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 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.

It Goes Without Saying


February 26, 2018, Prescott-

I’ll say it, anyway-

Today was the first day of Ayyam-i-Ha, the Baha’i period of gift giving and gratitude for what we have.

I gifted an intentional community, north of here, with a stoneware baking dish, because they have been jerry-rigging their baking efforts.  Plus, I love those kids.

Actually, I love all kids, and have for years.  Even the ones that others call misfits and brats deserve love and encouragement, though not coddling.  Nonviolent discipline is a vital part of love.

This generation, which some call The Founders, will have its work cut out for it.  How much work, will depend on how much their parents’ and grandparents’ generations put up a fight against their efforts (see #CameraHogg and other noisome garbage that various “Old Guards” are spewing forth).

It will also depend on how seriously the children come to take their own pronouncements about inclusion.  Splitting into cliques and putting up walls will just be more of the same.

“Hallelujah” and “The Sound of Silence” are among the most beautiful songs in the English language.  They’ve been on my evening’s playlist. Then, there is this:

The Baha’i Nineteen-Day fast is coming up, starting Friday, and lasting until sundown on Tuesday, the twentieth of March.  I will refrain, to the best of my ability, from eating or drinking, between sunrise and sunset, for those nineteen days.

Guns don’t kill; hate kills.  Guns make killing easier, as do bombs and flammable liquids.  The bottom line is, though, it’s a hate thing.

I could not live, easily, in a world without women.  It started with Mom, and Grandma, in the early mists that I knew as Saugus, in the 1950’s.  That brings up this:

The harbour lights and the campground lights have meant the same thing to me, over all these years:  There is love and safety ahead.

Know this, my friends and family:  There is not as fine a world, if not for you.  Self-battery should never be an option.





February 25, 2018, Prescott-

I have spent two days, trying to catch up on my Reader.  Sad to say, I will not get to everyone’s posts, every day.  No harm, no foul.  Life has to go on, so don’t take it personally.

People matter; black guns do not.  Children and teens matter, greatly, because they will carry on, and these particular ones will have much to clean up.  They have already started.  Of course, some of the mess-makers will stick out their legs and try to trip everyone up.  “Must keep things as they are, you know!”  There are consequences, to anything one does.  The consequences of a conspiracy theory are that no one believes you, and then, when the wolf does bite……

I have four places to be today.  Sometime, in the middle of it all, I will go get a tire pressure gauge and find out the source of the Pressure Warning Light being on!!!!  Well, it’s time to go to breakfast.  The consequences of not eating are not pleasant.

The Ocean


February 16, 2017, Carlsbad, CA-

I have traveled, from one healing place

to another,

and then to another, yet.

Prescott has been my refuge,

for six years,

and six months.

Blythe is a wide spot

in the Colorado Desert,

of California’s underscored East.

I stayed there,

because it has the river.

A desert was once an ocean.

Dig deep enough,

past the scorpions’ nests,

and the caliche,

and there will be shell fossils.

La Jolla,



expensive as a place to live,

but sublimely peaceful,

if you look past the mobs.

It reminds me of a time,

long ago,

when I was in the Bronx.

on a Sunday morning,

in April.

No one else was about,

just me,

and Yankee Stadium,

and the animals of Bronx Zoo,

and the murals,

painted by those of good heart.


it was all the parents and kids,

beautiful people of tomorrow,

and a small colony of sea lions.


There are few murals in La Jolla,

but  there is a Museum of Contemporary Art


I left La Jolla,

and negotiated the hordes of people

trying, desperately, to get past

one another,

only to meet again,

at the next light.

We did this dance,

on I-5

and again

on the PCH,

from Encinitas,

to Carlsbad.

Here, I bought

yet another box

of Girl Scout cookies,

because mother and child

were alone,

ignored by those

passing in and out of Von’s.

I bought a box,

because this girl

is our future,

and the future needs

the water of encouragement.

I was followed

by a grandmother,

who bought four boxes,

which Mom proclaimed

the biggest sale of the day.


draws more encouragement.

I settled in,

at my Econolodge,

one of my refuges,

near the ocean.


Doing Becomes Finding Out


February 11, 2018, Prescott-

Thursday afternoon, as I was leaving work, I stopped backing out, on instinct, as a black SUV blew past me, in my blind spot.  The driver of a red pick-up, who was a few car lengths behind the SUV, then began to mock me and, following me close behind, pulled into the strip of driveway to my right.  He was laughing, and shaking his head, as I made room for him to pull around and find that…there was only room for one vehicle to turn at a time, whether right or left!  He couldn’t have been a regular student or staff member; we all know this to be true. Grimacing, the hot shot waved “Thank you”, and made his turn.

Friday afternoon, I drove home from work and found my street was closed, a SWAT vehicle was in our driveway, with a half-dozen police cars and at least a dozen armed officers standing in position.  One of the neighbours had committed a felony and was taken into custody.  It was a matter of his having beaten his lady friend and allegedly threatening responding officers with a deadly weapon. (I did not see any of this, but I trust that it happened, as reported. )  I drove around the corner, and waited at the next block up, talking with other neighbours, until the operation was completed.  Do the crime, and the time awaits.

Last night, I went over to a “Paint Jam”, at Wild Iris Coffee Shop.  I was given a canvas, a palette, three brushes, some rinse water and a mixing plate.  Realizing I had forgotten to bring a sketching pencil, my free-style painting commenced.  It ended up, as a little girl who was observing remarked, being “a very funny painting.”  My mind, after the fact, recalled several basic truths about the art of painting:  Backdrop gets done first; remember how to blend primary colours;  never, ever, forget a sketching pencil.  A photo, to copy, is also a nice thing to have.  Such are the consequences of not having painted a scene since sixth grade- 56 years ago.  I am keeping the painted canvas, in a place known only to me, as a token of humility.

Do, and you will find out.

The Onion’s Wake


February 3, 2018, Prescott-

(This is a very short story, prompted by this past week’s back and forth between the Federal government and Wall Street, and the ongoing roiling about sexual harassment.)

Seth woke at his usual time, on Friday.  He had just been told of a huge gift, from his father.  In times past, he’d have been ecstatic.  Seth had always been a sucker, for what his parents and family deemed “good news”.  He was never one to look for the cloud, behind every silver lining.

This gift, however, seemed different.  He had been getting lots of presents, recently, but had done nothing to earn them.  It was starting to wear on his psyche.  You see, Seth had always been one to roll up his sleeves, use his own ingenuity and forge ahead, at a modest pace.  Usually, this meant intense periods of activity, followed by rest, which was most often understood by his family.

For the past year, Seth had been at it, full tilt.  He had enjoyed the adulation this brought and it propelled him to even more feats of energetic achievement.   On the sidelines, however, were stories of mistreatment of his sisters, his girl cousins and several of their friends.  Father devalued the women, several of his favourite uncles, and a few of the aunts, discounted their stories.  One of the loudest voices of disavowal came from an uncle who had himself been brawling with Father, all the while insisting that he, himself, was one of the best friends the women would ever have.  Yesterday, this uncle unleashed a broadside at one of the ladies” friends, calling her a liar, after she had said something derogatory about a grand-uncle, who was a well-known lecher.  To him, this grand-uncle had been a “paragon of virtue”, meek and mild, never ever causing harm.  The friend knew differently, and was deeply scarred by her encounters with grand-uncle.

All this led Seth to snap.  Having the women feel good about themselves was essential to the work that Seth had been doing.  After the morning’s gift arrived, Seth put it in a box of his own, and sent it, and several other gifts of the past year, back to their senders.  Father, incredulous, fumed that that none of his gifts were appreciated and that this ungrateful wretch of a son would be more closely supervised by his brothers.

Seth shrugged and, like Atlas before him, pondered whether he might shrug some more- and return still more gifts, while taking a good long rest.