha’u’llah

Thank you, Philosophy through Photography

My nominees are:

stellabailey.wordpress.com

Somewhat Damaged

Sunshiny SA Site

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

SHEILA RENEE PARKER

Book ‘Em, Jan O

psychologistmimi.wordpress.com

priscawriter.wordpress.com

Stories I’ve Never Told…

Victoria Ray

www.madekesiworld.com

 

Here are my questions.

  1.  What gets you up in the morning?
  2.  Where do you work, or go to school?  Is it far from your home?
  3.  What makes you continue, even in the face of trial?
  4.  What brings you the most joy?
  5.  What is your honest opinion of social media?
  6.  Do you have a role model?  If so, what about that person draws you in?
  7.  What have you learned from a setback?
  8.  What do you think your community needs most?  Your country?
  9.  Would you like to travel? To where?
  10.  Which is more urgent, fixing potholes in your city’s roads, or travel to Mars?
  11.  Which human quality do you find most appealing?  Why?

 

Gratitude Week, Day 7: The Finest Fruits

9

November 24, 2018, Prescott-

I have decided to end this week of gratitude, by looking back at the ten best choices I ever made.  I am grateful to the Universe for having placed these in front of me and I have a measure of self-gratitude for having made them.

10,  Serving in the Army– At 18, I had little to show for my life. There was no discipline, of which to speak and my world consisted of drooling over girls and imbibing too much alcohol, too fast.  Other-imposed discipline gave me a regimen, which I could add to the work ethic that my parents instilled in each of us and it set me on  a course of self-reliance, which I still need and use.

9.  Studying Psychology- It didn’t make me wealthy and barely got me a job, but knowing something of what makes the human mind tick has given me insight into myself and has made me more understanding of others.

8. Living on the Navajo Nation- I have a strong genetic memory of the Indigenous. I am not much, in terms of blood quantum, but my nature fairly burns with the feeling that I belong in the woodlands; that I am a gatherer and a sharer; that I am one with the Universe. Being on the same page, day to day, with Dineh (Navajo) and Hopi people reinforced that unity.

7. Blogging-   Writing is a skill that three of my four high school English teachers saw as a talent that I needed to sharpen.  They gave me the tools to keep on sharpening that talent.  College brought it up another notch.  As a caretaker, and then as a widower, far from extended family, blogging gave me an outlet, one step up from journaling  (which I also still do) and a wider appreciative audience.

6, Returning to work, full time- In 2016, having been a substitute teacher, with a couple of other jobs, whilst being Penny’s caretaker, I found a niche at Prescott High School.  My place there was, more or less, secure and I was urged to return full-time, for the years leading up to my retirement from education.  That work has been fulfilling, and will remain so until I reach 70, two years from now.

5.  Working as a counselor- As a school counselor, I was able to impact thousands of lives, over the span of eleven years, between Tuba City and Keams Canyon/Jeddito, and some of those lives were saved.  I am haunted by  a few lives that weren’t and by those I couldn’t reach.  The majority, though, learned life skills and resilience, and knew that someone had their backs.

4. Settling in Prescott- The job aside, moving here after Penny’s passing was a lifesaver.  I had the anchor of a house, for the time I needed it, and of a Faith Community with whom I was already familiar and who were not intimate with Penny’s suffering.  That last was important.  I could not have the constant reminders of all that we had endured together.  Since then, I have made many new friends and branched out in several directions-all healthy.

3. Widespread travel-Besides going back and forth from Arizona to the East Coast, for family visits, my wanderlust has taken me to western Europe, Hawai’i, the Pacific Northwest and southeast Alaska.  I took in a small swath of eastern Canada, last summer and am likely to cross our northern neighbour again, in the summer of 2020.  California, Nevada and Colorado have also seen a lot of me, these past seven years, as have the South and Midwest.  This is an essential part of who I am.

2.  Getting married- I have always been crazy about girls and women.  There isn’t much about the opposite gender that I don’t like, though I am proud to be male.    Self-dislike got in the way, though, when I found myself drawn to one young lady after another.  Penny didn’t fall for any of that, and we built a solid foundation, by which both of us were able to tame most of our demons and raise a fine young man, who has taken his full place in the world.

1. Recognizing Baha’u’llah- I received a solid spiritual foundation, having been raised in the Roman Catholic faith. As I matured, though, the rituals and practices began to feel automatic to me, and I have always known that there is a continuity to Divine Revelation, superseding any one of the faiths or denominations that are commonplace.  In 1972, I heard of Baha’u’llah, and the Baha’i Faith, for the first time.  Nine years later, I embraced Baha’i as my own.  I have found its precepts teach everything in which I already believe, and the teachings regarding health are exactly what I needed, to tame the demon of alcohol dependence.  Far beyond those, however, are the vision of planetary and human unity-dispelling the darknesses of racism, nationalism and excessive materialism.

I am sure I will have other choices to make, in the coming days, months, and years.  Perhaps a life-changer will be among them, as well.

Gratitude Week, Day 6: The Great Notes

4

November 23, 2018, Prescott-

I am barely a singer, have no instrumental talent of which to speak and can’t read sheet music, yet music has been one of my fall backs, in happy times and in sad.  This post features ten tunes that especially resonate.  So, there’s not much text here.  Listen to those you find appealing, and know that each has a special place in my heart.

10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSq4B_zHqPM

9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGDA0Hecw1k

8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw5Y0AbHt1o

7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtGZGBvb7ic

6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8AWFf7EAc4

5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awzNHuGqoMc

4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BNRBgxiS2c (There is a lot of commentary here.  The song is what is at the heart.)

3.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpwdwbO1uvM

2.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Biex1XR_mpo-(This lovely tune, in a wondrous context.)

1.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yfwlj0gba_k (because it is so).

There are hundreds of others.  These are what are in my heart, most readily.

Gratitude Week, Day 2: Each New Beginning

16

November 19, 2018, Prescott-

Mondays begin my work week. Contrary to many, I find Mondays invigorating and encouraging.  Each new beginning in my life is cause for celebration, whether a sunrise, a new week, month or year.  Each birthday allows me to celebrate what has happened in the year gone by, and to anticipate what lies in the year ahead.

Every new food is a joy.  That is, after all, I fell in love with full-bellied fried clams, green vegetables, omelets and green smoothies, at various points in my life.

Being in a new place is most often a joy. There is always something that connects me to the familiar and something that broadens my life.  Having now set foot on five continents, (Africa and Antarctica are in my intermediate future), I am glad to say there is nowhere that I felt unsafe.

Here’s to many more phoenixes!

 

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