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 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 6- Steadfastness


March 7, 2018, Prescott- 

Today was a day of surprises.  Both of my co-workers called in sick.  The three peer tutors rose to the occasion, leaving their cell phones on silent, and devoting themselves entirely to their charges.  I was entrusted with the guidance of the two substitutes.    The day was, despite the unsettled beginning, remarkably smooth.

I was expecting a marathon evening meeting, with a full agenda and intense, prolonged discussion.  The chair of the meeting wisely moved everything along, and we actually ended an hour early.

There are rewards that come with steadfastness, staying the course, in time of the unexpected and knowing, deep inside, that this, too, shall pass and that the world just keeps on its path.

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 3- Nobility


March 4, 2018, Prescott-

“Noble I made thee, wherewith dost thou abase thyself?”-Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words.

Many, the world over, believe in Original Sin, the notion that we were born with the sin of  Adam and Eve wrapped around our necks , like an albatross of legend.  I could get into that whole After the Fall thing, but I have much else to do today.

What I believe is this:  Christ took care of people’s guilt over the Fall from Grace, by sacrificing His earthly life.  His point was, and is, we are absolved.  We have always been absolved.  A poster from the ’70’s  says “I know I’m somebody, ’cause God didn’t make no junk.”

We are noble. We are made in the image and likeness of the Creator-in terms of attributes, in terms of spiritual qualities.