Three Couples and A Lone Wolf

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May 27, 2017, Superior-   I adore strong couples.  I was surrounded, in childhood, by husbands and wives whom none of us could imagine being without one another.  Of course, there were the ones who just could not get along, and who went their separate ways; they were three, out of thirty six, or so.

I spent the afternoon at SunFlour Market, with two dear women friends, whose combined spirit could brighten the gloomiest of days.  Both are happily married, and in fact, I met the husband of SunFlour’s owner, and saw that he is very much involved with his wife’s success.  The younger couple could be my own children, and in fact, I feel like I’ve known the wife forever.  A musician was also present, playing a truncated guitar, produced by Go Guitars, of California.  His wife later came in, having just enjoyed a special health-related treat.

Four of us got onto the subject of keeping oneself healthy, in the face of aging.  Three of us are in our sixties and my young friend is forty-something, looking mid-thirty-ish.  We agreed that it is the blitheness of one’s spirit that keeps us going, as well as using the purest of foods and personal cleansing products.   I fully intend to keep on with that, for decades to come.  I want the same for everyone else, as long as their quality of life is intact.  No one should suffer, years on end.

I want to see married couples enjoy one another, also for decades to come, and to grow ever closer, not apart.  Someone dear to my heart will marry next year.  Someone else dear to me has found a person with whom to build a relationship.  As I write this, I see the face of my departed love, smiling brightly.  I may be a lone wolf, right now, but I know the full joy of being in a strong bond.

So Fleeting, It Is

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May 23, 2017, Prescott-

I have felt a lot, welling in my heart, today. Sitting on the floor, after hours, keeping a little boy out of harm’s way, whilst waiting for his guardian to arrive and take him home, two of us encountered his simplistic view of things:  If he were only allowed to, he would run after the bus, in stocking feet.  Somehow, he knew the bus would be late, and it was; but guardian was already en route.

This is our clairvoyant child, who warned me not to think of a new friend of mine in a romantic way.  I would not have done so, anyway, but he had no way of knowing my heart- or maybe he did see a hidden danger lurking.

It has been a tempestuous month:  Two deaths of friends, one expected; the other, a bombshell.  Both brought communities together.  An aged mentor, to many of us in my Faith community, went back to God, last Wednesday.    Then, this week, a colleague in the Red Cross passed on, after a serious illness.

Now comes Manchester.  A young lady of considerable, as yet unrealized, talent, sought to bring the joy of her dance hall style of music to another generation of youth.  A crazed and puritanical misfit set out to destroy her efforts.  The resulting carnage will live in my heart, for a long time.

Some in my circle have taken to responding to me, of late, with curt, businesslike replies.  Others, are acting as if we’ve never met, in the first place.  Life is fleeting, so why not friendship and connection?

It’s often said, that if you love something, set it free, and if it comes back, it is yours.  If not, it never was.  So, my friends and family are always free to come and go.  The spot they have in my heart will still be there, should they come back.  This is life, and it goes on.

Thoughts on A Morning World

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May 20, 2017, Prescott- 

My spirit got me out of bed at 5:45,

just because this time of year,

with work winding down,

and the relative relaxation

of June approaching,

fills the spirit

with affirmation.

It’s easy to get off track,

when competing agendas,

of straight and narrow,

clash above my head.

This morning,

there is no such noise.

The lively Farmer’s Market

is always good for

several minutes of relaxation,

and live music,

even if one has to sit

on a curb,

as the tables are occupied

by people I’ve not met.

I’m just not so forward, yet.

My shyness goes back

a long way,

but no matter.

Let everyone

just enjoy themselves.

I think of a little girl,

whose name I know not,

who greets everyone

at school with

a hopeful smile,

and those she trusts,

with “Good Morning!”

Would that we could

all bring ourselves

to do the same.

I think I am going to buy

and put up, a hummingbird feeder.

It’ll be by the front window

during June,

and again from

August, forward.

I think I am

going to get rid

of lots of other stuff

in June,

and again in August.

I am going to make

Superior to Globe,

my getaway mainstay,

from September to May.

There is no romance,

that’s not the point.

There is intense spiritual energy,

vortical sustenance,

in many parts of the Southwest,

but especially along

that Copper Road.

These are my thoughts,

in this Saturday morning world.

Now it’s time to do a few errands,

pull a few weeds,

and eat a hot dog,

in honour of  Armed Forces Day.

Happy Weekend, one and all!

 

Wheels On Fire

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May 18, 2017, Prescott-

“The girl doesn’t want to be saved”,

said her lover’s brother to her lover.

That was from a TV show.

A girl who works

to save herself,

tells me, regularly,

“I’ve got this, Mr. B.”

So she does take care of herself,

and is the singular

real success story

of this year’s efforts.

I am close to

a woman who,

many years ago,

was in a car, which

burst into flame.

She survived,

and made a life

for herself,

and raised

a formidable

family.

She’s Nana to

several grandchildren.

The burning car

did not stop her.

My wife suffered

increasingly,

as years passed,

and kept on,

bearing and raising

the only child

she could have.

The wheels of

misfortune,

burned hotter,

yet she rose

higher,

and earned

three advanced degrees,

in her time.

The other women,

I have been honoured

to call friend,

in the years since,

got past the burning car,

and saved themselves.

That’s what makes them.

Nephilim

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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.

 

 

So He Loved and Has Now Flown

15

May 13, 2017, Prescott-

Another long-suffering soul has gone home.

His first comment to me,

thirty-six years ago,

was to not soak a tub of beans overnight,

unless the plan was

to stay up and watch them.

This, as we saw that someone had

done the opposite.

The ground was littered

with soft pintos.

Ants were emerging,

to savour the feast.

His last remarks

to his family, were

that he wanted to go home.

Yesterday afternoon,

he did just that.

In seventy-five years,

Moses Manybeads Nakai

had been a steadfast believer

in the Oneness of Mankind.

He married a young nurse,

who had come to the Navajo Nation,

to serve both the Dineh and Hopi.

They raised two daughters,

both of whom are

college-educated professionals.

Moses went many places,

in his life,

from Samoa to Alaska.

He always came back,

though,

to his beloved Dinnebito.

It was there that his father

practiced traditional healing.

It was there that his mother

made the best mutton stew

in the universe.

It is there that his sister

still lives,

with her husband and family,

living the traditional herding life.

Moses left us,

while in the comforting environs

of Montezuma Well.

It gave him solace

to know that

there is a deep connectedness there.

Only days ago,

a rare red snapping turtle

emerged from the well.

It had navigated the channels,

of which we seem to know little.

Moses knew,

and the Navajo people know,

quite a bit about such things.

One more bit of connectedness

has now gone through the veil.

I trust

that I will hear from you,

again soon,

my friend.

Embrace the Light.

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Duality

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May 9, 2017, Prescott- 

I was ill, today.

It’s been a long time,

twenty years, in fact,

since I have been too ill

to go to work.

So, here I am,

having been in bed

most of the day.

Our bodies remind us

that we are dual creatures.

The physical frame lasts

longer for some,

than for others.

The spirit keeps on ticking,

regardless of the licking.

So, I slept, deeply,

and dreamed of my kids

working through their challenges.

When I get up,

to pray, to read the newspaper,

to get the mail, and to get in the car

and take care of an errand,

it felt like the weight of the world

was pressing down.

It’s not so much that way, right now.

My body will accept going to work,

the rest of the week.

Duality-

It’s like that with groups, too.

My team can be maddeningly fastidious,

about dots and tittles,

of student behaviour.

When I needed their understanding,

today, though,

the word was

“Get your rest,

we’ve got it all covered.”

That’s what I love most about life.

It works out, when essential.

“He Was At Home Here”

6

May 6, 2017, Cottonwood-

There was a magnificent scrum of motor vehicles, and drivers, when I arrived at the parking lot of Taco Don’s, and took my place in the rapidly forming motorcade.  The hearse and family cars were followed by the motorcycles, then the classic cars (Jayme was a car buff, being from eastern LA County) and us friends and admirers, taking up the caboose end.

We set out ahead of time, and had cleared Prescott, by the time we were originally supposed to leave.  Some stragglers caught up with us, on Highway 89A, and passed ahead, to get to their designated spots.  By the time we reached Jerome, and wended our way through the “ghost town’s” streets, everything was in perfect order.  Jerome, like much of the Central Highlands, is in full bloom.  Here are some lupines, that graced our view.

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We reached Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, on the northwest side of Cottonwood, with 30 minutes to spare.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the church’s cross-street neighbour had set up two golden Dol Harubangul (Korean “stone grandfathers”, the symbol of Jeju, where we lived from 1986-92).  This was very much something that Jayme would have found wildly amusing.  As the statues are usually black volcanic rock, this was definitely a nod to the area’s mining culture.

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Immaculate Conception is a spacious, majestic parish church- almost cathedralesque, in size and airiness.  The celebrant priest, also a friend of Jayme’s, noted that the man “felt at home here”, making frequent trips over the mountain, on Sunday mornings, perhaps because of the exhilaration one feels, when going through the pines, and along Jerome’s streets.  The church felt quite homelike for us, this morning, with a robust celebration of Jayme’s relationship with his Lord and an outpouring of love, from his family and closest friends.

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The exquisite service left me chastened, as funerals so often do.  I thought, once more, of my own ongoing mission, knowing that being there for others, something that Jayme Salazar did so well, and at which I am improving, is imperative.  We will all gather again, in his memory, on May 20, for a Fiesta Grande, at Prescott’s Watson Lake Park.  I promised his dearest friend that I would be there early and leave late.

One other nice touch- when I stopped for lunch, at Colt Grill, in Old Cottonwood, the soundtrack featured Mike and The Mechanics’ “The Living Years” and REM’s “Everybody Hurts”.  The Universe always speaks clearly.

“If you don’t give up and don’t give in, you may just be okay.” – Mike Rutherford

“Hold on”.- Michael Stipe

Wakefulness

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May 5, 2017Prescott-

I  am freshly returned from a visitation for one of Prescott’s genuine champions.The concept of waking, a seemingly odd term for remembering a departed soul, prior to burial or often, in these days, cremation, is perhaps in hopes that death is not a real thing.

I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, but the life of Jayme Salazar (he pronounced his name alternately in English and in Spanish), came back before those listening to the eulogies.His childhood and adolescent antics, presented by his older sister, were reassuring to all, that a full life proceeded from that awkward time.  A lifelong friend of his recounted the man’s intense work ethic, combined with a genuine love of people, which established his Taco Don’s Restaurant as one of the city’s premier lunch venues, and a true gathering place.

He came came here from California, by way of Las Vegas, as so many of us have come here from farther afield.  Jayme found that the mountains, lakes, dells and grasslands of the area, but above all, the earthiness of the people, were a capturing force.  That he gave his life here, in the shadow of Granite Mountain, was the ultimate giving back.

Some six years ago, I saw my beloved wife go homeward, to the Light, in a more prolonged way, but not dissimilar period of service to the children and general citizenry of a western suburb of Phoenix.  Any home in which we ever lived together was open to countless people.  Any school in which she ever worked was the center of our married life, with work and love likewise moving in tandem.

So, I understood, fully, standing in the anteroom of the funeral home, this evening, that priceless spirit, that brings casual customers and acquaintances of a loving soul to a sense that here moved a lifelong friend; here lived a steadfast pillar.

To each one to whom I’ve bid farewell, these many years, let me close with the voice of Enya.

Jayme, Penny, Norm, Dad, Brian, Colonel Mortimer, Uncle George, Aunt Adeline, Margaret, Mike C. and so many standing beside you, in the Legions of Light, thank you, for having lit my way and for lighting the night.

Kindred Spirits

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April 30, 2017, Prescott-

My spiritual family,

ever present,

even when physically

distant,

have made all the difference,

in a life that has seen

its share of ups and downs,

on a vessel

that has hit its share

of shoals and sand bars.

Spirit mothers,

reinforce what my

birth mother taught.

Father spirits,

advise bold action,

but with a sense of

constancy.

Brothers in spirit,

proffer strength,

yet are not afraid

of sensitivity.

Spirit sisters,

you are in

particular abundance,

of late.

It is always a comfort

to feel your loyalty

and nurturance.

Child spirits,

you are inheriting

the momentum

that will restore

our fellow man.

We know one another,

instantaneously.

Many of you reside

in Arizona,

but there you are,

when I happen upon

California, Colorado,

Texas, Oklahoma,

Illinois, Indiana,

Massachusetts, Virginia,

Florida, Washington,

Alaska, Alabama,

France, Korea

and so many points,

in between and beyond.

It is my greatest comfort

to feel your love and support.

Lover spirit,

you are ever with me

as you have been,

from the beginning.

Your message is

to forge ahead,

do what I am intended to do.

The parent, sibling and child spirits,

will see me through.

Should you, my love, visit me

in another personage,

I will be mindful and attentive.

Until then, my kindred spirits

envelop me in love,

as I envelop them.