The Essentials

2

November 26, 2021, Grapevine- Writing about little stuff, whilst in Texas, is not as much of an oxymoron as one might think. The Lone Star Empire is made up of a mass of minutiae-all of which lend their parts to the legend.

This leads me to the logical codicil to yesterday’s gratitude post: The basic things that warm my heart and keep me going. Here are a dozen such, written Letterman-style:

12. The Cosmos. Any night that at least features the Moon, Jupiter and Venus (at least until February) is a fine one. How much more pleasant is the early morning, with a mass of heavenly orbs! Even the coldest of nights is more comforting, when there are gleaming stars all around.

11. Friends randomly made. The saving grace of seeming inconveniences, like lines, traffic snarls, postponements, crowded conveyances is that they often introduce me to people with whom I may not have anything else, inherently, in common. I recall times, like the three hours spent in the corridor connection of a train going between St. Lo and Paris, in 2014. The families who were huddled there will always be among cherished friends.

10. Friends digitally made. There is a lot of which to be wary, when it comes to social media. One must always be on guard, against the forces of manipulation and invasion of privacy. The upside, though, is the number of potentially close friends who might not have been made, otherwise. I think, especially of five of my closest friends-three women and two men, who were met online.

9. Cozy establishments. Living alone means that gathering spots are important. This is true in my Home Base, and it’s true everywhere I go. A comfortable couch or easy chair, or a well-placed high top table, make for an enjoyable meal, or evening of music.

8. Variety of scenes. The immense number of different landscapes, and seascapes, across the planet, has contributed to my learning and sense of well-being. The same is true of the human landscapes, from crowded cities to isolated farms, ranches and mining sites.

7. Variety of viewpoints. No matter how much I think I know, there is always something to be gained, from encountering a different perspective. Even something that is odious or toxic can, if regarded from a safe distance, show me what NOT to adopt as my own.

6. Health practices. Keeping an open mind about different methods of maintaining stamina and avoiding addiction has led me to a relatively robust autumn of my years. I am ever grateful for those who led me to essential oils and natural supplements.

5. Imagination. My vivid mindset has led me down some crazy rabbit holes, but with the understanding that the way in is also the way out. Imagination leads to creativity, which is often the only key to problem-solving-and God knows, we need that ability, almost on a daily basis.

4. Presence of children and youth. The value of spirited energy to a full life cannot be minimized. Kids have been urgent to my well-being, since I was one, myself. I have never been particularly athletic, but being around team sports and activities has been a tonic. It took me a long time to relax enough, within myself, to take part in group dances, yet when I am among a group of young people who are reveling in their musical surroundings ( except for thing like mosh pits or crowd surges), my body and soul are soaring. The delightful energy and perspectives of children are ever a treasure, even to just watch.

3. Family. From the time I was small, I have liked, as well as loved my parents, grandparents, and siblings. It has not always crystal clear to some, that this is the case, but in my core I stay true to my roots. From family, I have learned that there is always a solution to what life throws at me. Dad, with his emphasis on making responsible choices, and owning them and Mom, with her admonitions about keeping an eye out for opportunity and for loving who I am, are largely responsible for my even being here to this day and time.

2. Spirit guides- Those who have gone on, even those who I never met in the flesh, have looked out for me and constantly send messages. They have prompted me to act, in matters profound and mundane-and have consistently helped me set my path.

1. Faith- This is what ties everything together. All the foregoing items emanate from my faith in a Higher Power, Who I believe has shown us the way to building a unified planet and has been ever guiding Creation in that direction, from the very point in which it was renewed-so many eons ago. All the Spiritual Teachers the human race has ever known emanate from this One Source.

Decade of Change, Decade of Growing

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November 27, 2020, Plano-

Ten years ago, I was saying goodbye-and in many ways, good riddance, to my Fifties-seemingly a time when I was largely all thumbs, but a time when I extended every ounce of caring and compassion towards keeping a dying woman, the love of my life, alive-until the day she was ready to transition to the Spiritual Realm.

The next day, I became the first of my parents’ children to reach the age of sixty, celebrating that evening, with two pizzas delivered by the nearby Papa John’s, and shared with Aram and four of his friends. Penny was not eating much, by then. A week later, my wife, son and I would be joined by my two brothers and a sister-in-law, more fully marking my 60th, at a fine dining establishment, in downtown Phoenix.

Durant’s is still in business, my three living siblings have each reached the age of sixty, Penny has been one of my Spirit Guides for nearly ten years, and Aram has grown into a level-headed, more focused man, with a wife of his own, and a promising future.

What of me, as the start of my eighth decade of earthly life beckons, in a few short hours? How have I spent this decade? I have faced the demons which taunted me, most of my life. I have learned to focus on my work, in a way that I seldom did while I was struggling as a caretaker. I have taken initiatives in serving my Faith, in ways that my younger, more confused self found daunting. I have traveled some, both domestically and internationally, facing my own foibles and overcoming several of them. I have reached out to more people, in more authentic ways, than I ever did as an awkward, introverted soul.

I have learned to embrace growth. When I wake up tomorrow, it will not feel “terribly strange to be seventy”. There are many miles left ahead.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 78: Never Gone

2

August 17, 2020-

My brother woke me from my midday nap. I haven’t seen him, physically, in 26 years. Yet, today, his voice called to me, and I sensed it was to get up and do something, with the rest of my afternoon.

It’s good to have family around, even though I am physically alone, when in the apartment. I can sense Penny, my father, grandparents, in-laws, close uncles and aunts-and dear baby brother.

The President, speaking of his departed younger brother, summed it up- “We’ll see each other again.” Yes, this will be our ultimate affirmation of family. In some cases, people will understand family members better, on the other side. There won’t be any way to have a mud-wrestling match, so they may as well.

I treasure each encounter, each reminder and each little sign- including the animals, flowers, clouds and shaped rocks that I can at least imagine are sent my way-by the beloveds. Then, I hear the neighbours and their evening guests, enjoying the night air-as Paul Simon once sang, “out on the stoop.” I see the kids savouring, seizing, the last few minutes of twilight, on their bikes and boards. I feel the gentle caress on the back of my neck or on the heel of my foot-reassuring me that there is much left for me to do, savour, experience.

I check my e-mails, and there is a deal, from a reputable company, to visit Bhutan-any time in 2022. I’ll give that one a bit of thought, but it does have an appeal to it. I’ll see what the spirit guides have to say.

Whose Laws?

11

May 30, 2019-

I am a law-abiding citizen.

When it comes to the laws of the land,

in which I live,

or the land in which I find myself,

I am very much in synchronicity.

I am a God-fearing soul.

When it comes to the Laws of God,

I am obedient, for therein

lies my safety.

I am connected,

to the messages

of my spirit guides.

When what they tell  me

conflicts with the opinions

of those telling me

to stay put,

lest I be seen as

unwilling to sacrifice,

I go with the spirit guides.

They’ve not failed me.

Last year, my angels

told me to leave the city.

Someone else wanted me

to visit a shrine.

I sought to visit the shrine.

I was robbed.

The angels sighed,

and stayed with me,

bringing friends who

comforted me and

skilled craftsmen,

who repaired the damage.

This year, my guides say

“Go serve, at the beginning

and at the end,

of this summer’s path.

Then, go forward

and be with some of those

who love you,

in other parts

of the nation.”

A voice of discontent

says “Sacrifice your wanderlust.

Stay put!”

My soul knows that

I will be of intense service

here,

when autumn comes,

when winter returns,

when another spring beckons.

For now, in summer,

I belong to the wider country.

There is more sacrifice in this,

than the person

who sees time

on the road,

as a mere break

in the routine,

can ever know.

 

 

 

Heavenly Flow

8

April 21, 2019-

Today brought me close to two faith traditions:  A musical, somewhat relaxed Evangelical Baptist service- which I attended at the invitation of a former co-worker.  I didn’t see her  there, but met up with another former colleague with the Red Cross.  After exchanging pleasantries, I took a seat in the congregation, while he took his place in the choir.  My part was to sing with the rest of those in the congregation, join in greeting those around me, and respond to an occasional call.  I only regret not raising my hand when the pastor asked who believes in the Christ. I do, certainly.  One cannot accept the Message of the Father and discard That of the Son.

At our Baha’i community’s gathering, this afternoon, I joined with about 45 fellows in Faith, to commemorate the first day of Baha’u’llah’s declaring His Mission, even as He and His companions prepared for a long journey overland, from Baghdad to what is now Istanbul.

The message is similar:  None of us is squeaky clean, and God alone can absolve us with Grace.   The sufferings of each Divine Messenger are what free us from our wrongdoings.  Only by acknowledging this, and not wanting to be distant from the Divine, does one progress spiritually.

So, that was my day of spiritual fellowship.  Connection with the Divine, though, is what has eased my path, even when I find myself alone.  In times of uncertainty, as to my course of action, I find my Spirit Guides provide a very clear framework, within which I must make informed choices.

This week, for example, will bring me to Flagstaff, then to the Desert View Tower, at the eastern end of Grand Canyon National Park- honouring the Centenary of that great national entity.  From there, it will be time to honour an old friend, who passed on, last week.  His services will be east of Tuba City, at another lovely locale:  Coal Mine Canyon.  Then, I must return here to Prescott, and look after my own health, with a lab test on Wednesday.   Matters of faith, possible acts of service with the Red Cross, another friend’s birthday party and a presentation by Slow Food-Prescott will fill out the week.

The flow of celestial energy is constant, and bears heeding.

 

 

 

 

 

Another New Dawn

15

March 22, 2018, Prescott-

I got up well before sunrise, as usual, and went about the routine, except that coffee and breakfast waited until after my annual lab work for next Friday’s physical.  I was first in line, so that was an in/out process.

I did something else, with assurance from my spirit guides.  On what would have been my very frugal father’s 91st birthday, I tore up all correspondence from a sweepstakes company and tossed a few other pitches for money that I just don’t have to spare for them.  Dad always honoured his commitments and his obligations, and I walk, as best I can, in his footsteps.  I am assured that all else will follow, as needed.

It was another moment when I got a nice message from a good-hearted new online friend, and pondered my commitments for the rest of this month.  Meditation told me, once again, that my choices are just that, my own.  Nothing can really be imposed on us, except to pass on, when that day comes.

This dawn brought heavy cloud cover to us in Arizona, heavy rains to southern California and yet another heavy snowfall to the Northeast.  Punxsutawney Phil is rolling on the ground, laughing, with his little trick; the groundhog lied.

Deja Vu?

15

February 2, 2018, Prescott-

Today being Groundhog Day, the film with Bill Murray as a somewhat sisyphean character, forced to repeat his experiences over and over, comes to mind.

Yesterday, I reached a point in my current study of business, where I was reminded, somewhat sharply, of what happened when I overreached, nine years ago.  A good night’s sleep, however, underscores the differences between then and now.  To make a long story short, my spirit guides are not struggling with their own issues anymore, and I get a much more positive, “can do” message, from them and from my life coaching team.

I have mentioned that this year seems to be one of giant steps.  There have been a few already, and more are coming.  I will be more specific, later today and as things happen.  Work awaits, though, so I wish all a fine Friday!

Purposeful

20

December 17, 2017, Prescott-

I stayed close to home today.  My spirit guides told me it’d be a good idea.  I spent some time with friends at a local restaurant, then visited another friend’s family Christmas display.

One week is left of school, before we break for two weeks.  This week will have two regular days and three shorter ones.  My purpose remains the same, though:  Impart as much, in the way of social skills reinforcement, to our five students, and maintain a consistent routine.  This last means everything to autistic people.

I have signed on for business training, with another travel blogger, albeit in more essential business practices of TODAY’S environment- both digital and physical.  It’s legitimate- I have checked.  It may even help me with other interests of mine, like teaching about essential oils.

Another subject, that keeps coming up among my fellow bloggers, is relationships.  Well, duh!  I was asked, yesterday, by a much-older friend, as to when I was going to get married again.  I have no idea-especially since:  To women over 70, I’m a younger brother; to women in their 40’s and 50’s, I’m too old; to women in their 60’s, I am also like a sibling.  Anyone under the age of 40 is like a daughter or niece.  In short, I am quite happy with all of the above.  It’s nice to have reliable friends in my life, and not have to complicate matters with romance. Penny was one of a kind.  If there is another such person, well, I will know.  If not, I am in a good place.

I have become better at living  purposefully. 2018 may well be one of the best years of this life.