The Light of Abiding Love

9

November 4, 2018, Prescott-

Friday night, I headed down to Phoenix, and spent time with several old friends, at the Baha’i Center.  The occasion was a Launch Party Tour finale for  the latest album by a talented young artist, named Colby Jeffers, a rapper with a strong spiritual message.

One of the themes he raised was the importance, the abiding bond, with his wife, M.  They have been present for one another, for several years now, and the love is only getting deeper.

I saw several examples of the light of abiding love, that night, and over the weekend.  Another young couple showed both the firmness of their bond, by holding one another, at moments when Colby’s words hit just the right tone of everlasting love, then having the strength to go about their individual tasks of the evening, knowing that each would be there for the other, when needed.

Penny and I were like that, so my heart is always warmed by a man who takes good care of his beautiful wife-and vice versa.  I feel much the same towards couples who are not quite married, but who are committed to one another.  Having so many friends who are at one point on the commitment continuum, or another, their ties generate light in the world, and I feel reassured.

This was further cemented today, when I attended an honorarium, at a lovely equestrian ranch northwest of here, and saw a couple being honoured, for their service to the Prescott community.  They have suffered unimaginable losses, these past two years, and while I am not her favourite person, by any stretch, I feel very much appreciative of both all they have done and for the depth of their suffering.  Their light shines, intensely, through all the shadows.

Marriage is an affirmation of light, when it is real.

Thoughts on A Morning World

3

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!

 

Love, By The Numbers

8

April 18, 2016, Prescott-

My youngest niece turns twenty-five today.  This, alone, makes it a good day, and I hope her nearest and dearest ones honour her in the best manner possible.  Twenty-five is not the marker of a “crisis” (as in “quarter-life crisis”), but is the affirmation of a good running start to full adulthood.

I think of all those I love, in various senses of the word. It has sometimes been a matter of bloodline; other times, it is from sheer association and observation, as with my students and counselees, many of my colleagues and most of my fellows-in-faith.  Then, there is Love 101, the seeing of “a stranger as a loving friend”, as ‘Abdu’l-Baha admonished us to see others.

By age 30, having long since let go of adolescent irritability, I had given up the concept of enmity, at least insofar as it pertained to a flesh-and-blood human being.  Some behaviours, I will always find inimical, but that is a topic for other venues.  People’s hearts can always change, and while we can, and should, be wary of those who have harmed us, or our loved ones, in the past, it is not ours to deny them the right to a change of heart.

At 65, I can hold no grudge, yet, nonetheless, expect those who have hurt others, to make serious amends.  With no apologies to Erich Segal, love DOES mean having to say you’re sorry.  Following that apology, though, love does exact some changes in behaviour, both great and small.  Yes, I hold myself to that same standard, whether forgiven by those I may have hurt, or not.

Love, one step at a time, is the secret to growth.

The Road to 65, Mile 139: High School

8

April 16, 2015, Prescott- The other day, when I was covering a classroom at an area high school, a student remarked that one of his instructors essentially “phoned-in” his classes, putting on a video, with minimal explanation, and sitting back, as the kids zoned out, day after day.  As any class has the potential to be stimulating, rewarding and useful in a person’s future, this tale was especially saddening.

I have seen all manner of instruction, or lack thereof, in my ten years as a fill-in instructor.  Some days, I have read entire chapters of my own books, while monitoring students taking tests.  Other days, I have been fully engaged in instruction, carrying on a well-planned lesson.

This evening, I visited with an extended family for about forty minutes.  One of the members is a high school freshman, who spoke of having given perfunctory responses to a standardized test.  After several of us adults remarked as to the reasons why such tests are important, she replied that no prior notice of the test was given, nor was there any explanation offered, other than “It’s that time again.  Here’s the State Test, you know the drill.”

I have not worked in her school for a very long time.  The administrator’s policy is that only women, and men over the age of 70, are to be trusted with the students.  Quirks like that may work for a time, but the reality is:  People are fallible, regardless of gender or age. People are also known to be trustworthy, regardless of gender or age.

My young friend corroborated my remarks about the above-mentioned high school, saying this was common in her school as well.  The loudest and pushiest students are recognized, as are a favoured few others, and the idea of random questioning, or calling on people for response, is given short shrift in many classrooms.  I call on a variety of people, regardless of whose hand is up for every single question.  There is no other way I can conceive, to reinforce the idea that everyone matters, that the learning of all is important.

I have been blacklisted by a few administrators whose attitude is “My way or the highway”, and yet, when I speak to students who are in those schools, the answer is often, “Mr. (or Ms.)________ doesn’t care much about us”.  Surprising?  Hardly. The name of the game, in my humble opinion is “We are in the business of building a solid future.”  We are concerned with validation, affirmation, of the dreams and goals of beautiful souls, awesome human beings.  That’s education, in a nutshell.