Putting My Foot Down

9

May 16, 2018, Prescott-

You say the only reason I am

involved with things

that don’t involve you,

is because I want to hide

from you.

You say the fact that

I do things that

are not directly

involved with matters

of faith

is because faith

is not my priority.

You say these things

and you are

just

plain

wrong.

Faith is my life.

You are not my overseer.

Faith is my life,

and I will work,

volunteer,

engage with community,

commune with nature,

travel the roads I choose,

with faith in my heart.

That heart soars, and

my feet are firmly on the ground.

Blame

6

March 30, 2017, Prescott-

Some brief observations,

after a long day.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Humans seek to fill a void,

any void,

with whoever, or whatever,

is nearby.

If a child leaves a classroom,

program administrators cast about,

for another child to fill the slot.

No vessel can hold more than capacity.

If a human psyche is filled to rage,

it explodes, at the nearest target.

A system seeks to perpetuate itself,

even if it is unwieldy, inefficient,

and uncaring.

People are dismissed,

others enter, stay a while,

and are themselves dismissed.

I’ve seen this, each time I have been let go.

My successors have fared no better.

The present situation is not a crash and burn,

yet.

We have a few miles to go, on the treadmill.

Year’s end will tell a lot, about everyone involved.

Contentment

7

December 13, 2016, Prescott-

I will be sending my cards, and a few gifts, out on Thursday evening or Friday.  It will be cutting things close, but this year, I have chosen responsibility over sentiment. Besides, I need to buy a new printer.  Toys for Tots, NAU (my alma mater) and the young people of Streetlight will also need to wait until then.

I am happy, overall, with how my life has panned out, this year.  I am in a position of very intense public service, have a solid circle of friends, am reasonably respected in my community of residence, and have been able to maintain my health and vitality.

My son is holding his own, and getting ready for a great leap of faith and fortune, early next year.  My family, mostly in Massachusetts and Florida, with several scattered in other parts of the country, has been mostly healthy, this year.  I lost two aunts and a cousin,thus far, in the course of 2016. I also saluted an elder who inspired me greatly, as he headed to God’s Eternal Army.

My other love, Nature, rewarded me with a complete hiking circle around this beautiful city, and I have come to the final three segments of an amazing trek through the Sonoran Desert:  Dec. 26-27, and January 6, will find me in the southern sector of Black Canyon National Recreation Trail.  The 19 men who perished while fighting a wildfire in Yarnell, on June 30, 2013, have a memorial place, in Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park.  I will visit that place, on December 29, making my way along the 7-mile round trip trail that brings the visitor to the place where this unspeakable tragedy unfolded.

This year has brought tension, annoyance and suffering to many, perhaps more than in some years, and less so, for others.  I am grateful for having had relatively good fortune, while being prepared, should challenges come my way, in 2017.  A stable job, re-connecting with some friends who have been off my radar for a few years, and good, if too brief, visits with family, give a good backdrop for whatever might lie ahead.

 

The Road to 65, Mile 296: Where I Stand, Part 2

2

September 19, 2015, Prescott-  For the next several posts, I will be centering my comments on 16 principles, developed by Four Worlds International Institute, in Surrey, BC.  It is led by a man for whom I have a lot of respect:  Hereditary Chief Phil Lane, Jr., of the Blackfoot Nation.  All quotes herein are from the document, The Fourth Way:  An Indigenous Contribution to Building Sustainable and  Harmonious Prosperity in the Americas, Update, October 2008.

Nobody asked me to do this, but I share both genetic memories and spiritual values with the Aboriginal Peoples of the Americas, specifically with the Penobscot Nation, of central Maine.  There is no barrier between us, except those that people choose to put between each other.  So, let me begin.

Principle 1: “Human Beings Can Transform Their Worlds. The web of our relationships with others and the natural world, which has given rise to the problems we face as a human family, can be changed.” –  

The author, savant and change agent, Star Hawk, has written that, for Man to regard himself as divorced from nature, is an arrogant mindset.  In fact, we in our physical state are very much connected to the rest of Nature.  It’s pretty much a given, to me, that each and every thing we do in this life is a matter of choice.  Some choices are more difficult than others, but they still need to be made.  So, with regard to relationships with others, we can choose to respond to people, or to ignore them.  I have found that I can only ignore those who irritate or are disagreeable to me for just so long, before one or the other of us presses for a resolution. The converse is also true.

How much more is this true, with regard to nature.  One can, in the name of stockholder profits, order the spewing of poisons into the atmosphere, water and soil, for just so long, before the toxins find their way into the Web of Life- with cancer, dementia and neurological ills becoming pandemic.  One may, in the name of Science, release Genetically-Modified Organisms into the food chain, while demanding that the rest of the planet toe your line, or face crippling litigation.  Then, because living things are just not ready to digest your products and therefore, in the case of humans, RESIST purchasing them or, in the case of scavenging rodents, birds and insects, just IGNORE the stuff, you redouble your efforts, getting shills to write articles that ridicule those who won’t buy GMO’s, and prodding normally thoughtful, even-minded people to jump in the fray and try to analyze the case against your products, with a view towards “talking some sense into those who would starve humanity, for the sake of romanticism.”  Still, the illnesses, and the wreckage, pile up.

My plans, with regard to relationships, are these:

  1.  Accept all offers of friendship, unless and until such offers prove to be based on ulterior motives.
  2. Respect those, online and in real time, who indicate they wish me to not contact them, either for a time, or permanently.
  3. Be a trustworthy person, more than I have been towards some people in the past.
  4. Listen, listen, and listen some more.
  5. Own the mistakes I have made with people, and do better by them , and others.

My plans, with respect to Nature, are these:

1. Tend the seeds I have planted, in my back yard.

2.  Honour animal and plant life, wherever I encounter them.

3.  By all means, continue hiking and other acts of personal exploration, both in my home area and          further afield.

4.  Carry a trash bag in my pack, so that the unwarranted intrusion of the thoughtless may be mitigated.

5.  Recycle, as much as possible, while recognizing that not everyone regards this practice as truly beneficial to the Planet.

I have gone on longer than usual, but these matters are very basic to my human and natural states of being.