I slept soundly again last night, a feeling of gratitude as I woke before the dawn with both enough time and energy to get some practice in before the group arrived.
Stephanie is leaving other work and will pick up a day with us further which works great for me – she is loving and enthusiastic in all aspects of the work. Additionally this will give her more time to focus on her own work and development as she sees fit, good things on the way for all from that effort I know.
As we started the rising process, I reached out to my brother, wanting to ensure that he is up-to-date with the states of dad’s well-being and able to send love and prayers in his own way as well. We don’t speak often, Ira and I, and it’s always a treat to catch up with him.
Our folks having divorced early in our lives took broadly divergent geographic paths leaving the four of us a bit of a swirl, at first in the Northwest, but eventually across the continent. Ira is the one that settled down to marry in a stable family which is where he really found his feet and has been growing like gangbusters as husband, businessman, father, leader ever since.
As it turned out, Ira has been better appraised of the situation than I, which I think is perfectly characteristic. We had a good chat, catching up, comparing notes, and appreciating our places in the world today. Uncharacteristic of most conversations I have these days, we did not venture into the territory of the wider world in its current state of madness.
Catching the “wider world” in one bucket like that makes me think of just how many people of the world – a dramatic majority I would guess – have been experiencing the recent upheavals more as business as usual. I’ve heard it called a position of privilege to lump ourselves in the “developed” world together with the rest of our brethren when catastrophizing “our” current state.
Still, this current state of madness threatens to disrupt the balances of power that have maintained the status quo of wealth, poverty, and exploitation worldwide, so in that way, yes, this wider world is who I mean, but I digress…
After the call an alarm began to sound. No action stirred down the hall to address so I asked Stephanie to step out into the house to determine where the noise was coming from. As I suspected, power had failed in the network closet, no Internet, no network.
After some fiddling, Stephanie was able to silence the noise. As she returned to the bedside, one more chirping alarm called for attention. The refrigerator had been left slightly ajar. This was more easily remedied. Echoes would persist.
I rose, making my way to the desk by 10 AM. The alert on the screen asked me to run a three minute upgrade. They say there is one born every minute, I guess I must’ve been reborn. 20 minutes and breakfast later I was back to work and the morning clerical and correspondence.
Next was time for meeting prep, colleagues and I from PHE would be reviewing one of our projects in light of new learning on the subjects of race and intersectionality. Bubba’s sister, with a PhD in social justice would guide our way. As a bonus on the call, we were all reminded of the nickname of one of our esteemed colleagues and all joined, with little ceremony, the formal roles of the BFC (Bubba’s fan club.)
Though it regularly escapes mention in these pages, I think just now to record my daily visit to the ongoing journey telling of my brother David living and working with his father on the River’s Edge on the other side of our little continent. David makes entries morning and afternoon and I follow along, mostly quietly, some 12 to 16 hours behind.
The meeting went well and we all learned a lot, new clarity, certainty, and fresh energy to surge ahead again.
I was left thinking of race and social justice, conversation that Stephanie and I had been in briefly in the morning as well. I wondered aloud with her, still reflecting on her experience growing up in the violent ghettos of LA, if substantial numbers of white children in the US were raised in similar contexts.
Her thinking was that the violence was more focused in the homes then in gang warfare on the street, and the drugs tended more towards heroin and other opiates than the gin and juice and herbs celebrated in popular song from the ghettos.
I was satisfied with that answer for the time being. I asked if she had any familiarity with current activists in the field of race, wondering in particular about a few names I knew from LA. The call this morning reminded me of one of those names and, following the energy of the dialogue I looked up a video with Orland Bishop over lunch.
After that it was time to dig into the MettaCare Foundations project. Today I learned that my aspirations for an in-person workshop in November, an engagement I was confident we could find its skillful means to do safely given the pandemic context, may have been a bit more enthusiastic than could be well reasoned as the actual policy of San Diego County currently forbids ANY gatherings of this nature.
Back to the drawing board… We keep building good bits along the way, I can’t wait to see what it all comes together as.
Oh yes, speaking of alarms… Which I was.
As I readied myself for the call this morning, it suddenly dawned on me that the helicopters were getting awfully close and a little persistent. Looking up from my work I realized that our pleasant little valley out the back window was once again ablaze. Like the alarms this morning I felt this was a minor inconvenience to which I should probably give some attention.
Initial investigations by LB were inconclusive, but as I kept my attention partially tuned to the matter, I was able to recognize the far hillside against the freeway as home to a not too terribly large fire. Likely we would have some warning if need be. It was at very least a nice conversation piece to bring into the opening of the zoom call meeting.
All of these words, noticing it must’ve been a full day. Indeed it is nearly 9 PM and I’ve a few more words to go.
Only just, I suppose, to say that Ira reached out later to let me know things seemed a bit more concerning in his appraisal of the situation in Montana then he had first imagined and that he would be traveling to see if there might be any use he could offer. I thanked him, lit a candle, and will look forward to staying abreast of these developments.
For our next reading, our little household this evening began with the forward and first chapters of The Joy of Suffering. I anticipated the book would be relevant to our little practice here, but was mildly surprised to see how quite perfectly it began to describe our situation.
Afterwards I caught up with Patience a bit, really for the first time today before turning to honor and enjoy this discipline. Now bed.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…