The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 40: Discretion

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July 10, 2020-

For these sixty-nine years and change, I have felt two, perhaps semmingly contradictory things: Unconditional love and discernment, with regard to how I spend my time and money. The contradiction clears up, once I remember that unconditional love includes how one is towards self.

So, when someone decides, on my behalf, that THIS is what I should do, for the greater good, THIS is how I will spend my time and THIS is what deserves my financial investment, the door tends to shut-at least until such time as I see the value in being involved. Part of this is my autism, and part of it is that I have received clear guidance from my ancestors and spirit guides.

I appreciate that some in the world feel drawn to me, calling me their brother or father, even though we’ve never met. A few of them have my support, to a certain extent. I will fulfill those commitments I’ve made, but this will NOT open the door to unending work on more projects. I have my path set, for the times when we are dealing better with COVID19 and for when there are other events going on, for which I will need to be elsewhere. During such times, I will not be at the random beck and call of individuals. I will have my family and selected other people as my first priorities.

Yes, this is a statement of discretion, which hopefully will be understood in the spirit of love with which it is offered.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 8: Persuasion and Fake Rain

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June 8, 2020-

Today was a good day. I got to visit Raven Cafe, and while I wore a mask into the establishment, and while ordering and paying afterwards, I found the al fresco dining experience both comforting and free of any worries about COVID19. The young ladies who work there, like all those I encounter during this Twilight Zone of a year, are worthy of no less than the utmost care that each of us who patronize the place can muster.

I finally have restored all the photos that I eliminated from my 2012 posts, whilst still in the limited storage space of Word Press’s free account. Writing means more to me now, so maintaining a Pro Account, with its unlimited storage, has made such restoration possible-and with better quality versions of the older photographs.

Now, to the title subject. As is my wont, I have engaged in reading and listening to both sides, or all sides actually, of the various debates on both COVID19 and the episodes of violence towards individuals, the vast majority of whom have been African-American. I have engaged, as well, in discourse with people who bring up seemingly minor details of these matters, both by way of expressing their concern with the matters at hand and by way of denying such problems exist. There are also those who don’t want to hear what is being said, and interject-sometimes, but not always, with pejoratives and catcalling.

Into this cacophony, have come Black Conservatives-loudly, almost tearfully, denying there is systemic racism extant in this country. The “you low life cousins of mine are bringing it on yourselves” take on the issues MAY have SOME ring of truth, in SOME situations. What it tells me, more immediately, is that these are people who have either lived more comfortable lives than many others of their skin tone or they are just hard-wired to tough out life, without thinking much of misfortunes.

I have never had to endure the day-to-day ignominies faced by, say, Appalachian whites, or trailer dwellers who work day labour, in many small cities and towns across the continent. That doesn’t mean I look down on them. I am hard-wired to tough out misfortunes, but those who aren’t, are deserving of a leg up, along with encouragement to build up their emotional immunity, so that life is not an endless cycle of tears and self-loathing,

On the edges of the cacophony, and often in the middle of it, stands our nation’s 45th President. I have to say this- I do not think he is a well man. I don’t think he’s an evil man, but he is not acting like a well person. It would be far better for all concerned, if he were to step aside, preferably at the end of his current term, as our nation’s 36th President did. Lyndon Johnson was also not well, and did what he could to save himself and the country.

If the voters of this nation want to stay the course of conservatism, there are plenty of others, men and women, who could take the reins. If, as current polls indicate, the electorate is shifting leftward, there are plenty of competent men and women who could serve, from that political stance, as well. (I am far from sold on the current presumptive alternative to Mr. Trump).

The cacophony, however, is unlikely to let up until a critical mass of one end of the spectrum either sees, or experiences, the legitimate concerns of the other. There is far too much urination, to put it indelicately, that is being sold the public as “rain”. Only independent investigation of truth can bring this to an end.

Discombobulation

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May 22, 2020

Discombobulation was a term used by one of the more effective teachers, in my junior high days, to describe the constant shifting of one’s physical or social situation, without allowing for a reasonable explanation or period of adjustment.

The notion that change is a constant is widely understood. What does not seem to be as well understood are the notions that opinions can evolve and that people can’t be typecast by their ethnicities, genders, generations or even prior stances on issues.

Much is being made about the constantly changing positions of the president, some members of Congress, some state governors and some medical authorities, with respect to COVID19. I attribute most of that clamouring to fear of the unknown and a desire for some measure of consistency, that people may deal successfully with the disease, in their own spheres.

The public state of affairs caused by the pandemic, as well as the virus itself, are evolving, continuously. Thus, people, including those in positions of authority, need to be afforded some measure of flexibility, in their public pronouncements and in their assessments of the situation. This virus has variously presented us with a clearcut roadmap for flattening the curve of infections and hospitalizations, followed by what appears to be an insidious game of Whack-A-Mole.

There is, almost as a sideshow, the spectacle of the presumptive Democratic candidate for president making what he now says is an offhand remark, regarding the qualifications for being “black”. Whitesplaining is odious, in any context, and introducing a measure of cognitive dissonance, into the lives of African-Americans who have conservative political views, makes it even more so. I’ve pointed out, in a different context, that there are liberals, conservatives and all point in between, in every given community.

We each have our opinions, on just about everything. The fact that we have them, or that we feel strongly about them, doesn’t make them right. The fact that we are free to change these opinions, hopefully in light of new information, doesn’t mean that we are suddenly either in grievous error-or imbued with wisdome from on high.

Change is ever a constant.

Wednesday, the Thirteenth

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May 13, 2020-

The day began with rough energy.  I reflected that negativity is often associated with Friday the 13th.  I have been, and remain, determined to not let negativity dominate my day-even on days when I have been dismissed from a position or facing the loss of a loved one.

I read the obituary of a childhood friend- the closest personal connection I have, thus far, to Coronavirusdisease2019.  A short time later, when I was preparing to do a routine task, the most basic step momentarily escaped me. I felt my friend’s energy and the step came to my consciousness.

By mid-morning, the negativity had passed.  I went to visit some friends who have a restaurant, in a small shopping center, on the edge of town.  They were on their third day back, after staying closed for sixty days.  They are very much people of the soil, of the ranch.  Thus, what you see is what you get-and no apologies.  I’ve always had an open heart for those who speak their own truth-not aimed AT others, in an ad hominem manner, but in an inclusive, welcoming fashion.  I always have a seat at their counter.

This evening, the draw has been to a Baha’i-oriented spiritual discussion, on Baha’u’llah’s meditiative work, The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys.  I write this, whilst listening to a recording of a Zoom call that I missed early this afternoon.  It is from a gatheriong called Gaia Calling.  The meditation and the insights gained here are reinforcing various other spiritual sites, to which I’ve been drawn, especially during this time of widespread turmoil.

The moderator spoke of a “dance” between linear time (the Earth time, in which we operate) and organic time (the spiritual movement that has always been in play).  I feel this happening more now, than I ever have.  On “good” days and on “bad”, my feeling these days is far closer to natural rhythms, to Earth, to the Universe, to the Divine.

As We Rise

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April 15, 2020-

Many parts of the world are slowly, carefully seeing the retreat of COVID-19.  Others, especially in the United States and Russia, have yet to see the disease peak, though it’s coming.  There have been several approaches to the threat, most have worked, for the people in the areas in which they have been implemented.  The concept of “One size fits all” may very well end up being shown the door, when this is all over.

It is never too soon to PLAN, to have several contingencies for the months ahead.  The school year is finished, yet there are likely to be summer sessions. Whether the services of substitutes will be needed then is a good question.

My friends in the restaurant and coffee houses around town are unlikely to even consider re-opening for in-house services, until close to Memorial Day weekend. The hospitalizations must peak, and decline, before that would be prudent.  I am supporting several of them, with take-out orders, in the meantime.

The hard-working staff of the Farmers’ Market are maintaining a food box service, over the next few weeks, at least.  They may be able to re-open the full market, next month, but the hospitalization peak will impact their decisions, as well.

My own meanderings will be rather tentative, anywhere outside of the immediate area, until there is a clear indication that the danger is passing and that my presence will not be more of a hindrance than an encouragement.  Red Cross deployment remains a possibility, as even with the virus subsiding, the hurricane season is seven weeks away and tornadoes have certainly not taken any time off.

The quarantine has given rise to the popularity of virtual meetings, so anywhere I happen to be, into summer and fall, will not impede the vital work that has been initiated here, during the course of the past four weeks.  My inclination is to mostly stay close by, though.  No one wants to be part of a second or third wave of COVID19.

We will cast off some of our old practices and adopt new ones.  Which will be which, is long in evolution.  I only know that we will rise back.  The spirit of the nation,  of the planet, of humanity, will  not be denied.

Thirty Days In

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March 29, 2020-

I began serious application of Coronavirus Disease 19 response planning, on Leap Day, February 29.  In the past thirty days, these have happened:

Work stopped, on March 6, at 3 p.m.  Part of that was Spring Break, but my employer stopped assigning people on March 11.  I got some pay, this past Friday.

I said “see you soon” to friends who have since closed their businesses, moved away from college dorms, stopped playing gigs in local clubs and are generally sequestered.

Prayed, incessantly.

Learned a  lot about navigating Zoom and opened an account with that medium.  Hosted my first meeting on it, today.

Have been catching up with reading, journaling and, yes, Netflix.

Have made plans for “journeys in place”-studying various topics.

Kept in touch with people across the planet, to see how things are going.

Have done take-out orders, just so some support is going their way.  Same with food boxes  from the Farmers Market and groceries for a pop-up food bank at the Toyota dealership.

It’s standard stuff, and part of being a member of society.  Would do it all over again, no questions asked.

Brighter days are ahead.