Face The Lion

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October 28, 2018, Prescott-

One month remains of my being 67.  October, thus far, has been another instance of what the forest rangers call “facing the lion”, the feline in this case being a mountain lion (aka cougar or puma).  The broader meaning of this, of course, is facing one’s trials, without flinching.

I stood for what I believe, earlier this month, was castigated for it by a troubled soul and am not sorry for standing my ground.  I have promised to not harp on this, so I won’t. The most important thing is that, if I am all but ordered to compromise who I am, under pain of disapproval- I will take the scratches and bite marks of disapproval.

Physically, I have recovered from a mild injury to my left knee and am maintaining a rehabilitative exercise regimen.  It was gratifying to have returned to our local Planet Fitness, this evening, and to have been able to complete my usual exercise regimen, with a few modifications.

Yesterday, I chose to stay close to home during the day, rather than go down to Phoenix for what would have been a mere hour, before returning to this area for a Halloween party.  The day was greatly satisfying, though, as I attended a Fall Festival, at the site of the chiropractic office which I use.  There were many raffles, and I won a plastic sled.  The sled ended up going to a five-year-old boy.  I believe every child ought to have the enjoyment of sledding on snow- and in his grandparents’ yard, to boot!

The Halloween party, at my lead teacher’s home, was a masterful blend of food and imaginative visual effects.   There were “talking” creepy ghouls and monsters and a fine variety of hot and cold buffet items.  The best part, though, were their three German shepherds, including a very vocal albino G.S., named Lloyd.  He and I got along just fine, as I would talk back to him, saying it’s all okay.

I got mesmerized by yet another replay of Bette Midler’s classic “Hocus Pocus”, which we used to play every Halloween, when Aram was a child.  It’s been a while, so looking back on how different child characters stood up to Bette’s character and her sisters was a treat.

Yes, some lions are more comical than others. Some are more problematic. All must be faced with confidence and courage.

The Road to 65, Mile 50: “You Are Not Alone”

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January 17, 2015, Prescott- Since I was small, I could not envision forcing anyone into a solitary existence.  Pariah-hood does not become us, though there are some who need a period of isolation from those they hurt or deceive.  I thought a lot about these sorts of issues, over the past couple of days.  Like anyone else, I can get caught up in emotionally-charged issues, and come down on one side or another.  When the issue is properly resolved, though, all parties are clear with one another and there is either compromise, or full resolution.

If we look upon those who oppose us or try to force our hand, it’s easy to wage war on a personal level.  In the quiet of the night, or the ensuing early morning, though, personal war rings hollow.  I’ve had a few conflicts, of late, one of which is at least at the live-and-let-live stage; another, which occurred this afternoon, was resolved by both of us learning what we did wrong and taking the right lesson going forward.  A good friend has been there for me, to help in processing what is right by everyone, and in reminding me of how not to handle an issue.

I spent this evening at Planet Fitness, then by watching “Into The Woods”.  I will admit it, I am a schmaltzy sort, when watching sad parts of a film, even when the sadness is punctuated by hokeyness.  I laughed when a little girl in the audience mockingly joined in, when the two princes (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen) offered a full-on rendition of “Agony”, complete with ripping their shirts open.  Tears formed though, when the Baker’s Wife was reported dead and their baby cried.

The Baker and Cinderella reassure the orphaned Jack the Giant Killer and Red Riding Hood that they were not alone,  a theme song that reverberated throughout the musical, and serves as its saving grace.  I thought more about that, also.  No isolation need be forever; no loss need go unreplenished.  Any obstacle can be faced by people, of all ages and backgrounds, and both genders, forming a united front.  This is all too easy to forget, when our individual personas clash with others.

I am coming up, in another 1 1/2 months, on the fourth anniversary of my wife’s passing.  Losses differ, in type, in circumstance and in aftermath, and no one loss is greater than another, except for a parent losing a child.  The common thread in all, though, is superbly laid out by Stephen Sondheim:  “You are not alone”.  I’m not, and neither are you, no matter how it may seem in the dark night, the early morning, or any time in between.  To everyone reading this:  Speak, be heard, but also be willing to listen. You matter.