Rough Adjustment

8

October 10, 2020-

Today, “Double Tenth” to the Chinese of Taiwan (who regard it as their National Day) is also the normal beginning of cooler weather, around these parts, give or take a few random warmer days in mid-October, Since it is a time of change, I tend to reflect on changes within myself and around me, in the month or so before I complete this latest trip around the Sun.

Probably the biggest change in front of me is actually a reversion- There will be more eating at home base. I have gone to restaurants, several times a week, since COVID19 hit-either getting take-out or, as things calmed down for a while, taking a seat at a table. I’ve mentioned before, that a single diner taking up a table is viewed as a nuisance in some places. That is true of about half of the establishments I have frequented- thus comes a good opportunity to cut back on “support meals”, which were designed to help keep restaurants afloat during the height of the first wave of the pandemic.

A year ago, or even a few months prior, I might have been inclined to take cold treatment in a public place rather personally. I see it now as more a matter of logistics and economics- places with limited seating and which draw families and couples, are practicing their idea of triage. There are maybe five restaurants in town where my presence is still very welcome, so it is those which will yet get my business.

What makes the whole change easy to accomplish is the overall benefit to my dietary health. It’s not such a rough adjustment, after all.

My Life Thus Far: The Eighties

7

February 20, 2016, Prescott- Today was spent in spiritual study, and an hour or so will be so used, tomorrow afternoon.  All of this was initiated by my beloved, and because of her, the decade of my thirties brought a whole new outlook on life.  The 1980’s were one of the two best decades of this life, up to now.

1980-High Point:  Meeting Penny (December 6)

Low Point:  Scrambling to find housing in Flagstaff (September)

People in the heart:  Penny Fellman, my future wife; my Flagstaff housemates, Mohammed Saeedi, Chris Lugenbuhl and Carol Vireday; the anonymous guys who gave me rides, to/from Oregon; my Mesa friends, the Lunts.

Places in the heart: Flagstaff;  Durango; Zuni; San Diego; Laguna Beach; Redwood National Park; Hebo, OR; Portland; Eugene; Crater Lake; San  Luis Obispo; Santa Barbara.

1981- High Point:  My entry into the Baha’i Faith.

Low Point:  Our temporary break-up.

People in the heart:  Penny; the Cordova family; the Beausoleils; the Travises; Mishabae Mahoney; Hilde Mc Cormick; John Carrillo (my office mate and sounding board); my first nephew and niece, Chris and Marcy.

Places in the heart:  Flagstaff; Tuba City; Dinnebito, AZ; Capitol Reef National Park; Natural Bridges National Monument; San Diego; Julian.

1982- High Points:  Our wedding (June 6); our Baha’i Pilgrimage (June 16- 30).

Low Point: Getting organized into a household.

People in the heart:  My wife; both Moms and Dads; the San Diego Baha’i Community; the Tong family; the staff of the Baha’i World Centre; the Baha’is of London; my mentor at Northland Pioneer College.

Places in the heart:  Tuba City; San Diego; Julian; Dinnebito; Bedminster, NJ; Jerusalem; Haifa; Akko; Bethlehem; London; Canterbury;  Saugus; Bedminster; Standoff, AB; Yellowstone National Park; Bozeman, MT.

1983- High Points:  The Wildfire Conference, at De Pauw University; Baha’i teaching in southern New Mexico and Metro El Paso; my brother, Glenn’s wedding.

Low Point:  My Nana died.

People in the heart:  Penny ( and this goes without saying, until the day she passed); the Baha’is of Tuba City, Dinnebito, Jemez, Phoenix, Las Cruces, El Paso and Chicago; the Biernackes, of El Paso; my second niece, Melanie; my second nephew, Jeff.

Places in the heart:  Tuba City; Dinnebito; Blue Canyon, AZ; Jemez Springs; Durango, CO; Silverton; Ouray; Great Sand Dunes National Park; Chama; Santa Fe; Albuquerque; Chicago; Baha’i House of Worship, Wilmette, IL; Greencastle, IN; Las Cruces; Berino, NM; El Paso; Fabens, TX; Andover, MA.

1984- High Points:  Baha’i teaching in Guyana, Pine Ridge, SD and Macy, NE.

Low Point: The passing of Gordon Tong, our Baha’i friend and mentor.

People in the heart:  Our Guyanese  hosts; the people of Pine Ridge and of the Omaha Nation; our friends and our co-workers on the Navajo Nation; Elizabeth Dahe and her family; our  hosts in Houston and Oklahoma; my third nephew, Nick.

Places in the heart:  Tuba City; Burntwater, AZ; Houston; Ada, OK; Georgetown, Bath, Whim and Meten meer zorg, GY; New York; Macy, NE; Wanblee, Pine Ridge, and Martin, SD; Fort Collins, CO.

1985- High Point:  Both sets of parents visiting.

Low Points:  The deaths of three Navajo boys, in two separate accidents; our separation, while Penny was in Graduate School ( a month is a long time).

People in the heart:  Our parents; Jeff and Helen Kiely; the Baha’is of Dinnebito and Ganado, AZ; my third niece, Kim; my fourth nephew, Matt.

Places in the heart:  Tuba City; Flagstaff; Dinnebito; Polacca, AZ; Red Rock State Park, OK; Effingham, IL; Columbus, OH; Michigan City, IN; Wilmette and Evanston, IL; Grand Canyon; Lake Powell; Prescott; Montezuma’s Castle National Monument; Sedona; Phoenix.

1986- High Point: Our move to Jeju, South Korea, for Penny’s work, as Visiting Professor.

Low Point:  My father’s passing.

People in the heart:  Our parents; my siblings, our extended family; my fifth nephew, Curtis; our friends and co-workers in Arizona and in South Korea.

Places in the heart:  Tuba City; Los Angeles; Seoul, Songtan and Jeju, South Korea; Saugus.

1987- High Point:  My hiring as Visiting Professor, in Jeju.

Low Point:  Having to leave Penny behind for a month, to get a work visa.

People in the heart:  Our Korean colleagues, students and friends; three surviving parents;  our siblings; our friends in Flagstaff.

Places in the heart:  Jeju, Muan, Pusan and Seoul, South Korea; Los Angeles; Portland; Seattle; Butte; Madison, WS; Chicago; Wilmette, IL; Saugus; Bedminster; Greenville and Simpsonville, SC; New Orleans; Phoenix; Honolulu; Tokyo.

1988-High Point: The birth of our son, Aram (July 7).

Low Point:  None, actually.

People in the heart:  Aram (from this point on); the Baha’is of Jeju;  Dr. Kim Chung Hak; our students;  our hosts and friends in Taiwan; Penny’s parents (who flew to Korea for Aram’s birth).

Places in the heart:  Jeju; Pusan; Tsaot’un, Chungli, Taich’ung and T’aipei, Taiwan;

1989- High Point:  Bringing Aram to the United States, to meet our family.

Low Point:  Feeling threatened, while visiting Maine.

People in the heart:  Our extended family; our students; the Baha’is of Jeju and Seoul.

            Places in the heart:  Jeju; Anchorage; New York, Bedminster; Saugus; Lynn, MA; Eliot, ME.

So, while visiting Durango, in November, 1980, I had this inkling that I was ready to meet someone special.  It didn’t happen that weekend, nor on my 30th birthday trip to San Diego.  It was on an Anthropology class trip to Zuni, where Penny and I first connected.  Turns out, she also had had a vision, while meditating on a mesa above her residence in Keams Canyon, AZ, where she was teaching at the time.  The message said that she, too, would meet someone.

Our on again, off again, 18-month friendship became a marriage that lasted, physically, for 29 years.  I believe in the eternity of marriage, and though she’s gone from Earth, we still connect, daily.  We had our ups and downs, especially in the early years, but never went to bed angry with one another.

My entry into the Baha’i Faith helped me cast out the demon of alcohol dependency, and put me on a path to dealing with my larger demon, of self-doubt.  Baha’u’llah has opened up many powerful channels within me- at least I feel them.

Aram’s arrival made me be responsible for someone other than the two of us.  Raising him to adulthood was the only big task that God has ever given me.  While I wasn’t the greatest father to have been given the bounty, I gave it a good, solid effort and he is an amazing young man.

We traveled a lot, the two of us, then the three of us, mostly in service to our Faith and to visit family. The Eighties were a decade of primarily air travel, though crowding into a Peugeot, and then a lorry (truck), in Guyana, was quite an adventure.  Our Toyota Tercel got quite a workout, those four years we lived in Tuba City.  It became a young lady’s first car, when we moved to Korea.

Pilgrimage to the Baha’i Holy Sites, in Haifa and Akko, Israel was the seminal defining point of the decade.  Our marriage, and the birth of our son, six years later, were entirely safeguarded by our having begun life together, in this manner.

The Nineties would be a second amazing decade.

 

 

The Road to 65, Mile 253: Auspicious Days

5

August 8, 2015, Granite Dells- I spent the greater part of this afternoon at Heaven on Earth B & B, in this lushest area of greater Prescott.  Friends Happy and John had their first event since the Illumine Film Festival, in May (which I missed, having been in Reno at the time.)  It was the first of three Launch Parties, by Green Living Magazine, a monthly eco-friendly living publication, out of Phoenix.  I went over, after two different friends mentioned it to me, independently; the second having followed me through Prescott Public Library, specifically to let me know of the event.

So, always glad to head out to the Dells, I drove over, after first checking out the Mountain Arts and Crafts Fair and a performance by a quintet of young ladies, playing violins and fiddles. The afternoon was then spent with presentations by various advocates of healthy living, from GMO-Free Prescott and Slow Food, to which I belong, to an essential oils distributor.  John sang, gently and sincerely, of “The Golden Age” and the powerful local artist, Celia, lent her rousing voice to the mood of the day- with three amazing songs.

One of the points which Happy made, during her emcee moments, was that today is  a triple treat:  8 8 8. This is how it has worked, since 2010:  March 3, of that year, was 3 3 3,  because if one adds 2+1, one gets 3, so 2+0++1+0 = 3.  April 4, 2011, thus sums up as 4 4 4, and so on, through December 12, 2019, which will be 12 12 12.

I have felt the “double dates” to be auspicious enough, from January 1 to December 12.  New Year’s Day is special for many people, just because of the sense of a new beginning.  We will dispense with 2/2, as some sort of prognosticatory event and note that some thawing starts, in some places, around that time. 10/10 is a National Day for Taiwan, commemorating the day when the revolt of the Chinese people against the corrupt Regent of the Realm, and his underlings, first got traction, resulting in the abdication, four months later, of the pre-teenaged Emperor, Pu Yi, in favour of Gen. Yuan Shi Kai. Yuan’s Nationalist Party eventually established what is now the Republic of China, on Taiwan. (Yes, Dr. Sun Yat-sen was the first elected President of China, but politics is complicated, and the Army stood in Dr. Sun’s way.)

The double dates most special to me are 6/6, the day that Penny and I were married (eighteen months, to the day, after we first met), and 7/7, the day that Aram was born.  I’ve often speculated as to whether some other double date will be special in my life, but now I think that might be rather gluttonous on my part. I will always treasure the two days, in mid-year, which have defined my adulthood.

Now I look to the task of viewing every day as auspicious.