Look Beyond

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April 20, 2019-

Look beyond the slight,

which a tired, downcast soul,

hurls at the unsuspecting.

Look towards the joy,

that the angels of the Sun

are holding,

in their outstretched hands.

Look past the taunts,

which the fettered ones shout,

at one who struggles.

Look outwardly,

to the breaking

of all chains,

and to the rising

of every good heart.

These verses come to mind, as I complete a long, and mostly joyful, day of service, at the beginning of Ridvan, the Eastertide and “Earth Month”.

A Step at a Time

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March 31, 2019-

I made it to Planet Fitness, despite a sense of fatigue after a trip to Phoenix and back, having attended a worthwhile, but somewhat tiring, meeting.  I was glad to have not had to drive, with a competent friend at the wheel instead.

Tonight’s workout came after a twenty-minute catnap.  I feel better, having done the 30-minute express, followed by ten minutes on the hydrobed.  Bittersweet March has thus, in the end, affirmed that there is still quite a bit left in this sexagenarian frame.  I get appreciative glances from ladies, the younger among them knowing, as well as I do, that that is as far as it goes.  It feels nice, regardless.

It is now full-on Spring.  Tomorrow, we will see what practical jokes remain to be played.  Later in the month come Chalk-It-Up, Earth Day, Easter and the Twelve Days of Ridvan, commemorating Baha’u’llah’s Declaration of His Mission.  I will get my annual physical at the VA, sometime during the month, and will visit the Grand Canyon, on Good Friday.

April, as a wise colleague once remarked, cannot be the cruelest month.  Sorry, T.S. Eliot.

Sixty-Six for Sixty Six, Part XXVI: Three Bounties

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April 22, 2017, Globe, AZ- This Earth Day will long be remembered, to the core of my being, if for no other reason than being welcomed by a new, and  wonderful, friend, as she and her employer were trying to get set up for their busy Saturday.

I thought SunFlour Market was open at 8, but as the owner-chef, Willa, pointed out, the shop opens at 9.  It helps to check the website.  No harm, no foul- I was given a heaping plate of  the most savoury biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had, and stayed out of their way, while set-up continued.  I will be a semi-frequent visitor to this unassuming gem, over the next few months, at least.  It may well be that I become a regular, starting in August, but that’s to be decided in a month or two.

Kathy and Willa welcome their patrons with lots of love and good cheer.  As another example, a young couple came in, for a salad breakfast.  The ladies fussed over the vegetables, for a good twenty minutes, making certain only the best  produce went onto the plates.  The husband pronounced their meal, ” Some of the best food I’ve had, in Arizona.”

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There is also a mini-Farmers Market,  Saturdays, 9-1,from October-May.  The summer market is in Globe, 23 miles, and 1,000 vertical feet, to the east.

I spent a couple of hours in Globe, as well, given that another devoted friend has recently moved to the copper-mining mecca.

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John and I went to another well above-average restaurant, The Copper Hen, for a reasonable, and well-appointed, dinner.  The fare is Mediterranean (Italian and Greek), with the hours being definitely European. (There is a 2 1/2  hour break, between lunch and dinner.)  Rooster and hen motifs abound, but this is not a chicken-oriented menu.  The beef, ham, fish and vegetarian dishes are every bit as wonderful.

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In between the two visits, I took a 1 1/2 hour drive over to Safford, an agricultural community, in the Gila River Valley.  The region was having its first ever Multicultural Festival. It was a small, but heartfelt, effort, and I certainly hope it is repeated, fo ryears to come.  I focused on two events:  A martial arts demonstration, by a dojo of local youths and a talk on African storytelling, by an Arizona State University professor.

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This mighty girl did break the slab, in three blows.

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The presentation on African storytelling clarified several peoples’ misconceptions about why many African-Americans communicate, in the manner they do.  One example is that Africans, traditionally regard timeliness as “in its time”, rather than “on time”.  Another is that the African worldview sees no dichotomy between spiritual and physical.

Below, the presenter, Dr. Akua Duku Anokye, reads a short passage from an African folktale.

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Here is a slide, explaining the gist of her talk.

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I must have some of this, in my gene pool, as doing things “in their time” means more to me than “being on time.”

 

All good days come to an end, to make way for other good days.  The sunset over Globe bore witness to that truth.

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With these bounties, I am refreshed and ready for a Sunday of yard work and around-town tasks, then a solid work week.  I will return, to Superior at least, on May 6.  Have a great day, one and all.

 

 

Contradictions, and Such

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April 23, 2016, Prescott-   I didn’t write about Earth Day, yesterday, because I was exhausted, and besides, every day is Earth Day.   Yes, I know, focus days are important; but still…..

We did an environmental activity today, at Bellemont Baha’i School, west of Flagstaff.  I raked up about 75 pounds of pine needles, to create a safety zone around the campus’s buildings.  On the way back, I came across an anti-environmental activity:  A traffic jam, on a state highway, caused by a water truck driver who was “prepping for a construction project”- at 4 PM on Saturday.

Many people are concerned about fake “transgender” pedophiles, sneaking in women’s restrooms, behind real transgenders, so they can have at little girls.  I remember the creeper in Primm, NV, who just walked right in, behind a 9-year-old girl- and killed her, with no pretense as to what he was.  There is no substitute for a parent going into the rest room, with a child.

I have my fair share of contradictions, over these past 65 years.  Safe to say, none of them has included injuring another human being.  I am working on those contradictions, though, as most of the people in my life are working on theirs.  Those who knew me when could tell you a few stories, and that’s okay.  It is what we learn from our mistakesand what we do differently, going forward, that matter most.

I was pleased to meet the new husband of one of my woman friends, who told me, time and again, of her simple dream to be a good man’s wife.  Things clicked for them, at Christmas time, and the match is an excellent one. I wish the same for my other single friends- both male and female.  I know, firsthand, that there is nothing like having a good mate.

So, here it is, a month into Spring, and let’s just see how long it takes, before Phoenix and Palm Springs hit 100, and before Colorado goes a week without snow.

Finally, from one budding antique, here is the real deal.

 

 

The Road to 65, Mile 142: Chalk It Up, 2015

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April 19, 2015, Prescott- I spent about half the day in meetings and a couple of acts of service.  Still, my mind fell into a funk, because of the suffering endured by some dear families and because of various critics, both here and in the Phoenix area, whose venom keeps playing in my head, though I know it’s wrong of me to buy into their negativity.

Chalk It Up, an annual art festival here in Prescott, and associated with Earth Day, is the perfect mood lifter.  I present several of this year’s entries, without commentary, so that you might get some enjoyment out of the gallery, as well.

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With this  little tour, and a small dish of frozen yogurt, all the sorrow melted away.  It doesn’t take much.