Caitlin Jenner fueled a conservative firestorm with her change — and even more so because Jenner has a history of leaning to the conservative right. OMG. Even a conservative can be transgender! When that happened, I read posts by alleged “real men” who were about 2 days out from birthing cows. The world must be ending.
Eager to give what I might to bring light to the table of American politics, as opposed to the impenetrable block wall under maniacal construction that divides your vision from mine, as opposed to chatting about truth and lies and finding a way through unwieldy thorns, a group mediation was offered to help uplift the American electorate. I read the invitation as calming the fire with love. That resonated.
Anger. I know it well. Anger has boiled within me to the point of dehydration of the senses. I let anger take my fertile body and transform it into a desert — something I didn’t like. I cursed the hot sand, the barrenness of rocks, plants and life. I let anger guide me to my own skeletal form, like the white bones and skulls made famous by Georgia O’Keefe.
Volunteers are gold. But sometimes, volunteers shuffle in with other agendas, or they simply are so out of step with the nonprofit that they become a liability.
It matters not which side of a political fence that you or I sit or straddle. Rigidity has seized the moment and clouded our ability to see beyond the now.
A few months and committee meetings later, you discover that the committee leader is impossible to work with. You can’t please the leader; you are under constant critique from the leader who seems to delight in admonishing your suggestions. Defeated and depleted, your volunteer-enthusiasm is sucked out of you like a Hoover super, megapower vacuum.
If I could add another 30 or even 60 days to my mindfulness project, perhaps I could grab complete control over the distracting beeps, bleeps and burps. Maybe. Maybe not. The calendar and life-responsibilities, however, won’t give me those extra 30 to 60 days.
So I decided to wrap the final days with a contemplative retreat at a nearby monastery where retreatants vow to not speak during their stay.
Yes, Edward Parone owned some celebrity and great respect from many in the world of entertainment — something I never knew until much later in our friendship. But he retired from all of that. His choice of retirement venue said it all — an unremarkable old adobe casita among a few other old adobes on a large ranch in Nambe, New Mexico.
Editor’s Note: After 41 days of occupation, the standoff no longer stands. For an update by Jake Klonoski, please scroll to the end of this post. Saturday, I sliced into a medium rare steak hot off the grill. Smothered in garlic, salt and pepper, it was delicious. The evening’s news rambled in the background. When the news anchor turned to an Oregon report about a group of armed men still holding the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge hostage, my blood pressure jumped a […]