This blog contains responses to blog prompts, & thoughts on spiritual or religious themes
"The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion. War shall cease between nations, and by the will of God the Most Great Peace shall come; the world will be seen as a new world, and all men will live as brothers."
Other Blogs and Journals
Content Rating 18+
"Writing in Snow"
"The Snowflake Chronicles"
"More Snow Melt"
"Welcome to My Weird Life"
"Memories of Snow"
"Dreams of Snow "
Content Rating ASR
"Bicentenary Poems and Prose"
"Treasures lie hidden beneath the throne of God;
the key to those treasures if the tongue of poets."
"O my God! O my God! Unite the hearts of Thy servants, and reveal to them Thy great purpose. May they follow Thy commandments and abide in Thy law. Help them, O God, in their endeavor, and grant them strength to serve Thee. O God! Leave them not to themselves, but guide their steps by the light of Thy knowledge, and cheer their hearts by Thy love. Verily, Thou art their Helper and their Lord."
Fiḍál (Grace), 16 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Tuesday, November 19, 2019
PROMPT: November 19th - What characteristics do you admire in a leader? Is there or was there a time in your life when you took on a leadership role? Research different leadership styles and describe which style you would most like to follow. Which style are you? When you are in a leadership position, do you exemplify the qualities you admire in a good leader?
I'm neither a leader nor a follower, I'm a member of the team. As for my leadership sty, I remember encountering this theory in one of my college courses. I think there were probably three or four leadership styles, but I don't remember what they were. If we did a group project the class was divided into teams of two, three, or four--depending on the size of the class--and each one had part of the research and write part of the paper. Next we had to proof read each others work before merging the written work into a project report that was handed to the instructor. At least, that's how I remember it.
I neither know nor care what my leadership style is. If I'm put in charge of a team, I will reluctantly accept the position and find out about the talents and experience of the rest of the team before attempting to come to a consensus on how to share the workload and divide the project. I firmly believe that each member of the team should have a chance to use and develop their talents, as much as possible. A team has to work in unity, otherwise the project will fail. The success or failure of a team project is the responsibility or fault of the entire team and not just one person.
Kamál (Perfection), 15 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Monday, November 18, 2019
PROMPT: November 18th - What is something that most people misunderstand or wrongly assume about you?
It's Monday morning. I've drank one WDC travel mug of coffee and am working on the second. I've had one apple cider doughnut to eat, and am trying to decide what I want to fix for breakfast. It would help if I knew or cared what was in the freezer or the refrigerator. I'm also attempting to decide whether it really matters if people understand or misunderstand about me. I'm sure there are a number of acquaintances, who believe I'm going to hell. If they bring up the subject I will attempt to explain the reasons I believe otherwise. If they don't bring up the subject, they are entitled to their opinion.
I have acquired some wisdom
and learned not to judge.
I know for a fact that there are some who think I'm manipulative, because I've been accused of being manipulative. There was a time when I would have attempted to prove otherwise. However, you can't change someone's opinion when they don't want their opinion to be changed. There are some people who think I'm rude because I hang up on drunks and telemarketers. If I'm given the choice I'd rather deal with a telemarketer than a drunk. There are some people who think I'm stingy because I don't give to every charity I call. I decided long ago that I give to my faith on a regular basis, so that is enough. Especially since I live on a fixed income.
Learned to do my best,
learning obedience to my Lord
and supplicating forgiveness when I fail.
Do I care about what other people understand or misunderstand about me? This morning the only things I care about is having another mug of coffee, figuring out what I'm going to have for breakfast, and increasing my water intake.
Jamál (Beauty), 14 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Sunday, November 17, 2019
PROMPT: November 17th - There are 45 days remaining in the year. What do you want to do or accomplish before 2019 is over?
Since there are 45 days left in the year, and 45 has a numeric root of 9, (At least, I think you get the numeric root of a number by adding its components together. I'm sure someone will correct me if that isn't right.) I'm going to list 9 things I have to do before the end of the year. There are other things I probably should list, but I'm not going to do that right now. I suspect 9 items is as much or more than I can complete in 2019.
Finish the 10 poems I need to complete for the 200 dedicated to Bicentenary of the Birth of The Bab and place them in "Bicentenary Poems and Prose" .
Make an appointment to have my dentures relined.
Order ink cartridges for the printer.
Make appointment and have blood drawn (November 18-22).
Make projected budget for 2020.
Send for birth certificate because my drivers license is due in December 2020.
Sign lease choosing Option B as the rent for a years lease.
Check on the DMV website and make sure I changed my address.
Clean off and organize stuff on computer desk and TV tray (beside desk).
Jalál (Glory), 13 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Saturday, November 16, 2019
PROMPT: November 16th - If you had to spend one million dollars in one day, what would you spend it on?
If I Had a Million Dollars
Some say that a million dollars
is better than a million scholars,
but I don't see how this can be
since education can set us free
if we use it properly.
Since I believe education should be free,
I'd found a university
for those who wanted to learn,
but couldn't afford the exorbitant fees.
Istiqlál (Independence), 12 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Friday, November 15, 2019
PROMPT: November 15th - In your entry today, write about focus. Use the following questions to guide you. At what time of day are you the most focused? When you need to focus on a task, how do you prevent distractions? How do you manipulate your environment to keep yourself focused? How else do you practice focus in your life? Any tools or techniques you can share?
At what time of day are you the most focused? Morning focus is helped by coffee, a breakfast pastry, and breakfast. Morning is the best time to focus, however, I make my doctor and hairdresser appointments of a morning. Sometimes, the appointments interrupt my writing focus. Other times I can focus on writing when I get back home. I've thought about changing the appointments, but that would mean I'd have to interrupt my writing or whatever I'm doing to get ready and go to the appointment. I've rather go to the appointment and come back ready to write or review than interrupt the writing/reviewing process. It's more difficult to refocus after an interruption.
When you need to focus on a task, how do you prevent distractions? Long ago I learned that it is next to impossible to prevent distractions and interruptions. The reason for this is that God, fate, the universe, and everything in the universe has a sense of humor. This means that I will be distracted or interrupted at the most inconvenient time. I've found the best way to deal with these situations is to either take care of the interruption or ignore it.
How do you manipulate your environment to keep yourself focused? I don't. I've attempted to manipulate my environment numerous times over the years. The problem is that nothing works for more than a few hours or a few days. Therefore, I do my best to piece by piece eliminate the piles of distractions around my computer. Right now I'm working on the distractions on the left side of the computer.
How else do you practice focus in your life? Prayer, meditation, making a "To Do List" on the notepad of my smartphone, remembering to check the "To Do List" on my smartphone, getting up from my computer to wash dishes and other necessary things, and getting up to look out the front door to check on whatever is going on outside.
Any tools or techniques you can share? Pausing what I'm doing to read an interesting article online. When worry interrupts me, I pause to say some prayers. I tend to worry about things I don't have any control over or worry because I don't have anything to worry about. In these cases saying a prayer helps me to refocus. I downloaded the Baha'i Prayer app to my smartphone so now all I have to do is open the prayer app.
Istijlál (Majesty), 11 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Thursday, November 14, 2019
DAY 2551: Do you look for the best in a situation or prepare for the worst?
Not An Either/Or Question
This isn't an either/or question. A person can hope for and pray for the best, while preparing for the worsts. The reason for doing both is that stuff happens, and Murphy's Law--"If anything can go wrong, it will"3--kicks in when you least expect it. Therefore, by preparing for the worst, you will have a back-up plan. It's true that the worst you prepare for probably won't happen, but something will go wrong and your back-up plan won't go to waste.
Day 2049: "A poem is never finished, just abandoned." Paul Valeri How do you feel about this quote?
To Abandon or To Rewrite
To abandon or to rewrite?
That is the question.
Is it better to abandon the poem,
let it lay,
that it is finished--
or to rewrite
and change the entire ode.
The poet's only salvation
is to save the rewrites
under such titles as
Poem's Nave Draft 1. 2,
so on and so forth.
Istijlál (Majesty), 11 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Thursday, November 14, 2019
PROMPT: November 14th - Think back to a moment in your life when you were faced with making a difficult choice. (Which city to move to, which college to attend, what to ask Santa for, etc) How might your life be different if you had made a different choice than the one you did?
No! No! No! I do not want to know how my life would be different if I had made different decisions. I do not want to go back (even if I could) and change the decisions I made in the pasts. The decisions I made in the past created the person I am today. I am just beginning to like the person I am, and I do not want to go back and start the process over again.
It takes too long
to retrace my steps
over the shards of memory,
and across the petrified tears of yesterday.
It takes too long
to follow paths covered
with the dust of history,
littered with scraps of illusions,
and strewn with the bones of vain imaginings.
‘Idál (Justice), 10 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Wednesday, November 13, 2019
PROMPT: November 13th - In what circumstances do you believe it is okay to fib or tell a white lie?
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines white lie as (1) "a lie that is about a subject that is not very important, or one that is told to be polite or kind" or (2) "a lie that is told in order to be polite or to stop someone from being upset by the truth"4. Now that I have stated the definitions of a "white lie", I can answer the question "In what circumstances do you believe it is okay to fib or tell a white lie?" Honesty is the best policy or, at least, a good policy.
It is up to the individual whether or not to tell a white or any other color of lie. Every individual encounter different circumstances and have different motives. I cannot judge another person's circumstances or motives, therefor it is up to them whether or not to tell the truth or to lie. I am responsible only for myself and my decisions.
Fiḍál (grace), 9 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Tuesday, November 12, 2019
PROMPT: November 12th - What is one thing (sight, smell, sound, object, etc) that, when you encounter it, instantly brings you back to your childhood?
One of the smells that takes me back to my childhood is the aroma of Prince Albert Tobacco . For years Grandpa Frank rolled his own cigarettes using Prince Albert Tobacco. Every time I smell this tobacco I remember Grandpa and I smile. Prince Albert is the only type tobacco that I can stand to smell and it's because it brings back memories of my Grandfather. The scent of the tobacco was on his clothes all the time.
I inhale the aroma
and memories rise
like cigarette smoke
on a cold Oklahoma day.
Kamál (Perfection), 8 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Monday, November 11, 2019
PROMPT November 11th - Today, your prompt is one word: Transformation.
I am a caterpillar
Death is transformation,
The human body dies,
decomposes into the elements
and subatomic particles of matter,
while the soul ascends
into the spiritual realm.
Jamál (Beauty), 7 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Sunday, November 10, 2019
PROMPT November 10th - What do you find yourself insecure about? Are you able to overcome your insecurities? If so, how?
always blowing in the breeze:
I place my trust in God!
I'm not listing any of my insecurities for three reasons. First, I'm sure the list is too long to include in a sing blog entry, and I'm not going to make more than one blog entry on this subject in November. Second, they are my insecurities, I'm the one who has to deal with them, and past experience has taught me that when I share my insecurities all I get is more difficulties to deal with. Three, the only one I have to confess anything to is Baha'u'llah, God's representative. There could be, and probably are, other reasons I'm not sharing my insecurities, but those would only emphasize some of my insecurities. Therefore, I will share a poem.
Nights are growing longer and colder,
as the tapestry of the year is rolled up
waiting to be stored in the closet of memory.
Jalál (Glory), 6 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Saturday, November 9, 2019
DAY 2546: November 9 to November 14 is the International Week of Science and Peace . How do you think technology affect international peace?
I'm reading a series of article by Victoria Welborn titled How Science and Religion Can Agree . Part 1 is Celebrating the International Week of Science and Peace . Part 2 is Our Human Right to Science . As a Baha'i, I believe that science and religion can agree. One of the basic concepts of the Baha'i Faith is unity, which takes in several aspects of human society. There is the unity of God, one Divine Creator with many names. The unity of the foundation of the revealed religions, all are sent from God through Divine Manifestations to assist humanity. The unity of the human race, that is humanity--no matter what color the individual are--is a single species. Science is a gift from God that lets humanity investigate reality.
"Therefore, all souls should consider it incumbent upon them to investigate reality. Reality is one; and when found, it will unify all mankind. Reality is the love of God. Reality is the knowledge of God. Reality is justice. Reality is the oneness or solidarity of mankind. Reality is international peace. Reality is the knowledge of verities. Reality unifies humanity."
As a Baha'i, I not only believe World Peace is possible I believe it is inevitable. It is the next stage in the collective evolution of the human race and cultural. We have went through the early stages of family, clan, city-state, and nation--each of which was generated by a Manifestation of the attributes of God. We are now on the verge of world unity and peace. This is the reason God sent both the Bab and Baha'u'llah. However, world peace and unity won't come easy because we, as human beings, are expected to help by asking questions and investigating reality. We are expected to help by putting aside all of our learned prejudices because prejudice of any type is detrimental to peace and unity.
Technology and science will assist us in establishing World Peace, if we are willing to ask ourselves the hard questions. If each individual human being is willing to investigate, for themselves, the discoveries made by scientist. The International Week of Science and Peace is a good time to start by looking into community projects that cover the scientific discoveries we are interested in.
Jalál (Glory), 6 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Saturday, November 9, 2019
PROMPT: November 9th - Write a stream of conscious entry starting with the words “I wish...”
I wish... What is it I wish for? A dish of chocolate ice cream or a slice of death by chocolate cake covered with a couple of scoops chocolate ice cream and a trenta cafe mocha. Maybe a slice of pepperoni pizza with with Jalapeños.
Wishes are strange and secretive critters. At birthday parties you blow out the candles and make a wish. However, you're not supposed to tell the wish or you won't get it. That never made any sense to me. If you don't tell someone about your wish, how are you supposed to get it. Is there a wish fairy--cousin to the tooth fairy--that reads your mind and grants wishes. I don't remember ever getting any birthday wish unless I told either Grandma Mary or Grandpa Frank. Sometimes Mama would grant my wish if I told her, but I had a better chance of getting it if I told one or both of my grandparents.
Istiqlál (Independence), 5 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Friday, November 8, 2019
PROMPT: November 8th - Besides music, what are some of your favorite sounds?
What are my favorite sounds? Any noise that doesn't remotely resemble the sound of small arms fire, the police breaking down a neighbors door, or an unidentifiable loud noise that wakes me up in the middle of the night wondering if we're being invaded by extraterrestrials. I don't mind most animal noises, with the exception of the damn pigeon that nests above the next door apartment. This pigeon keeps singing the "Lonely Pigeon Blues" all day beginning in March until about the middle of November. It is the most pathetic and weird animal noise I've ever heard, and I heard some really unusual and weird animal noises in my life.
My favorite animal sound is the song of a nightingale. I like to listen to music, at least most types of music. If I find a song that I don't like or feel is offensive, I don't listen to it again. I enjoy cats purring. I don't mind dogs barking, and I like the sound of a rooster crowing. I don't mind neighbor noises, as long as they're not airing their dirty laundry in public.
Istijlál (Majesty), 4 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Thursday, November 7, 2019
PROMPT: November 7th What is your favorite color? Do you have a favorite color pairing? What’s something in your life that you picture when you think of your favorite color? Do you choose to wear clothing that is your favorite color? Has your favorite color changed over your life?
Use these questions to explore how your favorite color has influenced you.
**Optional Enjoy this video about a woman’s love affair with the color green: https://youtu.be/pE5h2kk0NTI
Flutter around lilac blooms
is the flame of my soul
as it burns
for the Glory of God.
Their innocent and abundant
Fragrance across the planet.
and so pure
wait to be eaten.
What is my favorite color? My favorite colors are shades of purple and indigo.
What are my favorite color pairings? Purple, indigo, and shades of rose or magenta.
What do I picture when I think of my favorite color? Lilacs, plums, violets, and grapes.
‘Idál (Justice), 3 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Wednesday, November 6, 2019
November 6th: I have another link for you all today:
What parts of the chart did you find to be accurate and which did you find issue with? Anything you related strongly to? Is a chart like this useful, or does it rely too heavily on stereotypes?
people into cubicles of disunity.
That chart is just another way of labeling people! It's another way of dividing humanity into small groups that a an individual can ignore, hate, or look down on. Instead of separating people by color, religion, nationality, or gender, it separates them by generation. Since each human being is a unique individual--with some attributes and talents in common with or different from other human beings--you can't lump all "baby boomers" or "generation Xers" into the same category with other "baby boomers" or "generation Xers".
Labels and categories build walls between people, without encouraging communication. We need more communication between generations, so that one generation can understand the other without either generation judging the other.
Fiḍál (Grace), 2 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Tuesday, November 5, 2019
PROMPT: November 5th - Write your entry today inspired by one of the emotions listed on the webpage below:
"(n) The desire to see everything with fresh eyes
To feel things just as intensely as you did when you were younger—before expectations, before memory, before words."6
It tiptoes through my mind,
after scripture readings,
it is the desire to see reality,
and the universe,
with new eyes.
I want to put aside
and the words
the inner truth
of the atoms
and subatomic particles
that make compose the core
of the cosmos
DAY 2524: Use these words in your entry : herald, dawn, pivotal, light, and shadows.
Herald of a New Dawn:
To The Bab
He appeared at a pivotal time
when the shadows
of dogma and superstition
veiled the inner light
and covered the common foundation
with the crumbling stones
of ancient places of worship.
The herald of a new dawn,
and announced the approach
of Him Whom God Will Make Manifest,
the Glory of God.
Kamál (Perfection), 1 Qudrat (Power) 176 B.E. - Monday, November 4, 2019
PROMPT: November 4th - Would you rather be surprised or surprise someone else? Write about it!
To Surprise or Not to Surprise
I have never had a surprise party. I have never attended a surprise party (at least I can't remember attending one). I have never planned a surprise party. The only type of surprises I like and look forward to getting are those wrapped in Happy Birthday paper some other type beautiful gift paper or bags. I do not like to have people dropping by my apartment without calling first (the only exceptions to this are UPS, FEDX, or some other delivery persons).
DAY 2042: Does your brain surprise you with its brilliance or its glitches? If you wish, would you like to elaborate on the idea?
At 72, I surprise (perhaps I should say scar myself) with my brain glitches. I also dazzle myself with my brilliance, especially when it come to poetry. Sometimes, I wonder where the ideas, phrases, lines, metaphors, and similes come from. After thinking about it, I realize that they either come from my subconscious mind or are gifts from God. I attribute them as gifts from God because the only way I can access my subconscious mind is with the help of the Lord.
Jamál (Beauty), 19 ‘Ilm (knowledge) 176 B.E. - Sunday, November 3, 2019
PROMPT: November 3rd - Write about a time when you waited a long time for something. Did you end up getting what you wanted? Was it worth it?
Walk into view
Dawdling over minutes
Waddling past light curtained portals
Artificial white lights
Across bright floors hiding hours that
Dance down the ages
Forgotten by minutes
Unremembered by echoing
Waiting outside of sight
Outside of hope outside of time
It seems I'm always waiting for something. In Las Vegas you stand in line at buffets or wait at stop lights that seem to take forever to turn form red to green. I wait at any doctor's office I go to. Sometimes I wait in line at Supercuts. At certain times of day I can find myself waiting in line at a fast food place. I wait for the RTC paratransit bus to pick me up and drop me off either at the business I'm going to or at home. Most of the time the bus arrives within the thirty minute window, but sometimes it is late. The paratransit bus always arrives and the drivers apologize when they're late.
Like a giant snake,
the line advances
slithering between roped corridors.
I stand and wait;
I set and wait;
I wait and wait and wait!
I wait for money;
I wait for food;
Sometimes it seems I wait int line,
To wait in line, to wait in line ...
Jalál (Glory), 18 ‘Ilm (knowledge) 176 B.E. - Saturday, November 2, 2019
PROMPT: November 2nd - Write about jouska. From Psychology Today, jouska is defined as “a hypothetical conversation that you play out over and over in your head. For example, replaying an argument in your head where you say all the right things and “win” the argument, or practicing asking your boss for a raise and playing out his or her responses and your comebacks.”
At least now I have a name for it that sounds better than talking to myself. I play out conversations, poem, blog entries, and stories in my head all the time. The conversations usually don't come to fruition because by the time I encounter the person (usually on the phone) another subject is discussed. The only time the planned conversation comes to fruition is with one of my doctors or the physician assistant.
I usually address Baha'u'llah when I have internal conversations. It helps focus my mind on the issues which are bothering me. If I have difficulty focusing I can't write, so I discuss the situation with Baha'u'llah or I repeat a prayer I've memorized. Both help me refocus when my thought start to roam. I get irritated with myself when I catch myself fantasizing or my thoughts wandering over things that have nothing to do with what I'm working on at the moment.
November started out a bit better than October. So far, I've managed to focus on a the blog entries and poems I'm composing. Of course, this it just day two, and for the past few years November has been a difficult month to focus because that's when my mother died in 2012. She died on Thursday, November 29, 2012, one week after Thanksgiving. November 29 is also Grandpa Franks birthday., I'll just have to wait and see how the rest of the month goes and if I can finish the goals I've planed for this month in "November Writing Goals" .