The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 9: And It’s Still So


June 9, 2020-

I have had more energy, in the past three months, than in the previous ten years. It is likely a combination of things: Essential oil-based supplements, better sleep, being more present in the moment, paying more attention to celestial connections. COVID19 restrictions have kept me mostly around Home Base, but my activity levels have not dropped, appreciably.

Just a few other thoughts, about what I was taught as a kid, and how it has never mattered more than now.

I was taught to look beyond a person’s outer frame-and focus on his/her character.

I was taught that every person matters, ESPECIALLY if other people treat that person as if (s)he doesn’t.

I was taught to be kind to animals, and how much more to other people.

I was taught to stand up to bullies, try to understand their deeper message, make any changes in my behaviour that are warranted and accept a former adversary as a friend, once the tormenting behaviour has been outgrown.

I was taught to honour other people’s lifestyles and traditions, but not encourage those things that demean other people.

I was taught to respect my elders, but not to abide their foolishness.

I was taught to plan ahead.

Most of all, I was taught to love, unconditionally.

Had I not been taught these things, and held them close, I would not be alive today.



January 23, 2019-

I have watched the aftermath of this past weekend’s dustup, involving White, Red and Black activists, talking at, and over, each other- with only a smidgen of understanding, and that coming solely from the Native American elders, who thought drumming and singing a prayer would defuse tension.

The whites started out marching on behalf of banning abortion.  The blacks were mainly stating their beliefs about their being descended from the 12 Tribes of Israel.  The Native Americans were in a sanctioned march for Peace on Earth. The whites and blacks began berating one another, and it is academic as to who started what.  There have been all manner of comments, on all sides and from the sidelines, suggesting that, once again, no one was listening to the others- except the silent, grinning Nick Sandmann who, depending on who was watching, was either standing still out of respect to Nathan Phillips or was grinning in contempt of “an other”.

In reality, it IS disrespectful in Native American culture, to speak to someone who is chanting, praying or dancing in a spiritual manner.  Nick would know this, as, likewise, no  Catholic churchgoer engages a priest in conversation, when the prelate is saying Mass or giving a sermon.

It is also reality for some to stand, often with arms folded, grinning while their eyes flash hatred, as I have often seen when disparate groups of people confront one another.

I saw no hatred in the eyes of Nick Sandmann.  I saw a boy who didn’t want to speak, for whatever reason.  I saw his face momentarily turn serious, and what was going through his mind, at that moment, is known only to him.

Commentators have interpreted the behaviours of various people in the situation, according to what they, the commentators, have witnessed in the past.  I could do the same thing, and note that when I was a teen, my schoolmates and I poked fun at one another, sometimes to the point of invoking anger and tears.  We had one another’s backs when real adversaries attacked us.  Thus, the solidarity, the other day, when the whites, the reds and the  blacks felt threatened by one another.

Gradually, as will likely happen with the Covington kids, many of my contemporaries and I expanded our social circles, to include people of various groups.  Primacy of one group over another does not hold water.  Nick Sandmann, and those of his friends who join in, will start learning this WHEN they sit down with Nathan Phillips, and hear his story.  I hope they listen with both ears-and I hope Mr. Phillips remembers what it was like to be male and sixteen.  In answer to his question: “THIS is our future?”, I can only say:  Yes, sir, and it is also our past.  Intemperance and ignorance give way to open-mindedness and awareness, when the latter are brought to bear, in a loving way.  We are, in the end, one human race.

The Road to 65, Mile 30: Somnambulation


December 28, 2014, Phoenix- When I was in seventh grade, my home room/math teacher, a burly, gruff Chicagoan named Mr. Anzalone, regularly disparaged those of us who were zoning out during class as “Unconscious”.  He’s gone now, but the sobriquet still seems to fit a good many people.  The theme of today’s final sessions of the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference is that many, if not most people, over the past seventy years, or longer, have been going about their lives with a sort of tunnel vision.

I don’t exempt myself from this state of being, though the percentage of time when I am totally in tune with my surroundings has increased markedly, since I have started using essential-oils based supplements.  The doltish behaviours still rear their awkward visages, from time to time, but less so than before.

Part of the whole mass somnambulance seems to stem from the notion that we, as individuals, don’t matter much, that the mechanism which supposedly controls it all, and its minions, will just roll over us, anyway.  People on the Left scream when police or military die in the line of duty, and are covered by the press.  People on the Right scream when the President appears on television,on the golf course, or anywhere near where they live.  The common thread is  “WHAT. ABOUT. ME?” Then, it’s back to the Cocoon of Square One.

Everyone’s life matters. Giving a slain police officer, firefighter or member of the Armed Forces his/her due tribute does not take away from your uncle who had a fatal heart attack, three months ago, or the homeless guy on the corner, who froze to death because the local shelter decided that minimum temperature had not been reached that night, or your friend’s cousin’s next-door-neighbour’s grandmother, who passed quietly in her sleep, at age 98.  Pain is pain; mourning deserves respect.  Where this connects with a sleepwalking state is the point at which we can no longer see the social value of honouring our troops or our First Responders, because they are not in our immediate circle.

Everyone’s life deserves dignity.  I am not a financially wealthy man.  I cannot give to any more than a few of the three dozen organizations which solicit my money on a daily basis, online,  by mail, or, until I activated the “No Soliciting” tab on my landline, by phone.  I do not give cash to people on the street, because that may well just be a green light for self-destructive habits.  I will buy food, water or a hot beverage for a needy person.  I may give a ride to someone in need.  I do not mock, hassle or bully people, because no one deserves it, and besides, I am only one lost job away from the streets, myself.

The bottom line is, in this day and age of warp-speed change, we each need, more than ever, to awaken from a semi-conscious state, and prepare ourselves, in every way possible, to be of service and of a full awareness.