Falling, Gently

7

May 21, 2017, Prescott-

Yesterday could have been seen as somewhat of a bust.

I didn’t spend all that much time at a memorial picnic.

I felt there were some serious issues of trust,

coming from some of the people closest to the man,

in whose memory we were gathered.

Earlier, I had been at a place where trust HAS been earned,

and, in honour of my maternal grandfather,

enjoyed a Chicago-style Polish Sausage.

I never met Papa, in this life,

but his forebears hailed from Silesia,

when it was German turf.

There was, then, as now,

a great deal of interplay between German and Pole.

So, Polish sausage, with sauerkraut and Dusseldorf mustard, it was.

There was great food at the picnic, as well,

and the Mariachi were heartfelt in their performance.

It was a magnificent tribute,

frayed only by that lack of trust,

something that the honoree would never have countenanced.

I moved on, and read, just this morning,

a horoscope that told me,

those who hurt you were doing the best they could,

under the circumstances.

None of us, really, are ourselves,

in the wake of shattering loss.

I wasn’t, from 2011-14.

A lot of people were hurt,

in the wake of my mourning.

Some have never forgiven;

most have moved on.

Last night,

I happened on a troubadour.

Her message, sung across the miles,

to the one man she loves with every ounce of her being,

was just how lucky he made her.

The audience, mostly late middle-aged couples,

heard it in their hearts, too.

I know that feeling, so well.

My spirit angel was one of a kind.

She said to us, to me, if you’re struggling,

hang on.  It’ll all work out.

She sang of falling gently,

as she did for the man who waits for her,

back in Cape Cod.

Enjoy the accompanying message, from Monica Rizzio,

and if you’re ever in Cape Cod, catch one of her gigs.

The A-Team

8

May 17, 2017, Prescott-

In my twelve years of public education, 1956-1968, there were mostly competent educators, a few misfits and twelve stand-up, top flight professionals, who either were my teachers of record or served as mentors beyond the immediate classroom.

One, Miss Bernis Hanlon, passed on, over the weekend.  She was my fifth grade teacher, and one of two at the Felton School, Saugus, MA, who went above and beyond, when it came to building character.  It was largely Miss Hanlon’s influence that brought me out of my shell, had me at least approach a modicum of competence in a few sports and join the Boy Scouts.  She taught us that boys and girls, working together, accomplish three times as much, as the genders working separately.  She taught me that having a  then little-known disability (mild autism) was never an excuse for not doing one’s level best.  She built on the framework which my third grade teacher, the then Miss Joanne Nugent, had started.

Fast forward, to 1966-67, my Junior Year at Saugus High School.  I had survived junior high school, the awkwardness, the quirky behaviour, which had generated taunts from otherwise good people, and the fires of our eighth grade year.   Only the stalwart protection of Mr. Paul O’Brien, who died earlier this year, and Mr. Ron Ahern,  and the character education of the late Miss Gladys Fox,kept me on an even keel.  I had endured inept teachers, in three of my freshman classes.   I had mastered grammar and punctuation, with the guidance of Miss Miriam Kochakian, as a Sophomore. It was the junior year that brought Mr. John Quinlan and understanding of Algebra,  Mr. Bernard Hussey and a stellar United States History class, Mrs. Lillian Pittard Bisbee, and love of prose, and the renewed mentorship of Miss Hanlon, by then a colleague of Mrs. Bisbee and a full-on enthusiast of poetry and drama.   The two ladies set the stage for Mrs. Katherine Vande and the best creative writing instruction I have ever had (Senior English).

Miss Hanlon was an integral part of that A-Team of mine, and I can’t imagine how my life would have played out, without her presence.  I know she is smiling down on all of us whom she loved, with that reassuring, infectious Irish grin.

Nephilim

2

May 16, 2017, Prescott-

Some say there are giants

buried in the earth.

They say this explains

the great mounds of Ohio

and Cahokia.

The giants,

the story goes,

fouled the planet,

yet also built the Great Pyramids,

and dug the canals of Arizona.

They built Stonehenge,

and arranged the boulders

at Carnac.

These giants,

their chroniclers say,

were evil.

If  this is true,

I’m glad they’re gone.

I had a dream once,

that I was in the presence,

of such a giant.

I had the opportunity

to torture him,

to inflict

extreme pain.

I declined.

Loathsome as he seemed,

he was a creature of God.

It was the Almighty’s call,

as to his fate.

The giant

and his own captors

were puzzled by my response.

I went my way,

in peace,

and the giant fell,

of his own weight.

This is the way of the Light.

Those who carry darkness,

find it the most unwieldy

of burdens.

 

 

Mothers and The Ides of May

10

May 15, 2017, Prescott-

There was no obligatory Mother’s Day post here, this year. The Second Sunday itself was largely taken up with funerary rites.  Mom got a call from me in the evening, though two earlier attempts were made.  She’s on the move yet, during the day, so evening always seems to work best.

She loves the roses, and will hopefully have some idea of what I can do, come July, regarding helping to renovate our family home of 62 years.   Those are more welcome gifts than tying up the phone, which she finds tiresome, after ten minutes or so.  Perhaps the best gift I can give her, though, is maintaining a positive attitude.  It’s gotten her through nearly nine decades, and keeps her on top of what goes on, day by day.

My second brother, also a model of positivity, came through today’s medical procedure, ready as ever to get back to taking on the world. He helps guide the company that produces some of Boston’s finest frankfurters (“hot dogs” is not the term of choice there).

That news is indicative of this month:  Warm and cool days intermingle.  Death and suffering are dovetailed with love and recovery. Years ago, my over-correcting, on a California surface road, almost derailed our pending marriage, but warmer hearts and cooler heads prevailed.  Fifteen years later, I had walking pneumonia, which took well into June to disappear.  Now, twenty years further on, I am in the penultimate week of a challenging, but largely successful, academic year, and my first full-time stint since 2004. ( A brief internship with a rather mercenary “social service” agency, in 2009, hardly counts.)

May, 2017 has met its Ides, and the year as a whole is moving along, much faster than the previous two. I wonder what Quantum Physics has to say about such things.

 

 

 

Cornerstones

4

April 28, 2017, Prescott- 

Every great edifice has a cornerstone,

from which the foundation spreads,

and the stories rise.

Every family has two cornerstones,

from whom the children emerge,

and are raised to strengthen their communities.

Every community has several cornerstones,

from whom the leaders emerge,

and rise up to keep their towns and cities strong.

Every nation has a plethora of cornerstones,

from which the generation of ideas proceeds,

and safeguards the security of the land.

Our planet has a myriad  of cornerstones,

by whom the human race can be united,

and the spiritual unification of mankind may be realized.

 

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.

Sixty-Six for Sixty Six, Part XXVII: The Only True Network

6

April 26, 2017, Prescott-

I’ve had a good amount of time to think about the people and things that have come my way, over the past six years, especially the past month or so.  I came upon what turns out to be an intensely spiritual little community of a few dozen good friends, anchored by two remarkable couples, who I met, in their entirety, last night, while online.  The women, one in particular, showed a high level of concern for my well-being, last month, when I stopped by their coffee shop, after a long hike.  I was fine, but that level of love resonated, deep in my heart.  Maybe I’ve been on the go, and semi-independent, a bit too long, and the message is to savour connections, more than I have up to now.

There is, from my having met the rocks, the diamonds, of two large and loving families, a deeper lesson.  My travels, here and there, will continue, as will my being active in the community that serves as my home base.  There is, though, thanks to Mrs. Willa Ficarra and Mrs. Kathy Barga, a reminder that there is no real heart connection, without a sense of family.  In all my travels, with three notable single-adult friends as exceptions, it has been the families who have befriended me, who have provided the most consistent support, admonition and encouragement.

As this academic year enters its final month, I look ahead to two months of connection, and re-connection, with friends, new and old, and with my own family, in strengthening the network that will help each of us, in whatever lies ahead.

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.

Aquiescence

11

April 21, 2017, Globe, AZ-

Last weekend,

and this,

I am practicing

radiant acquiescence.

It was told me,

thirty-five years ago,

that accepting “NO”,

from the Universe,

often leads to finding

what one wants.

The ancient tale of Layla and Majnoon,

where he found her,

only when he gave up his search,

is a prime example.

Last Sunday,

I found

the gathering place

where friends were celebrating,

only when I had given up the search.

This evening, I found a place

to lay my head,

only when I let go

of wanting to camp

by the side of the road.

Tomorrow,

I will visit with one new friend,

back in Superior,

then head off,

to make others,

in the farm belt,

an hour east of here.

Radiantly letting go

of the insistent self,

brings boundless rewards.

Sixty-Six for Sixty Six, Part XXV: Purpose

9

April 18, 2017, Prescott- 

What is the purpose of public criticism?

Is it loving admonition, or mere oneupmanship?

What is the purpose of public displays of affection?

Is it sharing one’s heart’s desire, with the world,

or rebellion against what one sees as restrictive and outmoded?

What is the purpose of road rage?

Is it an outlet for uncontrollable frustration,

or a neurotic means to power?

What is the purpose of coarse language?

Is it exercise of one’s freedom of speech,

or the lazy person’s way of off-putting others?

What is the purpose of a failure to love others?

Is it a reaction to real and imagined pressures,

or a reflection of one’s lack of love for self?