The Cleansing

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August 31, 2019-

The day began with my usual Saturday ritual:  Get up, sans alarm, devotions, coffee& paper and a visit to Farmer’s Market.  What is different today was the call to clean up.  A local business owner found an abandoned homeless camp near and around his property, in a wooded area by Granite Creek, one of Prescott’s many streams.  The creek flows into Watson Lake, a reservoir that is also a prime boating and fishing venue.  Thus, it’s a good idea to keep the watershed clean of trash and debris, a notion that has not been front and center for those who regard themselves as desperate for a place to live, or for those who rousted the squatters out of their encampment, nearly a month ago.

One longtime friend of the owner has been steadfast in helping him clean the place, over the past three days.  I joined them today, and will do so again on Monday morning and any morning that I am not working, Wednesday-Friday of the coming week.  Much of the large items, like  tents, blankets, coats, and sleeping bags were bagged and set for disposal on Tuesday.  Disclosure:  NONE of the items are salvageable, as water and mud have rendered them useless.  This is the cost of “sweeps”, and of random, ungoverned squatter camps.

That brings up a broader issue:  The matter of personal responsibility for self and for community.  The lay minister who was my partner on this endeavour, this morning, raised a valid point as to the tendency of people to leave solutions to issues to government- or to some other group.  Many people in Prescott, and in other places across the globe, tell themselves that it’s the government’s job to tend to social issues.  This attitude can be shown either vocally(including online posts, telling the police, Parks & Recreation, etc. to “Do their job”) or by attrition (i.e. volunteering for an activity, then just not showing up).

I was, thankfully, raised to take responsibility for the neighbourhood and/or the community, and trust me, I was not always the kind of child who wanted to get out and volunteer for such projects.  My parents kept after us anyway, and instilled that sense of community involvement.

There are as many ways to “cleanse” a community and build its strength, as there are people.  The Red Cross effort to make sure smoke alarms are working, in modular homes and more conventional dwellings, is also an effort that is gaining steam here.

Lastly, the cultural strength of a community matters greatly, in building a civil society.  The Folk Sessions and Concerts at the the Court House are a major piece of this effort, as are the art fairs, soccer matches and the Farmer’s Market itself.  Last night, an intrepid young woman,who I am proud to regard as a friend, made Prescott a stop on her way from Portland to Boston, just for the sake of supporting the musical scene in a town that welcomed her, three years ago.

There are many ways to build a community-and I know of shut-ins who make quilts or stuff backpacks for needy kids, in the new school year, or the disabled man who fashioned an “adventure train” for stray dogs, whom he takes out of the shelter, two or three days a week. I am fortunate to still be able to be of more ambulatory service, and thank my spirit guides and the Creator for this.

Just, let’s not pass the buck back to the next one, or to the Government.

Cyclopian Vision

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May 18, 2019-

I see four in front of me,

each bent on talking, and not listening.

You tell us that there is only one way to look at issues-yours.

You see “the others” as unholy threats to our way of life.

You call out anyone who has an alternative point of view,

and call them names,

as if we are in an overcrowded sandbox,

which you feel you own.

You told me that I was the only problem,

in a very fluid work environment.

You said that if I left,

all would be well.

While I would be okay with that,

the reality is more complex.

You cast about for answers,

yet only accept those which fit

your  line of sight.

You offer your viewpoint,

and dismiss all others,

as antiquated,

as throwbacks,

without regard

for the notion

that all life is sacred.

You say that Government

is the supreme answer

to all,

and that abusers have rights,

which supersede

the rights

of the victim.

You say unborn people

have few or no rights,

whilst your opposite number

says that is only

true, of mothers.

I see four cyclops

in the sandbox,

in front of me.

I hear babbling,

too loud for anyone

to actually hear

the solutions.

 

 

Sutherland Springs

2

November 5, 2017, Prescott-

My post about a visit to Cave Creek will be up soon.  In the meantime, another Sunday, and more mayhem.

Upwards of thirty people may be dead,

and 30 others with life-threatening injuries.

All they set out to do, was worship.

Someone else had a different plan.

Bring on Armageddon.

Others responded to his act,

predictably-

blaming the Government,

blaming Trump,

blaming the Democrats,

even blaming anyone who

showed outrage at the horrific act.

This last, shades of post- Sandy Hook,

post- Las Vegas.

“It can’t be the shooter’s fault.

Maybe there was no shooter at all.

Maybe the Government made it all up.

Maybe it’s just a hologram.”

Tell that to the wounded.

Tell that to the families

who will be burying

their dead.

Tell that to all those

who have INDEED

lost their children,

parents,

siblings,

neighbours,

friends.

Denial means continuity.

 

 

On The Ground

2

January 2, 2017, Chula Vista-  “Make a friend today.  Be the first to smile, in a friendly way.”- These words, to a Bluegrass song, coming from my son’s housemate’s i-pod, say all that needs to be said, in the first step to healthy survival.

Son is understandably anxious, about the coming change in his life, which is why I’m here, this week, and will be available for him, between now and departure day.  It makes it easier,for both of us, that he will be in Arizona for most of that time.  Once he gets to Korea, there will plenty of other seasoned adults to guide him into the routine.

I went on a routine errand, to pick up some items at the local Ralph’s (SoCal’s version of Fry’s and Kroger’s), yesterday afternoon.  While backing out of my space, synchronicity almost led to crash, as a large SUV was also backing out, across from me and the guy who was waiting for my space was inching forward.  Each of us noticed the others, at the last split second, and no fender benders hailed in the New.  Such is life, in Bubble Land. I’m grateful to everyone, when I was growing up, who kept after me to get out of my head and pay attention. Now, I just have to keep their admonitions in mind, in all circumstances.

Today is statutory New Year’s Day, which means that, while the majority of us carry on with our lives, the government and the banks stay shuttered, more or less.  It could be more severe, though.  In Japan, New Year lasts for five days.  Then again, even here, if Congress and the Executive don’t get their act together, soon, it’ll be another series of rounds of “Who’s open for business?”, come April.

The rains were kind to SoCal, and to nearby eastern neighbours, this past weekend.  I sense we all may get a few more soakings, the rest of this winter.  It’ll be a relative drop in the bucket, but perhaps will be the start of a reasonable trend.

Reasonable trends are what we need, across the nation, and the planet.  I look forward to each such movement, however small. Have a great month, moving forward, everyone.  I will be here, as many days as possible.  Oh, and make a friend today!