Open Letter

6

January 11, 2020-

Dear Son,

I have watched you struggle with so much of life,

including matters which you should not have had to face,

at least not at the age at which life brought them to your doorstep.

I’ve done my level best, most of the time, to help you along.

There were times when that best was not sufficient.

There were the times when we both flailed,

and others, fortunately, came to our aid.

You made a wise choice,

as I did before you,

to seek the structure of the military,

in establishing a sense of priority,

and beginning to sort out a life plan.

That plan led you through the vagaries,

and sometimes disordered process,

of service to our country.

It also led you back to the land of your birth.

You found a home for your heart,

and brought your true love back,

to unite two families.

Now, you are back with our families,

and I trust you are being received well.

I also trust that,

whoever joins our family,

in the years ahead,

will also find a warm welcome,

with no conditions attached.

You have a bright future ahead,

my most precious son.

Choose carefully, and wisely,

never acting out of spite,

malice, or hurt feelings.

It is a tall order,

and you were raised

to stand tall.

I look forward

to many years

of standing wherever

you need me to stand.

You will always be treasured.

On the Margins

2

December 2, 2019-

When cleaning,

do you look beyond the margins?

When examining the conscience,

do you make sure to

check for clutter

that might have been overlooked?

When calling self,

a champion of the People,

are there some,

whom you leave out?

When saying you only have

unconditional love,

are there some whom you’ve

cut loose,

and are you certain,

as to why?

Are you defined

by what lies

within your margins?

Unlimited Doors

8

May 29, 2019-

On this day,

127 years ago, Baha’u’llah ascended to the next realm.  The door of His Teachings remains wide open, to all who seek.

102 years ago, John F. Kennedy was born, in Brookline, MA.  His work was unfinished and his potential far from realized, when the door to his life here was slammed shut, in 1963.

55 years ago, my youngest brother, Brian, was born, in Melrose, MA.  His purpose here was to train us all in unconditional love.  From the looks of how my family has lived, since his passing, in 1994, I’d say his work was successful.

This past April, a door to my working full-time closed.  Since then, other doors have remained ajar.  This is the truth behind- “When one door closes, another will open.”

Some doors can appear, from a distance, to be closed.  Sometimes, that is simply the result of skewed vision.

Other doors, which one tries to close, remain open because they have contents within that are needed for a healthy life.

Then, there are those others, which are better off shut, no matter how much one thinks that what’s inside is desirable.

May my ability to choose the right doors remain strong.

 

 

Unconditional

9

November 11, 2018, Prescott-

Happy Veterans Day to all who served, in “times of peace” and in open conflict.  I regret one thing about 11:11:11/18- I was resolving a conflict over material possessions (someone else’s) at the time, so I missed the reflection which that time merits.

Basically, I have been storing items for a benighted and angry individual.  I had temporarily forgotten where they were stored, and was thus subjected to yet another tirade about how stupid and worthless I was.  Fortunately, this was all electronic, a “hit and run”, so to speak. Even more fortunately, I found the items, they will be transported to a third party, tomorrow and I will be free to ban the above-mentioned person from ever contacting me again.

I have had it with detractors and naysayers-as opposed to sincere, earnest critics, who point out errors, out of love.  The latter will always have my attention.

It has taken a  long, long time for me to value myself and to know that those who lambaste me  are not worth my time.  That time has arrived and I know, both in heart and mind, that I deserve the best that life has to offer.  Actually, we all deserve the best. The fact that some have been raised to regard themselves as worthless, is precisely why there is so much conflict-whether over THINGS,  or over ideas, or over social norms.

If each of us recognized our worth, material possessions would not be the cause of strife, money would not be the source of grief, attention to detail would not be the cause of condemnation.  We would know that all would be alright, if not immediately, then over time.

If each of us really understood the Universe, the nature of Creation, the eternity of being, then there would be no conflict of egos.  There would have been no Lucifer’s rebellion; no smug disregard, by our distant ancestors, of spiritual instruction; no ongoing conflict, often perpetrated by those who cast themselves as “enlightened”, but whose egos only project utter darkness.

I can’t claim to understand it all, but I do understand these:  There is only a place for Light in this world, in this Universe.  There is only a future for those whose hearts are open, whose goals are based on unconditional love.  All else will fail, and will fall away, in confusion and disappointment. More’s the pity.

En-titled

8

December 9, 2017, Prescott-

I awoke this morning,

in a state of tension.

“Come off it, self!

This is Saturday,

and no one expects

anything of you,

except that you

take part in the

noon conference call.”

I got myself together,

drove to one friend’s house,

picked up a bin of cut juniper,

and delivered to another’s house.

Somehow, I will want to do better

than that.

The pieces of wood are small

in the second friend’s eyes.

Aren’t we a funny breed?

A person is entitled

to big, to fine, to proper,

to sufficient.

I thought of other friends,

in Ojai,

looking at the embers

and foundation, where

once, there was a

home similar to

the second friend’s

house, here.

Where is their piece

of entitlement, now?

Once upon a time,

an angry young woman

demanded of her mate,

that he throw me out

of the house

that five of us shared.

It was mid-February,

cold, snowy,

central Maine.

An older couple

took me in,

two days later.

Seems the Universe

decided that I

was entitled to

dignity, and

freedom from

pneumonia.

Here’s how I see it, now.

These are our entitlements:

Respect, with regard to

our persons,

our time,

our necessaries.

Love,

unconditional,

therefore, never forced.

Opportunity,

to make choices

and to follow through,

on those choices.

These three

are enough for me.

All else proceeds

from them.

 

 

Hearts, Black History and Chief Executives

6

February 1, 2017, Prescott-

The Mini-Month is now upon us, with groundhogs galore waiting to be yanked out of the ground, tomorrow.  I know there will be many enlightening programs and articles about African-Americans, this month, but I think people should be fully honoured for their place in America’s story, and the stories of the world, EVERY month, and regardless of ethnicity.  Still, I’m glad the stories are getting out there.  Too many people still think Blacks, Native Americans, Latinos, Irish-Americans, and even women, collectively, are making up, or exaggerating, the past,  because “things aren’t so bad for ________________ NOW!” We  have to know our history, and know it well, for the very reason that too many people see things on the surface, and have short memories.

The Italian martyr, Valentino, has become a symbol of unconditional love and thus a day devoted to love- and romance- has taken the English form of his name.  St. Valentine’s Day falls on a work day, Tuesday, this year.  I will be giving the same unconditional love to my students that I offer, every day.

The following weekend will be Presidents’ Day, ostensibly to honour two of our greatest Chief Executives:  Washington and Lincoln, and, by extension, those of our presidents who have not harmed our nation.  Who they are, remains a matter of intense debate.  I have my opinion, but will not get into that, here.

Aram will leave for South Korea, in about a week.  I will be at San Diego International Airport, to see him off.  Then, each of us will get on with our respective duties, and other aspects of our lives.  For him, there will be some familiar aspects, as he was born, and spent his first three years of life, in Jeju, and shore duty will be more of a routine, than sea duty.  For me, the regimen will continue at school, the American Legion honours World War II’s Four Chaplains, my work for the Baha’i Faith goes on, and new outdoor adventures will present themselves- Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountains, the Verde Valley’s Limekiln Trail and, a slightly-delayed visit to Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park, in Yarnell.

It looks to be a fascinating 28 days.

The Road to 65, Mile 118: Consistency

5

March 26, 2015, Prescott-  My client walked out of his shelter, this evening, because he dislikes the rules.  He may want to revert to leaning on me for support.  This time, though, he has made a stark choice.  It’s no longer freezing at night, so guilt is not a tool to be used.  This time, from my perspective, he will be moving on.

Life is full of choices, and my choices are to maintain my independence, focus on the needs of my biological family, and on the legitimate needs of those who are actually suffering.  There is an organization in town, called “Angels of Prescott”.  They, and the Red Cross, will get the bulk of my time and energy, outside of work.  The kids will get my full attention, otherwise.

It is necessary, in life, to be consistent.  There are just too many vagaries and changes in the world around us, for a person to bounce from one goal or set of behavior to another, and still expect a successful outcome, or a sympathetic human climate.  Steadiness of purpose and unconditional love are not mutually exclusive, though, and in fact. real caring, empathy for others depends on a person being reliable in behavior, and in response to challenges.

Those who expect others to tend their rose gardens, without fail, are doomed to not smell the sweetness.