It has been a very busy weekend. Friday night was a great night, and I was asked to speak tonight, at a meeting I had never been to, in a neighborhood, that as well, I had never been to. So that was an adventure.
Saturday morning, myself and two women friends of mine converged on Mama’s apartment to pack everything up and move it out. In a matter of hours, we had the curtains down, the items that were going to charity packed, and we did that, and got rid of bags and bags of trash. One of my women brought along another woman from her daycare here in town, with her son.
Let me tell you, she scored the “mother lode” of housewares. A couple tables, an entire kitchen, complete with microwave, toaster oven, cleaning supplies, and other assorted bits and bobs from around the apartment. We packed up her things and my friends brother came with a truck and we moved it all to their new home.
I had a few hours to nap in the afternoon, and then turned around and went back out for our Saturday meeting, and we talked about Powerlessness and Expectations.
We sat a small group, and the topic was relevant, which is always a good sign, that others in the room, had been pondering what I tossed on the table before they got there.
We spoke about meditation. Those who do it, those who can’t figure it out, so forth and so on. A couple of weeks ago, I heard a neuroscientist on late night radio talk about his work in the field of meditation, using MRI machines to see how people’s brains lit up while they meditated. Very Interesting stuff …
He spoke about meditations that were long, versus, short, and short burst meditation.
There are those who can sit for an extended period of time, and there are those who can’t. He also spoke about “Pin Point” meditation.
Pin Point meditation … Is a thought, or a place or a person, who brings you love and peace. I use this form of meditation. I sit quietly, and I go places in my head. I go to two specific places, when I need calmness and peace. Those locations, are the kitchens of my grandmothers, on both sides.
I know what the houses looked like, how they were furnished, and what each room looks like from memory. I was young, but those memories are stuck in my head for good reason, because they were safe spaces for me as a child, when life became a Storm.
I think, I go, and I sit there and just sink into the feeling of goodness they bring me.
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Was It Something I Said ???
I haven’t spoken at a meeting in five years. The last time I spoke was on my tenth anniversary at Friday West End, when I took my ten year chip.
I guess you could say that, I haven’t been on the “speaker circuit” and nobody ever notices me in any meeting I go to, I guess, and really it isn’t about me in the end.
Friday night, a friend I know from the rooms, when he first got sober, asked me to speak at his home group in another section of town I had never been to. So I left uber early, and made it with fifteen minutes to spare.
There were probably a dozen folks. And a couple from Ontario, husband and wife. He was in, she was not. Visitors from out of town.
I spoke, I did not plan my share, nor did I edit the language I was going to use during my share. Which I guess, now that its over, maybe I should have.
Needless to say, speaking for me is either hit or miss. But every time I do stand in front of a room, there is always ONE ASSHOLE in the room.
Let’s say that my share ranked in the PG – 13 range.
I told my story, with the language I use. But this guy from out of town, started heckling me from his chair, all the way through. Nobody else seemed to have a problem with me.
After the meeting, things really got out of hand. I’ve never been critiqued like this before, I’ve met many “straight men” who seem to take issue with either myself or with something I say. But this guy ripped into me verbally, in front of all the group standing around watching. They defended my choice of words because you needed context and setting to some of my story, so colorful language does appear.
The members told him that he was out of line. And were embarrassed for me. I apologized, but the guy kept coming at me. So they escorted him out of the hall with his wife.
On the way home I got a text from the chair of the meeting thanking me and telling me that the group defended my right to language, and that indeed the visitor from out of town was an asshole.
He said in leaving that at fifteen years, I should know the traditions, and what is appropriate for a meeting. Which I do. He also said I needed to talk to my sponsor, which I did while waiting for the bus. My sponsor spoke at this meeting a couple of weeks ago at their anniversary.
He said that I should not let this asshole ruin my night.
But it has. And it left a shitty taste in my mouth once again.
I don’t know if most straight Ontario men are language virgins, or never heard a curse word before, or never heard a racial slur in their lives. But when I talk about my father, the ultimate alcoholic, you get race, you get faggot, and you get colorful metaphors.
UGH … Some men are just real fuckers …
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GLORY OVER EVERYTHING / THE KITCHEN HOUSE
When my favorite book seller gives me suggestions, I usually find something to read, that I would not necessarily read of the shelf, in the brick and mortar store. But the blurbs and the synopsis usually does the trick. I’ve read a number of good books via this route.
Glory Over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom, was another good choice.
I’ve always been interested in the Underground railroad, having read other books in the past about it. “Glory” is the story of a man named James, (his adopted name) further in the book. This young boy, as the story opens, is the child of a white father and a mulatto mother. Back in the 1800’s, this is during the slave trade, plantations, and all the taboos that go along with race relations, between blacks and whites, and slaves and Masters.
This book is a true masterpiece of storytelling.
James, has to leave his home, because the woman who raised him dies in a house fire that kills her and destroys his home. With a bi-racial issue, he flees to Philadelphia in the latter 1800’s. He finds a home, after running away with a man who is a slave on the run. The black man takes him in and takes care of him, until James, learns to make it on his own in a world that is not kind to racial minorities.
Being black has its innate issues back in those days, and a white man with a connection to “blackness” by blood, is just as bad. So James lives with a secret. What plays out is a story of loss, love, children and the treatment of human beings.
This book is well worth reading.
The Kitchen House, a second book, by Grissom, I have just started. The story opens with familiar characters, that are found in “Glory.” Again, taking place in the latter 1800’s in the age of slavery and plantation houses. “The Kitchen House” is a house on a large property with the main manner house, and several other black houses.
Like I said, I’ve just cracked the book open, so I cannot comment on it yet.
And now it is time for bed.