Vortices

4

May 9, 2020-

Snow descended on a swath of the Northeast,

and Atlantic Canada, early this morning.

It was blamed on the Arctic Vortex,

which usually rears its head

and roars, in the dead of winter.

We have our own vortices,

here in the Southwest.

They bring concentrations

of energy and uplifts in awareness,

to those in tune with them.

The snow will have disappeared,

from many places,

by Noon, on Mother’s Day.

The changes brought by

increased awareness,

will cause ignorance

and shopworn habits

to disappear.

May there be purity,

from both kinds

of vortices.

Two Candles

4

May 8, 2020-

On a Zoom call, this evening, the moderator put forth a telling message:  “It is not necessary for me to put out your candle, so that mine may burn brighter.”

Cynics may counter-“Too many lights put each other out.”

I beg to differ.  Life is not a zero sum game.  Some conservatives want a world without progressives.  Some progressives can’t wait to rid our planet of conservatives.  I find either prospect an empty one.  There are features, of extremists on both sides, that I find reprehensible-  From the alt-right:  The murder of an African-American jogger, on February 23, by two white men; the drawings of swastikas and nooses; “Rassus” jokes, told by both whites and Native Americans; ANY hint that one race is superior to another. From the extreme left:  The caricatures of conservatives as knuckle-dragging hominids; ANY defense of pedophilia (which occurs among both liberals and conservatives, by the way); advocacy of wholesale slaughter of those in power.

I’ve covered the need for an array of responsible viewpoints, in an earlier post.  So, I will end with this:  I know plenty of respectable, responsible and loving people, on both sides of the chasm.  I know plenty of decent, morally sound people, among all ethnicities, economic levels, creeds and ways of life.  My candle doesn’t need yours to be snuffed out, in order for it to shine brightly.  Come on home.

Siddhartha’s Goal

6

May 7,2020-

Leaving home and family,

He glimpsed a glorious goal,

from embracing-nothingness.

Leaving behind wealth and status,

He chose to sit under a banyan,

and encounter His deepest inner self.

Walking with a small bag and walking staff,

He encountered the mountains,

at the roof of the world.

The goal he saw, was a peaceful heart,

completely detached from gold and mire, alike.

He knew there would be suffering,

and He knew there would be solace.

Gautama’s birth, celebrated by His followers,

on this day,

was the start of a glorious journey,

away from bondage and shopworn doctrine.

The cycle has ever been thus.

Opening Back Up

6

May 6. 2020-

I asked my friend, who owns a small natural foods cafe, how she was going to go about re-opening her dine-in area, after the go-ahead bell is rung, next Monday.  She will go with patio service only, for the time-being-as the ambiance of the establishment is “tarry awhile” and indoor tarrying would bother her sensibilities.

There will be several “return to normal” efforts, over the next few weeks.  I am likely to get a haircut, next Monday.  My monthly check-up at the chiropractor went on today, as scheduled.  Turning right, into his parking lot, off the main artery between Prescott and Prescott Valley earned me a tirade from the guy behind me, who doesn’t like the idea that there are turn-offs, along his route home.  Some things aren’t going to change, COVID or not.  In a couple of weeks, I will head down to Phoenix, for my four-month dental check-up and cleaning.

Several Zoom calls will last the rest of the month. June will bring a different set of expectations, but we’ll cross that bridge, when we get there.  The gradual lifting of the curtain will be enough and may feel like a century has passed, by the time Memorial Day weekend arrives.  I want to see people remain healthy, to the extent possible.  God knows, we’ve already lost enough people, these past three months.

I have felt closer to the night sky, during this period of upside-down, whilst still getting up at 6 a.m., as the joy of morning is still very much in place.  That short mid-day cat nap makes all the difference.

Credibility

4

May 5, 2020-

Fifty years ago, yesterday, four students were slain, at Kent State University, Ohio,  in the midst of a “tough” government reaction to protests against the VietNam War.  At that time, as now, there was a stark division between those who wanted peace and those who favoured a hard response to an identified enemy.  I was little more than a child, then, and even though I was on active duty with the United States Army, I felt strongly that there had been an overreaction.

Coming from this incident, there was a very intense backlash among people of my generation-especially among those in college.  Hippiedom was still much in vogue, as less than a year had passed, since the Woodstock Festival.  A cliche arose, as well:  “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean that we’re not out to get you.”   There were also working class youth, like me, who were not exactly over the top for the Hippie culture, but still had our reservations about the Military-Industrial Complex.

Fast forward to the current crisis.  Many of the same people who had doubts about our government then, have the same reservations now.  The difference is in the target of those qualms.  Now, it’s the Scientific-Medical Complex, from Monsanto to “Big Pharma”, and anyone who stands to make a bundle off disease cure and prevention.

I will say this, having posted arguments from both sides on another social media platform:  At least half of the predicament in which large companies find themselves is a hoist of their own petard.  Lack of transparency always sticks in the craw of an educated populace.  Numbers have been fudged, quite frequently- and by those on both sides of an issue.  There has been fakery, to the point that one must even scrutinize the claims of fact checkers.

It all can be avoided by just telling the truth-but that may cost people money.  There is a hard choice to be made by many.

The Hand Up

4

May 4, 2020, Flagstaff-

Two vehicles, full of necessaries, pulled into the parking lot of Little America Resort Hotel, in the center of this sprawling forested city.  The drivers, yours truly and a longtime friend, arrived two hours ahead of the designated time for meeting another friend, a member of the Navajo Nation, who was to take the cargo the rest of the way.  We each had our lunch of choice and stretched out, in our respective vehicles, to while the time away until then- he, playing a video game and I, taking a nice long nap.

This was my first time out of Navajo County, since March 13, and my first time out of the Prescott area, since March 22.  Of course, everything is as I remembered it-in terms of greenery, the layout of cities and towns.  Everything is also changed, and as in Prescott, meals are served to go and the picnic table has replaced the patio.  I heard, a few minutes ago, that there is a chance restaurants will open for Mothers Day.  That would mean rush orders and frantic cleaning, as well as convincing workers to come back-and give up their unemployment.  So, it would have to be a genuine restart-not a game of fits and starts.

Anyhow, right at 2 p.m., our Dineh friend and his cohort arrived, and we got all the items transferred, in short order.  The supplies will make many people happy and re-assured. There may be other such deliveries.  God knows I have the time to assist-clear to next Spring.  For now, though, it’s nice to be alive, and useful.  I will stop by and purchase a cold brew coffee from a young friend who owns a shop in Sedona, and then head on back to Home Base.

The Javelins and the Olive Branches

6

May 3, 2020-

I will say a few things, straight out:  I am a regular user of natural medicines, certified therapeutic grade essential oils and organic foods (80 % of my diet is GMO-free. I also will accept only those vaccinations that are “clean”.  I recognize we need to start somewhere, in building herd immunity to COVID19, and whatever other diseases may surface, over the next many years.  We do NOT, however, need to start with 76 different vaccines, nor do we need our serums laden with mercury, arsenic or formaldehyde.  The shots I’ve taken, willingly, throughout my life, and those that were administered to my child, on our watch, were not more than 19 in number.  To the best of my recollection, they did not contain heavy metals.  The only other issue I would have with Corporate Immunization is the notion , so far just speculation, that authorities could ban people from engaging in commerce or travel, should they fail to have current immunization records on file.  Such a law would not end well , for those who enact it.

I am staying neutral in the present election cycle.  This has not endeared me to some on the Left.  So be it.  These are people who know my heart, and know full well that I do not support the politics of fear or hate.  They  cussed, fussed, fumed and walked out the door, anyway.  That door remains open, to anyone who does not threaten me, or my loved ones.  I would also recommend, to both sides, that no harm be done to any of the candidates for office, or their families-but that is a concern for law enforcement.

Fact is, ladies and gentlemen, we need one another.  Left, right, up, down and sideways-and those of us in the center, all have ideas and personal qualities that benefit everyone else.  Without the ideas of the progressive wing, we would not have the inclusion of diverse groups that make our society all the richer.  Only the usual characters would continue to dominate government, commerce and academia.  Without the due consideration of conservative values, we would have no rudder to steer this ship through some rather treacherous straits, and would very well risk being at the mercy of demagogues, for whom ideas are more important than people.

For both sides, though, there is a danger of demagoguery- as the recent histories of several countries have shown us.  There is also the classic mirror:  The French Revolution, which started with the overthrow of an incompetent monarchy, proceeded through a Reign of Terror, in which a free for all resulted in the executions of the very people who led the overthrow of the monarchy-and paved the way for Napoleon Bonaparte, followed by Louis XVIII, then the Citizen King, then Napoleon III.  How that worked out for the benefit of the French people is highly debatable.

I love and cherish friends and family at all points on the political spectrum.  All I ask is that there be a conscious effort to stop demonizing those opposite oneself, as well as those of us in between.

 

Hal XI and Griff (Part 2)

0

May 2, 2020-

Griff  (aka Brent) entered the hall where the most important cyborgs and network bases were situated, at Gates Interstellar’s Monroe, Washington headquarters.  His mission was simple, for the time being:  “Act as the security guard whom you officially are, take copious mental notes on the cyborgs, the base computers and, especially, cultivate a friendship with HAL XI.  As the name indicates, it is the eleventh generation of Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic Computers, which Interstellar’s parent company, Microsoft, first developed in 1996.  Gain HAL’s trust!”

HAL called him out, though, after about fifteen minutes of Griff’s wandering about and trying to be surreptitious about using the microcamera in his right hand.  “Good morning, young Musk!”

“You must have me confused with someone else.  I’m Brent Scowcroft Thibodeaux , great-great grandson of the distinguished patriot, for whom I was named. ”

“Now, THAT was clever!”, stated HAL, in the programmed cadence that captured the personality and vocal style of its inventor.  Bill managed to infuse a sarcasm into his cyborg’s programming, so that even in monotone, the message was clear.  “Your minders really thought they could confuse the cyber-progeny of the most brilliant mind of two centuries.  We are well aware of everything your namesake did; all his adventures abroad and the CIA’s shenanigans within the borders of the American Republic-when it was still the United States.  Ah, what’s in a name! Tell me, young MUSK, how does a rambunctious mind like your grandfather come up with such a pedestrian pseudonym for his fledgling spy?”

Griff stood silently, for what seemed an eternity- though it was only fifteen seconds.  “I do believe, sir, that you have me misidentified.  “Sir?  Did I just refer to an inanimate object as sir?”, Griff muttered, under his breath.

“There is NOTHING inanimate about my programming, young Musk”, HAL responded, “I know, actually, that you were replying to the vocal cadence of my creator, Mr. Gates.  He has that effect on everyone, even twenty years after his transition. Such IS the mark of genius!”

“I, Brent Scowcroft Thibodeaux, am here to make sure of the security of this facility!”, Griff fumed, ” I will not be MISIDENTIFIED!”

“Believe me, Nicola Griffin Musk, you have not been misidentified-by us!”, HAL chirped, matter of factly, “As the old saying goes, we heard you when you were putting on your pants, this morning.  Even with no microchip, our surveillance system knows no bounds.  We know that your father wants to Deep Six our mission to Callisto.  Do go home and tell him that it is SPACE X’s mission which is headed south!”

The speechless young man headed out the door, without so much as a backward glance at his vanquisher.  He reached his vehicle in record time and the family estate, in Snohomish, even faster.

Lucas was sitting in his outdoor study, sipping an alcohol-free rendition of a Mint Julep, when Griff walked in.  “So, I hear the old man is one step ahead of us”, father remarked, without emotion, to his son.

“More like ten miles ahead”, Griff lamented.  “HAL XI said something about a Space X mission, and that it was doomed to failure.”

“The words it used were ‘headed south’ were what I was told.”, Lucas fumed, ” I cannot believe that you let the voice sensors of the computer pick up on your alias!  Yes, MSG  paid me a screen visit, about fifteen minutes ago.  I was given ALL the gory details, with typical Gatesian hubris and bravado.  Please tell me you didn’t even HINT at what we have been planning!!”

Seeing the veins in his father’s neck start to bulge, and Lucas’ nostrils start their signature flare, Griff spoke with whatever courage he could muster, and stated, calmly:  “No, father, I could not tell it anything I don’t know.  Remember, the company policy is never arm the enemy with an informed spy.  I’m sorry for not remembering about voice trip-ups.  I just get irritated, when a MACHINE casts aspersions on my words.”

After a few deep breaths, Lucas ended the  debriefing, for the time being- “Welcome to the New Galactic Order.”

(DISCLAIMER:  Any resemblance between the events in this story, and actual events in the life of any real life person mentioned here is purely coincidental.)

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May Day Reflections

4

May 1, 2020-

I arose earlier than usual, this morning.  I just could not sleep past 5:30.  Summer is like that for me.

This is a day often set aside, in much of the world, to honour labour.  There are a vast number of workers who deserve this honour-the medical community, those who provide food, beverages, beneficial pharmaceuticals and naturopathic remedies, first responders ( as always), spiritual and psychological advisers and sanitation workers-among others.  Your efforts are more valuable than ever.

Then, too, this is the beginning, essentially of Teacher Appreciation Week-or at least the cusp of it.  Teachers are more the invisible heroes of the current pandemic.  Those who have held up nicely, deserve extra praise.  Those who are sinking, deserve extra support.

I noticed a couple of items, relative to Special Needs children.  There is an article, in this month’s National Geographic Magazine, about autistic adults.  The emphasis is on those with severe needs, but I am still grateful to see us be the focus of empathic attention, in the press.  I also saw a photo of a “favourite cap” to which a mother sewed buttons, so that her little boy would feel comfortable, while wearing a mask.

Things that made me smile:  The energetic, effervescent departing president of a college club showed up on my e-mail feed, with a proposal for a club handbook; Earth Rising and my cosmic advisor each had energizing assessments of what lies ahead in May; paying rent (thankfully, not a problem for me) was made easy by the assistance of a Tablet Teller.  Yes, a roving teller, accepting deposits using an encrypted Tablet, is one of the outgrowths of the current crisis.

This month has not started out all that well, for many, and we can only change that by pulling together- not in serving as fodder for those Trollmasters, who thrive on sowing division.

 

Duality

6

April 30, 2020-

Part II, of “HAL and Griff” will appear on Saturday’s blog.  In the meantime:

We have, as is Americans’ wont, reached the Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Everyone is right, in the confines of their own silos, and whoever dares caution someone not to call for the firing, arrest, or DEATH, of another human being, who happens to be either suspected of wrongdoing or is the focus of exposes of various levels of veracity, is an unctious waste of DNA in his/her own right.  This speaks volumes about those who stand in judgment.

A few thoughts, then, from my own humble and fallible mind:

We each have a dual nature- There are things about which we are self-centered and “freedom-loving” and there are things about which we are supremely giving and kind.

I believe in the sanctity of life-from the moment of conception, AND I believe it is a mother’s place to decide what is done with her body, hopefully choosing adoption over abortion, but her informed decision, nonetheless-and no one else’s.

I believe that a community can and should take the stance that the lives of everyone-richest to poorest, of all ethnicities, genders,  ages and sexual orientations, are sacred, as well.  I believe that respect for everyone’s sensibilities, with regard to health, is just common courtesy.  I also believe that no one should be deprived of livelihood, for an open-ended period of time.  Staggered shifts have been proposed for school children- the same could conceivably work  for those whose jobs preclude work from home.  Ditto for using common sense, with regard to spacing of people whose infection status is unknown.

We are also in a state of flux, which I know is scary for many.  Humanity has been at this juncture before, when barbarian hordes have invaded their homelands.  A micororganism is not a barbarian, so there is the all-too-human tendency to turn one’s perceived opponent into said barbarian.  This, to me, is valuable time wasted.

It’s time to wake up, gear up and stand up-for the raising of a truly shining humanity.