ZERO PLUS 1252 DAY--New York, NY, Sunday, February
and place are both perishable commodities according to Christo,
the world-famous environmental artist who draped 23 miles of
pathways in Central Park with what he calls The Gates.
and his wife Jeanne Claude unfurled the 7,500 sixteen-foot frames
marching through the 843 acres of Central Park and invited millions
to walk through his artistic wonderland in hopes that some might
pass from Terrorism to Vigilance.
At least, that's
what I hope he thought.
before the unfurling....
Park is filled with tens of thousands of square feet of saffron-colored
material swaying to the exhalations of Mother Nature's winds.
But what does
For those of
us who focus on Vigilance, The Gates represent a passageway
from Terrorism to Vigilance. They represent a line over which
one crosses from one world to another, from the Fear, Intimidation
and Complacency of life to its Courage,
Conviction and Right Actions for all the future generations.
In other words,
The Gates are a triumphant arch through which many pass from
bondage to freedom--if they gear themselves for that journey.
Feb. 9, VigilanceVoice story).
To believe in
the magic of art, one must believe in the magic of humanity.
Are we capable of managing and controlling our individual thirsts
for acts of Terrorism against one another--from the mundane
act of yelling at child because we are upset to the physical
abuse of our own selves by thinking and acting that we are a
"loser," a "failure?"
question is best answered by the choice of saffron as the color
Christo employs for his Gates. Saffron is a magic ingredient,
considered the most expensive of all spices in the world. Here
is some of its history.
THE MAGIC OF SAFFRON
Saffron is one of the few
things that truly is worth its weight in gold. This
product of the crocus flower adds not only pungent and
aromatic flavor to foods, but also a beautiful golden
color. Luckily, the tiniest amount goes a long way,
so in spite of it being the world's most expensive spice,
it is still within the budget of the home cook.
According to Greek myth, handsome mortal Crocos fell in
love with the beautiful nymph Smilax. But alas, his favors
were rebuffed by Smilax, and he was turned into a beautiful
purple crocus flower. Saffron
comes from the Arab word assfar, meaning yellow, and was
mentioned as far back as 1500 b.c. in many classical writings,
as well as in the Bible. Saffron
is harvested from the fall-flowering plant Crocus sativus,
a member of the Iris family. It is native to Asia Minor,
where it has been cultivated for thousands of years to
be used in medicines, perfumes, dyes, and as a wonderful
flavoring for foods and beverages.
The red-gold threads were also highly prized by pharaohs
and kings as an aphrodisiac, yet large amounts produce
deathly narcotic effects. Saffron
has been used medicinally to reduce fevers, cramps and
enlarged livers, and to calm nerves. It has also been
used externally to for bruises, rheumatism, and neuralgia.
(Do not use medicinally without consulting your physician.)
Most saffron is now imported from Spain.
Golden threads of saffron
Each purple crocus flower produces three stigmas, which
are hand-picked from the blossom, dried, and permitted
to ferment slightly to produce saffron.
It is estimated that it takes some 14,000 stigmas to produce
only one ounce of saffron
threads. The labor-intensive process makes the cost of
these bright red threads upwards of $50 per quarter-ounce.
Luckily, a little bit goes a long way, and you can buy
enough for a number of meals for under $10. One part saffron
to 150,000 parts water will turn the water a bright yellow
and still leave its distinctive flavor. Saffron
is an indispensable ingredient in bouillabaisse, paella
and Chartreuse liqueur.
If Vigilance exists in any form, it must be surmised to exist
in the manufacture of saffron.
Few if any products humans consume takes such tender loving
care or costs so much per ounce, or, goes so far.
Vigilance is not easy for one to create in his or her life.
Like saffron, it takes long hours
of nurturing and a eye to the future benefits.
A parent teaching a child the delicate art of Vigilance over
Terrorism must himself or herself know it first and be its student
before having the capacity to pass it on. That means a parent
must have faced his or her Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies
with at least One Percent more Courage, Conviction and belief
in doing the Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children.
o be a Vigilant Parent requires passing through many Gates
This is not an easy task, for it requires us to pass through
many Gates, to examine ourselves and our intents as human beings
to rise above the primordial ooze of Complacency where we believe
we are simply just another "grain" of sand on the
beach who have no true impact on the world.
We arrive at the conclusion by listening to the Beast of Terror
who mitigates our humanness and employs every possible tactic
to force us to resign ourselves to the position that we are
"nobody special," and that our lives are in a "rut"
and that everyone else is a hammer and we are simply a nail
that takes one pounding after another.
We know this to be shockingly true when we are asked to write
down, without blinking, our Primary Mission in life. That Primary
Mission is the single most important reason we exist. It is
the fuel that keeps us trudging through the challenges of life.
It is the spark that ignites the darkness around us when we
feel we are being swallowed down the gullet of the Beast and
are powerless to stop the ingestion.
By hesitating to answer this question, we know we are not prepared
to teach anyone the importance of life because we are not sure
of our own.
This is the importance of the saffron
color of The Gates. Saffron is
a precious color. It is without distinction in the world of
color. Throughout history, the most important of kings and pharos
sought its power.
So it is that saffron represents
the Primary Mission of each human being.
is the color of the Vigilance Primary Mission
Sadly, a Terrorist knows his or her Primary Mission. To be
a Terrorist, requires such focus. If one is willing to blow
himself or herself up and kill innocents by the trucksful without
blinking an eye, you can be assured that individual has elected
a Primary Mission that overpowers his or her Fear, Intimidation
Only an equal and opposite force of Vigilance can counter such
a Terroristic Primary Mission.
Saffron is the color of the Vigilance
It symbolizes the cementing of one's Courage over Fear, one's
Conviction above Intimidation and one's choice of taking the
Right Actions that benefit all Children's Children's Children
versus Complacency, or inaction.
When you walk through Central Park and pass through The Gates,
you pass through not only a choice of Vigilance over Terrorism,
but also under the magic of saffron.
This magic color is the punctuation you can add to your conviction
that you are a person of Primary Purpose, and that Primary Purpose
is to be a Sentinel of Vigilance who teaches children how to
have at least One Percent more Courage than Fear, One Percent
more Conviction than Intimidation, One Percent more belief in
what is right for the future generations than Complacency that
everything will continue to be what it is despite individual
Cliff McKenzie and wife, Lori, walking through the "Gates"
Saffron is the symbol of knowing
one's Primary Purpose.
And, even if you cannot physically walk through The Gates in
Central Park, all one needs to do is shut his or her eyes and
imagine the passageway.
Every doorway in life through which one passes is a "Gate"
from-to something. If you make each passageway a reminder of
your Vigilance over Terrorism, you will never forget your Primary
Purpose is Vigilance. And, it will help remind you that a Terrorist
never forgets his or her Primary Mission is the Terrorism of
you and your loved ones.
Be filled with Vigilant Primary Purpose. Take the Pledge of
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