Medicine for the Soul

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September 17, 2017, Prescott- 

The poor man is, no doubt, sitting with his head in his hands, wondering what his beloved will conjure next.  Rebecca spoke, sympathetically, of her husband’s reaction to her doing things like writing a song a week, for a year or writing a song and a related poem, plus painting a picture, each week, for so many weeks.  I would guess that a certain number of said works are about him.

Last night, Rebecca Folsom and Sally Barris offered two hours of rapturous song, interspersed with the kind of banter indicated above.  They came to us from Boulder and Nashville, respectively, and offered “medicine for the soul”.  The repertoire ran from Rebecca’s songs of her beloved Colorado;  an homage to Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell and Carole King (see below); and a bluesy paean to what women can do, to Sally’s  impromptu “Halloween Love Song”; a tribute to those who accomplish much, with a “Little Voice”; and her signature “Let The Wind Chase You”, which earned a Grammy nomination, in 2009, when it was recorded by Trisha Yearwood and Keith Urban.

The ladies captivated the vast majority of the audience, including me in my box seat, just to the right of the stage.  We joined in, on cue, for the choruses of the Halloween Love Song and “Wilder Girl”.  Their nearly matching red dresses were a sign of the slight ache in their hearts, at not being with their sweethearts, on a Saturday night.  The loving audience at Prescott’s Elks Theater did what we could to make up for it, and like so many of us who have traveled far, in the line of work, they carry on.

There was a bit of personal resonance in the ladies’ presence.  Rebecca’s voice resembles that of my mother, in her prime.  Sally both looks and sings like my late wife did. Both  despite, and because of, that eeriness, I was all in with their performances.  Their work speaks of liberation and trusting love.  They stood, solidly, for the achievement that is in every woman’s soul and by extension, in the soul of the person she loves.

I’m sure I’d be fast friends with either one of them, should I encounter her in a more casual setting.  Perking up a visibly tired Sally, by thanking her for a lovely evening, was enough for last night.  I wish them, and all women, full progress towards that sense of attainment.  In the end, it will serve to benefit us men, as well.

Once Upon A Time, In St. Cloud

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September 6, 2016, Prescott-

Once upon a time, in St. Cloud, a trio of boys went on an errand.

An unsettled, angry man went on an errand of his own.

Two boys made it home that night.

So did the man,

but not before he had made sure that the third boy

would only go home to his Lord.

Once upon a time, in Boulder, a little girl looked forward

to her seventh Christmas.

Someone, still unknown to us,

had other ideas.

She now spends her Christmases, and all her days,

at the right hand of her Lord.

Once upon a time, in Salt Lake City,

a young woman was imprisoned,

in plain sight.

Sharp-eyed people noted her burden,

and freed her.

Now, she has a husband who loves her dearly.

In these days, how many remain in “prison”,

or are interred, with no clue in the public mind,

as to “whodunnit”?

RIP, Jacob Wetterling.

RIP, JonBenet Ramsey.

Elizabeth, glad you’re still among us.

Highway 16

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January 1, 2016, Prescott-  Yes, I know it’s still 2015, here in the American West.  It’s New Year’s Day in Rouen, France, one of my ancestral homes.  It’s also 2016 in: Silesia, Poland; Bremen, Germany; and Tours, France- three of my other ancestral homes.  In 5 1/2 hours, the New Year will come to Old Town, Maine, where my Native American relatives still live.  I am starting to beat a dead horse.

I will use the road motif for this year’s posts, much as the Road took me to age 65.  Highways indicate assertiveness, clear vision and moving out with a purpose.  So I intend 2016 to be.

I came back to Home Base, yesterday, to find I have a financial issue to settle, and will tend to it next week.  In the meantime, bills and rent will get paid and I was, thankfully, able to fulfill a promise I made, last week, to help a sick friend.  My nest egg isn’t growing right now, but neither is anyone else’s, in Wall Street’s mad rush to sell anything that’s not nailed down.  My nest egg IS nailed , though, so the bears can just go back into hibernation.

Meanwhile, I am not hibernating.  The next three days will see me on one trail or another, as we enjoy crisp, clear weather.  The schools will be back in session next week, and I will be ready for whoever needs my services.  The certification process will take a bit longer- ADE doesn’t save transcripts, so those need to be re-sent, and my long-ago teaching internship host will need to verify that I did complete “practice teaching”- in Fall, 1975.  So, I see that process being successfully completed by the end of January.

My essential oils have benefited me, health-wise, and I will be at three conferences, this year, that focus on their promulgation.  This month, and June will find me in Boulder and September features an International Convention in Salt Lake City.

Travel in the summer will depend on how well I do, work-wise, this winter and spring.  A week or so in Reno/Tahoe, at the end of May, is a given.  Anything beyond that, though, remains to be seen.  In any case, the focus will be on time with friends, not on “Here’s Gary at yet another fabulous site!”  I never want the latter to be how all this is viewed.

Reading is still huge for me, and with the Kindle, an excellent library system and three nearby book shops, I will never run short of material. I am currently engrossed in “The Witches:  Salem, 1692”, Dick Van Dyke’s “Keep Moving”, “Terra in Cognita”, by a fellow Baha’i:  William Barnes, “Extreme Ownership”, and “The Dinosaur Heresies”.  My tack is to read at least ten pages of a book, then go to one of the others, and so on.

This year marks the Centenary of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s initial offerings of “Tablets of the Divine Plan”.  I will have much more to say about this remarkable set of documents, during the course of the year.  Suffice it so say that, without the guidance I have received as a Baha’i, the person some in my family remember from long ago, and still think they see, would still be stumbling around- and I would not be blogging, to say the least.

This year also marks the Centenary of the National Park Service.  I will visit several National Park holdings in Arizona, and around the Southwest, in the course of this year.  Most certainly, my boots will meet some trails of the Grand Canyon, and Canyon de Chelly, for the first time in 18 years.

Most importantly, though, is WHO I am going to be in these next twelve months.  That will never be defined by anyone but yours truly.  To say otherwise would be to invite chaos.  Some, not far from here, want me to move nearer to them.  That is not happening.  Others would rather I stay as far away from them as possible.  So be it.  Any given decision could be resolved in at least seventy different ways.  The factors, for me, are these:  Service to those in need, especially children and youth; my own family’s well-being; my ability to fend for myself (I am not presently, nor will I be, a burden on anyone else); and, lastly, the overall circumstances of the world-at-large.

Happy 2016, one and all!