The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 66: Inclusive or Exclusive

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August 5, 2020-

I have recently had to address the issue of whether I am taking firm stances on matters, or am just flip-flopping, in order to keep disparate groups of friends happy. The truth of the matter is this: I can extract grains of truth in the statements and positions held by friends and family who may not agree with me, and who definitely do not agree with one another.

I look at it this way. We all came from the same Heavenly, Universal Source. Whether people’s ideologies or theologies allow for it, there is only one Creator, one Energy that has brought all life into the Universe, the Milky Way Galaxy, the Solar System and the Planet. Some get hung up on names, on fear of demons, on duality. These last two concerns are certainly prudent, in my book. God does not want us to be consumed by Dark Energy.

We are meant to be beings of Light. We are meant to be reverent, just, loving to one another, regardless of which God-oriented or Light-directed creed to which we adhere. Again, I can tell the difference between Light and Dark. Even in the case of Dark masquerading as Light-the hate reveals itself in short order-as I learned nearly two years ago.

So, I tell myself-and those I love, to “Live Your Truth”. By doing so, mistakes will be revealed and we may then choose to correct- or to persist in error. God knows, I have had to make several corrections, over the years.

There are, though, things about which I will never cave:

  1. Every conceived life is sacred, and worthy of the effort at saving and fostering.
  2. Every born child is sacred, and worthy of nurturing and protection. Despite the position of Word Press, that children’s rights is not an acceptable term for use as a tag, I will continue to hold it in my heart as a talisman. SHAME on the administrators of this platform, for taking such an oppostional stance on this issue.
  3. Every case of suspected abuse or neglect of a child or teenager merits full investigation and the pursuit of justice-no matter HOW HIGH UP in status the suspected abuser sits.
  4. Every sentient being is worthy of respect and dignity.
  5. God never leaves Mankind alone, to our own devices. We have free will, and we are given parameters within which that free will may be used for the full development of our virtues.
  6. When among all Light-oriented beings, I choose to be inclusive. When confronted by Dark forces, my barrier will go up. I am grateful that this last has only had to happen three times, in my entire life.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 65: Hot Pavement Holds, Beirut Explosions and Neo-Nazi Arsonist

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August 4, 2020-

The weather here is the same, day in and day out. There is NO rain forecast for the entirety of Arizona until after Labor Day. So, we go on with our lives, ration water (individually, not by statute) and thank God for the breezes that bring some relief. The smoke from the fire in southern California is also blotting out the sun, just a bit-but we could do without that sort of overcast.

I opened my screen today, to three things-all disconcerting. First, a Black family was detained, because a dispatcher in Aurora, CO told the police that the license plate on their vehicle matched a stolen plate. Left out of that call were: The plate was from another state and that the stolen vehicle was a motorcycle. The family was in an SUV and were sitting in a shopping center parking lot, minding their own business. They had stolen nothing. Within minutes, though, two children, a teenager and an adult were on the ground-or rather, on the hot pavement. There were four officers, at least in the photo. This was yesterday; so far, the accountability is forthcoming.

It was another hot day in the Middle East-and with the added horror of an explosion, in Beirut’s Port District, that looked, for all the world, like a cross between Hiroshima and the second World Trade Center attacks. Fifty people are known dead and over 3,000 injured. Initial reports say the first detonated building had been used to store explosives. I have prayed for the dead and wounded, and am staying tuned.

Lastly, a suspect in the torching of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct has been arrested. He is from St. Paul, and is-are you ready- a neo-Nazi. While no one is saying ALL the protestors are angels, they are apparently not arsonists, either. There is a football field-sized space for miscreants from all points on the political spectrum to make hay while the sun shines, and are they ever taking full advantage!

August is shaping up to be another year, masquerading as a month.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 63: Mental Health

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August 2, 2020-

It turns out that the individual who torched the Arizona Democratic Headquarters, over a week ago, is mentally ill. Republicans, and others, who read only the part about his being a member of the Democratic Party are, predictably, chortling about how this just goes to show that it’s a big farce, orchestrated to bring down President Trump-because, hey, what else is there in the world?

The individual is mentally ill. I know, firsthand, how that feels. Everything is about “MEEE”. Imagined slights take on a reality that knows no bounds. Good people become viewed as monsters-for any number of reasons-most of which are contrived by a mind in pain. So, it came about, that an individual acted to destroy that which he deemed inperfect, and, thus, expendable.

There were all those times, in my distant past, and in more recent years, when autism led to the bouts of self-centeredness, mild delusion and not a little paranoia. It took a good deal of self-work to separate my mother’s high bar of expectations, itself grounded in love, from the blistering criticisms of some of my peers, who left no room for error-or in a few instances, even humanness. Through meditation, correcting my diet, my wife’s love, and adoption of a Faith that actually lived the love prescribed by Jesus the Christ, but ignored by so many of His followers, I achieved a sense of equilibrium.

There have been relapses, and setbacks, mostly in times of high stress. There are those who were present during those times-and who remember, all too well, how things went down. I am grateful that forgiveness, and securing my word that such behaviours will not be repeated, were their responses.

Conversely, I have striven, when confronted with other mentally-ill people, to do right by them. In one case, the person was able to get a leg up and straighten out his life. In two other cases, that was not the result, as of the last time I heard from either one. I felt the need to cut one loose, for personal safety reasons and the other, because of an increasing stridency and level of verbal harassment on his part.

It’s taken time to begin to overcome the tension I have felt, when seeing a small, older model of RV driving around or when starting up my phone, and getting more than one Instant Messenger “ping”. Realizing that these are left-over post-traumatic reactions has helped greatly.

I am ever grateful to all who have, either consciously or unconsciously, helped me put my own demons to bed. In all this time of relative aloneness, I have been able to soothe those ills, and make myself a far more useful person, amenable to this comforting society around me.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 62: What I Want in August, Part II

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August 1, 2020-

Half of any soulful person’s wish list, at any given time, is what is wanted for the community. My list, in this regard, is both simple and complex.

The simple things: Our neighbourhood children may continue to come and go as they please, safely, through the alleys, yards and creekbeds that outline their world. Instruction, whether online or in-person, starts soon and engages minds. People gather downtown, or in public parks, and enjoy their time, without having to justify their beliefs. Nursing homes are able to permit visitors, even with screening for temperatures, before too many more weeks have passed.

The complex things: Our election goes off, without a hitch, on the day scheduled. Those erstwhile friends of mine, now acting more like acquaintances, come to see past their sectarian and political blinders and look at the hearts of those, including me, who hold no ill will towards them or anyone else. Freedom of travel returns, and is not made subject to the partisan views or “one-size-fits-all” health prescriptions of either government officials or private citizens of means. Recognition that the lives of preborn children, infants, toddlers, school-age children and adolescents are universally sacred.

August is said to be a month of masculine energy. I know I will be plenty busy.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 61: What I Want In August, Part I

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July 31, 2020-

My parents were wed seventy-one years ago, today. They got to be together, in the flesh, for thirty-seven of those years. They left several good road maps for us, and Mom is still blazing the trail of how to live long and prosper. I was thinking, last night, that I will be honoured to live into my nineties, perhaps even hitting the Century Mark. I would, however, have to be of use, to have most, if not all, of my faculties.

Today, so far, has been quieter than the previous two. I received a message from an African friend, for whom I had written a project proposal, bemoaning that those to whom we had sent copies of the proposal had not responded as yet. It’s been a week, so my take is, check in with them weekly, until mid-August. He asked me to send each of them a montage of photos of the worksite. I can do that,around some other tasks that have arisen, since I turned fostering of the project back over to him. Life does not stand still.

I have thought about what I want to do, in my own sphere, as well. As hard as life is for many people, I cannot just put myself into one hundred percent abnegation, though some will no doubt find that odious of me to say. There actually isn’t all that much that I want for myself, though.


August is said to be a month of masculine energy, so the first thing I want to do is to bring some health supplies to a rendezvous point at Holbrook, close to the Navajo Nation, which is still itself off limits to outsiders, due to COVID. In Holbrook, I will meet the same friend who I met in Flagstaff, in the Spring, to transfer the items. That is Monday’s agenda.

Synergy, the health elixir cafe operated by friends in Sedona, reopens on August 8, so that will be my place of refuge and celebration, next weekend. “Double” days are most often special to me.

I also miss my farmer friends in Paulden, up north just a bit, so maybe the afternoon of the 16th will find me there. The following weekend, Friday- Sunday, will likely be a time to visit Bisbee, a vibrant and eclectic Southern Arizona cousin to Prescott

The month will climax with Farm-to-Table Dinner, on the 29th, and unless the COVID cops declare our most stringent safety precautions inadequate, I will be among the masked and gloved servers and busers, tending to a smaller, but no less fervent, group of patrons of our vibrant Farmers’ Market.

What I want is for life to go on, carefully of course, but not dancing to the tune of one group of tyrants or another.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 60: Hermanator,Derailment and An “Inside Job”

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July 30, 2020-

Herman Cain died this mornng, the victim of , apparently, the after effects of Coronavirusdisease 19 on his vital organs. He was, by all accounts, a still robust man. This underscores the reason for every one of us to continue to take this NOVEL disease seriously, and consistently so.

COVID-19 is infecting some high profile people, across the political spectrum. Microbes do not care who you are, or who you think you are. “The Hermanator” was a colourful human being, a pizza magnate who, at one point, thought he might make a fine President of the United States. His worldview was not my worldview, by any means, yet his death diminishes us-because he was, in essence, a man of love.

Now, as his family and friends mourn his passing, let those who were with him, at the event which likely was the scene of his infection, take stock of their own health-as we all must.

This news just added to the residue of yesterday. Early Wednesday morning, a loaded freight train, passing through Tempe, Arizona, went off the rails. The friction set the wooden bridge, over which the train was passing, afire. The bridge collapsed, several cars tumbled off the bridge and into a vacant park. Some other cars hung from the edge, over a major parkway.

Fortunately, there was no loss of life, and the sole injury was to the train’s conductor: Smoke inhalation. Police and fire crews responded swiftly, spectators who were in harm’s way were removed from the area and the few joggers, walkers., cyclists and boaters who were at nearby Tempe Town Lake had the good sense to stop their activities and head for home.

This was the second derailment on that bridge, in little over a month. The first one, on June 27, was underreported and it is not clear whether Santa Fe Railroad, which owns the bridge, even had plans to address the issue. Now, they have no choice.

The larger question, as with bridge collapses in other places, over other rights of way, is: How widespread is this issue? How many other railroad bridges, across the country and across the planet, are outmoded, decrepit, unsafe? It is time for ALL rail companies, not just Santa Fe Railroad, to start assessing the tensile strength of their bridges.

Finally, the matter of the torching at Arizona Democratic Headquarters, on July 26, has an update: A registered Democrat has admitted, nay, BOASTED, of having set the fire. This was not aimed at framing conservatives or alt-Right people, as some had speculated. The perpetrator is a mentally ill man, who has a recent history of making delusional statements and excessive demands on certain people, including the Chair of the Maricopa County Democratic Party, which also had offices in the same building.

The investigation, of course, is ongoing. As is this day, which will, among other things, feature the unsealing of some of the documents pertaining to the case of alleged sexual predator, Ghislaine Maxwell. July is far from over.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 59: The Ties that Bind

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July 29, 2020-

It is easier to mend connections with people through acts of integrity, than by insisting on that which injures their feelings and ignores their perceptions. So it has come to my banishing memes and shared posts, which have only served to confuse some of my online friends, while not exactly elucidating my own views.

A personal blog, or social media page, can’t really serve as a marketplace for ideas. That role is for the comments section, which is hopefully governed by rules of civil discourse. I have set such rules for my other social media site, and, only on two instances have I had to delete toxic comments which got past the Akismet filters on this site.

My focus is, more than ever, on fostering the ties that bind us. One commenter on my other site recommended that we all view differences as diversity, rather than as divisions. Seeing nuggets of commonality takes a great deal of self-discipline and patience, not often evident in times of widespread confusion, such as these. Yet, it remains that this sort of vision is the only way we can, as a species, get out of this confusion.

Our strands of Dioxyribonucleic Acid are the most basic tools we have, for keeping us tied. Let us look to those DNA features that are common, that lead to our shared esperiences and visions.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 58: Transitions

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July 28, 2020-

I formally put in for my full Social Security, this morning, so that it will take effect on my seventieth birthday. There’s always a chance that the upper 5 % will move to cut back the amount, but right now, that seems mainly a scare story.

Every day is a transition of some kind. The amount of daylight increases or decreases, depending on where one lives. Some people enter this life and others leave. Some catch the virus, others recover. Most of us have not done either.

I follow the passage of time, even in the relatively unchanging weather of Arizona, fairly easily still-a wall calendar is one of the first things I see in the morning, upon waking; the newspaper is of different sizes and has a different feature section, each day and my Zoom calendar shows different meetings, depending on the day of the week.

Transitions of a wider scope are bound to continue this year, and for several years to come. COVID19 is all that those who are trying to get a handle on it can see, so the WHO and others are shouting that it, alone, will dominate world affairs, for 5-10 years. No pandemic has lasted that long, though some return 50 or 100 years after their first go round.

There are many other sea changes that are sure to come, socially, economically and politically. The ones that take, will be those with a spiritual basis.

The more things change, this time they just may not stay the same.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 57: Uprising

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July 27, 2020-

I was mildly upbraided this morning, by one of the fiercest women I’ve ever met. Stating only what she saw, her caution was that I was heading into the realm of puritanism.

I am, at present, watching a series entitled “Cursed”, about the origins of Excalibur, the sword of Anglo-Saxon mythology. It follows the life of a young Wiccan, pursued by various members of the political and social establishment of that time. Although fictional, it carries several elements of what actually transpired, in the days of an oppressive Church.

It brought me back, to a feeling in my life that I’d long buried and nearly forgotten. It brought me back to the fact that, growing up, I hated the Church. I loved Jesus, with all my heart and soul, so I went to Mass and even served as a substitute altar boy, during the summer of my thirteenth year. Yet, I hated the suffocating power that dripped from the mouths and countenances of all but a few of the priests. I hated it, and had to keep that feeling buried. My parents and family would never have understood.

Only love of Christ kept me in the fold, until I saw the power of Baha’i, the Unity of all Mankind, of all Life and of all Truth. Still, I kept this anger buried. It came to the surface, as I was watching the second episode of this series and remembered the danger of which my much younger friend was speaking.

Puritanism, the control of minds through delusion, gaslighting and fear, has indeed come to grip a good part of our society anew. Margaret Atwood, in her two novels on the, as yet, fictional future country of Gilead, outlines just how easy it could be, for a relatively small group of people to obtain control of the United States, by tapping into the flowing subconscious stream of Puritanism.

It is feared, by some, that a future dictatorship would most likely come from the Left. That’s understandable, given that the primary remaining totalitarian states are all rooted in Communism. It is also rooted in the fear that a future American regime is already putting in place travel restrictions tied to acceptance of a vaccine and personal identification system which will, by force of technology, result in ironclad control of the populace.

I see this as reverse psychology. Fervent Christians have always feared humanism and atheism. There are those who may well be counting on this, and not for the purpose of protecting Christians and others of Faith, but for exploiting that fear, and taking control for their own nefarious ends.

So, regardless of who wishes to oppress, I am mentally preparing myself. Avoiding paranoia, just watching and listening carefully, day by day, in this little Home Base of mine, I look at both sociopolitical forces, and then focus my eyes forward-on what I WANT to see in the world.

I want safety and freedom for my family, friends and neighbours, for the children and youth, for those who suffer, both those in the middle and those on the margins. I want to see a world of equanimity. I want to see a world in which power is truly derived from love and light. We may well have to walk through several Valleys of the Shadow to get there. We will, I’m sure, have to overcome many who try to take power in an ad hoc manner, through deception, gaslighting and false assurance.

It is time for all people of the heart to set aside the dark thoughts imposed on them, by any and all whose only interest is in top-down control. It is time for uprising; a loving, just, but forthright uprising. We, the People, can truly rule ourselves.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 56: Defiance

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July 26, 2020-

Defiance is not just a city in Ohio. There comes a time when an individual must stand up and say, even holler, “No more!” There comes a time when a community, a society, a nation-even a planet full of people, must stand up and say with one voice. “NO MORE!”

After sitting in my home base apartment, most of yesterday,and responding to those with different takes on the murder of Bernell Trammell and the stabbing of Drew Duncomb. Unless and until these acts of violence are given the weight of investigation they warrant, there is, as BLM members say, “No justice, no peace”. Ditto, for the burning of the Headquarters of the Arizona Democratic Party-and I would say the same for any torching of Republican offices.

I have begun reading “Democracy In Chains”, by Nancy McLean, and am learning of a clever and insidious campaign, inspired by the life’s work of the misanthropic John C. Calhoun, initiated by one James Buchanan, late of the University of Virginia and George Mason University, and perfected by Charles Koch. Remember ALEC , the American Legislative Exchange Council? That was, and maybe still is, part of the game plan. Take power away from the common people,the reasoning goes. ‘Power belongs to those with money, with investment capital. The hoi polloi have no idea how life should be. Why trust THEM?’

So we see Senator Mitt Romney, saying that Social Security should be cut, from the oldest senior to the youngest disabled person. I do not intend this as an ad hominem attack-but Mitt Romney has his. So does every other person who has signed on to the chaining of democracy.

I do not wish to take a dime, from those who have earned it-no matter how gargantuan their fortune is. In turn, no one gets to take a dime, from me and mine. I pay my taxes. I pay my rent and utilities. I honour my debts. I give to those in need, as best I can, without becoming one of them.

So, the defiance starts there. It continues:

I honour the health protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with respect to wearing a clean, well-fitting mask, when in proximity to other people; when standing in line and keeping a six-foot distance. On my own, I am not leaving the State of Arizona, barring an emergency, until mid-October-at minimum. I draw the line at taking a vaccine whose contents I do not know. That is a fight for another day, though. Immunity to a disease may be accomplished through rigourous holistic health practices: Organic diet, maintaining vitamins, minerals and essential oils; drinking alkaline water, regular deep breathing. That is my immunization plan, for the foreseeable future.

I will not bow or kneel to an ad hoc authority- no matter how well-armed, no matter how loud the voice, no matter how “popular”. I am an American citizen who follows the rule of law-not of any man, hiding behind interpretation of law. I am a World Citizen, who obeys codified law, wherever I might be.

So, no one gets to order me to stay home. I have eyes, ears and love in my heart for the people. I will know when it’s safe to leave and where it is safe to go. I don’t need to kowtow to anyone’s fear.

No one gets to order me to believe a certain way. I have my undying Faith in God, through the teachings of Baha’u’llah, al-Bab, Mohammad, Jesus the Christ, Moses, Gautama Siddhartha, Zarathustra, Krishna and Whoever founded the pure, initial forms of Wicca, various Native American beliefs and African faiths. I have my undying respect and love for conservative and progressive, alike. Those who savage one another, based on ideology, are being duped and are on a fool’s errand, with no ultimate winners. The only “winner” in this case, will be one whose mindset is founded on lies.

I will not bow to a puppetmaster-ANY puppetmaster.

Namaste and Godspeed.