Barricades

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September 3, 2021– Firefighters holding the line against the Caldor and Dixie Fires, burning large swaths of northern California, are making progress, as of two hours ago. There is an enormous amount of physical energy being directed at the enemy that is wildfire. There is also a tremendous amount of spiritual energy being directed at the blazes, as well as at their opposite numbers, the hurricanes and remnant tropical depressions that ravage the southern and northeastern sections of the country-and at all manner of similar catastrophic events around the world.

Barricades, especially against harm, can be put up and maintained by both forms of energy. There are also barricades against progress, or against the betterment of life. We see many of both types, being put up simultaneous to one another, in the course of public affairs. The former revolve around inclusion of diverse people and the advancement of human dignity. The latter are more concerned with restriction, exclusion and the enrichment of the few.

Both types of energy may be used, in either case. There are constructive actions that people across the political spectrum can take, in which the sole difference is an emphasis on individual effort versus collective action. With destructive actions, the reverse is true. Conservatives favour individual initiative in making life better, but indulge in group think when plotting acts of limitation or destruction. Progressives favour collectivity in the betterment of life, but they are prone to be lone wolves or small cell teams, when rising in opposition to what they see as oppression.

The course of public events being what has been lately, I would not be surprised to see both sides change up their tactics, and reverse matters further. In the best of all worlds, there would not be any need seen for such antipathy between the two sides, as all would realize that they are, in large measure, being played by a select few. Having friends on both ends of the spectrum, and at all points in between, I see only the universal recognition of human dignity, with room for both kinds of positive action, as the solution to all manner of ills facing mankind, and our planet.

Growing (Beyond) Pains

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January 24, 2020-

Every community has its pain.  I saw lots in Peach Springs, just as I did so many years ago, in various communities of the Navajo (Dineh) and Hopi Nations-and I know the pain continues, even though life is better, in some parts of the old Home Base.  So, too, there was, and is, pain in Phoenix, in La Paz County and here in Prescott.  I heard of suffering in Seligman, which is en route to any point northwest of here, yesterday, when I stopped for an early dinner.

People have their concerns, their agonies and their setbacks.  What makes the difference in much of this, is the extent to which the suffering souls lay their woes at the feet of others.  I’ve done some of that, and have thankfully learned to put that mindset behind me.  Whine and cheese are not the stuff of social progress.

I have said a bit about what I’d like to see in Peach Springs, though my own skill sets may not do much, immediately, to help that community, on the ground.  Prescott does have a few programs in place, which can help those who are knocked down, in getting themselves upright.  Essentially, though, it falls to each person to determine his/her own course of action.  The Blame Game may be mildly salving, for a day or so, then the confusion sets in, as one sees no progress.

When I last found myself really foundering, I had to set concrete steps for my own recovery.  They involved a mix of travel, social media-journaling, exercise, photography and involvement in the community that I chose as Home Base.  That mix still suits me, and it will long continue.

My hopes for each community that matters in my heart is that strong and good-hearted people will take the lead and show their family, friends and neighbours the way forward.  I want to be there when these communities arise.