The Seesaw

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August 10, 2019-

The seesaw was built for balance.

Gradually, that balance wore away,

as the bigger kids always favoured,

the right-hand side.

Getting to the seesaw first,

they managed to decide

how high, how fast,

it went up and down.

One day, a clever one,

from among the littles,

figured out how to restore

the balance.

He made some progress,

but was beaten

and chased off,

by those from both groups,

who were used to

things as they  were.

Try as they might, though,

the big kids couldn’t

restore the imbalance.

After several tries,

a series of little kids

began to enjoy the left side

being equally balanced

with the right.

There was an equal chance

for either to be above.

The bigger kids,

and some of the littles,

began to wail,

to cry UNFAIR!

One of the biggest

then got on the seesaw,

landing on it hard.

He knocked the device

out of balance again,

so much so,

that neither most of the littles

nor many of the bigs,

were happy.

Those who were happy,

were very loud about it,

and outshouted the unhappies.

This went on for some time,

until the more thoughtful

on both sides,

took a good, hard look

at the seesaw.

In the dead of night,

they restored the balance.

No one had to be hurt or maimed,

it was just that the right thing happened.

 

DISCLAIMER:  The “left” and “right”, in this poem refer only to the sides of an actual seesaw, and not to the political right or left.

 

Gratitude Week, Day 3: Health

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November 20, 2018, Prescott-

The last day of work before Thanksgiving came and went, with barely a hitch.  The students are surrounded by people who want to be working with them.  That has not always been the case, and the kids know when it isn’t.

Health, both physical and mental, depends not only on one’s genes and personal habits, but on how connected one is to those around us. I have been in good health for over ten years now, even counting the infections contracted whilst I was Penny’s caretaker and the recent knee strain.  It has been being surrounded by a largely independent, but genuinely loving, network of friends, to whom I paid homage two days ago, and to extended family, to whom I will pay similar tribute on Thanksgiving Day, which has brought me home, in terms of radiance and stamina.

A good daily balance of work and play, rest and activity, socialization and solitude has kept me in recovery from whatever ailments are brought on by aging and occasional stress.  I am grateful to do Terra essential oils, Planet Fitness and our systems of forests and parks, at all levels of government and of private landowners (Nature Conservancy, various local trusts) who allow access to their treasured sites.  I am indebted to those who provide healthful food and beverages, often but not always, free of Genetically-Modified Organisms and sometimes meatless.

I have much towards which to work, both gainfully and as a volunteer, over the next several years.  My health community is a key component of the process.

Tomorrow, I will offer a shout-out to those who have kept our communities, states and country safe and to those who work towards a safer world.

But For Now

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October 23, 2017, Prescott-

Tomorrow, I will write at length about two parts of New Mexico,

but for now, I am content to set my boundaries here, in this room.

Some day, I will likely balance my time between a beautiful little family

and my larger worldwide family,

but for now, I will tend to the needs  of my students and team mates.

Some day, I will be comfortable in the large group of people,

who have recognized the Presence of Baha’u’llah,

but for now, I am patient with my friends who are a bit skittish

about the beliefs I am sharing.

Some day, I will see the world, from a mountain redoubt,

but for now, I am happy to have that world close at hand.

Break Time

6

October 6, 2017, Prescott-

It’s Fall Break, from now until October 16- when we return to our labour of love and our lead teacher has a birthday.  In between, there is a balance of rest and motion. I have a service jaunt to Flagstaff, bright and early tomorrow morning, to help install smoke detectors in several units of a large modular home development.  Sunday will be a day of rest- until it isn’t.  Monday, I head down to Superior,  reconnect with the SunFlour  people and maybe hike Picketpost Mountain.  Beyond that is time in Globe,  then across to Safford, Silver City and Gila Cliff Dwellings, before getting back here, sometime Wednesday evening.  There will then be two days of relative rest, before Saturday the Fourteenth, when everything seems to be happening at once.  More details will be in order about that, later.

Anyway, it’s good to change the channel and replenish, every so often.

 

The Antlers On The Shed Door

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February 6, 2016, Prescott- I have “a day off”, today- no commitments, until 7 PM, and except for getting a much-needed haircut, no real accomplishments.  Nonetheless, time has been put to good use.

Let us return to the Winter Scavenger Hunt

18. garden shed, moon, antlers,

Damian was an iconoclast.  His family was made up, almost entirely of PETA activists.  Everyone was for animal rights, except him.  Damian didn’t despise fauna.  He just thought it was their lot in life to serve the needs of people.

In that vein, he was opposed to poaching, and to the excessive slaughter of any given species.  It was, Damian would tell anyone who listened, a matter of balance.  “Kill off a species, and it’s like pulling a linchpin out of a Janga tower.”, he once told a Chinese traditional healer, who’d come to Damian’s part of Alberta, to kill off and transport as many Grizzly bears as he could manage.

Damian had a thing about elk jerky.  He killed his quota of buck elk and shared the meat with his kindred spirits, saving a fair portion of it, to cure for his own snacking, over the winter.  There were several racks of antlers hanging throughout his property, always discomfiting his mother and siblings, on the infrequent occasions that they came by to visit.

The one that bothered them the most was the rack that hung above the entrance to Damian’s garden shed.  He had a full, varied garden plot- growing everything from sunflowers to soybeans, and all free of both Genetic Modification and chemicals.  Damian also believed in letting different parts of his field lie fallow, each year, so as to allow for  soil recovery.

None of this prepared him for the night of the Full Moon, in late January.  Around 11 PM, Damian was awakened from an early slumber, by the bright light of the orb that shone through his bedroom window.  It was not the moon. That shone on the other side of the house.  This orb was a vehicle of some kind.  It landed, carefully, in a fallow section of field.

Damian watched in awe, as a door opened, a ramp lowered to the ground, and three figures walked slowly out, their hooves-yes, hooves, clanking on the metal surface.  These elk walked upright, on two legs.  Even more astonishing, they were blue.

A short time later, there was a sharp rapping on Damian’s door.  The shaken, but still curious, man opened the door.  The lead cervine figure spoke, though in a language not heard on this Earth.  Yet, psychically, he made his wishes known to the Earth-bound human.

“We are from a planet under the sway of the star Sirius.  We have observed how homo sapiens sapiens treats its fellows, and its planet-mates. We have adopted the form of the elk, so as to impart a message:  ‘Let your animal friends be.  They are part of a Universal schema.  They must be allowed to live out their lives,in balance.’  Furthermore, you, Damian Elkins, must give us all of your antler collection, that we might create new creatures for our own planet.  We can do this, through use of the Deoxyribonucleic Acid in these antlers.  Elsewise, we must take you, yourself, to our planet, and create a species, that we will exploit and hunt, for sport.!”

Damian delivered up all of his antlers.  The visitors left.  Two days later, Damian joined PETA.

The Road to 65, Mile 98: Past Square One

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March 6, 2015, Prescott- Two events that occurred today, made me think of the need for perseverance.  The individual whom I’ve been helping, these past four months, made a heartfelt solicitation of work this morning, while we were heading back to his campsite, to retrieve my car and other items he had left in the area.  We had circled around the park, so as to determine a closer route to his campsite, in forming his game plan for this evening.  This made going around the long way to my car, necessary.  He took interest in a home that was in serious disrepair, and seemed to connect with the owner, and to have obtained work.  After  I left them to discuss their business arrangement, one disagreement after another ended up derailing the whole thing.

The second was an e-mail from a prospective employer of mine, which had been stalling on calling me for an interview.  The message essentially said that those in whom the employer was interested, had already been called, and interviews were being set up.  Since none of those was yours truly, I will move on and contact the area charter schools, after Spring Break, so as to add to my job options, besides Prescott and Chino Valley Public Schools.

I spent the better part of today listening to my de facto client, working through some of his long-standing issues. Some of these got in his way, in today’s effort to find work; others have just made him miserable for a lot longer.  While I remain a solitary figure, by choice, a balance is being struck with the legitimate needs of those around me.  The person with whom I am working right now does have serious boundary and transference issues, and it has taken the patience of Job, at times, to maintain my life of choice. I think he is coming to understand me, and respect my choices.

The silver lining is that he has gotten me to take care of a few practical organizational matters, which I might otherwise have continued to blow off.  There is value in all things.