February 21, 2020-

It is said that, at certain times of the year, the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards, or is in retrograde.  This is, of course, poppycock, but the illusion does have an effect on people, in the areas of relationships, transportation and finance.  People will use this illusion as an excuse to take negative actions, or to not take any action at all.  Sometimes, the latter is actually advisable, especially if life seems to be moving at too fast a pace.

I find winter, in general, as a good time to slow the pace a bit.  For me, that generally means staying, for the most part, within the bounds of my county of residence.  A couple of trips out of the area, last weekend to Yuma and tomorrow to Indio, to take in a Sheryl Crow concert, are exceptions to that, these past two months.  Energy has taken a back seat and my concentration has been mostly on boosting my immune system.

The retrograde gets credence from all the illness that has circled around our community-and many other parts of the country and the world.  I would make a humble suggestion, though:  Let us use the time to quietly connect and do manageable projects, both individually and in groups.  There will be time enough for the grand and far-reaching, in the fullness of spring and summer.

Thinking, Feeling, and Knowing


March 18, 2017, Prescott-  Let’s take a break from the posting of travel photos, as I sense there is ennui setting in, among my readers here.

All my life, I’ve been through a dichotomy between thinking, usually based on incomplete information and feeling, based on my emotions of the moment.

I came upon the third component of personal reality, knowing, in the intuitive sense, not the cognitive meaning, a few years into my time as a Baha’i.  The fact that I had given up a rather intense devotion to alcoholic beverages, at the same time, also helped.

These days, I put feeling and knowing into use, before thinking.  It’s helped avoid a lot of the pitfalls, into which I have placed myself over the years, from being repeated.

In Fall, 1980, I felt that I was ready to meet a special person.  When I met Penny, a month later, I knew that special person would be in my life, for a very long time, and would be present in my being, forever.


In Winter, 2011, when she left this world, I entered a period, of about 2 1/2 years, in which I felt that a person who resembled Penny, either in countenance or in blithe spirit, would be my solace. I knew, though, in the end, that  this fabrication was doing me no good, and that I had to go through the hard work of getting myself settled, of becoming in tune with who I was, in my own space.

These days, I feel another special presence in my life.  I don’t know much about this person, yet, so I can’t say I am certain, as to how things will pan out.  I do know, cognitively, that she lives on the other side of Arizona.  I know, intuitively, that I regarded her as a dear friend,  as soon as we met, a few days ago, and that I will let that friendship go where it will.  I am under no illusions; yet, it seems like I’ve known her for a very long time.

The writer and philosopher, Shakti Gawain, talks of her varied relationships, at all levels.  She makes the interesting point that one can know, intuitively, when a person is part of one’s soul family.  I have many such brothers, sisters, children, and extended family.  Each is of particular  value and there will be many others; of this, I’m certain.  Let’s see where the path leads.



The Road to 65, Mile 202: Southeast IS Northwest, Day 11, Reflections While On The Inland Passage


June 18, 2015, Off Campbell River, BC-  On a full day of being ferried through the Canadian section of the Inland Passage, the focus turned inward.  Fleeting glimpses of places like Bella Bella were more a diversion than the main attraction, on this misty day.


Three central issues in my life flowed along today:  Worthiness, safety and perseverance.

In my late teens and in my twenties, I was a train wreck. I was taught social skills in my childhood, but never quite internalized them, until about age 30.  The less said about all my missteps and accidents in that decade or so, the better.  Things went along well, in my thirties and forties, the prime years of our marriage, and of careers.  My fifties were another rough patch, yet there I did learn perseverance, and that it is the natural outgrowth of commitment.  My family and friends have stuck with me, through all of it, and each of these years passed before me, in reflection, during the course of this day.

I have had a hard row, in feeling safe, in certain places, during the course of my life.  I felt alternately safe and threatened, growing up in my hometown, but learning to face adversaries is an all-too-common part of life.  I certainly feel secure, when in Saugus, now, of course.  So, too, has the list of places where I feel at ease and free from harm, been growing, over the past few years.

Maybe that’s the real reason why I have been in so many places, since 2011.  I have always wandered, as has been mentioned before, but perhaps the only way to know for sure as to security, is to go to a place, follow the normal protocols of safety and courtesy expected there, and prove to myself that all is okay.

Now, on my way back to the more contiguous reaches of North America, I am reminded of perseverance.  There is much ahead, in Prescott and vicinity, across Arizona, and around the southwest quadrant of the United States, over the next many months.  Family events will take me away, for a few days here and there, but the main focus will be the life of community.

So, as I read “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store”, and “Crota”, my mind considered the sacrifices made by the protagonists of both stories, the triumph over almost insurmountable challenges, and the three-dimensional nature of the antagonists.  My mind considered what I had overcome, when I had been a protagonist of sorts, and when I have been cast as the antagonist in an event- which has happened, more to my chagrin than I sometimes care to think.  Nothing beyond the mist is as foggy, or as clearcut, as we sometimes like to think.


Many things go on, like the lives of whales, largely beneath the surface.


Then, the truth surfaces, and distant realities also have to be considered, even as we marvel at the sight closest to our eyes.


I started to refer to the town visible from our port as “Port Hardy”.  A gentleman who is more seasoned on these cruises calmly stated the town was Campbell River, and that he had camped there in his RV, on a few occasions.

Oh, the joy, and humility, of seeing illusions evaporate.  I placed the freshly-completed copy of “Crota” back in the Purser’s library, and donated “Mr. Penumbra” to that collection.  It will appeal to at least a couple of inquiring minds among the ship’s crew.  In the morning, I would see the sight of Fairhaven, the ferry port at Bellingham, WA.  It is time for filling in the gaps, of my map of the Evergreen State.