Notes from The Peaceful Sky


December 9, 2018, Arlington, VA-

So often, a plane flight is viewed as an unpleasant nuisance-especially with the small seats, misplaced luggage and human drama that are so highly touted in the travel media.

My flight from Phoenix to Atlanta was taken in a middle seat, but it was in between two quiet, pleasant gentlemen, who were busy with their own affairs.  In front of us was a woman whose husband was diagonally behind me.  I was glad to be the relay person, a couple of times during the flight, as she handed him what he needed.  Next to her was another couple, mid-40’s, attractive and probably fairly recently connected-they had the air of  teenagers about them, in a charming way.  I am not a stickler about PDA, within reason; it’s what people do when they are attracted to one another.

Hartsfield- Note to myself:  Don’t go for the pizza, next time.  It’s been a long time since the staple food had a bland taste. I’ve been spoiled, I guess, by the pizza of the East Coast, Chicago and across Arizona.

I kind of like getting smiling eyes and mouths from attractive ladies, even when the chance of anything further is nil.

Whilst waiting to show my boarding pass to the agent, I watched a young girl, about 11-12, tell her mother that they should go right to the agent, with their passes, as their section had already boarded. Mother insisted they go to the back of the line.  A kind gentleman, whose turn was next, intervened and convinced the mother that it was okay to go on to the check stand.  Score one for a child’s dignity.

The flight to Reagan National was again a sardine can, with me between a quiet young man and lady, who also kept to themselves. Five rows in front of us, a couple had given their toddler her own seat, but graciously took her to lapland, when the last unseated passenger appeared.  A flight attendant delighted us all, post beverages, with her heartfelt and well-sung rendition of “The Christmas Song”.  The older girl I mentioned above, happened to be seated diagonally across from us.  The look of joy on her face, at this performance, was priceless.

We got in to Reagan National ten minutes early and my transit,from baggage claim to hotel, was bing, bang, boom.  Reagan’s taxi stand is supremely well-oiled; the captain matching travelers, efficiently, with Virginia, DC and Maryland cabbies.

I found Comfort Inn as expected- a teensy bit worn, but clean and warm, a bargain for the next three days.

Radiating Outward,Absorbing Inward


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




November 14, 2017, Prescott-

If I am chosen to serve as a co-ordinator for international students,

I would work to make their time here a cornerstone of the rest of their lives.

If my son safely completes his time in service,

I know he will make a huge mark in the world,

in the time afterward.

If it be God’s Will, I shall not be moved aside

from generous acts of service,

both here and far afield.

If there be a clear sense of reality,

the good people of the world

will find a way,

to end imbalance,

for Puerto Rico,


Rakhine Province,

Sri Lanka,


South Sudan,

Rockport- Port Aransas,

central Appalachia,

the Navajo Nation,




If  justice prevails,

those being marginalized

will see solutions,

that honour their


their intelligence,

their dignity.

Sometimes The Heart Has A Hole In It


August 20, 2017, Prescott- 

NOTE:  I am not shying away from posting about my visits to Harrisonburg and Lexington, VA.  That post will be up, tonight (dated July 22).  Considering one of the people in the post, though, brought to mind the topic below.

So, I have a hole in my heart, right now.

I, who pride myself on letting those I love fly away,

knowing that if they are really meant to be here,

they will return.

If not, they will light elsewhere.

There are, though, people

whose absence,

or lack of communication,

or estrangement,

hurt like Hell.

I guess that’s part of the physical realm,

and my mentors, ever steadfast,

will admonish me to let go.

I will, in short order,

but for now,

I am massaging the soreness.

People who run,

or are in hiding,

or are just silent,

I wish you every measure

of love, dignity and solace.

It will be nice,

if I am in your good graces,


Fly where you will,

and know this roost is being kept fresh.

(This is for all my surrogate daughters,

who have disappeared and my friend,

who sped off, without a word.)


Wider and Deeper


November 20, 2016, Prescott-   So much water has gone over the dam, these past few weeks.  I am glad things are slowing down, for the upcoming 3-5 day holiday.  I say this, as I have no intention of partaking in either Black Friday or Thanksgiving Day shopping.  I used to gag at the thought of the latter, until a friend on the East Coast said it was her family’s way of relaxing.  Still and all, to each their own.

I am getting close to the end of being 65.  More about that, over the weekend.  Another digression, in the way of summarizing:  I finished reading “Moral Tribes” and re-reading “To Kill A Mockingbird”, about two weeks ago.  Now, my literary focus is on “The Brothers Karamazov”, my first foray into the world of Dostoevsky, and a re-reading of “The Celestine Prophecies”, as well as my Baha’i studies.

It’s raining here, for a day or two.  I hear Massachusetts is getting snow.  We are bound to have strange swings in weather patterns, over the next 10-30 years, whether people believe in climate change or not.  If the President-elect is indeed in denial about such things, he’s lucky to have his private residence in a penthouse. Change tends to happen, whether one expects it or not.

Back to business: My focus right now is on dignity- a God-given right of every sentient being, especially of every human being.  Year ago, that mold was set for me, one evening in VietNam.  A hard-nosed, traditionalist Army sergeant happened by where I was sitting, one calm evening.  I was an unabashed progressive, back then, so our conversation (which was completely civil) focused on how each of us saw things differently- AND neither of us was hurting the other, by our view of things.  We got along very well after that.

I have drifted away from politics, since then, though fairness and acceptance of different points of view, instilled into me by my father, remain the driving forces in my dealings with others.  I can’t imagine my life, if one person, or group of human beings, doesn’t matter, equally as much as the next. Everyone I encounter needs to be treated with respect.

Throughout my life, I have spent time with different people, or visited different communities, rather than staying put in a small group. This will continue, working around the constraints of a full-time job, over the next five years. While I also like having a home base, reaching out to others is nonetheless still my wheelhouse, as those in business like to say, these days.

The circle has been wider, for some time now.  The objective now is to make it deeper.



November 8, 2016, Prescott-

The watched pot may never boil,

the ignored one, will.

The more people are egged on,

the more ends up on the faces,

of the callous instigators.

The proof of a person’s worth,

is not how much influence is amassed,

but how he/she regards those

of seemingly small stature.

The worst that can befall a soul,

is believing that there are those

with whom it is beneath one’s dignity

to associate.

Then, it becomes one’s destiny

to figure out how.

Tomorrow, America will still be America.

Will you still be you?

Ginger Rising


September 19, 2016, Prescott-

The child had had enough.

He stood and told off a surreptitious bully,

who of course denied having said,

what I heard him say,

under his breath,

from across the room.

The intended target of abuse

does not have to suffer,

for the colour of his hair.

I think red, to be a fine hue

for a coiffure.

All colours of hair are good.

A certain public figure

voiced the opinion

that some, who hold views

contrary to hers,

are deplorable.

Have we not had enough

of tossing human beings

into one scrap heap,

or another.

Outmoded or disreputable viewpoints

can be deplorable.

People are not;

regardless of their opinions,

or their physical attributes,

or their life experiences.

People are worthy of being treated

with dignity,

even when they don’t carry themselves so.

Children are always worthy of dignity,

because they are still works in progress.



The Road to 65, Mile 30: Somnambulation


December 28, 2014, Phoenix- When I was in seventh grade, my home room/math teacher, a burly, gruff Chicagoan named Mr. Anzalone, regularly disparaged those of us who were zoning out during class as “Unconscious”.  He’s gone now, but the sobriquet still seems to fit a good many people.  The theme of today’s final sessions of the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference is that many, if not most people, over the past seventy years, or longer, have been going about their lives with a sort of tunnel vision.

I don’t exempt myself from this state of being, though the percentage of time when I am totally in tune with my surroundings has increased markedly, since I have started using essential-oils based supplements.  The doltish behaviours still rear their awkward visages, from time to time, but less so than before.

Part of the whole mass somnambulance seems to stem from the notion that we, as individuals, don’t matter much, that the mechanism which supposedly controls it all, and its minions, will just roll over us, anyway.  People on the Left scream when police or military die in the line of duty, and are covered by the press.  People on the Right scream when the President appears on television,on the golf course, or anywhere near where they live.  The common thread is  “WHAT. ABOUT. ME?” Then, it’s back to the Cocoon of Square One.

Everyone’s life matters. Giving a slain police officer, firefighter or member of the Armed Forces his/her due tribute does not take away from your uncle who had a fatal heart attack, three months ago, or the homeless guy on the corner, who froze to death because the local shelter decided that minimum temperature had not been reached that night, or your friend’s cousin’s next-door-neighbour’s grandmother, who passed quietly in her sleep, at age 98.  Pain is pain; mourning deserves respect.  Where this connects with a sleepwalking state is the point at which we can no longer see the social value of honouring our troops or our First Responders, because they are not in our immediate circle.

Everyone’s life deserves dignity.  I am not a financially wealthy man.  I cannot give to any more than a few of the three dozen organizations which solicit my money on a daily basis, online,  by mail, or, until I activated the “No Soliciting” tab on my landline, by phone.  I do not give cash to people on the street, because that may well just be a green light for self-destructive habits.  I will buy food, water or a hot beverage for a needy person.  I may give a ride to someone in need.  I do not mock, hassle or bully people, because no one deserves it, and besides, I am only one lost job away from the streets, myself.

The bottom line is, in this day and age of warp-speed change, we each need, more than ever, to awaken from a semi-conscious state, and prepare ourselves, in every way possible, to be of service and of a full awareness.