Wait Just A Minute

11

October 31, 2018, Prescott-

Halloween was low key, at least tonight.

Twenty people happened by my solitary, if well-lit, table on our quiet street.

It was full-blast, over the weekend, though

I went to one party, with my co-workers,

and it was the most heartfelt event.

My appreciation goes to friends in Phoenix and Scottsdale,

whose parties I missed.

See you next October, as things stand now.

That brings me to the main point of this piece.

I no longer rank order my friends.

I no longer have most favourite restaurants,

coffee shops, places to visit.

I am finding too much of merit,

in too many places,

and with too many people.

Someone asked me,

not long ago,

who my best friend was,

and why I didn’t speak to that best friend,

on a daily basis?

In truth, I have many friends

and I may speak to them,

as needed.

My friends are,

quite frankly,

both human and spirit.

Usually, it is the spirit friends

who tell me I need to be

nicer to the humans.

I take that admonition seriously.

Back to the idea of favourites.

We rank order, in this life,

for reasons particular to the person

doing the ranking.

We want to have reliable people,

on whom we might call,

in a time of need.

We enjoy a certain barrista’s latte

or a given baker’s quiche or breads,

or a pasta chef’s lovingly made spaghetti bolognese.

We love how the vegan lady downtown

makes such delectable soups.

I might miss the teasing of a cerebral friend, uptown,

or my brother’s sometimes caustic, but always on-point, admonitions.

I might just need the affirmations of a devout Christian friend,

who understands me, better than most.

I may want to connect with friends in Alberta, Alaska,

or Alsace.

None really is superior to the others.

Maybe, I am reaching a point of true unity.

It has come hard, and I am still working

on my sticky point:

That consistency of presence thing.

It even happened this evening.

Little “S”, for whom I’d give my life,

snuck up to my Halloween table,

whilst I was bidding farewell

to a 9-year-old vampire.

“Trick or treat”,

followed by the world’s most beautiful

toothy smile, brought me back

to front and center.

She wanted to visit my table,

before putting on her witch’s hat.

“S” and her mother made my evening.

 

 

 

Face The Lion

21

October 28, 2018, Prescott-

One month remains of my being 67.  October, thus far, has been another instance of what the forest rangers call “facing the lion”, the feline in this case being a mountain lion (aka cougar or puma).  The broader meaning of this, of course, is facing one’s trials, without flinching.

I stood for what I believe, earlier this month, was castigated for it by a troubled soul and am not sorry for standing my ground.  I have promised to not harp on this, so I won’t. The most important thing is that, if I am all but ordered to compromise who I am, under pain of disapproval- I will take the scratches and bite marks of disapproval.

Physically, I have recovered from a mild injury to my left knee and am maintaining a rehabilitative exercise regimen.  It was gratifying to have returned to our local Planet Fitness, this evening, and to have been able to complete my usual exercise regimen, with a few modifications.

Yesterday, I chose to stay close to home during the day, rather than go down to Phoenix for what would have been a mere hour, before returning to this area for a Halloween party.  The day was greatly satisfying, though, as I attended a Fall Festival, at the site of the chiropractic office which I use.  There were many raffles, and I won a plastic sled.  The sled ended up going to a five-year-old boy.  I believe every child ought to have the enjoyment of sledding on snow- and in his grandparents’ yard, to boot!

The Halloween party, at my lead teacher’s home, was a masterful blend of food and imaginative visual effects.   There were “talking” creepy ghouls and monsters and a fine variety of hot and cold buffet items.  The best part, though, were their three German shepherds, including a very vocal albino G.S., named Lloyd.  He and I got along just fine, as I would talk back to him, saying it’s all okay.

I got mesmerized by yet another replay of Bette Midler’s classic “Hocus Pocus”, which we used to play every Halloween, when Aram was a child.  It’s been a while, so looking back on how different child characters stood up to Bette’s character and her sisters was a treat.

Yes, some lions are more comical than others. Some are more problematic. All must be faced with confidence and courage.

Burning the Masks-Prologue

8

October 11, 2018, Prescott-

This series of posts will look at my demon masks. Yes, how apropos for the advent of Halloween.  We all tend to wear one mask, or another, and it falls to the truth tellers of the world to either yank those masks off or get the wearers to take them off, themselves.

Penny was a Libra, and as such, one who suffered fools, not at all.  She accepted me, for who I was, because she saw that my heart was dedicated to truth. Yet, there were always the masks, and I did not get to discard all of them, before her passing.

Now, seven years later, I have to confront certain realities, on my own.  I will share some of the things I am finding, as some risk, but also in the hope that my readers might find the process beneficial to yourselves.

NEXT:  The Mask of Obligation

A YOOOOGE Party

12

October 29, 2016, Phoenix-  The fact is, I’ve already voted.  That’s all I’ll say about that topic.  My day kept me in this slowly cooling-off former place of ten years’ residence.  It did not go above 93, and my stops were in lovely venues, so the day lifted my spirits.

It helped that the morning was spent discussing spiritual matters.  We Baha’is are celebrating the birthdays of both Baha’u’llah and His immediate Predecessor, al-Bab (The Gate, in Arabic), in two contiguous days, this coming week.  There will be gatherings during the day, in my home community, while our friends here in Phoenix are planning a Monday evening of prayer and reflection, in lieu of Halloween- as al-Bab’s birthday falls on November 1, this year.  Baha’u’llah’s birthday is being commemorated the following day. More on these Holy Days later.

I also visited an old friend, whose wife, unbeknownst to me until today, had passed away in December, 2014.  She had been one of Penny’s closest friends, when they were students together, at Arizona State University-West, from 2006-09.  The poor soul had also suffered severe physical ailments, for nearly ten years.  Her husband is now retired, and is a freelance mechanic, restoring old vehicles, which he loves doing.  It did my heart good to spend a few hours catching up with him.

I see Halloween as an excuse to indulge in cosplay, just a bit- I had my wizard’s mask on for all of ten minutes.  Mostly, it is another social event, and the people whom I first went to visit, this evening, had canceled their party, preferring to go to a school fair, instead.

Thus, I found myself at a theatrical affair, with the hosts giving a nod to the upcoming election.  Their party is always a well-catered, elaborately decorated event, with a large, diverse and multi-generational crowd.  This one was especially YOOOGE!

14611116_10211122389762186_4366984878566503580_n

Getting Around

2

October 27, 2016, Prescott-

A brief update:  My landlord is in town, for a few days of repairs to our quadplex and grounds-keeping. He is considering allowing me more responsibility in the quad.  I plan to keep our backyard looking better, with his blessing.  A terraced garden has been my dream, for many years, and I hope to finally get it done.

Our team at school is upgrading the day-to-day curriculum, finally.  I am building a word wall and will post multiplication and division tables, over the next several school days.  Halloween is a half day for the students, and a few hours of planning work for us.  So, I will hopefully get a lot done, in the above regards, on Monday afternoon.

I will head down to Phoenix on Saturday, attend a morning meeting, get in some hiking and attend a Halloween party at the home of some friends, in midtown.  Sunday will be another day for hiking in the Table Mesa area, this time starting earlier in the morning.

Next week, I will begin to collate my poems and short essays, for the book which I want to put forth, in January.

That’s it for tonight.

 

The Road to 65, Mile 308: October Beginnings

7

October 1, 2015, Chino Valley- I made my last visit to Del Rio School for a while, spending the day with a class of second-graders, with whom I have worked a few times in the past.  I will actually miss this school, and several others, but throwing myself into the well-being of a specific group of children, day-to-day, for at least two months, and hopefully longer, is something I need to do.  It’s necessary for my own sense that I can do good by a classroom, over a long period of time.  It’s necessary for the children, whose skills are undeveloped, and thus seen by the Masters of the Universe as “low”.

In another iteration, I covered for a teacher on maternity leave, for five months.  The children loved me, and I, them.  I had the support of the school administration.  The teacher, sad to say, did not like my work and made it very clear, especially at the end.  I digress.

It was a good day today, and it will be another good day tomorrow, at Mile High Middle School, in Prescott.  I can work in Prescott schools on Fridays, until the Winter Break, at least, so the separation is less than final.  My first priority, though, will now be Mingus Springs’ third grade class.

October will see me back on the trails- the first few days of Fall Break- next week, and on several weekends hereafter.  Son will be out here, at the end of the month, and I will make my now traditional visit to San Diego, at Thanksgiving time.  My Faith also factors directly into the schedule:  Besides being the cornerstone of my daily life, Baha’i events will occupy me, this coming Saturday, (as will community service, here in Prescott); at the beginning of November and on several days throughout the Fall.  I can never tell when the needs of trusted friends may arise and take me off on an errand of mercy, as happened a week ago, today.

October is always a fascinating month- and not the least because of our fun traditions of Halloween.  I have always enjoyed treating children, from my front door, over the years, in places like Toltec City, Tuba City, Jeddito, Salome, Phoenix and Prescott.  This Halloween will find me at a friend’s house in Tucson, perhaps finagling front door duty.

The crispness of the air, and the changing leaves of the Northland, will also bring me and mine a renewed energy.  I had my mid-year check-up yesterday, and all my vitals are in top form.  Fall will be a great season.