For these sixty-nine years and change, I have felt two, perhaps semmingly contradictory things: Unconditional love and discernment, with regard to how I spend my time and money. The contradiction clears up, once I remember that unconditional love includes how one is towards self.
So, when someone decides, on my behalf, that THIS is what I should do, for the greater good, THIS is how I will spend my time and THIS is what deserves my financial investment, the door tends to shut-at least until such time as I see the value in being involved. Part of this is my autism, and part of it is that I have received clear guidance from my ancestors and spirit guides.
I appreciate that some in the world feel drawn to me, calling me their brother or father, even though we’ve never met. A few of them have my support, to a certain extent. I will fulfill those commitments I’ve made, but this will NOT open the door to unending work on more projects. I have my path set, for the times when we are dealing better with COVID19 and for when there are other events going on, for which I will need to be elsewhere. During such times, I will not be at the random beck and call of individuals. I will have my family and selected other people as my first priorities.
Yes, this is a statement of discretion, which hopefully will be understood in the spirit of love with which it is offered.
I had a good day today, visiting online with a small group of friends and in person with a hard-working friend, who is set to take her first real vacation in two years. I also made the requested headway in my adopted project and got new insights as to what else is needed on it. The surest way to be done with an unsolicited activity is to do it right, the first time.
I want to focus now on ten things I like-both phenomena, and traits of people.
People who walk with their heads held high, and who own their lives.
Happy dogs, cats and horses.
Spirited and respectful discussion.
Well-crafted chocolate and cacao.
Brilliant sunrises and sets.
Organic food products.
Kindness towards people.
A good, well-told story.
These are a few of the things that come to mind, “when the dog bites; when the bee stings..”
I spent about two hours, this afternoon, with an online group,”Earth Rising’, in the last session of a class, entitled Gaia Calling. Gaia is an ancient Greek name for Earth. The concept of our planet, and all heavenly bodies, as a living entity, goes back to the earliest antiquity and has credence in modern science-particularly in the realms of seismology, geology and hydrology. This class focused on our relationships with both Earth as a whole and with the area in which each of us lives. My Home Base, as many know, is in the basin of three mountain ranges: Sierra Prieta (west), Bradshaw (south) and Mingus (east). It is also the watershed of the Verde River and its western tributaries.
I have been getting spiritual messages, through this group’s interactions, as well as through meditations guided by an Australian Cosmic Advisor, Elizabeth Peru. Guided meditations are similar, in that the meditant is asked to breathe deeply, whilst focusing on a specific area of the body, then expand downward, into the earth, upward into the heavens and outward, to connect with the spirits of others.
These meditations have brought messages, fairly consistently. They have, in earlier iterations, led me to travel where and when I have and to rearrange my homebound life, in the same way. I was guided, most recently, to offer the memorial hike in honour of my late uncle. That it ended up occurring on Penny’s and my thirty-eighth wedding anniversary was an added confirmation from the Universe- a sign from God.
I have signals for the 1 1/2 months ahead, after today’s session. The rest of June is to be focused on faith-based activities, on at least one community festival and a hike on Granite Mountain, my first since late summer, 2014.
The first week of July is to be focused on community events, followed by a week of faith-based observances. I then get a message to make a journey of advocacy, to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and its environs. The area is under pressure for development of natural gas resources. My journey would last four or five days, and is contingent on both the health status of the people in the area and on whether the park itself is open. The last week, or so, of July is open-ended, but the indications are for a mix of community and faith-based activities.
These forecasts, as Elizabeth calls them, can, like weather forecasts, be changed-but so far, I have found them quite spot on. It’s when I have indulged my own whims, as in 2013, that I have found self off-track.
Of all things that get done in life, none exceed in value the homage paid to those who have gone before. As giving, to those in need, results in getting more of what oneself could use, so does paying respects, to those who have transitioned, bring more honour to the one paying the respects.
I was able to stay in a fine little cabin, a duplex, which I shared with a family of three, who kept to themselves. Jacob Lake Lodge has been built into a resort, of modest size, staying free from any ostentatiousness. It has a small, but quality, restaurant, where pandemic-based spacing is in effect, and of course, masks helped give a sense of health security, for both patrons and staff-when we weren’t eating or drinking, of course.
After hiking a “warm-up” trail, in search of the actual Jacob Lake, I found only an RV Park, and so returned to the resort, in time for check-out. Then, it was off to the Canyon!
There is a plan being considered, that will result in a sizable amount of trees being cut, in Kaibab National Forest, along the road to North Rim. There is a huge amount of slash and burned-out trunks, left from previous fires and intense storms. To me, it would make the most sense to clear that mess, and probably would put a fair number of people to meaningful work, this month and next. As the trees under consideration are “old growth” forest, it is especially heart-rending to consider the unnecessary damage to the ecosystems.
After arriving at North Kaibab Trailhead, where the Elantra would rest, while I hiked, it took a short bit of checking the route, to make sure I din’t end up going down the North Kaibab Trail, itself. Ken Patrick Trail, a bit to the north of the steep big kahuna, would take me to Uncle Jim Trail. With the help of a thru-hiker doing the Arizona Trail, I was on my way, in short order. You can see from the sign, below, that Ken Patrick was dedicated to service with the National Parks.
About 500 feet along the trail, a large ponderosa pine had fallen across the path, so I went up and around the mess. Three other trees would lie across the trail, at different points.
The first set of overlooks lies about 1/4 mile along the Ken Patrick Trail. This view mirrored what I saw last October, from the Bright Angel Point trail.
Nature leaves her little jokes, even at the expense of damaged trees.
Sooner than I expected, it was time to take a hard right.
The first segment of Uncle Jim Trail is four tenths of a mile. It is also the area with the most up and down inclines, and the only place where there are switchbacks, albeit mild ones. Two downed trees greeted us hikers, along this stretch, as well.
At 7/10 of a mile, along the western leg of Uncle Jim Trail’s 2.1-mile loop, I came to a series of fabulous canyon views.
Finding a heart-shaped rock, I placed it carefully against a small set of wood shavings.
This natural eroded bowl could serve as an amphitheater.
I came upon an unofficial overlook, east of the main viewpoint, and appreciated the two “guardians”, looking back towards the rim.
Looking out from this vantage, at Uncle Jim Point, I have a tripod to help me focus.
Heading out from this vantage point, I spotted a burnt ponderosa, which could serve as a memory pole, of sorts.
I spent a few minutes sitting on the landing of a restroom building, writing in my journal. As I did, a fierce gust of wind came up and blew my sunglasses off the landing. I looke for the shades, for about ten minutes, but to no avail. If that is my offering to the forces of nature, so be it. I have a feeling that the wind took them all the way to the rim, and over.
Hearing happy voices, I followed the tral to the main viewpoint. There were four women, a couple and me, taking one another’s photographs. Thus, a pyramid could be envisioned: Four at the base, two in the middle and one on top.
Here I am, courtesy of the “better half” of the couple.
With Uncle Jim Point in the background, I fulfilled a promise to myself and to his family.
With that, the two parties and I leapfrogged one another, on the way back, as each took rest breaks. We all missed the junction sign, going back on the Ken Patrick Trail by osmosis. I last saw the four women taking an extended photo shoot at the first overlook. The couple, it turns out, are from Santa Monica, and were enjoying their first venture out of town, since January.
So, my heart’s desire was fulfilled and I headed out of the Canyon, with a brief stop at North Country Market, for a well-earned salted caramel latte and a long, but smooth, drive to Flagstaff.
I have found that my throat chakra. It’s a feature that had been rather subject to timidity and over-circumspection, especially when it came time to face challenges from more strident individuals, over the years. I find myself talking back more-and with more confidence.
These are times when people are dealing with fear and pain, in some very unsettling ways. Then again, people have dealt with fear and pain in unsettling ways, forever. It just plays out more in real time.
Grand Canyon National Park has re-opened its North Rim to hiking, but not to lodging. I had a pre-COVID plan to hike a trail up there, in honour of my Uncle Jim, who passed away last year. June 3 would have been his 86th birthday. As it happens, I have an obligation here at Home Base, that evening, but June 2 is open. So, I have plans to take my hiking sticks, water, natural sanitizer, mask and gloves-and honour my uncle’s memory.
The reaction to my announcement of this has not been what I expected. I thought friends on the Left would come screaming about contagion. So far, only one mild protest has come from that direction. Most everyone, progressives and conservatives alike, have simply said “Be safe and enjoy!”
The only caveat that I have, for the driving portion of this trip, is to not stop along the way, in the Navajo Nation, unless absolutely necessary-to honour the Nation’s President’s request that outsiders drive through, without stopping.
For what it’s worth, this is the only long trip I have planned for the next several weeks, if not months, and out-of-state, for now, remains out of the question.
There has been, in the time of pandemic, a particularly acute explosion of awareness, of various acts of violence against people of colour, by both those in authority and private individuals; against indigenous or pastoral groups, by those seeking to exploit mineral or plant resources, without having done the requisite research into archaeological and anthropological remnants at the resource site; by those who are ust lashing out at whoever disagrees with them, on a given issue.
The philosopher, Eckhart Tolle, refers to the existence of a pain body, which stores physical and emotional memories of unhealed pain. This concept explains everything from the phantom limb, felt by amputees to the acting out, by dementia patients, recalling an abuse from many decades earlier.
Many are acting out their pain body memories right now. I know what they are feeling is real-I went through the purging of much buried emotional pain, some of it from my formative years, during the period 2008-14. Part of it surfaced, as I was still caring for my dying wife. The rest came out while I was rebuilding my life. It had to all be handled as quietly as possible, so I thought. None of it was Penny’s fault, or our son’s. Most of it, in truth, came from bad decisions I made, or from things happening around me that, for the most part, were no one’s actual fault.
I have reached the point of stasis, so I know that it is possible to overcome one’s buried pain. It involves communication. It involves trust. It involves commitment to self. It involves resolution. It involves reconciliation and forgiveness-especially towards self.
Those who have committed, and are still committing, crimes against humanity are also committing crimes against themselves-whether they tell themselves it’s for the greater good, for the stockholders or for the survival of the community. It is still an injurious act-with no real winners.
Let us all give some thought to healing our pain bodies.
My conversations with various people, last night and throughout today, have invariably featured goals they want to achieve, over the next several weeks and months. One of my best friends here has set the goal of building a raised planter bed and showed me the frame she has made by herself- a very sturdy oblong planter, which should hold two or three crops, once filled.
This morning, around 11, I visited a small barbecue restaurant, on the second day of the re-opening of food establishments. Tables are set six feet, or more, apart, with the goal being to not have to close up again, anytime soon. Those who came in, while I was having lunch, were very respectful of the few requests the owners made.
My next order of business was to deliver a bottle of essential oil capsules to someone who is suffering a debilitating disease. While at his wife’s establishment, she and a relative were discussing a goal relative to their own overall health- and devising a team plan to meet this objective.
I met my own goal of getting my hair cut, this afternoon. The conversation, with the woman who was cutting my hair, centered on keeping children happy during the ongoing shutdown, which of course will continue into summer-a time that children normally are off, anyway. In some circumstances, no one course of action can resolve an issue. There will be some boredom and some grousing-but I have learned that, when I’ve been bored or listless, things come to me, as to what I might do and inventiveness is always a good skill to hone, in any mind.
I continue to set the bar high for myself, at least, and feel confident that this entire exercise in patience and perseverance will not be as wasteful as one individual, with whom I spoke early this morning , seems to believe.
Two vehicles, full of necessaries, pulled into the parking lot of Little America Resort Hotel, in the center of this sprawling forested city. The drivers, yours truly and a longtime friend, arrived two hours ahead of the designated time for meeting another friend, a member of the Navajo Nation, who was to take the cargo the rest of the way. We each had our lunch of choice and stretched out, in our respective vehicles, to while the time away until then- he, playing a video game and I, taking a nice long nap.
This was my first time out of Navajo County, since March 13, and my first time out of the Prescott area, since March 22. Of course, everything is as I remembered it-in terms of greenery, the layout of cities and towns. Everything is also changed, and as in Prescott, meals are served to go and the picnic table has replaced the patio. I heard, a few minutes ago, that there is a chance restaurants will open for Mothers Day. That would mean rush orders and frantic cleaning, as well as convincing workers to come back-and give up their unemployment. So, it would have to be a genuine restart-not a game of fits and starts.
Anyhow, right at 2 p.m., our Dineh friend and his cohort arrived, and we got all the items transferred, in short order. The supplies will make many people happy and re-assured. There may be other such deliveries. God knows I have the time to assist-clear to next Spring. For now, though, it’s nice to be alive, and useful. I will stop by and purchase a cold brew coffee from a young friend who owns a shop in Sedona, and then head on back to Home Base.
It’s been quite a few years, since Valentine’s Day meant taking time for romance. The last such day was in 2011, and it was to prove the last such day,ever,-at least as far as I know now. Penny wasn’t so much connected with us, but on that day, she was home. She would have about 1 1/2 more weeks, living in the house that we struggled to keep. I got six carnations, placed them in a vase, and made sure she knew they were there. I felt her happiness, at seeing her favourite flowers. The last time I placed carnations in a vase, six months ago, it was at her grave.
The woman closest to me now is not huge on flowers in a vase. She prefers things she can plant. She is also more careful with romance, for good reason. We are the best of friends, and that works well for me. The key is always to meet such of the needs of another person, with which s(he) entrusts you. We are one another’s most fervent well-wisher, sounding board and healer.
There are many other friends in my life, as my readers know-many of you are among them, in real time. In any case, you are friends in spirit, and that has made all the difference, in times of setback and low energy. My friends are a good part of what keeps me going.
Then, there is the purpose-the driving force behind each day, for which I draw breath. Now, it is the life skills development of a young lady, who has spent her brief life working mightily to learn things which so many of us take for granted. She reminds me of my youngest brother, gone these twenty-six years. She is the primary reason for my work, from now until the third week in May.
Love is also putting stock in the Will of God-that things happen for a reason, or for several reasons, all having to do with relationships, with personal development. Some things happen, or don’t happen, according to our human, finite plans-but they always happen for reasons found in the Cosmos. I had planned to visit a friend, whose husband is seriously ill, at an event in her business, this evening. Instead, whilst I was driving to an earlier event, a tire blew and I made it to said earlier event-barely.
Friends there helped me, and thanks to the AAA, my car is at the regular mechanic’s shop. Tomorrow morning will thus be spent with the mechanic and getting the two new tires I seem to need. The tax returns will wait until next week. I will stop at the other friend’s business, tomorrow afternoon. I’ve learned to see even mishaps as blessings.
Love means putting energy into the betterment of those around you, as well as taking care of self.