Trolling, or Triage?

19

January 7, 2019-

Last night, just before I signed off for the evening, I got a caustic response to a few suggestions I had made, to another blogger’s post.  This sort of thing is a risk that comes with being part of a public network.

While I took the liberty of “unfollowing” that person’s blog, as one should not intrude on another’s space without that person’s consent, I had to ponder her motivation for such an outburst.  She did, after all, ask for “ideas” about her particular dilemma.

There are a couple of possibilities-She may have been in the mood for a “game of gotcha”, though trolling, under the circumstances she described in the post to which I responded, seems rather far-fetched.  More likely, she is looking at the various suggestions made, and winnowing  them out, favouring those that are as close to her comfort zone as possible, while still entailing some effort on her part to solve the problem described therein.

That’s an understandable, human practice, and I daresay we all do that, with regard to some, if not most, issues in our lives.  She pointed out that I didn’t know her schedule, so how could my suggestions fit?  None of us can be inside another’s brain, or heart.  So, we do the best we can, when asked. If our ideas are wide of the mark, well, at least we made an effort.  I will continue to offer ideas to to others, when asked, and can only guarantee that I will be putting some thought and feeling into the process.

No pain, no gain.

Sleight of Hand

2

January 6, 2019, Prescott-

From today, I will not write the name of the town in my dateline, unless it is somewhere other than Home Base.  Otherwise, the reader may assume I’m writing in Prescott.  I am moving away from redundancy.

Today’s post is so titled, as the weather pattern was a mix of the predicted snow and rain, courtesy of a west wind and clear sky, courtesy of the normal Sonoran Desert dry air flow.  The call had been for rain, heavy at times.  Cosmic legerdemain is the way of the Southwest-even when the forecast is “100% precipitation”.

I try to keep my own sleight of hand to a dull roar.  If I say I am going to do something, I usually get it done.  Only once, since 2011, have I not followed through and that was in 2013, when it was prudent for me to put off a photo-journey to Newfoundland, in favour of joining my brother on a Sail Blind excursion.  I can’t think of anyone, though, who was offended by that.  Prior to that, my pledges were those that meant being met, even if heaven and earth had to be moved. Such is the realm of the caretaker.

We go back to work tomorrow, entering the period of time when interruptions in the learning process are at a minimum:  There are no big holiday pageants; the weather-related interruptions are almost always limited to a two-hour delay, in the start of school, if they happen at all.  So, our attention is on the elements of the students’ individual education plans.  We refrain from sleight of hand.,

Can and Will

5

January 5, 2019, Prescott-

I woke up this morning, my legs stiff from yesterday’s hike, and hit upon the idea of high stepping, as a way of loosening the joints.  It worked and my left knee feels mobile and, I dare say, good as new.  Many of our difficulties with aging come from disuse, or improper use, of our parts.  That’s not the whole shebang, but it does have a lot to do with quality of life, as the years roll on- and I fully intend to go for the maximum.

This evening, I went to watch a silly Transformers film, mainly because the story line was about a teenager in whom no one believed.  Such people have been my heart, for so long, that I wanted to see the predictable triumph over self and others, which doesn’t always happen in real time.  She fixed a car and made a friend-the rest falling into place, haphazardly, but nicely.

Other films coming up will feature women who stand tall and beat oppressors.  This has always been important to me, that both boys and girls know they can go the distance and reach whatever heights to which they aspire-so long as they take life’s setbacks and turn them into comebacks.

Five years ago, this June, I visited  the tower where Jeanne d’Arc was imprisoned and  stood on the spot where she was immolated.  Today, no one gives much thought to the fact that the leader of French resistance to foreign rule was a peasant woman.  She is seen as simply having been a leader.

No human, who stands for what is in the heart and does the work necessary to accomplish deeply-cherished goals, is doomed to failure.

Reaching Towards Cave Creek

16

January 4, 2019, Cave Creek-

I decided that my long exercise of my still-recovering left knee would best be achieved on the Maricopa Trail.  Thus came today’s 5.8 mile round trip from Andy Kunasek Trailhead, on the east side of New River to the edge of the Overton-Go John Loop, itself at the western end of Cave Creek.

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My walkabout took me through the above square, and over a few of the mountains in the background.  It was a moderate hike, through saguaro forests and past a few outlying housing units, as a Sonoran Desert jaunt always does.

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It’s said that saguaros will be endangered, should the current level of planet -wide heat and dryness continue to increase.  For now, though, the saguaros are glad to say hello.

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Every active wash in the Sonoran region seems to have at least one cave, of sorts. I spotted this shallow granite indentation, whilst waiting for two lovely ladies and their horses to pass.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

These two lovely ladies are content to grace the side of the trail.

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I found myself in the same state of happy tiredness, at the end of this exhilarating hike, as I have been on other such jaunts- so I feel the winter desert hiking season will not be a wash, after all.  My knee, though still a bit stiff, is on the mend.

I will return to this area, in a week or two and relish the Overton-Go John Loop.

The Realm of Caring

8

January 2, 2019, Prescott-

I sat in comfort, on New Year’s Eve, not knowing that a new friend was toughing it out, on snow shoes, of all things, headed to and from Courthouse Square.  When she finally shared this with me, this evening, I could only say:  “Next time, please call me and never mind the time.”

This is how I was raised and how the people in my circle of friends were for one another.  Even in the worst phases of my autism, I knew better than to ever leave a family member or friend in the lurch.  I wasn’t always so good at it, but I did make the effort.

A few minutes later, there came a post from another friend, elsewhere in the country, about a particularly nettlesome difficulty she was facing, due to other people’s inefficiency and lack of communication. I am furious on her behalf and could only say as much, whilst praying for resolution of the matter.

I have faced the harshest of communication and the most endearing that it can convey, over the past six decades and eight years.  I have also had good friends up and leave, without so much as a “Farewell”.  I will not chase after them, and if they come back, I will be as glad to see them, as if they never left.

Caring, in my view, does not mean patronizing or groveling.  In fact, it’s the opposite.  We are here to raise each other up, period.  Tomorrow, I will join my above-mentioned local friend in a leisurely activity, likely taking some children on an ice-skating venture.  This, from one who tried skating three times, as a child, and fell down each time I got up, should be interesting.

Changes

9

January 1, 2019, Prescott-

Briefly, as the last post was so long:

I woke this morning with a very different feeling.

I remind you of some things about me.

I am an acquired taste.

I pick up on the energy that is around me.

If it’s positive, that feeds my already positive vibration.

If it’s negative, I want to get as far away as possible.

If it is frightened, I want to try and reassure,

but not in a forceful manner.

If it is angry,

I will approach it carefully.

I am detached from people,

even as I feel love for them.

If they don’t want me around,

I stay away.

Our bodies belong only to the wearers.

Our space is for us to determine,

as to its use.

So, I will help and offer love

to those who accept.

I will keep a respectful distance

from those who regard me

with suspicion.

Please watch from your distance

and draw your own conclusions

as to who I am.

Alpha and Omega

4

January 1, 2019, Prescott-

It is bright, beautiful and 18 degrees outside, on this first morning, of the last year, of the second decade, of the Twenty-first Century since the birth of Jesus the Christ.  Life has not changed much, outwardly, from yesterday-other than that the storm has moved eastward.

Thus far, this decade has brought both great joy and intense pain.  The pain came first, and Penny spent 2010 in agony and decline, before being delivered from all suffering, in the early part of the following year.

I have since left my Phoenix home, gone through the recovery phase of Chapter 7, lived in, and sold, my in-laws’ Prescott home-at their behest and settled in this comfortable, one bedroom apartment, which will remain my residence until it is time to move on, at the point of my retirement from education, likely in December, 2020.

I have seen our son, Aram, blossom into full manhood, going full force up the enlisted ranks in the United States Navy, though he currently plans to return to civilian life at the end of this enlistment.  He’s a husband now, with he and his wife, Yoonhee, affirming their marital vows in a sacred setting, this coming March.  They have fine examples, of dedicated marriage, on both sides of the family.

I have said farewell to my parents-in-law, in 2014 and in 2018.  Uncles, aunts, cousins and friends have gone on, also, though many remain.  I am also blessed that my mother is still keen of wit and able to live on her own, in the very home in which my siblings and I were raised.

I have always been a wanderer.  The first time I can remember going off on my own involved crossing a street unaided, which earned me a few strokes of a hairbrush, on the backside.  My subsequent sojourns have not been quite so problematic.  While some of my travels have left family members, and others, shaking their heads, nothing has befallen me that was not able to be rectified in fairly short order.  To be sure, even greater adventures are, God willing, in store.

The same is true of my friendships.  Since being on my own, I have found just what a fallacy “on one’s own” is.  Hundreds of people have come into my life.  The best of them have remained, even if some of them are only present electronically.  The worst have, thankfully, moved on.  All have taught me valuable lessons.  There are good friends across the North American continent, in Europe, India and Africa- and I would be overjoyed to visit with them, at least once.  For now, we can see one another here.

Finally, there is the question, “Where is home?”  I could choose the grandiose answer:  “Why, all the Earth is my home!”, and I would be telling the truth-as I feel relaxed, anywhere.  Practically speaking, Prescott is home, for now.  After this phase of my life comes to an end, “home” could be in the Pacific Northwest, in the Heartland, in southeast Alaska, on the East Coast or, for a time, on the road-with my permanent possessions largely in storage.  My little family, good friends and the needs of the wider community will all play a part in where I find myself.

For now, let’s enjoy the sunlight.

Hails and Farewells

8

December 31, 2018, Prescott-

Many are itching to put this year to bed.  We even had a fireworks display in the downtown area, at 9 p.m., three hours ahead of schedule.  Me?  I am tying up loose ends, with regard to the year being shown the door.  Earlier this evening, I went down to the Salvation Army dining room and helped serve dinner.  17 hardy souls are taking shelter there tonight and gratefully took a meal of hot chicken noodle soup, Subway sandwich, Asian salad, chips, carbonated fruit water and chocolate cake.  My job was to dish out the cake, and I managed a slice for each shelteree who wanted one-not easy, with salivating staff members wanting a slice, as well. There was plenty for all, though.

The year brought several people into my life.  Some, like my daughter-in-law and infant grand-niece, will be here forever.  Others, like a good friend in Missouri and several people I met this summer, whilst crossing the continent, will be around for a good long time.  Another came into my life, found it not to their liking, and left swiftly.

I said farewell to several- a childhood neighbour, Ed Wolfe; boyhood friends, Stan Norkum and Alan Belyea; the sister of a friend, Claire Lindquist; Penny’s cousin, Jean Haithcock; her maternal aunt, Averala Boyd and, closest of all, her mother and my mother-in-law, Ruth Fellman.

Now, 2019 is little more than an hour away from our part of the continent.  I know the souls who have departed are looking out for those they love.  I feel my share of that love and it has helped refine my character, still further.

I look forward to ongoing friendships, some of which were clarified, refined and strengthened this year. I look forward to those new friendships that are sure to come in the year ahead, as well.  I know I will have to say goodbye to some souls in 2019; that’s the way of it.  They will be there, in the In-Gathering, when my own time comes.

Happy 2019, everyone!

The Old Year’s New Friends

2

December 30, 2018, Prescott-

This fading year brought new people and places into my life, and filtered this life, quite vigourously.

My new friends, both online and in real time, have greatly enriched my life- being both sweet/warm and hot/ferocious.  One needs both in a balanced life.  I am blessed with a new daughter-in-law;  two wonderful branches of a blended family being brought into ours-courtesy of another family  wedding this past summer; a very bright and much-loved grandniece born in February; a smattering of vibrant, creative friends, from this year’s Convergence at Arcosanti; all manner of beloved souls from that site called “Archaeology for the Soul” and so many with whom I just happen to bond, in my wanderings both physical and ethereal.

I have filtered some- though I continue to feel great love for a place called Dharma Farm, prudence has led me to keep physical distance from there, for the time being.  A brief encounter with a distraught soul, this past Autumn, was also brought to an end, at her insistence, and no doubt with the blessing of the Universe.  I am more in tune with the needs of a good friend, here in Prescott.  Communication is everything!  I also dispensed with Twitter, though that means saying farewell to some friends who are only reachable on that medium.

This year brought some new cafes and restaurants into my life, here in town: Ms. Natural’s, Rustic Pie, Firehouse Coffee, Outlaw Donuts , Rosati’s Pizza and Danny B’s (actually in Chino Valley). I have lost none of my older faves here, save Black Dog Coffee,which bid us farewell in November.

New to me, on the road, this year, are Old Town Albuquerque; Moriarty (NM); Salina (UT); Sedalia (MO); Nauvoo and Carthage (IL); Ridgeview Grill ( Wilmette); Lafayette/West Lafayette/Prophetstown State Park’Tippecanoe and Mishawaka (IN); Ridgetown and London (ON); Toronto; Auberge Bishop, Chicha Donburi and La Pantere Verte (Montreal); Plattsburgh/Ausable Chasm (NY); Valley Forge; Alexander Inn and Independence Hall (Philadelphia);  Hostels International, Fort McHenry and Iron Rooster (Baltimore); the Western Shore of Chesapeake Bay; Jamestown/Yorktown/ Virginia Beach/Newport News; Louis Gregory Baha’i Institute/Hemingway (SC); Hot Plate (Timmonsville,SC); New Moon Cafe (Aiken); Calhoun Falls State Park /Edgefield (SC); Falls Park on the Reedy/Smoke On The Water (Greenville, SC); Walterboro (SC); Salisbury and Asheville (NC); Crossville (TN); Hostel Memphis/Young Avenue Deli/The National Museum of Civil Rights/Arcade Restaurant/Beale Street (Memphis); Old Town Alexandria. Each of these just added richness to this much blessed life and I would gladly visit any of them again.

NEXT:  Hails and Farewells

Interruptions

15

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESDecember 29. 2018, Prescott-

I see my number of followers has declined, just a bit.

Ebb and flow don’t bother me.

I can’t please everyone, anyhow.

I had an urge to head up north,

to Dineh and Hopi country,

for a few days.

That will wait,

until snow and bitter cold

abate.

I found the trailhead

for the Great Western,

off to the side of

the marvelous Cherry Road.

The road itself leads to,

and through,

a small residential village,

with but a Bed & Breakfast,

to interrupt the flow

of privacy and quietude.

I will return to Great Western,

a few weeks hence,

once the cold abates a bit.

In the meantime,

milder climes will offer

their trails,

and we will see what

the Maricopa Trail

or Saguaro National Monument,

entails.