What I Keep With Me

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September 30, 2018, Prescott-

I stayed home, most of the day.  Only a breakfast with fellow American Legionnaires and a trip to the laundromat, took me outside these four walls.  It was a day of reflection, lots of reading of blog posts that were inspirational and a lot of thinking about what lies ahead.

I know that I will work for at least the rest of this academic year, though some have warned me that health is an issue.  I am taking proactive steps, in that regard, because not being a nuisance to my family and friends is a top priority. Also, I am useful in my current post- and will provide continuity in the next academic year, if certain other personnel changes occur.

There will be changes in my family, also.  Therefore, I need to maintain a flexibility, with regards to 2020, and beyond.  I can’t say anything specific, just that my heart is delighted with news that I have received from some family members and solemnified, with the status of one of my in-laws.

Today would have been Penny’s 64th birthday. I got past the maudlin renditions of the Paul McCartney song, and pondered all that she still gives me, on a daily basis, in terms of insights and guidance.   So, I keep her with me- the small cameo photo, that goes on road trips, the framed photos and small 3 x 5’s that are prominent in the living room and the wedding photo that remains in the bedroom.  I keep her thoughts and her feelings about things we discussed, sometimes argued but never let get between us, for more than an hour or so. I keep her smile and her gentle singing voice. I keep her undying love.

The Fast: Day 5- Patience

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March 6, 2018,Prescott-

The realm can try and exhaust, one’s patience.

In times of light and darkness, though, patience

is exactly what must be summoned.

Some young ones push their elders,

and one another, to the limit.

Others are pushed to their limits,

by their elders.

What does one do,

on a day of fasting,

when challenges are tossed about,

like water balloons?

It becomes meditation time,

reflection upon the whims and fancies

of his own youth.

Seeing the way forward

to be one of forbearance,

he returns from the meditation time,

that supplants lunch during the Fast,

and vows to neither be tested

by others or be a test to them.

The Fast: Day 4- Forbearance

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March 5, 2018, Prescott- 

We give and receive a fair amount of unpleasantness in this life.  My usual response to scowling and irritable people is to get through the encounter, with a minimum of retort, if any and to minimize my contact with them in the future.

This may be a good survival tool, but it is not what will bring about unity.  I have thus made a fair effort to welcome such people, when they have crossed my path, over the last few months, and at least hear their story.

Some others have been forbearing with me, over the years, and I appreciate that, as it’s never been my object to discomfit or cause harm to anyone.  When I have managed to make a mess of things, reflection brings to mind this intense song. https://groovelily.bandcamp.com/track/lightning-the-tree

DISCLAIMER:  I never hurt my late wife, unlike the character in the song.  I am merely referring to the concept of thoughtless behaviour, in general.

What’s In Our Words

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November 24, 2014, Prescott-  This is, for an educator, the shortest “work week” of the academic year.  Most schools have two days, before Thanksgiving break.  It’s also my birthday week, and this year, I turn 64 on the day after Thanksgiving.  People are given to calling that day, “Black Friday”, as its sales receipts are supposed to put retail businesses “in the black”.  A sad trend has some stores shortening, or foregoing, the Thanksgiving holiday for their employees/associates.  One retail outlet even refers to the most important family holiday of the year as “Black Thursday”.  Shameful, this.

Words matter.  I have had the tendency, much of my life, to be “in the brain, out the mouth.”  I could blame this on my autism, and it is probably what has caused this series of  faux pas.  My late wife spent the best years of her life coaching me out of this emotional trough.  Discretion and sobriety were the most valuable gifts she imparted to me, through three decades of steadfast love.  I have stumbled and bumbled on occasion, in the three years, seven months since her passing.  Good people have been hurt, and I have done myself no favours with these missteps.

The purpose of life, though, is to transcend.  We overcome pain, move out of  false comfort zones, learn new skills, make new friends and often keep the old.  In all of this, a successful effort brings one closer to the Source of all life.  I am slowly on the upward path, with my beloved spirit guide urging me on, in matters large and small.

Our words ought to represent reflection, thought, and most crucially, love.  What comes from our mouths, our pens, our keyboards can either build or shatter.  So, while it’s a fine thing to be ever honest, in our dealings with those near and far, it pays to remember that no one really wants to be shattered, knocked down or left out.  Honesty and kindness are not mutually exclusive.  Have a fine Monday, my friends.