Cocoon

16

November 5, 2018, Prescott-

Yesterday was another one of those days which found me out and about, helping others in their noble efforts.  Not long ago, someone challenged me, with regard to my involvement in the community. The point that this person made was that all these activities constituted a sort of cocoon, guarding me against connecting with my inner conflicts. I was then advised to drop all activities and sequester myself, as soon as possible.

Little does that individual know, but my real cocoon, if you will, is indeed being here, in this small apartment, away from anyone.  The reality is, and has been, that part of me is terrified of being around people who don’t really want me there.  I spent yesterday afternoon seated with strangers, two of whom were openly hostile to my presence at their table.  They were quiet about it, as the effusive person seated next to me was gracious and made sure I felt welcome.   I am quite intuitive, though, and pick up on both positive and negative feelings.

Being involved with community groups is hardly a cocoon, though it can feel quite dark at times.  I do these activities because in the Revelation of Baha’u’llah, it is written: “Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.”  We Baha’is are to be good in groups, not cloistered in virtue or hiding “our light under a bushel”, as it were.  I have always been one who has had to struggle, mightily, to be among people. Penny helped pull me out of the shell, to the extent that, to outward seeming, I am something of a social butterfly, with lots of friends.  I do feel the warmth of many, both online and in real time, especially among my Baha’i friends.  I also feel the grudging tolerance of several people, and take that for what is worth.

My point here is that being involved with the good of the community is not a  source of comfort, nor is it a protection against any inner turmoil.  That protection comes when I commune with the Creator, in the early hour before dawn, at midday and in the evening.  Then, alone, do I summon the energy to face the world, and the ravages that go along with the joys.

Radiating Outward,Absorbing Inward

11

October 29, 2018, Prescott-

I am now given to saying this personal prayer, in a quiet time of day, preferably at dawn.  This is not a revealed verse. It merely reflects my humble sentiments.

” O Creator of all,

Preserve this soul and protect its human host,

from all that is vile and treacherous,

whether within or outside.

Protect this humble home,

and all who shelter within it,

from those forces which mean harm.

Guard this community,

and guide its residents

to do right by themselves,

their families and their neighbours.

Bless this city, county,

state and nation,

and lead us to do right,

by one another and by those

who appeal to us for help.

Give them the strength

to do for themselves,

as dignity and justice

shall illustrate.

Radiate your blessings

upon this continent,

this hemisphere,

this planet.

May the hurt of one

truly be seen

and heard

as the hurt of all.

“Let deeds, not words,

be your adorning”-Baha’u’llah

 

Just Because…

21

July 23, 2108, Prescott-

Of course, my accounts of my travels will continue, later today.  My mind was roiling, earlier this morning, with a feeling that someone was silently accusing me of prejudice, for not settling into another relationship, for not ending my widowhood.  Penny appeared to me afterward, in my mind’s eye, and told me:

“You love, intensely.

Just because you have no romantic feelings for anyone in your present Baha’i community does not make you callous, unfeeling, prejudiced.

You are there for each person, helping each as needed.

That does not require you to fit into a niche.

You love, intensely

Just because you have a strong friendship with a woman who is of entirely different mindset, in terms of Faith, does not mean you are disloyal to Baha’u’llah.

Conversely, as I’ve told you before, you and she are steadfast friends, no more, no less. You would gladly see her find someone who will cherish her, forever.

You love, intensely.

You see your younger co-workers as if they were your own daughters.  Their struggles are your own and you help them where they need help, taking nothing from their dignity.

You love, intensely.

Each day, whether on the road or at what you call Home Base, the needs, large and small, of women, men and children who cross your path have as much urgency as your own.

Just because some are, occasionally, put off by what they see as your shortcomings or errors, does not mean you are unworthy of respect.  They have their own burdens.

Carry on, my love.  As time continues, your true destiny will keep on unfolding.  You have miles to go.”

With that, my angst subsided.

 

Putting My Foot Down

9

May 16, 2018, Prescott-

You say the only reason I am

involved with things

that don’t involve you,

is because I want to hide

from you.

You say the fact that

I do things that

are not directly

involved with matters

of faith

is because faith

is not my priority.

You say these things

and you are

just

plain

wrong.

Faith is my life.

You are not my overseer.

Faith is my life,

and I will work,

volunteer,

engage with community,

commune with nature,

travel the roads I choose,

with faith in my heart.

That heart soars, and

my feet are firmly on the ground.

Day by Day

6

April 3, 2018, Prescott-

A friend referred to things being too crazy.

Yes, we can see it all around.

The President supports this bill.

No, wait, he’s against it.

There will be negotiations with a foe.

“Are you kidding?  We can’t possibly do THAT!”

The stock market is headed for an epic crash!

Oh, well, that was yesterday.

Maybe again tomorrow, though.

“The Constitution says that mentally ill people

are entitled to possess a firearm,

for their protection.”

So much for a well-regulated militia.

Day by day,

it’s enough for me to love,

educate

and safeguard

our four charges.

It’s enough for me to serve

the Lord of the Age,

and work to unite

the human race

against the Forces of Darkness.

It’s enough for me to tend

to my own healing

and  that of my community.

The craziness will run its course,

and our Sun will continue to shine.

Are You Aboard?

13

April 2, 2018, Prescott-

We are entering a Spring,

when our institutions

seem ready to let us down,

big time.

Are you aboard the train

of friendship?

Are you riding in the car

of community?

We, the people

stand a chance

of surviving anything

the powers that be

throw at us,

if we ride together,

if we stand together.

Are you aboard?

Complexities

12

February 5, 2018, Prescott-

I like simplicity.

It eludes me, though.

This is a temporary state.

Day job is fairly straightforward.

DA is complex.

That is a temporary state, also.

Learning curves are that way.

Much complexity stems from

multiple parties and

organizations being involved.

A bank is involved,

and banks need time.

I suppose this is why

the Japanese take

two weeks,

to decide important matters,

or so I’m told.

Building a community

is complex.

Everyone’s input,

time and space,

need to be honoured.

Building friendships

is complex.

I want to make things simple.

So, I choose not to overthink.

I will be glad for Saturday,

and a day on a trail.

Sixty Six, for Sixty-Six, Part XXVIII: Cornerstones

4

April 28, 2017, Prescott- 

Every great edifice has a cornerstone,

from which the foundation spreads,

and the stories rise.

Every family has two cornerstones,

from whom the children emerge,

and are raised to strengthen their communities.

Every community has several cornerstones,

from whom the leaders emerge,

and rise up to keep their towns and cities strong.

Every nation has a plethora of cornerstones,

from which the generation of ideas proceeds,

and safeguards the security of the land.

Our planet has a myriad  of cornerstones,

by whom the human race can be united,

and the spiritual unification of mankind may be realized.

 

Which None Can Really Know

12

February 16, 2017, Prescott-

I work for someone who doesn’t entirely trust me,

and is constantly seeming to be under the gun.

I work with children who don’t entirely trust anyone,

and are each very much under siege.

I work in a community which thrives on trusting its own,

yet views the wider world with a flinty eye.

I am a native son of a country which is not sure who to trust,

yet asks the rest of the planet to go with its judgement.

I am a citizen of a planet which is getting more intimate,

and is entering a future which none can really know.

The Road to 65, Mile 256: Desert Wildfire, Day Two

0

August 11, 2015, Mohave Valley-  When a crisis overtakes a community, many people come together and work to address the challenges that have arisen.  There are a few outliers and conspiracy theorists who show up, and stage drama.  Then, there are the grifters, who show up and just want, and take.

We had all three types of humans at the  shelter, yesterday.  Several people, who had lost everything, including pets, came, stayed until the evacuation order was lifted, and left at that time.  Others stayed until morning.  Two who felt the world was against them, stayed the night and left at least with the feeling that our corner of it was not so out to get them.  Two others came in, filled their duffel bag with food and toiletries, and left around 10 PM.  (They were technically eligible to stay with us, but chose to go back to their powerless, water-less house, for the night).

Today, I was part of a three-person tam that went out to the neighbourhoods of Mohave Valley and took stock of the damage.  I was the spotter, assessing the current state of the properties.  Another man had computer images of the properties, as they were before the fire.  By comparing the two, we were able to make a realistic assessment of actual damages. These will be useful, when claims are filed.  It may sound like we’re insurance adjusters, but Red Cross uses these assessments to determine how much in emergency aid should be given.  Most people are just grateful that somebody cares and is there for them, at a very bad time in their lives.

It’s hot here, very hot, though the cloud cover from a northern low pressure system mitigated the temperature a bit.  We were glad to let the few who remained this afternoon, stay and rest.  A couple of people were comforted by the staff and made to feel more human than they had in quite a while.  Some ladies helped a badly-shaken young woman, who was disabled, to have a mini-makeover, which probably made her year, not to mention her day.

This is the true depth of what we do- to let people know that, at their core, they are important, and valued.  The fire is mostly out, and the first responders are on hot-spot duty for 48 hours.  Tomorrow noon, we will head back to Prescott, and the local team will continue helping the fire victims, in their recovery process.