Righting the Ship

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February 23, 2020-

So, I got back to Home Base around 4 a.m., doing what is customary, under such circumstances: Sleeping for three hours.  It was then time to shower and do devotions, as always, and head off to the American Legion, for the last breakfast I will have with the mates, for a month or so-as my final physical Fast is approaching (March 1-19, this year).  A devotional meeting followed, in Prescott Valley, for which I was actually quite mentally present.

More sleep took up early afternoon, thus righting my physical/mental ship.  Among other things, the illness that lingered, for nearly two weeks, is finally gone.  Maybe the exercise, of pushing myself to do the long round trip to/from Indio, was exactly what was needed to push the remnants out.  Sometimes, counter-intuitive is the way to go.

At last night’s concert, Sheryl took a few minutes to engage the audience, as to who in the crowd was in their thirties, forties and fifties, the last being her own age group.  She asked how many were still having fun, in their fifties-as she certainly is.  A goodly number gave a rousing response.   That’s gratifying; people ought to enjoy life, at any age.  She didn’t ask US-those in our sixties and beyond, but I am, my row mates (also in their sixties) and the seventy-somethings, who were seated across the aisle, seemed to be having a great time of it, as well.

So, on we go. This coming week brings Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday/Lent and, for us Baha’is, Ayyam-i-Ha (the Intercalary Days of feasting and gift-giving, before our Fast begins, a week from today).

May it be a great run-up to Leap Day!

 

Sheryl Crow

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February 22, 2020, Indio-

I have promised myself that this year, besides being my last year of full-time work, will be focused on the arts (especially music), honouring First Nations and reaching out to the rising generations as an ally.

With that in mind, some time ago, I accepted an online invitation from the singer Sheryl Crow, through her publicist, to attend a concert in this revitalized city on the eastern edge of California’s Colorado Desert. It’s been forty-eight years since I attended a performance by a musical A-Lister (1972, Harry Chapin).  Since Sheryl is one whom I follow on Facebook, it was a natural choice.

Making the trip resulted in not attending more spur-of-the-moment performances by local artists, back in Prescott, but I do spontaneous events back at Home Base,, all the time.  A major recording artist, or any touring musician, has to book venues and make plans, in consultation with the band and staff, well in advance.

Indio, over time, has had the good sense to nurture resort tourism, especially with the lucrative music festival in nearby Coachella becoming huge, on the concert calendar.  Fantasy Springs Resort is owned and operated by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians.  With its golf course, casino and three-star hotel, the sparkling resort attracts top-flight entertainers.

Though the show started late, so as to give the audience’s many stragglers time to get seated, I felt I got my money’s worth, and I had a great seat-in the front and to the left of the stage. Had I been a bit less shy, I might have made a new friend of the comely lady sitting, and at one point dancing, alone on the other side of the stairway, but I was  primarily there for my friend’s music.  Excuses, excuses.

Sheryl and her band put on a rousing, energizing show, with her major pop hits of the past three decades and, reassuringly, her new material.  She included a couple of songs on which she had collaborated with the Eagles’ Joe Walsh, known for his unique high-pitched voice, as well as his intense guitar licks.  The lead guitarist emulated Joe’s command of the instrument, whilst a rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist nailed Joe’s vocal style.  All of the guitarists, including Sheryl,  also showed mastery of the keyboards, as they moved from one great delivery to another.

The nicest thing about bands like this is the sense of family.  Sheryl is the head of the group, but is no prima donna.  They are appreciative of  the audience, but there is no pandering- the band took no breaks and at the end of the one hundred five- minute set, there was a heartfelt thank you extended to the audience, the band left the stage and the road crew began dismantling the equipment-no gratuitous encore.  A recording of Sheryl’s past concert material filled the air, as we filed out. Ten o’clock is late enough for everyone involved in  putting the show together, to get their work done, and get their deserved rest.

The one aspect of the trip that had concerned me, returning to Prescott for tomorrow’s morning events, would turn out to be quite routine.  In the meantime, and always, I can say with a couple of other, very vocal, concert-goers:  I love you, Sheryl!

 

Retrograde

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February 21, 2020-

It is said that, at certain times of the year, the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards, or is in retrograde.  This is, of course, poppycock, but the illusion does have an effect on people, in the areas of relationships, transportation and finance.  People will use this illusion as an excuse to take negative actions, or to not take any action at all.  Sometimes, the latter is actually advisable, especially if life seems to be moving at too fast a pace.

I find winter, in general, as a good time to slow the pace a bit.  For me, that generally means staying, for the most part, within the bounds of my county of residence.  A couple of trips out of the area, last weekend to Yuma and tomorrow to Indio, to take in a Sheryl Crow concert, are exceptions to that, these past two months.  Energy has taken a back seat and my concentration has been mostly on boosting my immune system.

The retrograde gets credence from all the illness that has circled around our community-and many other parts of the country and the world.  I would make a humble suggestion, though:  Let us use the time to quietly connect and do manageable projects, both individually and in groups.  There will be time enough for the grand and far-reaching, in the fullness of spring and summer.