Why We Fight

9

June 5, 2019-

I came back down to Prescott, to support a gathering of friends, being one of the few occasions I am allowing myself to be here, the next two months.  There is, simply put, much I feel I have to do elsewhere-starting with the Junior Youth (Middle-school age) gathering, this weekend, in which I will assist.  Understand that I am taking full ownership of my choices.

The title of the post came about largely in reaction to this week’s slow news item about an ongoing “high level” feud, which I will not dignify by mentioning its specifics.  I am not much of a fighter, for fighting’s sake.  Threats to children and other vulnerable beings are another matter.

I see, though, that there is fair amount of quarreling that takes place.  Fear seems to be the main driver- the old “fight or flight” choice is usually offered. Some fear not being taken seriously.  Others fear the loss of their position or dignity.  Still others fear even the loss of all they value.  I am not cowed by those who act out of fear; neither will I necessarily accede to their demands.  There are ways, through consultation, to remove fear-based decision making.

Ego is another impetus.  If one is given to think of self as some sort of master, then scolding, berating or being otherwise forceful with those around self is the order of the day.  I know of one person,no longer in my life, who has nonetheless recently tried to re-enter, with psychic threats of  otherwise making my life in Prescott so miserable, that I will flee.  None of it will work.  Baha’u’llah once is said to have written that, unless one is so firm in faith, that not even the presence of all one’s enemies, with drawn swords, would cause vacillation, then the soul can not truly call self a true believer.  I accept that, even without knowing the exact source.  Besides, Penny and the other angels in my life are around to see me safely along.

I also accept that my friends and family will only value me, as much as I value them.  The Universe operates on this principle.  Were it not so, the human race would be even more hamstrung by imbalance than we already are.

I want, by patience and remaining present, to eliminate as many of the conflicts in my life as is humanly possible.  Be back when I can, over the next few limited-Internet days.

 

Intensity and Isolation

8

May 15, 2019-

When I first awake, many mornings, I contemplate a feeling of increasing isolation here.  The Western states, especially the Southwest, have an ambiance of anonymity- or perhaps that is just the reality of apartment/ head for the garage and lower the door living, anywhere  This is what greets me, with the dawn.

Once up and at ’em, my social media shows that, from the safe distance of behind the screen, my  friends are with me.  Most have their own agendas and schedules, and I was raised to not intrude on anyone’s space.  I have to appreciate that I have friends at all, so our correspondence is much appreciated.

I tend to be quiet, but also very intense in my feelings.   I tend to care greatly, even about relative “strangers”, but do not often verbalize my caring.  This combination does not always serve me well,  particularly when in certain local restaurants.   Besides,older single men are not received well by everyone, when taking up a table.  This adds to a feeling of isolation, as I have indicated in past posts.  In my own case, though, it’s probably better for my physical health-as the establishments in question offer largely high-calorie fare.

It occurred to me, this morning, that the problem is not so much that I am wearing out my welcome here, as that what I need is to end my own isolated living situation and find a small community of people who support one another, not by appointment or scheduled time, but intentionally, naturally.  This is what I miss about the little team of which I was a part, until April 3.  This is what I miss about the hostels where I stayed last summer; about being with friends and family  in Nevada, Philadelphia,  Florida and  Tennessee; about having been in Korea, a few months ago.  There is no easy answer on the horizon, but I know something will surface.

Nine Tasks

2

January 19, 2019-

Many people make resolutions, the first thing, when the calendar rolls over.  I don’t indulge in that particular practice, knowing that making firm commitments to new practices takes time.

There are nine task areas, labours of love, that have defined my life, since the passing of  Penny, nearly eight years ago.  I will focus today on what these mean, relative to 2019.

1.  Family- With Aram and Yoonhee based in Busan, for at  least the rest of this year, my focuses are: To be in Korea for their sacred wedding ceremony, in March; to tend to such of their needs as can only be addressed on this side of the Pacific; to meet them in the U.S., should they visit here in the summer.

2.  Work- I remain committed to working, during the regular academic year, through at least December, 2020 and no later than May. 2021, depending on the needs of the school, preferably in the High School Autism Program.  Thus, work is a major daily focus through the fourth week of May and from August-December.

3. Faith- No day has gone by, since February 23, 1981, that I have not begun my morning in devotions and a fairly long recitation of prayer.  Service to Baha’u’llah remains  a prime expression of my inner joy and love for humanity.  This year marks the Bicentenary of the Birth of al-Bab (The Gate), Who we revere as both Baha’u’llah’s Herald and His Twin Messenger of God, as al-Bab’s spiritual Dispensation took place from 1844-1853, immediately before the beginning of Baha’u’llah’s.   Their birthdays also fall on two consecutive days, on the lunar calendar.  This year, these are October 29-30, with al-Bab’s  anniversary occurring first. (Historically, Baha’u’llah was born in 1817 and al-Bab, in 1819).  There are also regular Spiritual Feasts and other Holy Days, throughout the year and I  am participating in regular study groups and other activities.

4.  Community Life-  I take part in volunteering on community projects, with the American Red Cross and Slow Food Prescott.  The focuses are on disaster response, home safety, school gardens and,  new this year, food recovery.  These activities largely define my giving back to Prescott and Yavapai County, for having been a large part of my solace, in the Fall of 2011.  The American Legion’s Post 6 celebrates its 100th anniversary, in May, and I will have a part to play in that celebration.

5. Writing- Blogging and journaling have also been critical to my inner healing, even in the midst of my caretaking, in 2008-11.   They remain an integral part of who I am, and so Word Press, with its being extended to Facebook and Linked In, remains my primary means of self-expression, through this year and beyond.  I also maintain a pen and ink private journal.

6, Hiking-  This has been a huge lifelong pastime, pretty much since I was old enough to walk.  Since I’ve been old enough to take off on my own, without getting into trouble, many trails and paths, from my native Massachusetts to the desert Southwest, Colorado, southeast Alaska, Korea and northwestern Europe have seen my bootprints.  This year, my focuses will be on further segments of the Maricopa Trail, at least two visits to the Grand Canyon, more beach walks in southern California, Fall hikes in Utah and the Navajo Nation, and several walks with Aram and Yoonhee, whilst in Korea.

7. Travel-  This has also long been one of my passions, often dovetailing with hiking.  The Korea trip will take me to Gwangju and Jeju, as well as Busan.  Prior to that, will be a Presidents’ Day weekend visit to southern California, hopefully connecting with friends in Orange County and the San Diego area-with La Jolla, Dana Point, San Clemente and possibly Crystal Cove being on the itinerary.

June and July largely hinge on my little family’s schedule.  Carson City, in late May, is a given, with a new extended family member having been born, this past week.  A 1-2 week visit to the Northwest, Vancouver Island/Sunshine Coast and southeast Alaska is likely-as is the now customary jaunt through the Midwest to New England and back through the mid-South.

October (Fall Break) will find me in Monument Valley and southeast Utah- returning to Capitol Reef and Natural Bridges, as well as the Goosenecks of the San Juan River.  Christmas, God-willing, will see a return to Massachusetts.

8. Diet and Exercise- Planet Fitness and our daily Adaptive Physical Education regimen have largely provided my continuity as a healthy physical specimen.  Stretches at home have also proven critical, as I recovered from a posterior knee strain, over the past ten weeks.  Things are 99% back to normal and I want to keep it that way- up to, and maintaining, 100%.  I am cutting back on coffee consumption, not out of any pressure, but because my body tells me that’s what it wants.  Less red meat is also finding its way onto my plate-and what there is, is certified grass-fed and organic.  A greater percentage of my diet being of vegetables, fruits and whole grains is on tap for this year, as well.  Yes, I will drink more water-that’s not an empty statement. Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, including Lifelong Vitality Supplements, are a continual source of sustenance.

9. Study-  My mind is always looking to keep current with advances in health, trends in positive thought and expanding my awareness of subjects in which I have scant knowledge- as well as continual study of Baha’i texts and new correspondence. This will continue, as 2019 progresses.

This is a longer post than usual, but there you have my year’s plan.

 

 

 

Peace and Love Award

9

April 7, 2018, Prescott-

IMG_20180306_001403_504

Although I don’t do awards, I will thank those who award me and answer their questions, on this site.  Thanks to- https://wordpress.com/post/patrickrealstories.wordpress.com/1190, for this nomination.  I am not good at hyperlinking, but do visit Patrick’s Stories.

 

What is your earliest childhood memory ?

I was two, and my sister, then an infant, was crying in our shared crib.

What is your favorite social media site?

This one (WordPress)

Where would you spend your Christmas, if you have a million dollar offer from BILL GATES ?(funny)

Tuscany

What is your best musical instrument?

None, actually.  I am a tiny bit okay, playing a flute.

What is your favourite cartoon?(weird)

Arthur

2018 and the Four F’s

15

January 5, 2018, Prescott-

I have addressed the new year, in terms of where I might go, and such.  In terms of the Now, however, any new year is best approached by looking at the Four F’s of one’s life: Family, Friends, Faith and Finances.

So, let’s do this.

Family-  I have to be at the ready, always, for any changes that happen in my large and cherished family.  As with anyone, I need to be ready for births, deaths and any dire emergency in between.  Right now, the radar screen shows my niece’s wedding, in June. May peace reign, in the interim.  My family goal this year, though, remains more regular communication with all.  Social media takes up much of that slack, and I am already engaged in writing a traditional letter to my mother, every 1-2 weeks.  A similar letter, to my eldest brother, goes out once a month, and he follows my online postings.  The same is true of my son.

Friends- There is someone who I consider my best friend, and to whom I would devote as much time as she needs.  She is a busy soul, though, so up to now, that time has not amounted to a whole lot.  There are many others, from my fellows in Faith, my co-workers and people, from three blocks away, to Zimbabwe and Siberia, for whom I would give my life. I have two caveats:  Please do not call or message me, randomly, and get offended when I don’t have time for a social call- deferred attention is always an option. Secondly, not buying a product you have for sale or endorsing a mass message you are promoting on Facebook Messenger does not mean I don’t care about you.  Conversely, if you don’t take up my cause, I will still regard you as a friend.  Visiting goes by the same rules.  I will always call or message, in advance, when headed your way.  Right now, a visit to a friend in Orange County, CA is in the works and there may be several more, between here and Philadelphia, come school year’s end.

Faith- My day starts with meditation, prayer and recitation of a sacred verse.  Faith, though, has to be reflected in everything one does, especially with regard to other people.  So, my work, my driving, my business transactions, even my leisure activities, are approached with Baha’i principles in mind.  I am no saint, but the Golden Rule is ever present.  I will have many activities brought to my calendar, faith-wise, this year, and as with concerns with family, so do I need to be ready and flexible on my schedule, to prioritize Baha’i activities, when they directly impact the spiritual well-being of the community.  This afternoon, and this coming Sunday, are examples of short-notice gatherings, for which I am able to be ready.  I anticipate many more.

Finances-  Given my temperament, this area has long been my weak spot.  I am giving it a lot more attention, and being coached financially is one reason why I am choosing to wake earlier each day. I fully intend to grow my estate, given looming events, for which one is normally expected to have a fair amount of cash on hand.  The main thing is that I have put a scarcity mentality behind me, and will persevere in the coming months, in building more short-term security.  I tended to possible elder care needs, at Penny’s behest, while she was still alive.  I am also very well-insured.

The Four F’s being much on my mind, this should be a fabulous year.

Weeds, and Craziness

5

April 23, 2017, Prescott-

I spent a good part of today

dealing with weeds.

The thing about weeds is

they need to be pulled out,

by the roots,

and attention needs to be paid,

to the seed pods,

much as is paid to nits,

when ridding a person,

or animal,

of lice.

I got a vote of confidence,

this afternoon,

from one of the few

living father figures,

still in my life.

He thinks, sight unseen,

that she is worth my while.

At the age of ninety-three,

though, there is much

that is seen,

through the inner eye.

I won’t drive her crazy,

that’s for sure.

At my age,

things happen at

a reasonable pace,

even in matters of the heart;

at least,

that’s how it seems to me.

Speaking of craziness,

a man with a gun

went way overboard,

engaging our city’s Finest,

for several hours.

No reports of injuries or deaths,

yet.

“Shooter in custody”,

is what we hear.

Local media is silent,

but  not social media.

Why do competing

personalities

have to

choose a time like this

to bicker

over who’s accurate?

Craziness, indeed.

 

 

Flat’s Where It’s At?

17

April 11, 2017, Prescott-

I opened my social media today,

to see a Flat Earther posting

that there is, in fact, no gravity.

He posits that the person walking

across the Earth will meet only

a sharp, high cliff, at the end of his journey.

The Sun is, according to this latter day sage,

a bright little ball that serves Mother Earth,

around which it revolves,

from a scant sixty thousand feet up.

I have two questions:

Is there a hotel, at each end point?

When will Sun tourism begin, and might we just float up there?

(This is, for the hyper-serious, a bit of levity, in the wake of the Flat Earth Society’s recent postings, on various Facebook sites.)

 

Sixty-Six for Sixty Six,Part XIII: Civility

4

March 4, 2017, Camp Verde-  I began the day, helping with a Red Cross Home Safety activity, in a neighbourhood near the main fire station, in this town that lies over the Black Mountains and some forty-five miles east of Prescott. We worked with town firemen, installing smoke detectors along a street that abuts the fire station.  As I had done a similar task, late last year, in Sedona, the event today went very smoothly.  The firemen are also past masters at installing the devices, which made it smoother still.

After that, I took a couple of hikes, one along the Verde River, at Clear Creek Day Use Area and the other in Copper Canyon, which lies southwest of Camp Verde.  More about each of those, tomorrow.

Today, though, comes the matter of civility. We have, before us, a sitting President accusing his immediate predecessor of conducting surveillance on his signature office building and residence, during the brouhaha that masqueraded as an election campaign. Said predecessor, speaking through his aides, denies the accusations. Time, and investigation, will, of course show who is being truthful here.

We are in the throes of incivility, and have been, for some time now.  Consider:  It was four years ago, last December, that 26 people were slain in an elementary school.  Two days after the carnage, unknown militants threatened to kill both the survivors of those victims AND a man who had taken other children into his home, and reunited them with their parents.  The trolls were insisting that all the above were part of a Federal conspiracy to confiscate weapons from private citizens. Never mind that seven of those families were headed by members of the National Rifle Association, and owned weapons.

Consider:  Survivors, loved ones, of American military heroes, have been, and are still being, attacked by uncivil people-of both Alt-Right ( in the case of the Khan family) and Far-Left (in the case of Karenn Owens) political bent.

Consider:  Trash-talking by adults about, and towards, children is almost de rigeur, online and in the check-out lines of stores; in public and, no doubt, in trusting private.  Children have been treated like mini-adults, by the media, for some time (Children of colour, in particular, are most often referenced by surname, in the mainstream media).  Many parents, citing “freedom of speech”, are following suit.

The way adults treat one another is often little better; thus, the reverse role models, who give kids the notion that no level of profanity, no level of insult, is too extreme.  To the innocent mind, this seems like a perfectly acceptable way to be taken seriously, and thus, filth streams out of many children’s mouths.

I was raised to be civil, and I know I am far from alone. Anonymity is cited as the reason for road rage, Internet trolling, stalking, and bullying of all stripes.  It is not valid.  We can see those at whom we honk horns or flip the bird, and whose vehicles we tailgate or cut off.  We can read the responses, see the fear or sadness of those we attack on social media.  We can feel the trepidation and notice the unease of those we try to intimidate.  The bully knows what is being done.

It all goes back to our self-image.  If, deep down, one doesn’t feel he/she matters, then no one else matters, either.  The fact is, each of us does matter, or we wouldn’t be here.  Each of us does have a mandate to be civil- regardless of the false mirrors we see on television, in the movies, on stage and the messages we hear on radio or see online.  Each of us could learn from those whose opinions differ from ours, because each of us has a portion of the truth, within our psyches.

Each of us could choose to be civil.