Living Ornaments


May 21, 2023- Who are we, to one another? I know that I am an inspiration to some, a guidepost to others and a nuisance to maybe a few. There are many who are beacons of light and warmth to me; others who represent the bar of achievement-my consciences, quite definitely, and a few, very few, who are the darkness, against which I can only gauge my own light.

Forms of taking advantage of one another have existed since mankind first formed social groups. Slavery and indentured servitude, differing form one another, only in degree, are themselves as old as warfare. The commercialization of those practices came later, of course, and set in motion genetic memory and social attitudes that persist in several areas of society today. Crimes against persons have also likely stemmed from the very mindset that has warfare and conflict as necessary evils.

Viewing others as mere ornaments, or appendages, to oneself is arguably the basest form of narcissism. None of us exists as the be all, the end all, of the human race-or of Creation. Yet, when we stumble, the legitimacy of other people’s existence is called into question-and even if this happens to a minute degree, the effect on the one doing the questioning is just as nefarious as the effect it has on the intended victims. No one who rapes, kills or even beats, another person can be said to go off into a blissful sunset-unscathed. No one who dehumanizes a group of other people, or a segment thereof, can truly feel honourable and blessed among humanity, much less in the sight of the Divine.

If we are to feel ornamental at all, let it be as living signs of the Gem of Wisdom.

The Road to 65, Mile 259: Grateful


August 14, 2015, Prescott- Today is slower than slow, and that’s okay, as it gives me a chance to focus on people in my life, for whom I’m grateful.  In another post, I will focus on places that give me the same feeling.  This post was inspired by a similar one, done a few weeks ago by one of the people mentioned here:  My next-eldest brother.  It, in turn, was originated by one Alex Lucado,in an inspirational book he wrote, entitled “Before Amen”.  Suffice it to say, we can never feel, or express, enough gratitude for what those close to us have done, said, or been, in our lives.

This is an A to Z format:

A– Aram, my son, whose very existence has defined the greater part of my adulthood, and whose achievements make me proud, every single day.  “Art Wolfen”, my fellow writer and free spirit, whose stories put me in touch with so many other dimensions. Al Sinquah, who taught me so much of Native American culture and etiquette.  ‘Abdu’l-Baha, for being the Perfect Exemplar of all to which one ought strive.

B- My late brother, Brian, who first taught me compassion.  Bob Duncomb, one of my many consciences and a Keeper of the Flame, always walking his talk. Barbara Boivin, my sister-in-law, for being the rock of the family.  Most of all, Baha’u’llah, my Lord and Guide to all that is good.

C– Cheryl, my sister and first friend, for being there, and for never giving up on anything that matters.  Chris Boivin, my eldest nephew, who cemented my love of children, before I had a child of my own.  Curtis Salt, my youngest nephew, one of the most creative people I’ve ever known.  Then, there are about five Christ(i)ys- Every one a friend and inspiration.

D- I know many Davids, but  my brother rises above the rest .  Few have taken it upon themselves to tell me what I needed to hear, when I least wanted to listen, and time has borne him out.  No one I know has worked harder.  His rock, Deb, has been at his right-hand side through all of it.

E– Emily Atticus, another of my steadfast friends and consciences, who will also tell me what I need to hear, and pull my fingers away from my ears.  My late uncle, John “Ellie” Reilly, always good with a story, and moral support.

F– My father, Fred, who never gave up on me, though he had a devil of a time understanding what made me tick.  He’s still guiding me from the other side of the curtain.

G– Glenn, my youngest living brother, and ten shades of amazing.  If I accomplish a tenth of what he has achieved, I will consider myself fortunate.

H– Helen Hamilton, my surrogate mother, never letting an untucked shirt go unnoticed.  “Happy Oasis”, my primary teacher in all that is natural and sustainable.  Most of all, my late aunt, Hazel Reilly, the best surrogate mother one could ever have.

I-  Irene Mullins, without whom the American Legion Post would be a far emptier place.

J– Here is where I run the table:  John E. Glaze, Johnny Light, my nephew, Jeff Boivin, Jerry Bathke, Janet Waters, Jenn Winters,Jack Ray- I could write a tome on how much each has given to my life and sense of well-being.

K– My niece, Kim, one of the most loving souls in this plane of existence.  Kyrsten Sinema, keeping fighting the good fight and marching to your own drummer.

L– Mom’s the word.  The most meaningful, and hardest-earned, words of approval I ever hear come from my mother, Lila.   She has been about love and devotion, for over six decades.  When the time comes to give back to her, I am ready.

M– Another gold mine of inspiring people:  My nieces, Marcy and Melanie, tirelessly raising solid families; my friend and collaborator, Melissa Monahan; Mark Bradley, another conscience;  my spiritual guide, Marcia Brehmer; my soul sister, Michele Smith; my nephew, Matt Boivin, building the good life, almost from scratch.

N- My late father-in-law, Norm Fellman, by far the most influential man in my adult life, and a national hero for the ages.  My nephew, Nick Boivin, a master of wise choices and solid goals.

O- The O’Neil family, who had our backs, when we were kids.

P– There is only one, my late wife, and best friend ever, Penny.  Every morning and night, hers is the first and last face I see.  Her thoughts constantly guide me, even through an occasional bout of darkness.

Q– The late John Quinlan, the first person ever to get me to make sense of mathematics.

R– My youngest niece, Rebecca, following us into teaching and making a difference in another rising generation.

S–  Sheryl Colstock, a true angel; Steve Salt, my brother-in-law and quiet well-wisher; Sara Davis, my niece, who matters far more than she may think.

T- Tom Belmonte, my best friend in high school and early adulthood.  Terry McWade, another inspiration and personal hero.

U– Uncle George Boivin, still thriving, at close to 90 years of age, and so creative in a wide range of artisanship.

V- Van Gilmer, one of the most talented singers and choirmasters I’ve ever known.

W- My late Uncle Walter Boivin, who gave me the courage to stand up for myself. Wes Hardin, always ready with a tale of the Texas Panhandle.

X– Anyone not mentioned here, who has had an impact on my life.  You are in my mind and heart- never ignored.

Z- Zakiah Sayeed, physican, artiste and author.  She is a model of what I might achieve, when I grow up.