Niners

2

April 18, 2019-

Age nine found me whimsical,

lost ever in my own thoughts,

save when it came to lessons,

in Mrs. Kimball’s class.

Age nineteen found me lackadaisical,

flitting in and out of other people’s lives,

with no thought as to my effect on them.

Age twenty-nine found me desultory,

often lost in the bottle,

floating along Arizona’s highways,

or the backroads of the  wider West,

yet making a stab at conveying math,

to myself and my students.

Age thirty-nine found me devoted,

to my wife and toddler son.

The fragrance of Jeju,

and the progress of my English-teacher candidates,

filled out my world.

Age forty-nine found me wary,

of any and all politicians,

of a wayward shaman,

whose stated goal was

to bring about my ruin.

Age fifty-nine found me crumbling,

about to lose the most important

person in my life,

to the dis-ease that had

stalked her,

for over fifty years.

Age sixty-nine is seven months off,

yet it may well find me

in a state of flux.

Regardless,

I know my life is aimed

towards wholeness,

towards growth,

ever looking past

mere survival.

 

May Beetles, June Bugs

7

May 31, 2017, Prescott- 

This has been a grueling, yet vital, month.  In retrospect, though, the transition that has arisen as one of the options I must consider, over the summer, has been bubbling up from the magma flow, for quite some time.

I am likely to hang on to this apartment, for at least the rest of 2017, although rents in this area tend to command 60-70% of the fixed portion of one’s income, thus making it essential to be able to earn one’s keep, above and beyond government checks.  This is as true of “senior” apartments, as it is of the general housing stock.  The other factor is that the chief of our department will need some time to sort out who should work in what capacity.  Although this is hardly an employer’s job market, when it comes to the well-being of children, standards need to be maintained.  This, I understand and support, while being one who poses no threat to any child.

All the while, as I mentioned to an online friend, in a comment, this morning, I am continuously building a network of solid contacts, across the continent, and abroad, so that, even if I am relegated to staying in legitimate campgrounds, in the not-too-distant future, I will be able to hold my head up, engage in acts of service, and earn my way.  I had hoped that this would wait until I reached age seventy, but the Universe moves as it will, and we have to maintain some flexibility.

So, May ends, with me being halfway done with the task of clearing our overgrown back yard, and having been able to serve my Lord, in a few small ways.  June beckons, starting with taking care of an important errand in Phoenix, combined with a small act of service.  I will then complete the yard work; downsize my possessions; go to  Hopi land, for a weekend visit; go to southern California the weekend after, on another errand of service; and toward month’s end, take part in a Baha’i Summer School, at Bellemont, west of Flagstaff.

May slogged along, though not for naught.  June will blaze on out, and I hope to have some sense of accomplishment, when heading to Ventura, Santa Barbara, Carson City and cross country, after Bellemont.

 

It’s Time

4

November 10, 2016, Prescott-

It has been two days, since this time of transition began.  People on the Left have vented their frustrations and spoken of their fears.  People on the Right have expressed their joy at being “vindicated” and spoken of their annoyance.

It’s time to start listening, hard, to one another.

It’s time to really take stock of how we’ve really been, towards one another.

It’s time to stop blaming one another.

Black Lives Matter did not create the recent round of violence against police.

The Tea Party did not create the outpouring of hate against transgender people.

It’s time for the common people, of all backgrounds, to recognize that we each achieve more, shoulder to shoulder, than we do nose to nose.

It’s time for those of us deemed “little”, by the media, to know wire-pulling and manipulation, when we see it.

It’s time for people of faith to expect elevated behaviour, from our leaders and from one another, rather than to overlook base actions and coarse speech.

Make no mistake: I love my friends in  Christianity,in the Baha’i Faith, those devoted to Judaism, Buddhism,Hinduism, Islam, Wicca, because their faith defines them;

I love my friends whose sexual orientation and gender identities differ from mine, because they are honest people, trying to make sense of  complexities that few of us in the “straight” world can really understand;

I love my friends who are young, gifted and from hundreds of ethnic backgrounds and dozens of religious traditions, because they will inherit the Earth, and need all the encouragement they can get;

I love my friends who live in small towns and crumbling cities, in the Northeast, Midwest and South, because they do not deserve to be cast-offs;

I love my friends who live on Reservations, in ghettos, in barrios and in ramshackle mountain hollows, because they do not deserve to be stepping-stones for the callous and the greedy;

I love my friends of colour, and of pallour, of youth and of age, because the blood that keeps each of us alive is the same, and too much of that blood has been shed, in the name of falsehood.

It’s time to share our Home, our America, our Earth.

 

Ongoing

6

September 12, 2016, Prescott-

Meetings tire me,

more than the antics of children.

So, as I sat through the proceedings

in a stuffy second-floor room,

I took in all I needed,

through careful listening.

Then came afternoon.

Cool outside,

stale and debilitating, within.

My thoughts wandered

to the school district clerks,

who will occupy these rooms,

after a renovation next year.

The process is ongoing.

I had a nice time,

at a birthday party last night.

It was a good transition,

from the dark memories of

that day, fifteen years ago.

New friends, and old,

drummed, sang and ate

delectable barbecued meats

and all manner of side dishes.

Friendship and camaraderie are ongoing.

Today is my brother’s birthday.

Far off, in Atlanta, or

somewhere else on business,

he keeps setting the bar high

and setting his employees straight.

Communication is ongoing.

Repricing

16

January 9, 2016, Prescott-  I read a discussion about the current downturn in investments, even as the economy is improving, overall.  It was explained there that what is happening is the repricing of stocks, akin to maintenance that is done on equipment, necessitating a brief shutdown.  This will supposedly take another week to complete, and stocks will decline a bit more.  Then, things will reset themselves, more realistically. That is a bit less threatening than the disorganized freefalls we saw in 1987 and 2008, to say nothing of the horrors our parents and grandparents saw in the Thirties.

It set me to thinking.  I have been in transition mode, since returning from southern California, last July.  Work is more urgent, and my sense of community is more front and center. We reprice ourselves, so to speak, whenever a change is felt to be needed.  Nobody, it seems, stays in a holding pattern, even when they think that’s what’s going on.

On my recent visit to the place of my childhood, I didn’t always get the feeling that I was understood by those around me.  I tended to speak more slowly and act more cautiously when there, and it wasn’t always comfortable.  Maybe because I had a fair amount of baggage, and often felt in the way, when I was growing up, I fell into a default pattern of behaviour.

So, I made an effort to stop myself, reprice, as it were, my worth and make the effort to do for others, this time around.  It wasn’t understood, or accepted, back there, but I am going with my renewed sense of self, anyway.  Revaluing myself means that no one, no matter how important they were in my life at one time, can knock me back down to a dependent state.  I have work to do, goals to accomplish and people to love.