Can and Will

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January 5, 2019, Prescott-

I woke up this morning, my legs stiff from yesterday’s hike, and hit upon the idea of high stepping, as a way of loosening the joints.  It worked and my left knee feels mobile and, I dare say, good as new.  Many of our difficulties with aging come from disuse, or improper use, of our parts.  That’s not the whole shebang, but it does have a lot to do with quality of life, as the years roll on- and I fully intend to go for the maximum.

This evening, I went to watch a silly Transformers film, mainly because the story line was about a teenager in whom no one believed.  Such people have been my heart, for so long, that I wanted to see the predictable triumph over self and others, which doesn’t always happen in real time.  She fixed a car and made a friend-the rest falling into place, haphazardly, but nicely.

Other films coming up will feature women who stand tall and beat oppressors.  This has always been important to me, that both boys and girls know they can go the distance and reach whatever heights to which they aspire-so long as they take life’s setbacks and turn them into comebacks.

Five years ago, this June, I visited  the tower where Jeanne d’Arc was imprisoned and  stood on the spot where she was immolated.  Today, no one gives much thought to the fact that the leader of French resistance to foreign rule was a peasant woman.  She is seen as simply having been a leader.

No human, who stands for what is in the heart and does the work necessary to accomplish deeply-cherished goals, is doomed to failure.

The Road to 65, Mile 119: Sunshine In A Box

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March 27, 2015, Prescott-  I had a fascinating interview today, with the director of a Waldorf School.  He asked me to choose between committing to a full-time position, immediately and continuing to substitute, while filling in for a three-week period, during the month of May.

I chose the latter, mostly because I want to immerse myself in the Waldorf Method, which does look fascinating, to a holistic educator, before jumping into a shallow pool head first, as it were.  I have a lot to offer this school and others.  There will be several meetings between this gentleman and I, over breakfasts and lunches, as he wants to hear more about the Baha’i Faith and to exchange views on historical processes.  Yet, I want to be prepared, in terms of methodology.

My presentations in May will be on Mohammad, of Whom I have read a fair amount and on Jeanne d’Arc, whose historical sites in Rouen are proximate to those of my paternal lineage.  There are a wealth of interests and areas which I believe I can contribute, besides.

A woman at our evening devotional, in Chino Valley, remarked that both those we like and those we dislike will be attracted to the light we emit.  This explains a lot that has happened to me, especially recently.  One does not get to pick and choose who is encountered in this life; only what one does with the encounters.  I came very close, today, to severing my ties with the laundry I have been using for the past year, over the owner’s reaction to the hard line I am taking with my former client.  On reflection, though, he’s right:  No one can tell another person how, or where, to live.  We can only choose to support the decision, or to cut the individual loose.  Regardless, one’s sunshine, or one’s venom, cannot be contained in a box, in perpetuity.

Now that those two rather variant topics are off my chest, I will rest well tonight.

An Eastern Homage, Day 18: Tears for St. Joan, and a Long Ride to Amiens

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June 13, 2014, Rouen- It was a bright and sunny morning in Rouen.  I declined breakfast at the hotel, but headed down to Square Verdril, to check on my swan friends.  The cygnets had grown a bit, over the past week.

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They were a bit more amenable to eating the bread I had carried, this time.

That done, I headed to L’Eglise Saint-Maclou, where I chanced upon a couple from Florida.  The husband advised me as to a good, durable money belt, which I picked up at a store, a bit later.

Here is Maclou, from the outside.  The interior was closed.

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On the sidewalk, as I left the church, was an affirmation.  Those who are my faithful readers will not be surprised.

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I drifted down the road a bit,and had a look at the banks of the Seine- as vital to Rouen as it is to Paris.

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Looking back, I realized my time here was getting short.

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So, I went and checked the time- at Le Gros Horloge, the clock tower.

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It was time for one last homage to Jeanne d’Arc.

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I entered Le Donjon, actually a castle built in 1204, for Philippe- Auguste, the first monarch to style himself, King of France.  It became a place of confinement for St. Joan, upon her capture by the forces of English King Henry VI.  It was also where his henchmen forcibly changed her garments into those of a man, which in essence broke her agreement with the monarch.  This gave him the pretext to order her immolation, and the French clergy in his employe carried out the immolation at Vieux Marche, as we have seen.

After mounting these steps,

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I stood alone in front of this mosaic, and felt St. Joan’s presence, offering a connection across the centuries.

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I have felt bonds with the long deceased before- last year, with unnamed soldiers at Gettysburg, two years ago, with long-dead Comanche people in Palo Duro Canyon, and years ago, with Cochise, in the Stronghold that bears his name. These are a bit  beyond the links I feel with departed family and friends, but are very similar.  A recent visitor to Prescott said that, in eternity, one has relationships with those closest to self, then with all those one knows in this life, then with all those who lived during one’s lifetime- and lastly, with all those who have ever lived.  These feelings fall within that last category, even as I am very much in the flesh.

Contemplating her suffering, and her love for God, brought me to tears in that spot.

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She has had many feel the same way, through the centuries.

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I wondered, when entering the last room of her confinement, what went through her mind.  The answer came back- peace, and surety.

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I went outside again, after about twenty minutes, and looked again, at this tower, built to establish the national identity of France, yet used so mockingly by those who sought to bring the country to heel.

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Fittingly, the French have turned the tables, and today this tower is also a memorial to those who  were persecuted during World War II.

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Now, as then, a small cat observes all that transpires.

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My time in this ancient place of origin was done.  I checked out of Hotel Le Morand, waited for about two hours at the train station, and after several minutes of spirited discussion between SNCF officials in Rouen and a union big wig in Paris, it was decided I would proceed to Gare St. Lazare, then go to Gare du Nord, and catch a train to Amiens.  That whole process took three hours, one of which was spent in a Metro car at St. Lazare, while other union bosses pondered whether they would even ALLOW the car to go to Gare du Nord.  My French and African fellow travelers did enough fussing and fuming for all of us, and we were PERMITTED to go, after a full hour.  I got to Amiens in less time than I spent in Paris waiting for the Chef de Travaille to get off his high horse.

Fortunately, the stationmaster’s assistant in Rouen had called my hotel in Amiens, on my behalf, and the dear clerk at Appart’city Amiens stayed at her desk for two extra hours, until four of us arrived from Paris.  As you can see, this hotel is fairly new, still a work in progress, and was the largest hotel in which I stayed on this trip.

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Exhausted, but gratified, I bid adieu to Friday the 13th.

An Eastward Homage, Day 7: A Paris Walkabout- Part 1, Tuileries

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I had started Monday, June 2, intending to tour the Louvre.  Several things transpired which made that not practical for this morning, so I switched Monday’s plan with Wednesday’s.  Thus, I spent 2 1/2 hours on Monday morning, walking Tuileries, the gardens and sculpture areas which were the grounds of the Bourbon dynasty’s Paris place of residence. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were confined here, after the Revolution of 1789.

Confinement is a relative term.  The expanse that is Tuileries fronts a greater expanse, that we know today as the Louvre.  Here are some scenes from this fine garden area.  Actually, this statue of Jeanne d’Arc is across the street from Tuileries.

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The scenes below are in the park, though.

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I thought about not including the sculpture below, after being attacked online, as a “misogynist”, earlier this evening.  You know, though, unless a WOMAN comes on here and says that’s how she sees me, I’m not going to change who I am.  A man calling me “misogynist’ is like a white person calling another white person a racist, or a straight person tripping out on another straight’s “homophobia”.  I’m saying it here, all people are beautiful in the sight of God, and using terms of endearment towards people of the opposite gender is not wrong.  Both genders admire each other’s physical features, and both genders, at least among those of good will, value the WHOLE of another person.  THAT is what I believe;  end of rant.

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This lawn evoked “Alice in Wonderland”.

 

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This grove is indicative of the actual forest of the Bourbons’ time.

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Next, I will share the rest of the walk, at Place de la Concorde, along the Seine and at the Tour Eiffel.