Tangential, Part 1

15

September 8, 2018, Prescott- 

This morning, on a visit to Prescott Farmers Market, I spent a few minutes sitting on a bench, near where the  guest musician was playing an acoustic version of Outkast’s “Hey Ya”, accenting the powerful words of the sometime party tune.

I began to get caught up in the presence of his delightful little family, noting his daughter’s interaction with a another little girl, about her age.  As I smiled at a nearby vendor’s waving and goofing around with the singer’s infant son, the mother looked at me quizzically and I gave her the  proper explanation, as to what was happening, before excusing myself and going off to finish my purchases for the day.

I was challenged, earlier this morning, as to having been short and to the point, in my communications of late.  Simply put, I felt a lot of pressure this week, especially at work, with hard things happening to my team members, and a difficult person inserting herself into the classroom mix.  I have no problems, in particular, with the person who sent the message this morning.  We each are highly intuitive, but intuition, on a human level, is not foolproof.  One’s own fears and challenges get mixed in, invariably.  I take my own intuition with several grains of salt, and end up doing the same with other people’s observations, regarding my life.

Prescott Farmers Market, and the local Planet Fitness franchise, are places I frequent.  I notice that, with one or two exceptions, the management team in each of these places tend to keep me (though not their favoured few) at arm’s length, most likely for good reason-but what that reason has to do with me, specifically, I’m not sure.   Conversely, having the managers of a given establishment be my well-wishers is not why I avail myself of its services.  The Market does have several stalls, where I am on good terms with the vendors and can chat for several minutes, without the emotional door slamming in my face. The gym provides me with a reliable set of full-body machines and the incomparable Hydrobed, a next-gen version of the Ceragem massage bed that we had, in the Phoenix house.  Besides, the manager’s front desk assistants are uniformly more personable, and actually seem happy to see people come in, who are less than buff.

This leads me, again, to the whole culture of anonymity that seems to pervade the urban American West.  This puzzles me.  No one really seems to enjoy living as if under siege, but each of us does it, to some degree.  I have made some headway, walking to and from downtown and Yavapai College, and joining in more group activities, especially in the past two years.

I am approaching a crossroads, of sorts, which I had hoped would not be imminent until at least Autumn, 2020.  Still very much hoping to complete this academic year in one piece, the difficult academic specialist aside, I go to work each day and give it my best.  Still hoping to be of value to my Baha’i and other communities, I am a regular at scheduled and spontaneous events.  Still hoping to keep my head above water, I listen, carefully, to the voices of both support and of criticism, to glean the necessary lessons.

Part 2:  Affirmations and expectations

 

Chapter 67

12

November 28, 2017, Prescott-

Two events occupied my time, this evening,

even as a creeping fatigue occupied my body.

The first was a  tableau of non-profit organizations,

one of which I am deeply connected:  Prescott Farmers Market.

The two young ladies who oversee it are like daughters to me,

never mind that their own fathers are fine men.

I made contact with several other NPO’s.

One was represented by a man with a handshake like a vise-grip.

He’s occupied with reaching out to fatherless boys,

so that grip is a good thing.

Another was represented by a man whose mind was elsewhere.

I spent a few minutes with him, anyway.

An hour later and eight miles away,

I joined an interfaith devotional.

The hostess served up a German chocolate cake,

complemented by another friend’s homemade Green Tea ice cream.

The hostess led a singalong,

which, to me, is best spent listening to her megaton voice.

“Happy Birthday”, though, was a genuine group effort.

I was starting to fade,

when it came my duty to cut the cake,

and was gently reminded of this.

Fade-out didn’t hit, full force,

until my head hit the pillow,

forty minutes after I bid my friends

thank you and good night.

Chapter 67 began

with a reminder of how much

I’m loved here,

and how fallible we each remain.

A Chrysanthemum Morning

2

October 21, 2017, Prescott-

This was a crisp, cool respite from the ongoing summer onslaught.

Coffee came before, and after, a Farmers’ Market breakfast,

of quiche, and a lamb samosa.

My favourite cold brew purveyors have taken to the wind.

Jonathan Best was there, though, bouncing the air around,

and waking up the mountains, with his enormous energy.

Becky was there, too, with her mother, Bonnie,

and Dalke Farms’ unique toffee bar.

A comely lady was selling gourds and squashes.

I picked up an acorn squash, and a small gourd.

I will get more gourds, next weekend,

with a view towards a painting project,

on Halloween.

The last stop was the Whipstone stall,

and chrysanthemums will grace this afternoon’s

commemoration:

The 198th anniversary of the Birth of Al-Bab,

Herald to  the Light of the World.

 

 

 

Passages and Markers

6

September 10, 2016, Prescott- This was a day of gatherings and  of paying attention to “urgent” messages.  I have learned that the latter is usually a matter of perception.  The former is how we survive and thrive, as a species.

I made my usual visit to the Prescott Farmer’s Market, buying a bit more than usual, so as to bolster the contents of my evening healthy shake.  A trip over to a yard sale, organized by Baha’i friends, gave me a chance to pick up some books and other items that should capture the interest of the children in my care.

Then it was off to a memorial service for John A. Mortimer, about whom I wrote, two weeks ago.  The chapel service was solemn and done with military honours.  I found it touching and lovely.  The gathering at our American Legion Post, afterwards, was packed, as befits his memory.  One who fully lives, until the age of 96, is unlikely to be bid farewell, without fanfare.

John had the full send-off, and 87 or so people gave him all the love and respect he had earned.

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The above was part of the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landing, June 6, 2014.

Today is my mother’s birthday.  No one has been, and is, more of an influence as to how I have turned out as an adult than Lila Mae Kusch Boivin.  She it was, who kept after me to pay attention to my surroundings, to be proactive, to not use my affliction as a crutch, to not wait for an invitation to be of help to those around me.  She it was, who did everything on my behalf- from getting after a hard-edged teacher and a know-it-all school counselor, when she felt they were failing to meet my needs, to seeing that I didn’t wallow in self-pity, on any one of a dozen occasions in my adult life, not the least, when my beloved wife passed to the next plane.   On all the occasions when she thought I was tuning her out, it turns out that I was actually storing all that instruction, and have put it to full use, ever since.  She it is, who is behind my survival and relative success.

She wants to live on, fully, and no one is more behind her on this, than yours truly.  Happy 88th, dearest Mother. (My nephew is conveying our collective sentiments, in this photo of three years ago.)

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Labour Day Saturday

6

September 3, 2016, Prescott-  How does one go about a fine day, with a cash shortage until Wednesday?  Well, I made sure there was plenty of food in the house, with a brief visit to the wonderful Prescott Farmers’ Market. A long-standing pile of recycling was divvied-up, among its various recipients.  A large pile of laundry  found cleanliness. I also paid off overdue bills from summer, the last period I will ever be without a steady flow of cash.  Of course, there will be a short few days of adjustment, as different ones present their charges, between now and the 7th.  That means one more windfall for the bank, but no matter- it’ll be the last such one.  I will tell  them not to spend it all in one place.  After the 7th of September, all’s well again.

My word is the most important thing.  I will go to the greatest of lengths to keep a promise.  That has meant other forms of deprivation, (social and with regard to time).  It all pays off in the end, when others keep their word to me.  I have, in any case, resolved to never again repeat the reneging on a promise, such as we had to execute in March, 2010.  Six months from this coming Saturday, my atonement from that broken promise will be complete.

Tonight found me at Planet Fitness, with a nearly empty exercise area.  It’s helping greatly; the belly that was getting ample over the summer is again shrinking steadily.  Of course, my return to regular hiking will also keep things in check, as will a renewed sense of portion control and no longer giving in to others pushing desserts on me, so that they themselves don’t feel guilty about indulging.  We could all do better, in that regard.

Tomorrow, I will enjoy two gatherings with friends, but then will come a climb up Juniper Mesa, and my first night hike in a couple of years.

 

The Road to 65, Mile 162: Illuminate

0

May 9, 2015, Granite Dells- Today was an unusually busy, productive day, for a Saturday.  The large Prescott Farmer’s Market opened today, at Yavapai College.  It’s several booths larger than last year.  I spent about forty minutes there, with a couple of friends, buying one a half-dozen poppies that were poised to open, after she admired them.

The afternoon featured a two-hour organizational meeting for Hope Fest 2015, a faith-based effort to help the homeless, the victims of domestic violence, and those in recovery from addiction.  We will have the event here on October 3.  I won a T-shirt and sat for a five-minute videotaped interview, which I haven’t done before.  My role on festival day will most likely be running errands (handling emergencies) and taking displays down, after it’s over.

I bought a new camera.  My Samsung 5X gave up the ghost, after four years and over 3,000 photographs.  My new camera is also a Samsung Digital, and is a 21X.  I have enough time to learn its features, before heading northwest.  Tomorrow may be a Sedona day, unless service calls.

The evening was spent again at Heaven On Earth, with new friends Happy and Johnny hosting a preview of the Illuminate Film Festival.  The Festival features thought-provoking films and will be in Sedona, May 27-31.  I’ll be in the Seattle area then, so tonight was a fine substitute for the actual event.  There was a fairly large crowd, about forty people, and after we enjoyed vegan hors d’oeuvres, the organizers of the Festival presented eight movie trailers, each with a rather deep theme.

We are told, in several sacred texts, and oral traditions of indigenous peoples, that in the “last days, all that is dark shall be made light”.  Illuminate does not just deal with the wretched acts of the rich and powerful, but those of the less well-to-do, also.  It addresses matters of altered states of consciousness and of expanded spiritual and cognitive awareness  The evening was time well-spent, among many inquiring minds.  If anyone reading this is interested, check:  www.illuminatefilmfestival.com.