United and Independent

2

January 16, 2021-

Today, my focus has been on two things: Sharing things I no longer need and attending to the unity of all life. I am presently reading Amalia Camateros’ “Spirit of the Stones”, an account of her life that focuses on her growth as an embodied soul and deep connection with the elements of Earth: Air, water, mineral and fire. Amalia is a native of Australia, whose primary connection with North America has been with Sedona, our sister city to the northeast.

In one chapter, she relates her most intense visit to Cathedral Rock, perhaps the most energy-laden of the Sedona area’s many vortices. She describes the promontory as appearing to be two souls, standing back to back-united and independent. The standing rocks are often described by those who have spent time on Cathedral Rock as representing a man and a woman- married, but also each their own person.

That set me to thinking: I was in such a marriage, and when one of us needed the other most, we were inseparable. No pun intended, we were one another’s rock. I am seeing more married adults, among my circle of friends, celebrating their spouses. This is a reverse of what I used to see, from the ’90s into the 2010s, though I know many will reply: “I’ve always been in love with my spouse.” There was more bickering, not so many years ago, and I sense that, with life hard enough as it is, people are realizing what matters most in life.

There is also a rise in the understanding that each human being is a unique soul and that there is no ownership of one by another. Even the use of “my”, in reference to a spouse, or even a child, is fading. Not that many years ago, I was taken to task for using the term “my wife”. The critic was right, though not for the reason he gave (“Only a misogynist would claim to own a woman”). No one owns anyone else, period. It has nothing to do with a person’s psychosexual baggage. Words do matter, though, and when rererring to one’s beloved, children or family members, it’s become my wont to use given names-as well as relationships- end of digression.

Getting back to the blend of unity and independence, the other revelation that came today was with regard to the process of global unity. It must come from the ground up. No downwardly imposed world order will last long. As a community is only as strong as its families, so a planetary order will depend on strong individual nations, each committed to work with the others. This will largely depend, at least initially, on the human race taking the wisdom of the ancients and blending it with the native adaptability of children, in solving novel problems. (I saw this ability, this past week, with a new focus).

The days and months ahead will likely see a clash, of sorts, between those who favour the present, conventional ways of doing things and those who favour such a blend of knowledge, as is described above. There is, though, a new energy taking root.

Forty Years

8

December 6, 2020-

Dearest Soul Charger,

On the night of this day, in 1980, I had a slight awareness that I was about to have a woman in my life, for the first time in eight years. It was, as you surely remember, cold and rainy-then somewhat snowy, in that little village where a house blessing was taking place. We were there for different purposes, though both concerned with learning from the continent’s First Nations. I was earning college credits; you were finding out more about the relatives of your hosts-the Hopi.

We were drawn to one another, that night, through the happenstance of my classmates’ amusement at your speaking Spanish with a North Jersey accent. I was just glad for your smile, and yur companionship. The weather ceased to matter after that. It was the beginning of thirty years’ physical connection and forty years’ spiritual.

We grew together, and you taught me more than you may have known. I like to think that I brought you out of your inward focus and I know you brought me out of mine. You taught me to love children with a ferocity that had been latent within me. We raised one person to adulthood, even as we were “raising” one another. As this was happening, I realized that every child was a focus of my heart.

We came to adore every Messenger sent by God, and all in the Name of His most recent Manifestation: Baha’u’llah . We drew no lines as to with whom we would share the healing Message. We did not separate ourselves from even the most destitute of people; nor did we separate ourselves from one another. We were seldom apart, in fact, and made landfall in so many unlikely places: Dinetah and Hopi; southern Alberta; Israel and the West Bank; Guyana; Korea; Taiwan and so many places in between.

You never lost your luster-not for a fleeting moment. For my part, I’ve spent the last ten years cleaning the rust off my soul, feeling your abiding guidance every step of the way. Now, at long last, I see what the purpose of my life might have been, these forty years, had I used my vision more clearly. Now, at long last, I see what needs to be done, with how ever many more years I am given in this life.

I know you are still close at hand, Soul Charger, and it may have been you who held my arm, early this morning-or it may have been you who moved another spirit away from me. Either way, I can sense that the Creator of us all has you in a safe and uplifting place. He has me where I need to be, and the path will continue, not always as I imagine in advance, but always where I can be of utmost service.

I will ever see you reflected in our son’s visage, and in any progeny he and his wife may bring into this life. I will ever hear your voice, so rich and resonant, in all of their pronouncements. I will see you in every rainbow, every shower and every rising and setting of the Sun. I will hear you in every rushing stream, every tumbling tide and in every sweet song of the birds who frequent where I happen to be. I will feel you, in every warmth that comes my way.

Shine on, Soul Charger. You taught me what it means to love.

What is Cherished?

11

May 18, 2020-

This post is inspired by Eugenia’s series of prompts: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/60360547/posts/2711101856

I cherish the actions of the heart, above all.

Those efforts that do not seek to elevate one above all others,

but which seek to raise all boats.

I cherish family,

both near biological.

and far extended,

the family of the bloodline

and that of the heart.

I cherish childhood,

that which is given us,

in the first two decades,

or so, of life,

and that which is retained

in spirit, even as the body

and mind take on the

trappings of age and maturity.

I cherish the beauty that

surrounds us,

both the glimmerings

of nature, by day and by night,

and the images conjured

by the mind.

Let all be adored,

which keeps us

and propels us forward.

Nashville

5

March 3, 2020-

The two little boys missed their Mommy,

as the wind sounded for all the world

like a freight train, headed straight towards them.

Daddy was there, and got his two cowboys

to the safe room of their house.

When they talked with their mother,

later on this first horrific day of their young lives,

they learned that she had been safe, too,

throughout.

She was in another part of the country,

doing her work.

A musician friend, who has been ailing,

had to flee her home,

along with her beloved soulmate.

They will go back there,

to recover what’s left,

and then move on,

in the light,

provided by a Loving God,

through the portal

of an enveloping community.

The dead are being recovered,

and will long be remembered,

by a city, state and nation,

which cast their arms around

those left, in neighbourhoods,

vibrant, once, and again.

Nashville, resilient.

Altogether Fitting and Proper

7

May 27, 2019-

The morning dawned,

and all were present.

The rain was here,

to bless the events of the day ahead.

The clouds lingered overhead,

to offer the promise

of further blessings.

The Sun peeked,

to let us know

that there is

always hope.

The politicians are here,

to show that they

at least appreciate

our right to be freely represented.

Friends are here,

to remind me

that I’m not alone.

Foes and naysayers are here,

to remind me

that no one

can meet everyone

else’s expectations

and wants.

Conservatives are here,

to maintain the best

of what we have.

Liberals are here,

to ensure that society

does not remain

uniformly static.

Children are here,

because mankind has

a bright future.

Seniors are here,

to share the better part

of our immediate past.

The choirs, male and female,

are here,

because everyone has

a voice that is

worth hearing.

My mind is here,

to keep a lid

on the whimsies

that sometimes

threaten

to carry me off.

Memories and appreciation

will remain.

Thank you, for having been, my grandparents,

my father, little brother,

departed aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Thank  you for your service,

Uncles Carl, Ernie, Charlesie, Jimmy,Eddie, Tom, Bob , Sonny, Al and John;

Aunt Toddy; Cousins Gordon Spousta and Mike Madigan;  friends Stan Egan, Dicky

Devine,”Little” Charlie Stack, Mike Kmita, Paul Smith, Lori Ann Piestewa.

On this day, all who served with honour are to be honoured themselves,

for having given the supreme sacrifice-either dying in combat,

or later, from its effects.

Mr. Lincoln had it right:  It is altogether fitting and proper, that we give such remembrance.

 

 

Alpha and Omega

4

January 1, 2019, Prescott-

It is bright, beautiful and 18 degrees outside, on this first morning, of the last year, of the second decade, of the Twenty-first Century since the birth of Jesus the Christ.  Life has not changed much, outwardly, from yesterday-other than that the storm has moved eastward.

Thus far, this decade has brought both great joy and intense pain.  The pain came first, and Penny spent 2010 in agony and decline, before being delivered from all suffering, in the early part of the following year.

I have since left my Phoenix home, gone through the recovery phase of Chapter 7, lived in, and sold, my in-laws’ Prescott home-at their behest and settled in this comfortable, one bedroom apartment, which will remain my residence until it is time to move on, at the point of my retirement from education, likely in December, 2020.

I have seen our son, Aram, blossom into full manhood, going full force up the enlisted ranks in the United States Navy, though he currently plans to return to civilian life at the end of this enlistment.  He’s a husband now, with he and his wife, Yoonhee, affirming their marital vows in a sacred setting, this coming March.  They have fine examples, of dedicated marriage, on both sides of the family.

I have said farewell to my parents-in-law, in 2014 and in 2018.  Uncles, aunts, cousins and friends have gone on, also, though many remain.  I am also blessed that my mother is still keen of wit and able to live on her own, in the very home in which my siblings and I were raised.

I have always been a wanderer.  The first time I can remember going off on my own involved crossing a street unaided, which earned me a few strokes of a hairbrush, on the backside.  My subsequent sojourns have not been quite so problematic.  While some of my travels have left family members, and others, shaking their heads, nothing has befallen me that was not able to be rectified in fairly short order.  To be sure, even greater adventures are, God willing, in store.

The same is true of my friendships.  Since being on my own, I have found just what a fallacy “on one’s own” is.  Hundreds of people have come into my life.  The best of them have remained, even if some of them are only present electronically.  The worst have, thankfully, moved on.  All have taught me valuable lessons.  There are good friends across the North American continent, in Europe, India and Africa- and I would be overjoyed to visit with them, at least once.  For now, we can see one another here.

Finally, there is the question, “Where is home?”  I could choose the grandiose answer:  “Why, all the Earth is my home!”, and I would be telling the truth-as I feel relaxed, anywhere.  Practically speaking, Prescott is home, for now.  After this phase of my life comes to an end, “home” could be in the Pacific Northwest, in the Heartland, in southeast Alaska, on the East Coast or, for a time, on the road-with my permanent possessions largely in storage.  My little family, good friends and the needs of the wider community will all play a part in where I find myself.

For now, let’s enjoy the sunlight.

The Heart of Wealth

4

December 22,2018, Phoenix-

I’m down here, during the day at least, for three days.  It is the 34th annual Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference. This year’s theme is  “Advancing Human Welfare and Prosperity:  What is Your Role?”

I’ve long had a view of money, wherein it is to be invested, and used, in a heartfelt manner.  Time was, when that led me to spend on my friends and family, though often in a haphazard way, which led some in the family to actually think I didn’t care about THEM.

Marriage and an extended family changed my practices. The needs of the home, then of our child, became paramount.  We still traveled a lot, as a family, and once we returned to live in Arizona, after 5 + years in South Korea, there were eight years of living in scant rent, (but not decrepit), houses.

Phoenix changed that and, after five years of relative prosperity and of meeting our bills-came the trifecta- Penny’s health got worse, Madoff came and made off with certain of the extended family’s investments and the housing crunch killed our heretofore carefully planned mortgage.  The microphone dropped, in a very bad way.

Fast forward to 2018, and the next bad national scene.  This time, however, I am in a better place, financially and in many other respects.  My sole task is to make sure that I don’t become anyone else’s burden- so the resources are to be nurtured, not to be handed out to any and all comers.  Enough said about that.

I am in good hands, in terms of advisement and here is the greater deal:  Like water, soil and any other resource, money does not dissipate for eternity.  It goes places, and needs to be tracked and nurtured.    If water is not conserved and stored, in a loving manner, it will flow back into the soil, or evaporate into the cloud cover, or get polluted and be rendered useless.   If money is not conserved, and invested, in a loving manner, then it will go willy-nilly, into the pockets of the unwise, who will always want more, or into the hands of the unseemly, who will sneer at one’s foolishness.

Wealth that endures, comes from the heart.  I am being nurtured, financially, because I tended to the extended family’s needs, four years ago, and orchestrated the sale of property that needed to be sold, in a prudent manner.  The other factor, which some may find hard to understand, is that careful giving, in the years since I recovered financially, has stoked the energy of prosperity.  That, and being detached from  the day-to-day ups and downs, have made life a whole lot easier and more productive, thus-increasing potential wealth.

Finally, as the speakers in the first day of this conference noted, wealth is intended to generate the OVERALL prosperity of the human race. There is no point, in the long run, of having a small coterie pile up wealth that they cannot possibly use, whilst there are others in such destitution as to bring any caring observer to the knees.  This does not mean random, forced confiscation of “excess” wealth.  It does mean, however,that there be a drastic, and widespread change of heart, especially among the wealthiest .1 % of the world’s populace.

 

Season’s Greetings

13

December 18, 2018, Prescott-

So now, my full days of school, for 2018, are in the rear view mirror.  Three abbreviated school days remain, before we all take a break for the period which, for many, is a time of celebration and revelry.  For others, it will be a time of remembrance of a Great Being, Whose sacrifice and teachings are fully intended to bring peace to those who understand them.  For still others, it will be a time of lying low and making do with very little.  Then, the Gregorian clock will reset itself, and we will have 2019 AD/CE. (I am old school, and prefer the former, in figuring time since the Birth of the Christ.  Further disclosure: We Baha’is determine our place in time, dating from the Declaration of al-Bab, in May, 1844 and thus will refer to next year as 176 Baha’i Era, or B.E.  For general social purposes, though, I will continue to date my posts by the Gregorian system.)

During this period of  revelry, rest, reflection and resilience, I wish these things, to the following:

Seniors (75 and onward):  May your curiosity continue and may it bring you the recognition and relevance that ought to come with accrued wisdom .  The elder among you raised our generation and can take large credit for the best that we have been able to offer the world, through your parenting.  The younger among you are our older cousins, siblings and mentors.  It would have been harder growing up without your shared experiences and occasional babysitting. You remain friends, and vital presences in my life-Mom, Uncle Jim and Aunt Jackie, Aunt Janet, Aunt Carol, both Aunts Helen, Aunt Gail, Uncle Jerry,  and my online friends and older cousins, (you know well to whom I am referring).

My Contemporaries (55-74):  My siblings, many cousins, classmates, immediate elders and juniors, and a good many of my friends-We have gone through many of the same experiences, hard times, great celebrations, triumphs and tragedies, victories and losses.  We have seen Woodstock and the Men on the Moon; the gradual “shrinking” of Planet Earth, and changes that we never anticipated. Considering that my first phone call, to my late Aunt Hazel, was aborted by a shrill voice telling me to get off the phone, as it was a party line “used  by grown-ups, for important matters”. I did as I was told, and remember my mother’s eyes rolling, as she quipped, “important matters, like everyone else’s business!” Now, the picture phones and calls between vehicles, of which I once dreamed, are de rigeur.  May our days not be hamstrung by health-related woes, to the extent that we can use natural remedies, exercise and a well-varied diet, to keep us going.  May we continue to love those older and younger than we; and because we first know to love ourselves.

Millennials and Generation X (20-54):  You have brought many of the ideas of which I once dreamed, as a child and teen, into being.  Many of you were my students and counselees.  I helped a fair number, confused some and let others down, but loved all of you.  Among you are my nieces and nephews, and my own beloved son and daughter-in-law.  You grew up in my hometown of Saugus; or in the woods of central Maine;  or in the elite families who sent you to  a boarding school in the midst of the Sonoran Desert; or on the Navajo and Hopi nations, reared by loving, but often struggling extended families, who gave me more than I could ever repay; or in the western Sonoran Desert, a string of communities that gave newcomers a wary, if cordial, welcome-even when several were newcomers, themselves; or you grew up, as our son did, moving from town to town and making the best of life, even when it felt lonely.  I wish you a future far better than the recent past has shown you, and know that you have it within, to make wondrous things happen.

Generation Z (Newborns to 19)- I am thrilled to see the older among you come of age, shed the misgivings of your elders and take on the challenges that the Universe has sent your way, either because of the nature of life or because of what the rest of us have managed to create.  Every generation hands down both blessings and banes to its progeny, so do forgive us and know that you are also very much loved.  You have come into my life, as my working years are winding down and you have given me the confidence, the sense that my volunteer, travel and, quite possibly, grandparent years will be as bounteous and fulfilling as all that has gone before. May we all greet and nurture the generations  that come after you, as well.

To all, I treasure my time among you and may it long yet continue. A Merry Christmas, Bountiful Kwanzaa, Joyful Solstice and Healthy, Prosperous and Happy 2019, to each and every one.

 

The Unbreakable Thread

2

December 3, 2018, Prescott-

This evening, I made arrangements to attend next week’s services for my mother-in-law.  It will be my second visit to that gravesite, in Arlington National Cemetery, and all the more important, because I will be representing my son, as well as myself.  I will be honouring the people who have gave me the love of my life and who have given me the seeds of financial security- seeds that I have to plant and start to make grow, a few weeks hence.

Real family is an unbreakable thread, even when someone doesn’t understand, and tries to snip it, out of fear, anger, frustration or whatever negative emotion is in the recesses of their heart.  I have been very fortunate, in that respect. Even those in my extended family, and circle of friends, who roll their eyes at some of the things that come out of my mouth or find their way onto the pages of my sites, have, with  few exceptions, stayed with me. I will, as I have said frequently, stay by them as well.

Glimmering

10

November 9, 2018, Prescott-

I woke in  darkness,

both physical and emotional,

wondering what to do,

with a feeling of isolation.

“Well, self”, I have to say,

“you made the choice to live

far from birth family

and remain far from

family- by- marriage.”

As the daylight glimmers,

and my prayers have been said,

I feel my heart is with

family in Florida,

in Korea,

and those clustered

in Massachusetts,

in Pennsylvania

and in Georgia.

We are scattered to the winds,

yet there is still not  a day,

without some sort of connection.

You are always in my heart.