Quotidia Beget Adventure

4

March 7, 2019, Los Angeles-

Among the phenomena which might be overlooked, when one is en route to a special destination, is the landscape below an airplane circling for a safe landing.  Such was the case this evening, as our Sky West flight from Phoenix got cleared for landing at LAX.

This was the first time in memory that I had a window seat, and thus could look at the vast expanse of  territory that is the Los Angeles Basin.  With all that has been written, bantered and felt about LA and its smog, congestion and excess, the place as a whole is a marvel, when seen from 8,000 feet-especially at night.  Some SoCal-phobes will reply that a mess can’t be a marvel, but we know better.  One does not have to approve of  what is the current situation, to be amazed at how much humanity is packed into even such a vast area.

Prior to this, I put in a full day at work and was glad to leave my charges with a sense of accomplishment, leading up to the ten-week homestretch that follows Spring Break,  The shuttle van down to Phoenix was an equally smooth and quotidian process, with us arriving at Sky Harbor with time to spare.  Barrio Avion provided tender and spicy beef for my farewell burrito.

Two three-year-old boys, meeting by chance and becoming fast friends, provided the after-dinner entertainment.  G., a new older brother, very much appreciated the presence of J., his new friend.  Watching them play with miniature cars and trucks, hide and seek and get lectured by their respective fathers, for shaking the line stantions, that are used to separate groups of boarding passengers.  There was no lack of spirit with these two.  Indeed, my first encounter with G was his running up the aisle, momentarily unbeknownst to his parents.  I kept my distance, but also kept an eye on him, in case he made it clear to the TSA  area.  Mom was on scene, 30 seconds later, and brought him safely back to the gate lobby.  Then J and father showed up and more localized activity took over.

We landed at LAX, about fifteen minutes late.  I then embarked on a 1 1/4-mile walk, from the United terminal to the Asiana booths, at Tom Bradley International (AKA Terminal B).  I am in the shape to undertake such a luggage lug, but I wonder how disabled people are accommodated, with the City of Cars expecting everyone to walk, with no electric sidewalks and only the occasional elevator, along the labyrinth.

I made it, with the loudspeaker calling my name, four times, as the Koreans wanted to verify my new passport.  I heard them and felt their pain, eventually getting to show the document to the chief of security at Asiana and receiving his swift assistance, in getting through the line, to the check-in booth and onto the shuttle bus that brought us to the plane.  It was an East Asian style shuttle, meaning that a packer was on hand, to shout at and cajole us into cramming as tightly as possible.  I actually kind of miss those days, in Seoul and Jeju, though I must say young men are less prone to grab all the seats and make women and older men stand for the ride.  That is the one thing about the old days that never failed to get me rankled, especially when Penny was pregnant with Aram.

I’m on the plane now, seated with an elegant woman from Colombia and a Korean student, on Spring Break from her school in Arizona.  It’ll be a long, and I sense, restful, journey to Seoul.

The Blessings Outweigh….

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March 2-5, 2019-

This past weekend brought the beginning of our Nineteen-Day Fast, abstaining from food and beverages between sunrise and sunset, March 2-20 (most years), for those in good health between the ages of 15-70.  This year’s Fast is a bit complex for me, due to travel that will interrupt the practice (Baha’u’llah excuses the traveler; women who are pregnant, nursing, or in their courses;  the seriously ill and those engaged in heavy physical work).

I made good use of the weekend, participating in a seed education program, with one of the community groups in which I’m involved:  Slow Food-Prescott.  I am no expert on seeds, but I can still help with set-up and breakdown of the hall.  I also re-learned a lot about plants- seeds, as opposed to spores, and the various aspects of germination.

Sunday brought me back to Phoenix, for a large music festival:  McDowell Mountain Music Festival, ironically not held in Scottsdale, but in downtown Phoenix’s Hance Park. Two Drum Circles and time with a vibrant and highly artistic friend made the whole event worth the drive.

There was a most diverse group sitting in on the drum circles.20190303_152300

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This English band, Maribou State, was giving the last performance of its current tour.  It was their first visit to Phoenix.

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My friend was very busy with hoop dancing, and had been at it for three days straight.

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I headed back to Prescott in a prudent manner, and have had a good couple of days at work, this week.  Today marked the eighth anniversary of Penny’s passing.  I stopped at the gravesite on Sunday, prior to attending the Music Festival.  I was thus able to properly mark our connection, with a vase of white carnations, which were her favourite flower, and time in quiet reflection.  She loved drumming and had great respect for hoop dancers, so my participation in the former and encouraging Pam and some young women in the latter, was an homage as well.

Most important, though, I have continued with two of our shared passions:  Educating special needs children and advocating wellness.  I have, if all goes well, two years after this, in full time education.  Wellness, though, will be part of my life until it’s time to head beyond.  Essential oils and living a healthy lifestyle are the foundation of my thriving.

In a few short days, I head to South Korea, for the formal wedding of Aram and Yunhee, a return to Jeju and renewing my ties to one of our blessed homes together.  The blessings always outweigh any hardships.

Nineteen

6

March 2, 2019- 

I began my penultimate physical Fast today.  Once I reach the age of seventy, in November of next year,  abstinence from food and drink no longer is binding, and the Fast will bring additional spiritual duties.

For this year, though, I am following the course prescribed by Baha’u’llah:  When not traveling or engaged in arduous physical labour, I abstain from food and drink, from sunrise to sunset, from today through March 20.  Travel to and from Korea, in a few short days, will truncate the physical aspect of the Fast, with the spiritual duties remaining in place.

I have nineteen thoughts I wish to share:

  1. As stated yesterday, all life is sacred.
  2.  Those who, for whatever reason, don’t view their lives, or those of others, as sacred are to be embraced in their suffering-and not condemned, though they must be held to account for acts of violence.
  3. If someone takes me to task, even harshly, and I know that one is right, I need to be the change.
  4. No one has the individual right to strike another person, unless one is responsible for that other person’s well being, as a parent or guardian-and even then, the reason for the spanking is understood by the other and it is only used as a last resort.
  5. Even insects and arachnids should be captured and released outside, into a safe place, whenever possible.  They have their place in the scheme of things.
  6. There is no human trash. Some just need to be monitored more closely and held in firmer check.
  7. Education is a universal right.
  8. Food and beverages should be as free of contamination as is humanly possible.
  9. Fun is essential to the soul, though never had at another’s expense.
  10. Everyone’s legitimate work deserves respect.
  11. All prayers are heard by, and affect, the Universe.
  12. Time in nature is also essential to the soul.
  13. Love is the primary building block of the Universe.
  14. May I never walk away from a cry for help.
  15. A call for peace is the best sound that may escape one’s lips, first thing in the morning.
  16. The morning sun, the evening stars and moon are here to reassure us that there is always a force, greater than ourselves.
  17. When I am in a half-sleep, I communicate both with departed souls and with those who are in  my life, but who are not immediately present.
  18. Plants show an intelligence, in the way they propagate and in the way they seek what they need.
  19. God, the Divine, the Universe, the Infinite, the Eternal, reveals to us what we need and what we can comprehend, in the way of truth.  It has always been thus.

None of these are original thoughts, but they occur to me nonetheless and so I share.

 

The Fix-Its

5

March 1, 2019-

I am now less than a week from being with family again.  It will be a tonic for my soul.  Work has become difficult in some respects, which have nothing to do with my co-workers, our students or, for that matter, with me.  That is a subject, though, for another time.  Besides, I have never signed up for “easy”.

I want to consider a recent social and legislative trend that is deeply troubling.  Those who style themselves “Progressives” have embarked on a social engineering project, allowing people with scant medical knowledge to determine which newborn babies can live and which should die.

I am referring, of course, to the recently-enacted law in New York, which, conceivably, will allow someone to beat a pregnant spouse, or significant other, kill the fetus and get off scot-free-for the baby’s death.  Similar legislation has been proposed by a more conservative administration in Virginia, but I digress.

There are a host of alternatives to mass infanticide, with their bottom line being:  “All life is sacred, sanctified.  A fetus in late term, and a disabled, or otherwise “inconvenient” newborn, are just as entitled to life as any creature who walks the Earth.   Rather than open the door to unscrupulous medical entrepreneurs, consider:

Adoption is far preferable to butchery.  It may even be worthwhile to consider establishing nurturing centers, where the unwanted child could get a fair shake at life.  I am not talking about orphanages, in the conventional sense. A parent facing hard times would not have to relinquish all ties to a child.  I am talking about licensed facilities, carefully monitored and regulated, with staff who are highly trained in early child development, brain research and organic/plant-based/essential oils-based nutrition.  These are all things that many progressives, and more than a few conservatives, say they want to see in the world.   It is far preferable to fund such centers than to fund abortion clinics, whose “craft”, if you will, should be a very last resort-only in case of forcible incest or a severe health risk to the mother.  Rape victims, I would imagine, would be better served by a nurturing center, which could also be attached to a rape crisis center and thus provide services to the victimized mother.

I offer these thoughts, with a view towards stopping the stampede towards madness, which, sadly, even political moderates seem to be joining.

 

Many Left to Cross

3

February 27, 2019-

I spent the evening with a hospitalized elder.  Though much of my time and energy, over the years, has been spent with children and youth, the elderly are always a tonic for the soul.  We didn’t say much, as she was pre-occupied with eating, something that many of us, who tend to wolf down our food, might find odd.  This is a woman who is not going to go down by choking, though, so she remains the master of mastication.  Her life story remains a source of inspiration to me.  She is, like my late mother-in-law, a widow and the last of her parents’ children still alive.  She has sailed the Amazon, watched giant tortoises in the Galapagos, and enjoyed the finery of the great cities of Europe- and she is the matriarch of a small, but accomplished, family.

This is a time of year when many people rush at me, in the mail or online, pitching this product, or that business course.    These folks are astonished that I am not salivating over making tons of money.  Fact is, I have positioned myself to take care of yours truly, until the Divine calls me to the next level.  That is what my family expects, and their sensibilities matter most.  I am doing well, within those parameters.

There will always be those with their hands outstretched, and there will always be those with the Next Big Thing. I see those, on either end of the Money Spectrum, who stage tantrums or write in hyperbole, about how foolish they think those who ignore them are being.  Then I think, how little trust these people have in the Universe.  How little do they understand the Law of Attraction.

There is much territory left for me to navigate- both terrestrially and psychically.  There are many rivers, and oceans, yet to cross.  The crossing will take me far, wide and deep within.  Still, I glimpse the bright shore ahead.

Re-emergence

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February 23, 2019-

The day broke,

bright and sunny again.

The driveway and roads

are clear.

No sidewalks available, yet.

So, I drove downtown.

Visited two, very different,

favourite haunts.

Outlaw Donuts had re-opened,

just this morning.

The place was wonderfully packed.

Ms. Natural’s had also re-opened,

after a two-day hiatus.

I was glad,

very glad,

to see a long-absent friend.

The place was quiet,

but for my chatter with

the congenial owner,

about the events of the past few days.

Dear friend was quiet,

ensconced in research,

which looked daunting.

I know she can handle it,

and told her as much,

which brought a smile,

to her earnest, intense countenance.

Returning to Home Base,

I found two snow men in the yard.

Photos will be taken tomorrow.

After a bit more tidying up,

outside,

widening my turn-around area,

and scattering bread crumbs

for forlorn little birds,

then clearing a channel,

for run-off in the front,

I enjoyed a nice, long hydromassage.

Re-emergence is a sweet thing.

Mere Conversation

4

February 18, 2019-

Upon returning from southern California, I reflected on three conversations I had there, yesterday and today.

The matter of personal finance is a tricky one.

One must, however, listen to and take the best

from all schools of thought,

then apply to own circumstances.

Travel is a broadening experience.

It must not, however, be done in

an undisciplined manner,

nor in lieu of a more challenging

and necessary course of business.

No matter how far one is from

a place where one is meant to be,

there will appear a connection,

between people and things that

are important in a home situation,

and those who are encountered

in another place,

which one is meant to visit.

At breakfast this morning,

in a place called Gramma’s  Country Kitchen,

where I have sat, numerous times,

at the counter,

and enjoyed a warm meal,

with an even warmer welcome,

I heard another voice of reason.

He said that building barriers,

and setting rules for air and water,

in one place,

will not amount to a hill of beans,

when across a short distance,

conditions opposite to one’s own,

exist aplenty.

I bid farewell to Mr. Wing,

and drove, without incident,

to the place I call Home Base.

 

No Frozen Hearts

9

February 17, 2019, Banning-

It was a fairly pleasant morning and early afternoon on the Orange County coast, with stops at San Clemente and Dana Point.  The first was to check out the beach and surf, after noting, from the highway, that the beach further down, in San Onofre, was cluttered with organic debris.

San Clemente Beach was occupied by a few True Believers, and was just barely safe for them to try surfing.  The outing lasted for less than ten minutes, though, as the boogie boarders observed a pretty strong undertow.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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A TV News reporter, at Ocean Beach, in San Diego, reported that “The sea is agitated”.  True enough, when recognizing that the planet, and its components, are living entities and that there are consequences to mistreatment.

I later had a nice lunch, at Harpoon Henry’s, in Dana Point, with a long-time friend.  During our wide-ranging conversation, her lifetime of watching the changes in southern California’s climate revealed just how disconcerting the increasing dryness is, on the ground.  I have a number of friends in southern California and have long watched, with alacrity, the effects of drought on the region.  Lake Cachuma, near Santa Barbara, her home town, has been a focal point of her watch, as it provides for much of Santa Barbara’s water supply.  Its ups and downs have been a concern of mine, as well as the levels in nearby Lake Casitas-and Lake Mead, for that matter.

After bidding her farewell, I made an easy drive on Hwy. 76 to I-215 and Murrieta, where another friend and her family welcomed me for a catch-up session.  Come to find out, their extended family members are the owners and operators of Outlaw Donuts, one of my favourite spots in Prescott.  One of the gratifying things of my life has long been that, no matter the outside temperature, or the circumstances of the world, I can go just about anywhere and find a friend with whom to pass the time- and that there are often few degrees of separation between one friend and another.

It’s chilling, and quite gloomy, weather-wise, in this town at the base of the San Jacinto range, but this room at Sunset Motel is toasty and I will get a warm welcome tomorrow morning, at Gramma’s Country Kitchen-which I’ve visited several times, over these past eight years.  The drive back to Home Base ought to be interesting:  Eight inches of snow are reported on Prescott’s west side.

I know there are no frozen hearts in my life, though.

 

 

Changes and Chances

8

February 16, 2019, San Diego-

When I set out this morning, from Blythe, I half-expected to see nothing but clouds and moisture, once past the San Gabriels and Mt. San Jacinto.  Neither happened, and while a few clouds sent sprinkles our way, here and there, the weather was cool but pleasant.

With a friend in Riverside County at work and not available to visit, I headed for Old Town Temecula, a place I’ve found off-putting in the past, due to the invariably high volume of traffic spilling onto the I-15 freeway.

The half-mile or so, of preserved and reconstructed buildings gives a trendy air to the historic ambiance of Old Town. It’s not Bisbee, or even Virginia City, but Temecula has charm in abundance.  There is an abundance of wineries in the area, for those so inclined.

I am strictly a coffee/tea person, so my refreshment stop was at Press On, a crowded, happy shop, in the midst of Old Town’s Front Street. The shop is on the left side of the photo below.

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Temecula’s history is shown in a mural, two frames of which are shown below.

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Here are some other scenes of Old Town.

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Temecula’s City Hall is quite impressive.  The water in the front fountain is not frozen, despite its appearance. It didn’t get quite that cold today.

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Humour, of course, helped people get along in the most rambunctious of times.

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Thus invigorated, I headed towards San Diego, for a bit of reminiscence.  On the way, I encountered a vehicle darting diagonally across I-215, between Temecula and Escondido.  The driver managed to stop the vehicle and set it aright, on the grass shoulder of the highway, just shy of a very steep ravine.  I hope to never see such a thing again, but who can say what frights await, in the days and years ahead?

In San Diego, I spent some time at Tuna Harbor, part of the city’s wondrous shoreline and a monument to the civilian fishermen who served as lookouts for the Coast Guard, keeping an eye out for Japanese naval forays, during World War II.  Here, I had a nice,cheap seafood meal, at Marion’s, and caught these lovely sunset views.

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It is a great evening, in a very homey city. I will head north, to Carlsbad, for a night’s rest.  Then, will come a couple of visits with friends, in two very different parts of SoCal, tomorrow. Hopefully, the weather will hold up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Blood

4

February 14, 2019-

It’s been a rough few days- with a dear friend falling and suffering some serious injuries, another friend diagnosed with cancer and still others with chronic illnesses, not getting any better. The weather here has been rambunctious- soaking rain, a good thing in the long run, has fallen steadily for the past thirteen hours.  More is on the way, followed by snow in the latter part of this weekend.

I have had much time to reflect on the nature of love, on this day of cards and chocolate.  I have to look at myself, as always. I don’t hold grudges; if a person who savaged me later comes to me in need, I find a way to help meet that need.  I have made terrible errors in judgement- and find it critical to make amends to the person, where possible.  I don’t always feel loved, and have to then look at what I am projecting outward.

Love shows itself in a myriad ways-the bottom line being that the beloved feels the goodness of heart.  Words alone are not one of those ways.  Neither is merely providing a place of residence: Slavemasters, after all, provided a home of sorts, for those who were frequently brutalized.  Constantly abusing another, and getting by with apologies, is NOT love.

Love is in the blood.  My parents’ love for us came naturally and never receded.  The same is true of my love for my late wife, and for our child.  Suffice it to say, any children coming from his own marriage will find three truly loving grandparents standing behind their mother and father.

Love is in the blood.  Any way I can help a suffering friend, I will.  Grand gestures, though, have to be kept to a minimum.  Those are the first things, upon which a hater or critic will seize, as evidence of one’s fecklessness.   I’ve had that thrown in my face, more than once, and sometimes rightfully.

Love is in the blood, and thus can’t be erased easily, if at all.