I Care Not; I Care

4

October 25, 2019-

The year,  of which I thought as a pinnacle,

when it was approaching,

now seems a plateau of focus,

as it begins to recede,

into the alpine mists of history.

Here and now have become

more urgent.

Past is  a glimmer,

whose lessons impact

the present stage.

Future is “that time”

of promises,

which only I

can bring to fruition.

Twenty-twenty

appears in my

mind’s eye,

like yin and yang.

In the heat of the now,

I care not for the culture

which glorifies drug use.

The mantra,

“This is better than crack!”,

is the cackling of the ignorant.

I care not for the powers

that pretend to be,

sending their tanks,

flame throwers and

armor-piercing bullets,

against unwitting defenders

of freedom.

I care not for the puppet masters,

who order the innocent

to stand down,

to step aside,

that the purveyors

of death,

may present their wares,

to the foolish and

the deluded.

I care not,

for those who

cry foul,

at being told

that an infant

has the right

to life,

the right

to be adopted,

instead of killed.

I care not,

for those who

start wildfires,

in the hopes

of returning later,

and building

cookie-cutter,

gentrified living resorts,

affordable only to

the favoured few.

I care,

for the struggling,

for the lost children,

kept in a prison box,

with no resources,

save the cement floor,

which they share,

with hundreds,

and with their reluctant

guards,

who are themselves

pariahs.

I care for those

who are beaten,

chased down,

hunted like animals

and then,

treated like filth,

by the jurists,

who look first

at the well-being

of those

who beat, menace

and hunt the innocent,

like so much prey.

I care for those

who have given

their all,

and end up

as footnotes,

in the journals

of narcissists.

Give us your tired,

poor, innocent,

that we may find room

in our hearts and

in our diminishing spaces.

 

 

Gratitude Week, Day 6: The Great Notes

4

November 23, 2018, Prescott-

I am barely a singer, have no instrumental talent of which to speak and can’t read sheet music, yet music has been one of my fall backs, in happy times and in sad.  This post features ten tunes that especially resonate.  So, there’s not much text here.  Listen to those you find appealing, and know that each has a special place in my heart.

10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSq4B_zHqPM

9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGDA0Hecw1k

8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw5Y0AbHt1o

7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtGZGBvb7ic

6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8AWFf7EAc4

5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awzNHuGqoMc

4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BNRBgxiS2c (There is a lot of commentary here.  The song is what is at the heart.)

3.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpwdwbO1uvM

2.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Biex1XR_mpo-(This lovely tune, in a wondrous context.)

1.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yfwlj0gba_k (because it is so).

There are hundreds of others.  These are what are in my heart, most readily.

Year End Reflections, Part 2: Sojourns

7

December 24, 2017, Prescott- I spent yesterday at the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference, in Phoenix, but elected to stay up here today, as some chores need doing, before I head out on the Greyhound journey to Spring Hill, FL, and a visit with Penny’s mom and sister.  It will be odd not having a vehicle, by which to stop, visit with friends en route, or to respond to others who may live not far from them.  This is, though, a journey of focus.

I have made such focus a more important part of my life, this past year. People and their feelings have been one such concern. Reorganizing my blog site, and making a more concerted effort to attend to others’ comments, as well as their own blogs, has been another.

My travels,while still extensive, going across the continent, yet again, were more devoted to family, friends, and specific purpose. I saw my son off, on his way to Korea, from San Diego, at the beginning of the year.  OC, always a part of any California visit, took up the end of my temporary farewell, to the light of my life.

I can never go without a visit to a little girl and her family in the Reno-Carson City area, so that came first, in the summer.  It seemed capricious to dart back to Arizona, just to deliver a bundle to people who didn’t seem to care, one way or the other, but it mattered to the sender, so I did it.

Friends and family, across the Midwest, the Northeast and Upper South, were more appreciative of my time with them.  Mom always needs to know her wanderer is in a good place, physically and emotionally, so when I was in my hometown, she had the bulk of my attention, but not in as hovering a manner as previously.  A side trip to Maine, also very focused, help break up any sense of hovering.  So, too, did meeting one of my newborn grand-nephews.

My youngest niece and her upcoming wedding brought me to Philadelphia, so as to at least meet her fiance.  Another little grand-nephew was also there, along with his big sister, whom I also had not met.  There was a focus on history, in the three days that followed: Philadelphia itself, Brandywine, Antietam, Harpers Ferry and Lexington, VA. Going to Harrisonburg, perhaps my favourite western Virginia town, took me back to Artful Cafe (once known as Artful Dodger), followed by a brief visit with a friend who once lived in Prescott.  People find it strange, but I don’t forget someone who treated me with a high level of kindness, even if they themselves have moved on.

It has long been past time to visit with the Indiana branch of our family, so a few hours, on point, in Jeffersonville, sent me heading west, with a sense of having completed my connection.  Falls of the Ohio and downtown Paducah were side-benefits of this diversion. Finally, I was honoured to visit with a cousin, in southwest Missouri, before scooting across the plains, to home  There were side benefits to that last leg:  Sedan, KS, with its little ravine, called The Hollow; a kind lady running a motel and cafe in Mooreland, OK; a race against the monsoon rains, in northeast New Mexico; brief return visits to Cimarron, Taos and Rio Grande Gorge; and proving that I still can handle the delicate balance between rest and roadsmanship, on the last leg of the drive home.

I chose a journey to the past, over an emotional visit to Las Vegas, in October.  It was tough going, coming back especially, but Besh Ba Gowah and Gila Cliff Dwellings made me recognize, anew, the importance of appreciating just what those who came before us gave to people, whom they had no idea were coming.

Journeys aren’t, per se, hard on me, so long as I maintain attention, pacing and focus.  New friends came out of these past twelve months, though I may have lost one of the older ones.  Friendships will take up my Christmas post, as seems appropriate.

 

 

 

 

Front and Back

8

March 6, 2017, Prescott-

There is always a back side to any given coin,

or phonograph record,

or human story.

This makes it so tempting

for a person caught in a lie,

to shout “What about _____?”

It is second nature,

for two people arguing,

to focus on what the other

is saying, or doing.

Yet, one can only polish

one side at a time.

False equivalency does

nothing,

to help either

front or back.

There is no substitute

for focus.

Sixty-Six

8

November 28, 2016, Prescott-Someone close to me says I am officially an old man.  Well, yes and no.  Consider today:  I went to work, told no one it was my day (though it’s posted in the office kitchen, which none of my co-workers ever enter) and had a normal work day, which means I put forth an effort.  I came home, took a 20-minute power nap.  Then, it was time to mark the occasion, so I went by a Christmas display, at Prescott Resort Hotel, had dinner at Texas Roadhouse and went to see the film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, a Harry Potter prequel of sorts, with a fine ensemble cast and a great story line; definitely four-stars.

Age does not affect what I have ahead, over the next few months, either.  December, though, is as far as I have planned, concretely, and then only in terms of those events that have to be planned well in advance.  It’s more a matter of keeping the bulk of my focus on my work and on my Faith, than it is of slowing down.

I will have more to say about the weeks ahead, but now it’s time to keep my bedtime routine- 10:30 is late enough.

Jealousy

4

September 16, 2016, Prescott- 

One child, jealous of another getting the attention

that he, himself, had been getting,

just two minutes before,

took off his shoe and tossed it,

in an arc, towards an empty space,

in the back of the room.

He then flung his food bag,

towards yet another child.

The student who was the focus of teacher’s attention

deflected the bag, away from student # 3,

and no harm was done.

Child doing the throwing

now faces a weekend

of confinement to his room.

There is no daylight,

home and school are tight.