Goosenecks

6

October 8, 2019, Blanding, UT-

Last Saturday, evening, I watched an improvisational dance performance, called “River of Stars”.   The performance, by Human Nature Dance Troupe, of Flagstaff, came to mind again last night, as I chose to sleep under the stars, at Goosenecks State Park, near Mexican Hat, Utah.

Two rivers, one above, the other below,

give me solace.

The San Juan snakes around,

a series of limestone formations,

giving the impression

of goose’s necks.

It is a serene, sacred spot,

and I lie in a sleeping bag,

insulated from the cold,

whilst gazing up into

the river above,

a true River of Stars.

Constellations,

known to me

since my youth,

present themselves

as a constant flow.

The Moon is between us,

and the audible drone

of an occasional airplane

challenges my eyes

to find it,

among the shimmering

islets

in the celestial river.

North Rim

8

October 7, 2019, Kanab-

I will, as usual, post photographic accounts of my current jaunt, once back at Home Base.  In the meantime, here’s a verse on the topic.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Serene, confident teenager

stretched herself out

and took in the view,

of the gaping maw below.

Mother’s watchful gaze notwithstanding,

the girl took pains to keep herself safe,

as a much younger child,

asked her mommy,

“Can I do that, too?”

“Maybe, when you get

to be that big.”

The North Rim,

eight thousand,

three hundred feet

above the Colorado River,

at Bright Angel Point,

is not for those

with acrophobia,

or shortness of breath.

I promised my late

maternal grandfather,

spiritually,

that I would not

entertain the former,

and, as yet,

I do not suffer,

from the latter.

So, down the narrow trail,

I went,

and gazed over the edge,

at Bright Angel Point,

again at Point Imperial,

and, lastly,

at Cape Royal.

where two dozen of us,

watched the sun dip,

below the horizon,

accenting the smoke

from a prescribed burn.

Diahann Carroll

2

October 6, 2019, Flagstaff-

Supremely dignified,

even in a scene of hand-to-hand combat,

she graced the small screen,

and cinema, alike.

She played out her life,

in a television program,

called, simply, “Julia”.

Her presence was magnificent,

throughout.

Diahann never took a backseat,

to anyone,

and the world is the better,

for having seen her like.

Rest in power,

dear queen.

Growing My Vision-Part 1

2

October 5, 2019-

At our Baha’i Unit Convention, this morning, I spotted a sign on the host’s chalkboard, with the message, “Build Vision”.  One of the constant mantras of my childhood was that we each had to see ourselves in five years, ten years, etc.

Most of us have thought of this, to the extent we think of it at all, in terms of education, career, size of family, etc.  I did all that, and now, as my formal career has little more than a year to run, albeit as a part-time substitute teacher, my vision is changing tack.

It’s always been natural, even impulsive, for me to take in the world, in my planning or visualizing.  Often, I have been chastised, for being too global.  I think the point was for me to be more present, in the here and now.  My head has made great strides, in that regard-and my focus is sharper, in the past dozen years, than it was long ago.  A good part of that came with being a caretaker. There is, as is said in such challenging environments as, say, the Alaskan Bush, the fact that “Ignorance, distraction and stupidity are the three Princes of Death”.

There is much that I have left to do, so keeping my broader vision global, whilst maintaining a sharp focus on what’s close at hand, has presented itself, with a welcome intensity.  If I slip, I know there are those among my faithful readers, not to mention, real time friends and family, who won’t hesitate to blow the whistle.

That is the supreme comfort.

Nuance

4

October 4, 2019-

We have all seen and heard- over the past few days, months, years- those among us who shun nuance, skit tact and embrace the bullhorn-far more than the average person.  Granted, most of us drop the tact microphone every now and again. Fatigue, stress, runaway emotions can all factor in and create a thoroughly embarrassing moment-or extended series thereof.

Those who have followed me for several years, know that I’ve had my share of tact-free episodes.  I have to own those times, and if they get thrown in my face, it is best that I ponder the situation and see what remains to be learned.

We have had a few firestorms of nuance taking a vacation, over the past several years, and most recently the back and forth over responsibility for climate change, as well as diplomatic fracases.  The larger truth seems to be that every living thing affects the climate of the planet on which he, she or it lives.  We humans, being the most advanced creatures on Earth, have the greatest capacity for influencing such change, but I digress.

Humans, chimpanzees and ants are the three groups of animals most closely associated with warfare.  Ants use what Nature gave them.  The Primate species use tools, and unlike ants, can effect intentional destruction.  There is scant nuance in war.

Nuance is developed by adopting a mindset that gradual change is best; that things aren’t always, or even often, what they seem; that complexity is inherent in the human condition; that people are not prisoners of their past.  Nuance, like any other feature of civilization, requires an open mind, listening skills and an essential love for humanity, for sentient life.

I look forward to continuing to develop an appreciation for nuance.

Shaman-ish

4

October 2, 2019-

Last Sunday, I texted a friend, to see whether a meet-up we had planned earlier was still on.  Immediately, I got a spirit message:  They are all sick.  Thirty minutes later, a text from friend verified that.

Within the past year, two women, who do not know one another but each claim to be intuitive, have told me that my own intuition and spirituality run very deep.  After saying so, each distanced herself from me-one, by a series of vicious verbal attacks, followed by a loud demand that I not contact her again. (Interesting, as I had no plans to do so.)  The second quietly has dropped off the radar screen, as have both of our mutual friends.

I was told that my identified strengths are best used for the healing of those around me- and although I don’t possess medical knowledge, I have taken that aspect of the women’s pronouncements to heart.  In fact, helping others, with essential oils, has been part of my friendships with people, for about five years now.

I thought of these things, after finishing reading “Spiritwalker”, by Hank Wesselman.  In this account, he claims to have made contact with a distant descendant-from 5,000 years hence, at a time when mankind is regrouping and recovering from a worldwide calamity.  It is a compelling and plausible account, though I  don’t have a great sense that the future will unfold in quite the manner he sees.

Both men, and several people, both male and female, who are around them, appear to possess shamanic powers.  My erstwhile acquaintances ascribed such powers to me, the latest one saying that my using these powers is totally elective.  So it is in Mr. Wesselman’s book.  He and his descendant choose to do what they can, to help their loved ones and others in their respective communities.

I have embarked on a life of service, which has been understood by several, and greatly misunderstood by others, including the two women who diagnosed my nature.  All I know is, at the end of a given day, I am thankful to the Universe for having bestowed such gifts on me, and ask that the signs of how I may continue to be of use, be made clear, each day.  Titles, such as shaman, or even prophet, seem rather over the top, at least in my case.

Integrity

0

October 1, 2019-

Every crisis that strikes between people, and within a person, is a matter of integrity.  The old saw defines integrity as “the way a person behaves when no one is looking.”  The problem is, someone without integrity will have difficulty in code switching.  When one is outside of one’s room, there are most likely going to be other people around, going about their own business, and simultaneously noting what everyone around them is doing.  So, the non-integrated person will go about being foolish, or angry, or drawing attention to self.

A person with integrity, on the other hand, will take the presence, as well as  the legitimate feelings and rights of other people, into consideration, before engaging in an activity.  There will be ownership of that activity, no blame-casting, gaslighting or obfuscation.

I have come by integrity, after much self-work, over the years.  Ownership of my mistakes and errors has at times been painful, and come at a great price.  In the end, I am more worthy of being in the world and have been able to achieve more.

I say this, looking at various public figures, several of whom have a fair degree of integrity and others whose public persona is one of “duck, doge and hide”.  Some of these people are obvious to anyone, whilst others have managed to keep their inner character a secret, behind a facade of  “good works”.

Sooner or later, though, as we have been seeing, the truth comes clear: “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” (Luke, 8:17)  This truth is well to be remembered by BOTH sides, in any given dispute.  The first thing that needs to be established is, “Who lacked integrity first, and to what degree?” Then may the truthfulness of others be established. This is the whole purpose of legal cross-examination and academic rebuttal-that things which are not as they seem, should be made clear.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right” has never been truer.  This is all I have to say, for now, on the current state of affairs in our nation’s capital.

She Never Stopped Singing

8

September 30, 2019-

Had Penny stayed on this Earthly plane, she would have turned 65, today. There was not a day that went by, until her voice gave out, that she didn’t sing of one thing or another.  Her voice was easily among the most pleasant sounds I could ever have heard. It was very often infused with praise for the Divine, making its tones that much more salubrious.

She never stopped seeking a means to improve health-her own and that of everyone she loved.  It is largely her legacy that has led me to use essential oils and hemp-based CBD, which were either little known or not marketed during her long years of suffering.  I can at least help maintain my own wellness and those in my widening circle who are ill.  That would comfort her.

She was always her own person.  Years ago, I was screamed at, for having used the term, “my Penny”, in a random post.  The angry correspondent, who was not known to me beforehand, was crusading against “people thinking they own one another.”  Despite that over-the-top assessment, I never regarded Penny as being somehow under my thumb.  She stood her ground, right up until her last breath, and never hesitated to speak truth to power- doctors, hospital administrators, insurance executives, school principals, Senator Barry Goldwater, even her parents.  The woman was fierce.

Her ferocity was based on love.  No one who caught her wrath really believed her to be a noxious presence.  With a few narcissistic exceptions, friend and foe alike appreciated just how much Penny Kay Fellman Boivin was devoted to the well-being of humanity.  That love served to heal one of the most psychologically ill people she ever knew: myself.  So, here I am, still able to carry on her work, along with my own.

The spirit, the genderless essence, watches over me still, and lends strength to doing all that remains to be accomplished.

 

 

Another Song Celestial

0

September 29, 2019-

The humble, soft-spoken man recounted the life of his father, who is, to date, the only conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Desmond Doss, Sr. was portrayed by the actor Andrew Garfield, in the film “Hacksaw Ridge”.  His son  briefly detailed the actual man and the fullness of his life, at yesterday’s Hope Fest.

Desmond Doss, Jr. is at lower left, below.

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This day-long celebration of purpose-driven life is primarily about service to the community, with a clear message that peoples’ lives are best led through a personal relationship with Jesus the Christ.  I have helped the organizers of this effort, for the past five years.  One of the elements of this event is recognizing and honouring the veterans of present and past conflicts.  VietNam is not the least of these conflicts.

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Though I take a longer view, seeing a relationship with the Creator and His Messengers as essential to a well-lived life, by way of accepting that Revelation is progressive and God’s message unending, I see that encouraging others in the positive,  personal growth-oriented aspects of their own Faith is the finer path.

I came by my understanding of Baha’u’llah’s Teachings honestly, and will never hide my Faith from anyone.  It was actually the very essence of what Jesus the Christ taught, that love is paramount, which drew me to the Baha’i Faith, as “Love is the secret of God’s holy Dispensation, the manifestation of the All-Merciful, the fountain of spiritual outpourings.”- ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

It never made sense to me, even as a child, that God would visit Mankind with His Grace but once.  Knowledge given is as the rays of the Sun.  The solar rays of a thousand years ago, of ten thousand years ago, warmed the Earth and were beneficial.  They remain praiseworthy, for all they brought forth.  Likewise, the rays of the present day sustain life.  They, too, deserve our appreciation.  Understanding all that is given us, by the Creator, is a worthy effort.

So I offer service to those who themselves serve others, in the highest way they can conceive.  It is our shared love for humanity that propels gatherings like Hope Fest.  Long may they continue, and bear fruit.

Be(k)nighted

4

September 27, 2019-

Reflecting on the tendency of many, to place blind trust in a celebrity, or other person of renown:

You, so blameless, in the eyes of the like-minded,

cast aspersions on the character of others,

at odds with yourself,

who, themselves are viewed as blameless,

in the eyes of those of similar mindset.

They, in turn, cast aspersions on you,

and the cats chase each others’ tails.

The resulting hole,

hole in the ground,

rabbit hole,

gets deeper,

murkier,

until none

but those with

the keenest of vision,

can see any glimmer

of light.

Meanwhile,

you gaslight,

obfuscate,

blame cast

and enlist

legions of  legalists,

talking heads

and eager apologists.

You are on the Right,

or on the Left.

It makes no difference

since you see yourself

as above it all.

How far you have,

to fall.