Walk Forward; Love All Life

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January 20, 2021- In the end, there were no Cabal Trials-and most likely, there is no Cabal, at least not the widespread, nefarious and nearly impregnable network. In the end, the 45th President of the United States took his ball, his fig leaf and whatever memorabilia he chose to bring with him, made two fairly benign speeches and left what his successor described as a “generous” letter, before taking what is likely his final ride on Air Force One, going to his rest haven in Florida.

The transition was well-guarded and peaceful. There was a gentle Inaugural Address from the 46th President, not rambling and with only a few stumbles in pronunciation. I doubt I’ve have done any better. It was essentially what the nation and the world needed to hear. There were heartfelt, well-delivered prayers. A widely popular Country & Western singer offered “Amazing Grace”. An equally popular Pop singer served up “This Land Is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful”. A gifted singer, who once opted for the outrageous in her performances, gave a stellar rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner”. The youngest prominent American poet in decades, gave a heartfelt recitation, as our first National Poet Laureate.

What does not change is the need to examine major issues facing the country from all legitimate angles. The environment is not immune from human influence. Some aspects of climate change are cyclical and would be catastrophic, regardless of the levels of pollution and wanton degradation. There is, however, much that we can, and should, do to safeguard our planet-and by extension, our solar system. Personal attention to conservation begins, as the late John McCain once said, at home. Recycling, in an era of concern for its cost, is tricky, but still must be consistently endeavoured. Water is an essential part of any community development, and requires careful usage, particularly in areas beset by drought. Air quality is likewise a key concern.

Our dietary health is essential. Despite claims from large corporations involved in genetic modification of foods, and their pop culture shills on television and social media outlets, human beings are not meant to subsist on a diet of monocultural crops, nor are such commodities helpful in soil conservation. A wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, consumed with or without a modest amount of meat, and preferably grown organically, represent the best regimen for disease-free living.

No human being capable of thought and reason deserves to be deprived of the right to make decisions which affect life and well-being. Women inherently have the right to decide what happens with their bodies. The issue can, and does, get messy when it comes to matters of sexuality and procreation. Education is the only path to informed choice, when it comes to abortion and the practice of circumcision (genital mutillation).

Each of the above issues has become fuzzy, due to the influence of deep-pocketed economic interests. Large corporations, such as Monsanto, and financially-driven nonprofits, such as Planned Parenthood, have exercised their influence, in promoting practices that are not necessarily carried out with the interests of individual human beings, including pre-born children, in mind. So, it falls to a widely-based coalition of citizens to build and carry out education programs that can counteract the propaganda of monetized interests.

The current administration has already shown concern for the environment. Its positions on the other two issues are less clear, thus pointing to the need for truly extending its path forward towards consideration for holistic health and the promotion of strong, healthy parents, children and families.

Solutions Rule

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January 12, 2021-

As one group of leaders sees their rule of the United States wind down, and another group prepares to take the reins, it’s crucial to keep an eye on what answers are offered to the problems that face both the nation and the planet.

The pandemic being at the top of most lists, among matters to be resolved, I place most of my hopes for its control and eventual banishment on fostering wellness. This is actually true for most, if not all, microbial diseases. A virus or bacteria is programmed to mutate, and so can do an end run around vaccines, year after year. Those who have not contracted a given disease, even when its occurrence is pandemic, can point to their strict adherence to a wellness-infused lifestyle, with an organic-based diet, avoidance of processed sugar, regular and hearty exercise and a regular regimen of proper rest, meditation and a solutions-based mindset. I am not 100% there yet, but am working on it, consistently.

Human relations will outlast the current pandemic, as a key societal concern. To my mind, the biggest barriers to peaceful human relations are three: Insecurity; the egoism that stems from insecurity and the “silo-mentality” which follows from those two. Racial tension is a symptom of these three barriers, as is ideological division. A friend posted today about the roots of insecurity largely coming from children not being valued and nurtured, which is something I’ve noticed in the most difficult people from my past. The love they did not seem to have received led to their bullying and egosim. It also led to all manner of illness, both physical and psychological. Look at an addict, and see the mirror of failure to thrive; likewise, tyrannical behaviour and manipulative personalities.

So, as I’ve indicated in other posts, enveloping a person with love and the sooner the better, the less chance we will see a problematic individual, further along the line. The more a young woman feels treasured and supported, the less likely she is to even find herself in the position of unwanted motherhood, much less to seek deadly solutions to that predicament. The more any person feels wanted and cherished, the less likely s(he) is to pursue life-defeating alternatives to wellness or to a solutions-based lifestyle.

This is, of course, a synopsis, an encapsulated view, yet a culture of authentic love is much more likely to lead to solutions for even the most intractible of issues. Solutions, not surrenders, are what rule.

Flight

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March 26, 2020-

The deathly ill man departed today,

leaving behind a world in chaos.

He’d done his share, though,

and it was high time for him

to move on.

There was nothing he was going to do,

to hinder Coronavirus Disease 2019.

He was ill,

long before the pandemic,

and it never got around to infecting him.

There wasn’t much more he could do,

to help his family.

Today was the day.

I’ve been around,

for another person’s departure.

Nine years and twenty-one days ago,

she was called home.

It’s been written,

that in the last days,

the living will envy the dead.

I don’t know as we’ve reached that point yet.

I know I haven’t.

Those who have transitioned,

have earned their flight.

I, like Robert Frost,

“have promises to keep

and miles to go,

before I sleep.”

 

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.