Recent Goings On … Books!!

I’ve been sitting on my thoughts over the last little while. Two things i try to avoid, discussion of Religion and politics. The world has so much going on, that I have opinions about, that sometimes, I think to myself, “why bother?”

As a Citizen of the United States, I received my ballot by mail, some time ago. The Dade County Supervisor of Elections is very diligent in making sure all of our ballots arrive with plenty of time, to be sent back in time for the latest election. I filled my ballot out and sent it back a while ago, and got an email confirming that it had been received in Miami.

We did not get the results we all wanted. But that is the nature of the beast, I guess. Too many red voters down south. We watched the returns until the Canadian National News came on, then we went to bed.

It is a very good thing that so many WOMEN won seats in the government last night. That is very gratifying for sure. We are very proud of all the women, and the first two Muslim women to be voted into seats, for the first time in history.

Ilhan Omar, 37, is one of two Democrats to become the first Muslim-American women to enter Congress. She won a House seat in Minnesota.

Born in Somalia, Ms Omar and her family fled the country’s civil war in 1991. She arrived in the US as a teenager after spending four years at a refugee camp in Kenya.

She is also the first Somali-American member of Congress.

Ms Omar will be joined in Congress by Rashida Tlaib, a Muslim woman who won a House seat in Michigan. The 42-year-old is also the first Palestinian-American congresswoman.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former Bernie Sanders volunteer, is the youngest woman ever to win a seat in Congress.

The 29-year-old, a Bronx native from a Puerto Rican family, overcame a top Democrat to become her party’s nominee for a House seat in New York.

BOOKS AND STUFF …

One of my lady readers suggested that I would enjoy Yuval Noah Harrari’s books, Sapiens and Homo Deus. Yuval is a PHD in history. In reading his bio, there are a few letters behind his name.

A while back, one of my friends suggested to me that I read Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel. that was a FANTASTIC BOOK ! I love Jared’s voice. I love the way he writes books, and the way he explains his methods and the ways he sees the world, based on his own personal experience.

Jared’s Book, Guns, Germs and Steel, tells the history of the world from the point of 13,000 years ago. He explains all the minutia of the different factors that go into human survival, over the eons. But so much more, Jared discusses the particulars of the land, the axes of that land, whether it is a North South or East West axes, that either makes or breaks each civilization.

Jared goes into great detail. Detail that Yuval does not share with his readers. However he tells stories of those early peoples and how they survived through story telling academically. I found Yuval’s stories great and all, but he lacked the precision data and storytelling that Jared gave us in Guns, Germs and Steel. Yuval writes as an academic, and that’s how I took his book, by the book. He did not engage me as a reader in the story of how the earth populated and grew over the eons.

Jared gives a captivating explanation in great detail of where we came from, how we got here, and how the world became the world it is today, through exhaustive details of every aspect of civilization, which I found captivating and enlightening.

The stories of the first people’s, something that is crucial in Canadian society, I attended a Native Blanket Exercise not long after completing Jared’s book, and through his eyes, while sitting in the First Nations exercise, I knew the story historically, because I read Jared’s book, it made the whole experience for me a much deeper experience as a whole.

Yuval did not share stories like Jared’s. Which sets both books apart in story and scope of subject matter. I do not discount Yuval as a writer of history based on his credentials. But he is an academic, where Jared is a scientist and anthropologist and a student of the world, because he has traveled this world in great detail. That shows in Jared’s books, including Collapse, which I am reading at the moment.

Academics are pigeonholed as writers, because they approach their work as an academic. Which tend to be dry and cold to some, reading an academic treatise rather than a book of exploration and wonder.

Yuval did not capture my imagination enough, and by the end of the book, I wanted to get to the end of the book, soon! However, Yuval has perks in his storytelling. His stories differ from Jared, in scope and academic precision.

Both are great writers, Yuval as a PHD in history, so you could not question his sources or information he provided. I moved from enjoyment reading, into reading a PHD thesis on the history of the world. Written by an academic.

Yuval does have his writing perks as I said …

One very noticeable way in which Yuval writes, is that of his choice of language and who he uses to make points along the way. Most writers will write with a bent towards a neutral voice when telling stories. It is usually the male character who appears in storytelling.

Yuval, turns that around throughout Sapiens … I noticed this little turn right away, and took note that he carried his characters throughout his book.

Yuval always notates a woman when telling his stories.

Instead of always seeing His, or He or male representatives, Yuval uses the Female identifier She and Her. His attention to this very little detail, becomes a very big detail in this book. I found it very interesting that he used this format in his writing.

These two books, Guns Germs and Steel, and Sapiens, are similar.

Yuval being a PHD in History, I read his book as an academic. Having degrees in Religion and Theology myself. In retrospect, I enjoyed Guns, Germs and Steel much more.

Yuval’s storytelling was really good. But I found his stories glossed over many things that Jared spoke about as important. Where Yuval’s stories are academic in reach, and factually correct, I wanted more out of his text.

The only reason I finished the book, was that I had committed to reading it because one of my women who read this blog suggested it to me. So I wanted to do it proper justice.

If I had to choose who I would read again, hands down it is Jared Diamond. With that said, I bought two more Diamond Books…

Collapse … How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, and
The World Until Yesterday … What We Can Learn From Traditional Societies.

I’m really enjoying Collapse.

Once again, Jared’s voice is fantastic. I love the way he writes and the detail he goes into about every subject he writes about so well. He not only uses his scientific work, but work of other scientists and writers, to shed facets of light on subjects that can be rather dark and/or unknown. 

I also picked up a book called Children of God, written by Lars Petter Sveen.

This book is a story about the child and adolescent Jesus. I’m always on the look out for Jesus books. I have read several really good book, one by Reza Aslan, was a fantastic book about Jesus.

Stories about the child or adolescent Jesus do not exist, because there are no stories written about him, during his young life. Every book that is written has to employ side literature, scripture or old papyrus scrolls that still exist in modern days.

Anne Rice took a stab at this topic a while back. So I also have all of her books in my library.

DARKNESS in MONTREAL

It is very dark in Montreal right now. With the clocks going back an hour, by 5 p.m. it is so dark, you’d think it was really 10 p.m. at night.

They tell us SNOW and a lot of it is coming, soon … Upwards of 15 cm will hit the ground come next week. Right now, it has been raining incessantly, for days and nights. It is a bit nippy out. And it will only get colder when the snows finally appear.

I’ve bought some new cold weather gear, gloves and a pair of warm boots. I’ve been updating my wardrobe for a while now. My reason when shopping is that if I buy it, it has to be able to be worn all four seasons and not just in warm weather.

My Hockey under gear warm layer works very well. Last winter I went to a professional hockey shop here in the city, and purchased thermal under gear that I wear as a base layer, along with special base layer clothing.

Some of my favorite clothing makers have great base layer and warm weather gear for both men and women.

Much more to come, stay tuned.

Thanks for the book recommendations.

If you are going to read any books, JARED DIAMOND should be at the top of your read list.


In Order to Move Forward, We Must Review the Past…

We’ve all done things, that we might not want to own up to. It is difficult watching the massive amount of strife going on all around us.

The easy out for what ails us here in Canada, is N.I.M.B.Y. (Not in my back yard). It is far too easy to just turn the channel and ignore what is going on in the world, but I cannot.

In the past little while, a good number of the women I grew up with for the last 40 years, have stated truths, that I had no idea had happened. What do you say to your friends, when they say, out loud, that they too, have been sexually assaulted as young girls.

In a time when we all spent inordinate amounts of time together, sharing meals, homes, and bedrooms. Somewhere in the middle of our lives going on, my friends were violated.

I had no idea.

Human beings are flawed. None of us are perfect. Show me a human being without a skeleton in their closet. I was raised by parents who had skeletons in their closets.

I was having a conversation in my head the other day with the brother who refuses to acknowledge my existence, when I ponder my dead father, and the possibility that my mother will die, and as I was told, nobody would tell me. So I talk to them in my head, when I sleep.

How can you be angry at me for my choices, when it was You to begin with who pushed me out into the street alone, with no street smarts, and left me to the wind, because you could not reconcile your skeleton with my reality.

My father abused me, in every way possible.

So when my friends say, out loud, their truths, I can safely admit that I get it. I understand.

They call it the Reckoning …

The world has exploded and chaos reigns at the moment. It is not safe for any of us, right at the moment. It has been said by wiser men than I that,
“People who forget the past, are doomed to repeat it…”

Drinking is not an outside issue for many of us. The severity of just how much one drank, and the situations that followed are what worries us.

I can share a story about high school. A story that many of the boys who participated in this story, would never admit that they participated in them.

I know this because, at one time or another, I went looking for old friends, and they point blank told me to get lost. They had moved on, and I was not invited to join them, because “I” had the drinking problem, don’t you know.

Much drinking took place in my social circle. We even had our own dedicated “Funnel” that was employed at odd times of serious drinking.

Boys and girls drank together. Not that I knew what went on with my friends, to a great degree. But when boys and girls would drink together in the same room, the girls were afforded their dignity. I know this because if girls were invited to the party, they were given certain directions, prior to drinking with us.

We had designated drivers, and after such heavy metal drinking parties, my friend’s sister would gather the girls to clean them up, and change their clothes, and drive them around town, while they puked, to get it out of their systems, before a second designated driver, brought them safely home.

My best friend, who was my best friend for a number of years, transgressed our friendship, by sexually violating my cousin one night. That transgression cost us a friendship, when my father made a call, fifteen hundred miles from home, to my cousins father, who flew to Florida to confront my best friend to ask him “why did you take my daughter’s virginity?”

I don’t know, to this day, the words spoken by my uncle and my father to my then, best friend, because decades later when I quizzed him about that night, he rebuffed me and hung up the phone.

Not a shining moment for him I guess.

Drinking does take a toll on the drinker, and every single person in the orbit of said drinker. Because if you drank like we did, and we know, right at this very moment, a certain man, drank as hard as we did when he was a kid, and he refuses to own up for his actions.

I can tell you from personal experience, that blackout drinking is common. I can also tell you that my friends who were educated in religious institutions, along side the secular schools, drank hard, and some even harder than we did. Because if you were educated by the Brothers of St. Christopher, You’d Drink Too !!!

There are regrets I have to this day. Mistakes I have made. People I have hurt. Memories that won’t go away. Visuals that are burned into the back of my brain. There are things each of us, will take to our graves.

Sometimes, letting sleeping dogs lie, is the best advice.

There are just some stories that will never be righted, for one reason or another. There are some people, who will never allow us to be recognized as humans, imperfect humans, who just would like to be loved.

For once in our lives.

Thursday: The Depths of Sadness

o-BRENE-BROWN-ORIGIN-MAGAZINE-facebook

When Father Mark Brian, arrived at Kingcome Village, on the Up Coast of British Columbia, and met the indigenous population that lived there, he did not know, what he did not know, until he learned what he did not know, until he learned it.

One of those “things” he did not know, at first, is why, every time he looked at one of his “people” because they were his people, the sheep in his flock, there was no pretension about him, no ego to boost, no needs to be filled, he had to “come to know them,” as they were, as God would have had it, all along, that one thing was “The Depth of Sadness” that was in the eyes of all the Indians of Kingcome Village.

If you have never read Margaret Craven’s, I Heard the Owl Call My Name, I highly recommend you find a copy.

Tonight, I heard one of our women speak, for the first time, in our meeting. She has been sober a long time, almost twenty-five years. She came in, in her twenties, but the road to sobriety was LONG and ARDUOUS.

In the beginning we all laughed with her. Midway into the story, I stopped breathing. I could not take a breath, for the life of me. I was sitting on the edge of my chair, holding my breath, just waiting for the miracle to take place.

Because she really needed a miracle.

When we begin to drink, we do not know what we do not know. If we continue to drink and add drugs to that mix, there is certainly, MORE, that we do not know.

Not listening to warnings, or following rules, and doing everything that one can to circumvent the rule of good, sane, human behavior, is going to lead us into a jackpot that can’t possibly be escaped.

Bad friends, Bad boys, illicit behavior, drugs and alcohol do not have very good endings. I know this, from my own personal experience.

My friend tonight, had the jackpot of everything that was bad, in her life. Because she did not know, what she did not know.

We do stupid things in our youth, and many, do not survive their mistakes. I did stupid things in my youth, to Todd’s credit, and by the Grace of God, I did survive my past.

When a bad boy, becomes a bad marriage, what is the logical ending of this very bad scenario ? A BABY WILL MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER …

Hell, let’s keep drinking and drugging, have one healthy baby, born without a problem, and let’s add another baby …

Bring into this really serious bad situation, a couple of attempts to sober up, that fail, and four months into a second pregnancy, the husband activates an intervention.

Mom is now CIRCLING the DRAIN …

What, I don’t have a problem. IT’S ALL HIS FAULT …

Can you see where this is going ?

Pregnant, addicted and insane, people begin to PRAY for her second baby to be born healthy. Mom cannot, for the life of her, understand WHY her friends are praying for her baby, because in her words, She Did Not Have a Problem …

Luckily, amid this point she hits rehab, again. And walks through the doors, only to turn around and say to us, “Don’t you know who I am ?”

  • I don’t do rules
  • I don’t pay bills
  • I don’t pay rent, and I sure as shit
  • DON’T TAKE THE BUS …

How do you imagine this is going to end ? Not well, as I was hearing this story.

Still sitting on the edge of my chair, and not breathing, I had not noticed I was holding my breath, until the Miracle happened.

The right woman walked into our woman’s life and took her in, homeless, hungry, drunk and high, void of emotion, having lost her husband AND her children, she had no place to go.

My friend learned about rules, via the suggestions. She learned how to pay bills, by attaining welfare, thereby being able to pay her rent, TO this SOBER Woman. And she went to meetings.

Her sponsor told her to hit ninety in ninety. And better yet, take a newcomer chip every day for the first thirty days.

Back in the day … Her day, and back in my day … when we got sober, suggestions were not suggestions, per se, they were life savers. You either did them or you didn’t, because if you did not do as you were told, sobriety would never happen for us hard-headed, arrogant, entitled men and women some of us are, when we came into the rooms.

Newcomers today scoff every time we mention suggestions to them. They would rather eat dirt, then put forth the energy and commitment to the work sobriety entails, if you really want Top Drawer Sobriety.

The Miracle began to happen.

My friend did exactly what she was told to do, like I did, what I was told to do, from the very first day. Next April, by the grace of God, she will hit Twenty Five Years Clean and Sober.

Her kids, now in their twenties, never saw mom drunk. They were too young when she finally took her last drink. One of her sons, recently, asked mom to accompany him to pick out an engagement ring for his now fiancee …

Most women, in the rooms, could not possibly get how incredible this little act is, unless you have kids, that you were able to keep, having not lost them, indefinitely, due to your alcoholism and drug addiction.

Most of the women I know, lost big, having lost those miracles we call children.

But our woman, tonight, has the husband, who was there at the intervention, and she has her kids, THREE KIDS, now in their twenties, in tact.

Happy, Joyous and Free.

As she closed her share, I remembered to breathe. And I noticed my friends sitting to my right hand side, had also stopped breathing at some point.

I knew, for the very first time, in all my years of sobriety, those words that Mark Brian had to figure out for himself …

The Depths of Sadness, in his people’s eyes.

What he did not know, is what we all do not know, when we come in, until we hear another drunk, tell their story to us.

The Depth of Sadness …

Thank God for the rooms, and SOME of the people in them.

The Most Grown Up thing She’s ever done

cropped-918.jpg

Tonight, St. Matthias Celebrated 70 years. That’s 70 years of meetings in the same location, beginning in 1947. Montreal Sobriety began back in 1945, with Dave B.

He was a sole alcoholic back in the day. And from one member we moved to a small group that ballooned to twenty members here in Montreal. There were, at that time, only three meetings on the English side.

St. Matthias was born from those three meetings. If you extrapolate over the decades, at a head count of thirty souls sitting in a room, we’ve held over 4,000 meetings, and helped countless men and women over the years. Thousands of people.

At the end of the meeting we held a Sobriety Countdown. All totaled together, we had over 3,145 years of sobriety, and 14 days. With one young man, counting his first day sober.

I know many of our young people. I’ve seen them come in, and not be sure that they are really alcoholic. Because how many young people come in and stay on the first pass ?

Not many.

But those who do make it past their first meeting and stay, the odds are very good that they will stay. It also helps, if, in tonight’s speaker, you have women who stand up and welcome you, and sit with you, and align themselves with you, as our speaker had tonight.

I know this young woman, albeit, from afar. I’ve seen her work. I’ve seen her in service, and I see her in meetings. And every time she speaks, where ever that is, I listen, very intently.

Tonight, my young lady friend became a woman.

Tonight, in listening to her speak, I told her that tonight, was the most grown up thing she has ever done in her life.

The young woman she was when she came in, has been in flux for a while now. I noticed she was in flux, I watched the transformation happen. But I did not know the finer points of the why ? Tonight, I know the why.

I’ve never heard a young woman get up and share the pain I heard tonight. I’ve never heard someone get up and own all of her story like that.

Because when she came in, she hated herself and all she wanted was to die.

It was that still, small, disconnected voice, the day she began this journey that said to her, “You know, you really don’t want to die …!”

She heard the voice, and she took action.

It was the best choice she ever made, because it brought her to tonight.

The best part of her share … “I am so grateful that today, I love myself.”

People talk about loving themselves in a disconnected way. We hear about learning to love ourselves. I believe that only through the furnace of pain and transformation, can we even begin to know what loving ourselves feels like from deep within.

I told her that what I heard from her tonight, was the most grown up thing that she has ever done in her life. That if ONE woman heard the words that were spoken, and if ONE woman walked out of tonight’s meeting and does something for herself, and if ONE woman was touched by what she heard tonight, then our speakers job was complete.

I could not have been any prouder of my young lady friend tonight.

And I told her so.

That might have changed her life. You never know.

People might not want to hear anything I have to say in general, but I am a good judge of character, and I’ve got some time, so take it for what it is.

All it takes is one sentence.

And I choose my sentences wisely, when they matter.

Friday: Episode 1 – Sexual Harassment

harassment

Have you ever heard of the “Casting Couch?”

I learned this term a long time ago.

This term exists both in the Heterosexual world as well as in the Homosexual world. For many years, in many places of entertainment and occupation, the casting couch was/still is, an evil people (dealt with/deal with) regularly.

I remember hearing it.

And if you were paying attention to anyone who moved to Los Angeles or any big city center for work in the entertainment industry, there was a high probability that yes, you, would find yourself sitting on a casting couch.

Now, that doesn’t mean that ALL casting couches were tainted and included their fair share of harassment and under the table “goings on.”

But now we see that mighty TITANS of the entertainment industries, oh how the mighty fall. You can never escape your past, one way or another.

Sexual Harassment is a scourge on the world, for women and for men. I think we can all agree that eyes were turned away, and lots of hush money was paid out to keep those mighty titans in positions of power, and journalists and news agencies were paid and intimidated and legally stifled so that the dirty little secrets were kept under wraps.

I stand with women. I always have.

It just goes to show you how long men have worked to control the body of a woman, direct her where she could work, and what work she could do. And if she had a figure and was sexy and had sex appeal, all the better.

I believe that many, many women paid a price for pretty. How many women, you might ask ? I would gather that every woman who works in television and film, paid a price for pretty, one way or another.

How many women were abused by the powerful to get on-screen ? How many women were sexually abused, raped, harassed, and belittled by men who DID know better, but against their better angels, chose to diminish the talents and beauty of women.

The dirty little secret of the casting couch and the mighty titan executives who work in tinsel town are well-known. And they have been known, for as long as I can remember.

They might have the money, and shine up well for awards seasons, and people who knew did not say, for fear of retribution. But like they say, at some point, the darkness of man will come to light. All it takes is one rip in the veil.

And we know now, that men were also targets in the entertainment industry. And I imagine that on the Down Low, I am sure that the black community suffered as well. I’m not sure this is the correct terminology, so I don’t mean to offend.

How many men and women were sexually harassed just for a job, when talent wasn’t the issue but the sexual quotient of the individual ? A little grope here and a little grope there, just to let them know that the Big White Man behind the desk controlled the scene.

That is Repugnant !!!

1445278129265

In the gay world, the casting couch is also ever-present. And it comes in the form of some fat old man, sitting behind a desk, bringing young talent into the mainstream. I have a serious aversion to fat old gay men in power. I think they are repugnant.

When I was but a young boy, I was looking for work in the business. At one point, I was in Daytona Beach, applying for a job. What I was faced with turned my stomach.

Like I said, I have an aversion to fat old gay men. Those “Jabba the Hutt” men. It is a particular visual from Star Wars, that captures the idea quite succinctly.

I may have been young, but I was not naive. There was no way I was going to sink to the level of sexual favors for a job.

Sexual Harassment is alive and well, on both sides of the sexual partition. How many young gay boys have been tainted ? I cannot even begin to count. The entertainment industry is rife with Fat Old Gay Men, who run these ‘Casting Couches” in many areas.

I am 100% confident in this assessment.

It was a good thing that Todd was not like any other man I had ever met. Because if the table was set any differently, I would not be here today.

I know that when Todd and Roy lost the bar, the bar take over was given into the hands of a man I despised. He was an ugly fat old gay man, who used to carry around with him a cigar box full of illicit images, I found sickening and repugnant. I only lasted a few days after that take over.

I would not sink to his level of repugnance. But I knew his type and avoided him.

Let us Stand with our Women and say No More.

Not On Our Watch.

Is that ODD or Is that God ?

maxresdefault

For the second time in two weeks, whilst I was traveling about, today, my music shuffle landed on Lorna Kelly’s share at the West island Round Up in May of 2012.

Shifting from Music to a Pod Cast, on my I Phone usually never happened before, ever. For some oddly Godly reason, Lorna came to me in a whisper, again, I wrote about it when it occurred the first time.

Odd that Bob’s share from that same event, never comes up in rotation, but for some oddly Godly reason, she came up again today.

Last night was a hot mess. I’ve been keeping what’s going on with me outside of the house for such a long time, and after deciding I was no longer going to go to places where people are mean and hateful towards me, I was going to nap for the evening, like we usually do, but as it happened, I had an emotional meltdown in front of Hubby.

Not Pretty at all.

There are two Ted Talks I enjoy watching. One is called “The Fuck It List,” by Scott Jones. The other is “The Magic of not giving a FUCK,” by Sarah Knight.

At what point, in sobriety, are you able to say with certainty, that you don’t need a particular meeting, or that you don’t need to hang out with particular groups of people?

That is up for debate. Because even if you cut a meeting here or there, you still have to go to meetings, whether you like it or not. They are our bread ad butter of life.

There is a pattern to my meeting meltdowns, and people, places and things.

Over the whole of my sobriety, I’ve always been connected to a meeting, or several meetings. And I get situated at a meeting, do some service, and usually, as is the case, my capacity to endure meeting drama and bullshit has lessened over the years.

Alcoholics are only good for a limited amount of shelf life, until they either do something stupid or they say something stupid.

As a Gay, heterosexual men, fall n this category, all the time. The stupid, My dick is bigger than your dick, or my knowledge of hockey is the greatest, and / or I am SOOOO Sober, you’ll never be like me, routine.

I can smell an ego maniac at fifty paces. And there are certain men, of my acquaintance, that just rub me like spiritual sandpaper.

People piss me off – and I walk away from them. People are resentful that I was critical about them in the past, and many of them carry those resentments around their neck like jewelry. Over the years people have formed their opinions and to this day, many of them carry them and would rather hate and ignore me, rather than talk to me and find out what makes me tick. Not that I spared them that info at certain discussion meetings and certainly while we were reading the Big Book on Monday.

Several times I used the word FUCK in my shares, and that really got gasps from the crowd. People were like, Yup, there is something definitely wrong with Him !!!

I guess you can say that right now, there are a handful of people who are rubbing me like spiritual sandpaper. I don’t like it, but there is a lesson there for us.

This is what jumped out of her talk to day for me because this is right where I am at the moment.

We talk about peeling the onion in sobriety, Lorna likes to think of it as a LOTUS flower, that sits on a pad in the mud. It unfurls its petals all beautiful, and everything is there, the good, the bad, the ugly, the resentful and angry, the suicidal tendencies, all of it – along with all the good. The compassion, the loving, the generosity, and the gratitude.

Lorna talks about going to meetings. and how at times she FELT the most hateful, resentful, suicidal, or more angry in A.A. At the same time she felt more compassionate more loving, more generous and more grateful.

The negatives are all there, and so are the positives.

All those things are part of me, and I NEED to know those feelings, so that I can say

I know how you feel, let me tell you how I dealt with that.

The thing about US is that we have been to hell and are on the way back out of Hell.

We know how we feel, at least I do. And I am not shy about saying to someone that, You’ve done all this shit over and over, when are you going to sort yourself out, for God’s sake ?

We have a three fold disease. Mental – Physical – Spiritual … All three areas need attention all the time. If you don’t cover ALL your bases, you are on slippery ground, Lorna said. You cannot ignore one save for the other two or the other one.

  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Spiritual

Elder Spencer and I spoke last night, and we talked about gifts.

He said to me and I quote …

He said that I was like a mirror. While he was here in Montreal we spoke all the time. And I learned about him and he learned about me. When he went home, there was a two month period where we had lost communication, and his life turned upside down.

The very first night, that we talked together on Hang Out, I spoke to him in truth and told him what I had seen, in what he had just told me about that portion of his journey, and I was able t mirror back to him what he really needed to hear.

Today, he is all the better, every week that we talk, that I get to mirror back to him, what he is doing and what needs to change, and what he needs to do.

And he does the same for me. He truly has many gifts as a young person.

Hubby said to me last night, that maybe I needed to keep my mouth shut and just go to a meeting, listen, participate and then LEAVE. Don’t stop for conversation and don’t give your two cents all the time. (Which I don’t really, unless someone asks me)

There are young people I know, that I strike up conversations with after a meeting because I want to know them and I want them to know me, not that I have anything to offer, generally, but you never know when a connection is going to pay out …

Most of those older queers and other folks who hate me, wouldn’t know feelings if they dropped on them like pigeon shit. And many of them wouldn’t know honesty if it bit them in the ass.

I study my friends and fellows like science projects. I am really good at that being university trained and educated. Knowing my history of wanting to know all the nitty gritty details of someone’s life.

Hell, I did that as a kid when I was a boy. I knew ALL of my family secrets by the time I was twelve years old for God’s sake.

I am angry. I am resentful. And I am Hateful.

Now that those feelings and emotions were brought up by Lorna’s share. I can see them now, and I know them. And I know what to do with them.

People are going to do what they do, even if I say something or I say nothing.

Like I said, most people don’t like my brutal honesty or as the book calls it:

RIGOROUS HONESTY …

But that’s the way the cookie crumble I guess.

Love me or Hate me, this is who I am in sobriety at this point of the journey.

Monday: The Language of the Heart

 

Courtesy: Michael Shainblum Photography

There was an incredible Solar Eclipse earlier today… I slept right through it. But I have an amazing image to show you, if you missed it.

Overheard at the Meeting tonight: Imagine … How many people stopped their lives to look up at the sun, all at the same time, across the globe. What an amazing day it was.

Yesterday afternoon, Hubby was admitted to the Jewish General Hospital Emergency for an emergency operation to remove a sub-sebacious cyst on his lower spine. The operation was a success, and he was home, inside of three hours, post op.

Today was spent in follow-up doctors appointments and trips between home and the pharmacy. All is well.

This morning, well, at  6′ o clock a.m. I was up to go drop labs for my diabetes blood work, since being on Teujeo insulin now 2 months.

I got there uber early, so that I could get in and out quickly. Which is where this post will materialize. When you check in at the desk, they swipe your cards and file your work into the computer system for your bar code stickers for your vials.

I sat down with a young lady, who was going to do the deed. She asked my name and my birth date. I responded as usual, then added that I had just turned fifty a couple of weeks ago.

With a little amazement, she asked me how fifty felt ? I told her that I did not know yet, being so close to the epicenter. I furthered that explanation with what happened to me when I turned forty and beyond.

That, it was at the forty mark and beyond that point, that I began to have spiritual experiences, in the way I saw the world around me and what I actually could say, with some certainty, that I KNEW things for sure.

I was using spiritual language, like I knew what I was talking about, and the words came out so freely. She responded with …

Well, that happened to me when she turned thirty. She said …

She told me that she had heard things all her life from her parents and family and that when she hit the thirty mark, she had the same feeling of enlightenment.

For a moment I was jealous, thinking, “Shit, you mean I could have had that for me at thirty, had I been in the game of growing up when I hit thirty ???”

I did not say that, but it was what I was thinking in the moment.

I missed thirty, thirty-one until I finally hit thirty-four, when I got sober the second time and had made the decision to grow up finally. AND even then, it took a further six years of sobering up and learning what life as a grown man would look like, and how I would inhabit being a grown up man for myself.

When I turned forty and years after, if you have been following this blog all those years ago, you would have read the way my life changed in miraculous ways over the last ten years.

Last Monday we talked about resentments from the resentment section of the steps. I did not get a chance to share before the hour was up.

Tonight we read the passage in Step Nine, and the Ninth Step Promises.

“The Spiritual life is not a theory … One must LIVE a spiritual life.”

How one does that, follows the process of sobriety.

Along with the Preamble, we repeatedly hear How it Works, The Promises, and A Vision for You, over and over again.

Our chair read the Promises. And everyone in the room got to think about them, from their perspective, in their specific sober experience.

Having been sober this long, and being fifty now, I see the wisdom of the Promises as they happened for me, what order they came in, and when the final Promise we had been waiting for to come, did finally come.

“FEAR OF PEOPLE AND OF ECONOMIC INSECURITY WILL LEAVE US …”

That was the last one to come, and it only took thirteen years of waiting for it.

We just were not sitting on our asses begging God to just give that one to us.

Over the long history of our relationship, I would read a passage, hear it talked about in a discussion, and then hear a speaker talk about it in a speaker meeting.

Then God would say, “OK, Now you’ve heard all you need to know. NOW go work it out for yourself.” And so it was.

We would get a glimpse of freedom, as each day, week, month, and year that passed.

God would give us a peek, a little money, and we had to learn how to use it wisely, save it when necessary, and spend it where applicable.

Life was like that. God would give me a glimpse of what life would look like. That happened over and over again.

We certainly had our work cut out for us, on every aspect of sober life. It was not a cake walk, by any means. We learned our lessons well.

Imagine how many times you hit meetings over almost sixteen years, and hear those same readings, over and over again.

That is what is really GOOD about the BIG BOOK. Because the book tells us, right on page 112, In the chapter – To Wives … READ THIS BOOK.

If you are in step work, you would know about reading the book. Safe to say, I’ve been reading this book, over and over for more than fifteen years.

Now I am Fifty. What kind of wisdom do I have about the book today ?

I don’t know, I’d have to sit and think about this a little bit.

We shall explore this topic further in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Suffice to say, I shared a spiritual experience with a complete stranger this morning and that was a blessing for her and for me.

You never know who you will sit with on any given morning and what they might ask you.

More to come.