We Bring What We Can

Your photos breathe the beauty of connection

I bring what I can

Your depth of love and willing intervention

I bring what I can

Your wisdom voiced with ageless perception

I bring what I can

Your mysticism met with introspection

I bring what I can

Your analysis, reasoned frustration

I bring what I can

Your healing gentleness and understanding

I bring what I can

Your thoughtful prose and poetry, attention

I bring what I can

Your humour, stoicism, recollections

I bring what I can

Your friendship ‘cross the distance, humbled

I bring what I can

All grist to the mill from splendid isolation

We bring what we can

So many faceless voices, willing

Aspirants of worldly entente cordiale.

In reading and commenting on blogs today, and the word ‘isolation’ running through my mind since waking, I find myself humbled and grateful to be part of this great blogging community. So many others I could have mentioned. So many people everywhere bringing life and thought to their pages. Always reaching out. Bless you all. And, as my lovely blogging bud, Rene, always says in closing her emails and posts – Peace and Love.

Crying Shame

This one is a little more serious, content wise.

I am a dormant alcoholic you see….

Then, I began to write.

I wish I had started earlier, the writing part I mean.

I was 19 when I took my first drink.

A Crying Shame….

Image
I scored the winning touchdown during a junior varsity football game.

It was a 58 yard touchdown.

My first touchdown.

There was only 1:16 left on the clock in the 4th quarter.

I was the hero for the next day.

Then, life went on….

I was working on a power plant as an Ironworker. I was sitting on top of the highest steel point of the structure, 340’ above the ground.

2 fighter planes from a nearby base had been using our construction site as a mock target for about a month.

This particular day, they flew by the building so low and so slow, I saw one of the pilots throw me a salute as they passed.

I waved back.

Then, life went on…

My daughter was born, and we gave her a name that was on the front of a baby name book sitting beside my wife’s bed.

We called her “Copyright 1985”.

No, not really. Her beautiful name is Stephanie.

She doesn’t call me daddy anymore.

She doesn’t call me at all.

That doesn’t stop me loving her though.

I call her every day in my mind.

Life goes on.

Of course I remember when both my son’s were born, but not with as much clarity as the first.

I had started drinking by then.

I don’t remember how or why I started, but I can assure you that it robbed me of memories.

Maybe I shouldn’t say “robbed’.

I’ll say “I gave them away”

I have some idea why I started, but I can’t blame that on my wife or the new responsibilities of a father.

I won’t even blame the sexual abuse, my Bi-polar dad or my depressed mother with abuse in her childhood.

I just can’t remember why I started to drink.Image

I will write about particular occurrences or what I can recall of them in later posts.

Something happened the other day that surprised me and made me look at myself in a different light.

It made me ashamed of myself, but also helped me to realize that this is what sober people probably thought of me….through their eyes.

I have started following a blog from Catherine Lyon, a recovering “Gambling” addict.

Catherine had read and commented on one of my ‘sad’ posts. I pulled up her site to return the courtesy and to see
what she was all about.

When I saw that she was a gambling addict, I began to explore some of the details she was giving about her life and addiction.

Do you know what the first thought in my freaking mind was….?

How in the hell can someone be addicted to gambling?

That’s just stupid….throwing your money away like that!

I have no concept of someone

“NEEDING” to buy a lottery ticket or “NEEDING” to play a slot machine!

I didn’t have that problem.

I can take it or leave it.

The only reason I even buy a lottery ticket or two during the year is mainly because I have a dollar or two left over from a purchase, or I’m bored.

Can you believe I actually thought that?

Me…? A freaking alcoholic, judging the merits of someone else’s weakness or addiction!

I hate hypocrites!

I HATE BEING A HYPOCRITE!!!

What do gamblers say about alcoholics then?Image
Maybe they say…. “How in the hell can someone be addicted to getting drunk?”

“That’s just stupid….throwing your life away like that!”

It’s amazing isn’t it? I’m sitting here shaking my head as I type this and seeing myself a little better.

Of course I look handsome in the mirror, but I obviously need a little work on the inside.

I cannot believe that I was judging other addicts….or anybody come to think of it.

I think I’m gonna get tattoos on the back of my hands that say “Judge not”.

I’m such an asshole sometimes….

I cannot and never will understand why people say that they are addicted to porn, but if porn can be addictive…..I can say
that it is REAL IN THEIR MIND.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a bar and looked across the counter and seen my evil twin “TreyDawg” in the mirror behind the bartender, staring back at me thru rows of bottles, shaking his head….a sad look on his face.

He asks me “How in the hell did we get back in here?”

“I have no idea” thinks I…

Addiction can happen AT ANY TIME!

TO ANYBODY!

It’s not enough to keep your distance from ‘addictive’ things.

You have to actively be on the alert for anything that may ‘tempt’ you.

Needful things….

“I’m not an alcoholic” I said as I pulled myself from the dumpster in the alley behind the bar.

“I’m not an alcoholic” I said as I lay in that water-filled ditch outside a bar.

“I’m not an alcoholic” I said for the rest of my life…..

Denial…

It’s all I had left that was truly mine.

If I couldn’t believe it, how can I fault other people for not believing me?Image
I have actually stood in front of a beer cooler physically shaking, and contemplating stealing beer because I just realized it is a Sunday and there are ‘No Beer Sales on Sunday’.

I have actually bribed and succeeded sometimes in getting a cashier to sell me beer after hours or on Sundays.

Most times the ‘gratuity’ costs more than the beer did.

I only needed enough to get thru the day you see….

It’s been 2 years since I have had a serious binge. But, I’m going to tell you a secret….

My mouth is watering….I want a beer.

I want a beer bad.

I’m typing this, trying to recall instances of binges and my fucking mouth starts to water….

That…is how close I am to relapse.

On the edge of a razor soaked in alcohol.

I start to think about it, my body STARTS TO CRAVE……

I am actually feeling my body get that ‘anticipation’ feeling all addicts/alcoholics experience.

“He’s thinking about it! That’s a good sign” says the monster inside me.

Weird…and scary.

But for now…I’m fighting it.

You see….My FEAR is greater than my need.

I’ll use anything that works.

But I also know that fear subsides with time….and, I KNOW me.

My pen gently weeps…..

As I write this, I just realized that I must be living in constant fear.

I have to…The “need” is always here….my shadow.

A dread chain…

“I can’t go back….I won’t go back…I will never touch it again”….has said every addict/alcoholic.

What a life, my life.I am sorry that I judged Catherine’s blog and her gambling addiction.

I’m sorry that I was a hypocrite.

But, I’m glad that I was able to recognize this when it happened.

Usually an addict or alcoholic takes a lot more time to figure out that they’re being assholes or truly care about anyone else’s feelings.

You see, every true addict/alcoholic will tell you that we are a selfish lot.

The crux of it is…. Is that we DON’T WANT TO BE THIS WAY.

“Then stop doing it…Change!” say the regular people.

We try every day….every minute.

“Saints are sinners that never quit trying”Image
Alcoholics/addicts aren’t sinners, at least as far as our addictions go.

We’re just people….

People that have lost our way at some point, on this narrow path called life.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol/addiction—that our lives had become Unmanageable.

I’m sorry fellow addicts/alcoholics that I was judgmental….

Does that mean I’m getting normal again!!?? LOL!!!

There is one thing extra I’d like to share with you dear readers.

Something that I have just realized at this moment, as I was trying to end this post.

This blog that I have created….

These stories that I tell….

These memories that I share….

Keep me humble, and aware of my feelings.

I honestly believe that writing keeps me sober.

So…thank you all for being my new addiction!

I crave you…. LOL!!

Are you available this Sunday?

Soul Rebirth

Flights of fancy flood imagination.

Other beings, other worlds creation.

Anticipation of these other parts

In minds and inter-galactic charts

Where maps reveal a stellar, cosmic plan,

An interlinking with the thoughts of man.

Spirits drifting in these other plains,

Watchfulness and interaction gains

Experience for all we see on earth.

A time for thinking new. A soul rebirth.

Be My Better Me

In  darkness, you will find me,

Bring light to lead the way.

In dreams, your spirit leads me,

Breath on breath together.

In truth, you love me,

Better than another.

In troubles, you enfold me,

Bear my cares away.

In unity, we are one,

Be my better me.

 

T.M.I?

I was quite sad to read a certain post earlier today. It talked of worship and places of worship. It made me reflect again on what worship and spirituality mean to me.

Firstly, I see spirituality as an essential part of all people, in the same way that we have an emotional, mental and physical part to our make-up.

People seek spiritual enlightenment in different ways. Even those who dismiss any notion of God are still often aware of that sense of self that goes beyond the physical, emotional and mental.

How it is developed and nurtured is, to a great extent, dependent on parental and family influence as well as any more formal worship and experiences in life.

With or without church I would be a spiritual being as we all are, I believe.

In my own case, I was raised as a Roman Catholic and received all the sacraments that are believed to encourage spiritual growth. I attended Roman Catholic schools where the ethos and message throughout was on God’s saving grace and love and our responsibility to put the awareness of these into actions.

I did question my faith as a young adult and looked to Buddhism and Judaism as possible ‘alternatives’, seeing something in them that I felt perhaps our church lacked. I studied some of the teachings and read as much as I could until I came to a conclusion. The lack was in myself.

I realised that different cultures embraced different faiths but that, ultimately, we all worshipped the same God with very similar routes to enlightenment. I knew that I believed in God, that I wanted to know more and draw closer. I knew that I could do that through the faith in which I had been raised and where I already knew so much of the ‘route’.

I chose to remain in the faith in which I had been raised and to become more enriched by it.

Others are free to do the same and find where they are most comfortable or challenged. Where they feel at home.

I have belonged to the same parish for most of my life and there have been many changes of clergy over the years. I have not always ‘liked’ certain personalities although, for the most part, we have been very fortunate in having a spiritual leader at all times, with experiences of life as diverse as their personalities and natures. Some have struggled with their own demons and, in doing so, validated themselves as part of the human experience rather than as some alien being who knew nothing of life’s experiences.

Regardless of who has been the parish priest or how much I liked or disliked their personalities, I remained with my church because the church was and is more than the man at the front.

The church is us. We, as a congregation; we, as a community; we, as a nation; and we, as a world.

The Catholic church did indeed correct what they believed to be erroneous teachings. If memory serves, they reconsidered their view of the church as a hierarchy and used the analogy of concentric circles instead. The outer circle – the church – is everyone because it is the body. From the body, others are drawn to grow more closely to the centre. In all clergy we look for guidance and, unfortunately sometimes, we are let down. The sins of the person may reflect on the church but the church is humanity. And we are all guilty of sin. We share collective culpability.

The clergy are not special beings with omnipotent powers. They are people. They have flaws and yes, they fall. As do we all.

My reason for attending a place of worship is to firstly, honour God by dedicating some special time on a chosen day to receive and be in communion with Him. I strive for this every day and in daily life. The dedicated worship is because I need it. I need to draw close to the source in that significant way.

Others may not feel that need.

I do not think that they are not spiritual. Because we all are.

Some people seek certain types of worship and I would be happy if, at times, we could have some gospel music and more happy clapping. But I also love the solemn and the serene and the ritual.

I believe my faith was a seed that was nurtured by others and has grown in me. I hope it continues to grow.

Should all church buildings be wiped off of the face of the earth tomorrow, I would miss many things about gathering together in worship. But, perhaps we would gather at lakes or mountains or in deserts or in others’ homes.

I would still, however, be a spiritual being with the need to continue to nurture that part of me as much as the physical, mental and emotional.

I probably would not have written such a post had I not read the earlier one mentioned. But I did.

This is very much who I am and where I am coming from. I fail and I fall and I move on and I try and I seek and I desire with all that is in me to be that better me; the spirit housed in the body, the spirit that is linked with the spirit of all and the source.

And we all do it in different ways. I believe.

Heavenly Light

Bring me no flowers,

Cry me no tears,

Think back, instead,

On all of those years

Of laughing and growing

And crying as well.

Remember those moments,

Your children to tell.

 

For life is a circle

That goes on and round,

Up here in my heaven,

Down there on your ground.

The illusion of death

Is all but just that.

People all thought the world

Was once flat.

 

The light permeates,

All atomic states,

I’m one with you still,

Your heaven awaits.

Fear not a devil,

Or some fiery hell,

God’s presence is luminous

And all hearts do swell.

 

I’m soaring as one in the presence of light,

The idea of hell is but unending night,

An absence of awe in glorious rays,

Interminable darkness for unending days.

Draw near the source, you know this, of course,

But a reminder is all to the good.

Bask in His wonder, proclaim it asunder,

For light to the soul is our food.

The Pieta

The Pieta (4-1-08)

Awkward and too heavy,

Sprawled across a knee too small,

Lying precariously

And ungainly.

Ready to fall again,

Even after death.

The Pieta.

What have I done? a mother asks.

What have they done to you?

Why do they hate you so?

To torture your body

And my heart and mind?

And yet the knowledge was ever there.

A sword will pierce your heart.

Did she know exactly how?

Does she look resigned to the facts

She could only have been half aware of?

One hand lies loose,

Not holding on to the prone figure.

Not cuddling, as a mother would, an infant.

Resigned she may be;

For the face knows more than the two figures show.

The broken man is broken only in body.

His spirit lives

And sets us free.

She knows this but still her heart is heavy

For the child and the man –

The physical being she has lost –

Only to return ,

Physically and spiritually,

In glory and splendour.

Her honour –

An assumption into heaven-

Without death.

Having carried the one

Who carried

The burdens of the world

She sits in glory.

With the Father

And the Son

And the Holy Spirit.

This Child

This child who looks so deeply

And intently into my eyes

Is lent to me for a brief time.

A life spent loving her will never be enough

But I will try

In the time I have

To love and guide her

And set her path.

She will stray

And I will wrong

But I’ll try.

We will grow together

And fall apart together

But we’ll try.

Strength is required and guidance and grace.

I will harness all sources and shower her with God’s gifts.

He will bless her and keep her in His cares when mine fail.

But I’ll try.

(3-3-05)