Sedona SCENE – Sedona SOUL
A Sharing With Barbara Mayer
Sedona, AZ (October 30, 2011) – The word “Politics” has become associated with all sorts of sleaziness, underhanded dealing, ego-driven lies and fear-mongering, illegal antics and various kinds of “dirty tricks”. And here I state with some kind of civic pride that I’m originally from Chicago, even though it still carries the reputation of being a city where, on election day, people vote “early and often”. In fact, as editor of my high school newspaper, I once had the honor of a personal interview with Chicago’s original “Hizzoner”, the first Mayor Richard J. Daley himself.
Those were the days. But this is Sedona.
I, like many sister and fellow citizens of our little city, left family and friends – former careers and many areas of my own comfort zone — to come here. Something in me knew I needed to become part of this gentle place of magic and magnificent beauty nestled in one very special valley of Northern Arizona.
This is my home now. And this is my pain now, to watch with a very deep sadness the actual fear-mongering, lies, and personal attacks of character assassination which I thought I had left behind in the less civil and more ignorant world I used to know.
My heart keeps telling me that this is Sedona. This is the gentle place of healing, wholeness, compassion — and a place where people want to serve in government because they desire to be part of that healing, wholeness and compassion. They want to serve in order to help build a new kind of community where less attractive parts of that community can be given a chance to blossom with new vitality and vibrancy, and where people who live here can stroll in pleasant areas as neighbors greeting neighbors, sharing the special ambiance — and where people from all over that world out there can come to visit – just to get even a little taste of what this magical place called Sedona can become.
I write these words over a week before results of the Proposition 410 referendum are revealed. I write them now, however, because I face shoulder surgery in the next few days, and because for an indefinite time to come I won’t have use of the right arm which is working this keyboard right now.
Yet I must bear witness to the ugliness, pettiness, and absolutely illegal actions of some – not all – who have turned the Proposition 410 referendum into a pitiful display of juvenile — and felonious – stealing of signs, breaking of artistic copyright laws, and rampant intimidation of businesses and individual citizens who simply happen not to agree with those who just want to wield their power once again.
This is Sedona. This is not just another distant suburb of Phoenix, and Sedona deserves better. I don’t know at this date what the outcome of the Prop 410 election will be. But I do know that whatever the outcome, there will be other elections in this city – one happening just a few months away, during another magical springtime in this Sedona which I love.
I hope that next election will not again arouse the nastiness and pettiness which has occurred this October. I hope we can all learn to approach the honor of being part of government — and the right to vote without facing intimidation or false pretenses which too many in this country have already given their very lives to protect — with the integrity and the blending of Head and Heart which every true community deserves.
I hope we can all learn to present our ideas for a better Sedona in truth and integrity, rather than with false statements which carry no truth and predictions which come from fantasy rather than fact. I hope we can rise above the despicable antics we have seen in these past few weeks. And I hope each person who resides in this magical place will step up to demand that future elections be ones of true fact and true decency.
As I write this I don’t know which side – Yes on 410 or No on 410 – will gather the most votes. All I know is that the only true winner — or loser — in this referendum is Sedona herself. And that remains to be seen.
And, by the way, if you haven’t voted yet, please do vote now. Be a positive part of the real Sedona you love.
Barbara Mayer is an InterFaith/InterSpiritual minister, author, teacher and poet who resides in Sedona, Arizona.