In the Field

Just imagine, of all the places to be in the universe…
In the Field

I died there; birthed there
Lived anew; bore anew …
I killed and was killed
Tried and failed and tried again
I won and I lost, was lost, yet learned my way,
Loved and was abandoned, loved and was full of joy …
I left and returned, was unforgiven and forgave.

Walked a mile without shoes
Ran nowhere
Wore out shoes
Chose shoes of various colors
Was chased, outcast, or was embraced
Glamoured under the mantle of one after another
And always seemed to recover each time with my own face.

Vast, in yellow wildflower, poppy in innocence, or swaying humble wheat
Between the Wood and the Vale
Stretched yet subtle like canvass
Inviting as a stage
Welcoming as familiar warm water vapor shapes everchanging high in a cool blue sky …
And real as any past present future potentiality
Where I reside with you in all things. 

Akashic Field

Where Has the Civility Gone?

I have had countless conversations with people over the last few years about this very subject. I have witnessed and experienced in my own life, the severing of ties of friendship over ideology, especially since the opening of Pandora’s box called Trumpism. While Donald Trump has been the catalyst for fully opening the doors and windows to this energy, he is not the creator of it, he is simply the byproduct of energies that have been festering for decades and generations.

We are a spoiled lot in this country of the United States. On the whole, most home-grown Americans have little idea how the rest of the world lives, save a few movies and television programs. Many of us consider it a major calamity if our washing machine breaks down while many in this world barely have the opportunity to find any source of water to drink, much less wash what clothes they have.

We are embroiled in a battle of cancel culture versus grievance culture, with both sides screaming to be heard above the other. We are quickly losing the civility of conversation and understanding which have been the underpinnings of the origins of this experiment called the United States of America.

I have been reading a marvelous book by the historian Clay s. Jenkinson, titled Repairing Jefferson’s America. The cancel culture has been calling for the removal of not only statues of the Confederacy, but statues of Jefferson, including the Jefferson Memorial, and even Mount Rushmore. Like most people, I  abhor racism and all things alluding to the denigration of any race of human beings. But I do not believe that erasing our past is how we make for a better future.

In the book Repairing Jefferson’s America, Mr. Jenkinson goes on to explain that if we want to understand America, we must try to understand Jefferson. With all his inconsistencies and his paradoxes, he mirrors the inconsistencies and the paradoxes of the American experiment. Is it not better as he suggests, to engage in a continuous national conversation about Jefferson, about the Founding Fathers, many by the way who were slaveholders, and those very inconsistencies, than to turn away in disgust?

Mr. Jenkinson also writes; “We don’t fix America by erasing things we now find intolerable. We must attempt to be fair, reasoned, deliberate, and contextual in exploring our troubled history. Like it or not we are the heirs of generations of imperfect men and women.”

Rather than have a serious, civil, national conversation, we are embroiled in multiple sides seeking the advantage over each other. Back in 2020 when covid started to impact our lives, I said this was the moment that would become a mirror to us all, waiting to see which part of us was going to show up. I truly was not expecting the level of anger, divisiveness, and sheer disdain for each other that came to the surface. The all too present racism that many thought had disappeared simply came back with a vengeance, in part fueled by the rhetoric of a President more interested in his own interests than in the welfare of the country. Some of you will disagree with that statement- you are entitled to your opinion as well. This is not a commentary on Trump, it is a commentary on who we truly are as human beings, as Americans.

Mr. Jenkinson also writes; “The behavior of the most extreme partisans of our culture is pushing us in the direction of the Roman Republic in its final days. Beyond this, the partisan paralysis of the U.S. Congress has left us without a national healthcare policy, national emergency policy, national energy policy, national immigration policy, or national education policy. Our infrastructure is deteriorating. Great nations find ways to address their fundamental problems.”

While we attack each other over masks and vaccines, people are dying not only of covid but of neglect and of institutional racism. The media is certainly complicit in fostering this dissent, after all, it’s good for ratings and for their coffers. But in the end, WE are responsible for how we act and react. It is sad indeed that most people do their “research” and get their information on Facebook as if it is the bastion of truth.

It is not lost on me that every side has an agenda, every side wants to be heard. What is disheartening is that people think that a meme on Facebook and other outlets of information is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. One post on Facebook made the statement that nurses not being allowed to work in a hospital without being vaccinated was tat amount to living in a communist country. Meanwhile, this same person was and is a supporter of a former President who not only admired but defended and attempted to mirror the very head of communism, Putin. This same former President that tried to overturn a legitimate, legal, constitutional election, who rallied and fomented an attack on the Capitol, and in the face of incontrovertible evidence, his supporters in Congress are doing all they can to revise history. Not so different from state after state in GOP control are doing all they can to erase America’s history of racism.

It may appear that I am taking sides here, and in some ways I am. But my purpose for writing this is not about taking sides, it’s about coming together and acknowledging our difference without anger, without violence, without destroying history. We need history so that we may learn from it, grow from it, and change things for the better for ALL people.

As we are dealing with a resurgence of covid, we are coming into a time of enhanced divisiveness and violence over masks and vaccines. Meanwhile, while we fight over masks, fight over the efficacy of the vaccines, let me remind those who protest the vaccines that if it were not for vaccines for polio, malaria, smallpox, and Diptheria, many of you would not even be alive.

I close this rambling to simply say this: I believe America is on the precipice of great change. It is up to each of us to determine what that change is going to look like. Do we come together in respect and civility with the common goal to improve our country for ALL people? Or do we continue the decline, thinking the more we argue, fight and disrespect one another, the better we will be?

Deep within every person is as Lincoln said, “the better angels of our nature”. I pray that each of us connects with those angels, allowing us to come together in a common cause to not only save ourselves but each other.

May you live in peace and the grace of all things good.

Michael

http://www.mntmyst.com

Craggy Gardens

Pinnacle of Craggy Gardens

The view from the pinnacle at Craggy Gardens, NC is spectacular. It’s an easy climb up a well worn path reinforced with stones and timbers. It takes about 30 minutes to drive to the trailhead from the Blue Ridge Parkway just east of Asheville and then about 30 minutes to reach the summit. That’s if your companion doesn’t stop every few feet to capture an unusual flower with her camera. The gardens in the name must refer to the variety of wildflowers growing along the path abuzz with what appear to be little bumble bees and honey bees.

The lovely Nancy in her element

We were welcomed to the pinnacle by a charming volunteer named Matthew, who explained that we were looking down onto the Asheville Watershed, an important source of water for surrounding areas. Matthew turned out to be a kindred spirit from St. Petersburg. He graduated from Boca Ciega High a year after me and recently moved to Swannanoa. We passed through Swannanoa on the way to the Red Rocker Inn in Black Mountain and I could see how one would be tempted by its lush beauty.

Kindred spirit at the pinnacle

At the Temple of Truth

The Reverend Diane Scribner Clevenger on the left

I’ve found a quiet place to reset on Sunday morning. The Unity Temple of Truth at 511 Prescott St. S in St. Petersburg FL has a service at 10 am that is just what I was looking for. We start with a meditation and reading from the Daily Word, a devotional guide published by Unity. The hymnal has classic, easy to sing hymns along with the Lord’s Prayer. The closing hymn is always “Let there be Peace on Earth “. There are different speakers each week. Last week, the Reverend Linda McCleod assured us that not only were we loved, but we were necessary on the planet. This week, the Reverend Diane Scribner Clevenger focused on the power of understanding from the heart. I purchased her book, Pray Attention, a nice little portable workbook with sacred meditations and a downloadable audio track.

This community is small and welcoming while maintaining safety measures as we emerge from the Pandemic. My mother had not been attending in person church and I felt comfortable to bring her as well.

Both Rev. Diane and Rev. Linda have daily live meditations on Facebook. I recommend you check them out.

From the Couch: A Different Kind of Travel

What’s ‘e Matter You, ey?

You are ‘e matter, that which occupies space and possesses rest mass. what is matter – Bing

Vitruvian Woman

One More Minute, please.

You can think You are at rest, but the matter in You is not. The matter in You is always moving.

“E equals mc squared may be the most famous equation in the world, but what you might not know is that it isn’t the whole story. It just describes objects that have mass and that aren’t moving. The full equation is E squared equals mc squared squared plus p times c squared, where p represents the momentum of the object in question.” The complete formula of Mass-energy equivalence explained | Britannica

And of course, that mass of You on the couch is moving atop the mass of the planet hurdling through space…

You Should Feel Better About Yourself Already

Remember, You always have momentum (the quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity — motion is determined by dividing the distance covered by the time it takes to travel that distance. how do you measure movement – Bing

About that Minute…

If You are always moving in some way, even if just molecularly, your matter is subject to the effects of time, irrevocably following the arrow of time from the present into the future…

This is why your Beauty is timeless, but You are not.

Keat's urn

“…O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

“Physicists define time as the progression of events from the past to the present into the future. Basically, if a system is unchanging, it is timeless. Time can be considered to be the fourth dimension of reality, used to describe events in three-dimensional space. It is not something we can see, touch, or taste, but we can measure its passage.” What Is Time? A Simple Explanation (thoughtco.com)

Time isn’t Matter, but Time Matters

KILTED SPIRIT LIVE : COVER’S BOB DYLAN :TANGLED UP IN BLUE 🏜😎👍✌ – Bing video

But I digress. I think, therefore I am…confused. Things just are as they are. – Helen’s Irreverent Blog (wordpress.com)

(Back To) The Here and Now (?)

quantum mechanics | ZenGut (sigh)

“Real” Science

do thoughts have mass – Bing – apparently it depends on who You talk to

How Much Does a Thought Weigh? | NOVA | PBS

Here’s A Thought

You are more than the sum of your parts (first attributable to Aristotle, they say, back in the day Aristotle’s Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

Worth Your Weight in Gold

😊

So, Chin Up! See You next time with a whole new ballgame: Light.

Other reading: top 5 philosophers of all time – Bing

Fun fact: a ‘jiffy’ the amount of time light takes to travel one fermi (about the size of a nucleon) in a vacuum. Unit of time – Wikipedia

The Two Nancys Tour of Western National Parks

Grand Canyon – south rim

Last month, I decided to visit and take amateur photographs of National Parks. This May, after talking with a girlfriend (another Nancy), a decision was made to visit the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion. So the two Nancys headed west, May 2021.

The two Nancys on their western park adventure

As we visited each park, we started to wonder about their geology and how they came about. Each National Park is beautifully unique and awe inspiring.

These parks are geologically associated with one another and are the result of a combination of distinctive geologic events (sedimentation, lithification, erosion, volcanic and tectonic uplifting ). Today, these forces continue to work on the Canyons. The below information is a paraphrase of the referenced information. Click on these hyperlinks for more detail

Click here for the geology of the Grand Canyon informatio

Click here for the geology of Bryce Canyon information

Click here for the geology of Zion information

The Colorado Plateau is a region in the Southwest USA. About 50 million years ago, the Colorado Plateau was mostly flat and part of a lake and floodplain system. The Colorado Plateau encompasses parts of the Four Corners region (Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico). This area includes parks such as the Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Mesa Verde, and Bryce Canyon. Zion National Park is located along the edge of the Colorado Plateau, sitting at the boundary between the Basin and Range geologic province and the Colorado Plateau.

Today, due to tectonic activity, “The Colorado Plateau is at a higher elevation than its surroundings, ranging from about 2000 -12,000 feet above sea level at its highest peaks. While some of the lowest (oldest) rocks in the region are metamorphic and igneous, the more visible and characteristic rocks are layered, sedimentary rocks with vibrant hues of rust-colored reds and orange.”

Through a series of volcanic action, tectonic uplifts and erosion the bottom layer of rock at Bryce Canyon is the top layer at Zion, and the bottom layer at Zion is the top layer at the Grand Canyon. Interesting concept, isn’t it?

Grand Canyon- south rim

The Grand Canyon came into being when igneous and metamorphic rocks were formed about 2 billion years ago and layer upon layer of sedimentary rocks were laid on top of these basement rocks. Between 70 and 30 million years ago the whole region was uplifted, resulting in the high and relatively flat Colorado Plateau.

Finally, beginning just 5-6 million years ago, the Colorado River began to carve its way downward through the sedimentary rock.

Colorado River – Grand Canyon
Colorado River – Grand Canyon

Bryce Canyon is known for its distinctive hoodoos, spires and towers. To me these towers resemble castles and cathedrals. Others see them as forests of rock.

Bryce Canyon – amphitheater
Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon

Millions of years ago, the Colorado Plateau, in which Bryce resides, was once periodically flooded by freshwater. Bryce Canyon is almost entirely composed of sedimentary rocks, meaning it was formed by deposits of sediments (precipitated out of water) cemented together (lithified) into sedimentary rock and later uplifted by tectonic activity. Over time, the rock was subjected to the slow, powerful weathering and erosion forces that molded the columns seen today.

Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon- Natural Bridge

Zion was a relatively flat basin near sea level 240 million years ago. Sedimentation of mountain runoff deposits, lithification, volcanic activity, tectonic uplift, erosion and the Virgin River carved out the current Canyon. Today, uplift is still occurring. In 1992, Springdale (city at the south park entrance) had a 5.8 earthquake and the Virgin River is still excavating. The canyon is subject to powerful flash floods.

Zion
Zion
Zion
Zion
Zion

What’s new at the St. Pete Farmer’s Market

Visited old friends and made new ones at the St. Petersburg FL Saturday Market. Our first stop was the Twisted Indian food truck. Kat had the Lamb Korma Naanwich, which she described as perfectly spiced with just the right amount of heat. I had my favorite drink, Mango Lassi, a refreshing cold drink made with yogurt. The exciting news is the Twisted Indian will soon have a location on Central Avenue!

On our way to the produce stands, we were snagged by the vendors with colorful prints and fun hats.

Kat with her cool new tunic and cross body bag.
My new straw hat!
Gorgeous produce from Immokalee

May 29 is the last weekend for the Farmers Market at the Rowdies parking lot before it moves to Williams Park for the summer.

Virgin Goods Cafe+

Virgin Goods, 2 East State Route 9, Virgin, Utah 84779 On the west side of Zion National Park on SR 9

Curiosity! I want to stop, but can’t. I am chasing a time clock of Zion’s 1.1 mile tunnel closing. And I want to catch a glimpse of Kolob Canyon.

Kolob Canyon National Park located on the North West side of Zion National Park. Kolob is a cooler, more forested area of Zion’s Park.

Having time to spend on the way out of Zion the next day, of course I had to stop at “Virgin Goods” in the desert in the middle of nowhere.

What to sample?? I regretted having had my morning travel meal of fruits, nuts and cheese. The toast sandwich of “Gooseberry Very Berry” looked delicious as a customer munched it down.

I chose a trail mix cookie & brownie for the road. I nibbled on part of the trail mix cookie composed of oatmeal, nuts, chocolate chips ….sitting at a table in the library section.

A book “Lucky From Virgin: An Unlikely Story” was displayed on the table. I thumbed through it to find it was an autobiography of a small town kid growing up in Virgin, a Mormon town, to become an Emmy award- winning correspondent/storyteller/producer in broadcast journalism.

To add to the warm-cozy flavor of the cafe-goods store, two books containing 8 novels by Lilian Jackson Braun were propped supported by the wall and table top. Braun was an American writer who wrote a light-hearted cozy feeling mystery series of “The Cat Who… “

I got up from the table to browse their used book store. Books ranged from old novels, semi-modern mysteries to medical, environmental soil health….. Good collection where something could be found to fill evening downtime after a day’s hike. But not if you are one that has to have the latest or a specific author.

I move on to the goods area, where people’s past treasures were up for sale as well as a small amount of tourist related items…. Virgin Goods is a two room store, so the area is compressed to provide a little of everything in this small spot on the map.

Before I leave I visit the bathroom, not knowing when my next possibility would present itself. Wow! A clean bathroom!

A cool breeze was blowing the curtains of the singular window opening to the outside. Brought to mind was a remembrance of a “peaceful aloneness” feeling stirred by “wind blowing curtain” paintings of the late 18th, early 19th century ( e.g. Andrew Wyeth).

Reflection time over. Time to move on to catch an airplane home.

If you are in the area around Zion and wish the flavor of a young eclectic natural health food nibble, stop by “Virgin Goods.” Their menu of possible toasts is only an ingredient list. They will make a nibble according to your desire with ingredients on hand. Since baked goods can dry out in Utah, to avoid disappointment , ask for their freshest baked goods.

It was well worth the stop. I recommend to all who appreciate those small, yet unique homey spots.

Along the way from Zion to Virgin. the landscape looks like volcano action generated these tailings . The area around Zion would be a geologist dream. I don’t know what the stone is. It is not coal, porous lava or obsidiam.

WHAT IF

Having spent the last 12 plus months witnessing how people have reacted to the Covid pandemic, I am saddened, perplexed, and amazed. I surely am not the only one who has witnessed the hoarding of toilet paper and basic home supplies in the rush of making sure I get all mine before it’s all gone. I have witnessed the simple act of wearing a face mask to protect myself and others, turned into a narrative that our civil liberties are being taken from us. This past week, once again, I witness the hoarding and panic because much of North Carolina and the Southeast is dealing with a fuel shortage due to a pipeline being shut down.

I am not lost on the fact that gasoline is a precious commodity, but so is courtesy and kindness, respect for others. How did we get here? How did we get to a point where the only thing that matters is how much we can get and to hell with everyone else?

I see much more than that in my world. I see the seeds of awareness and awakening, albeit slower than I would like, it is still happening. The world is in chaos and change to be sure, embroiled within this chaos and change are birth pains of a higher frequency. The soul cries out to be heard, the pangs of old illusions and limitations are real and in the throes of their own death spiral.

When you arrive at the crossroads of change with tears streaming down your face, consider what the tears represent. Are they for sadness or joy? Or are they the realization that you have been unable or unwilling to walk the path your soul has chosen? Perhaps your tears are for the relationships you have had to sever in your desire to live truthfully, and for those who have turned away from you because they are not yet ready to see the truth within their hearts. Your tears may very well be for those times the truth revealed itself only to have you turn your gaze away, fearing even greater loss. Why do we give more power to our fears of the truth when our hearts yearn deeply to live it?

I believe it is because opening ourselves to the truth means those parts of us living in the shadows must either come to the light or die. Something greater beckons us forward, calling for the ultimate truth to reveal itself.

WHAT IF, we could all embrace the precept that each individual is unique and divine by nature, and that we refer to this divinity as the Christ within?

WHAT IF, we could embrace the knowing that there is a creative universal law that begins in the mind and ends in manifestation? If we want to change our world, we must change our beliefs.

WHAT IF, through prayer, meditation, respect, and courtesy, we can experience our individual and collective divinity and guidance?

WHAT IF, we stopped believing in the illusion that we live in a world of lack and limitation and that there is MORE THAN ENOUGH for all of us?

WHAT IF, we live our truth, acknowledge our connection to each other and transform the world?