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Little color today. Work. Create order, re-order. Drear.
But only from order comes work of substance, only from order comes happiness. Peace through disipline. I keep telling my self that...
Every time I create order, it is gone before I fully utilize it, live from it. I live in a perpetually disordered state, and have done so my entire life.
In the desert, it was clear to me that if I am too busy to live an orderly life, I am too busy.
It is good to see them again, these friends of mine. I have a good life here.
If I talk about money, know about money, live with people who have money, it does not follow that I have money.
I can know all there is to know about money, but if I do not have it I cannot access the many good things money affords.
I talk about contemplation, I know about peace, I live with people who have peace.
If I do not practice, I do not have peace.
I know about peace, but the relationship is distant unless achieved daily.
If it were easy, everyone would do it.
The gift would have less value.
Worn from the desert, duty to family, forced interaction with those I love through blood, not through choice.
Though it is of course a choice to love family.
It has enriched me. But the cost is high, re-entry difficult, the next choices hidden, rest needed desperately. Depression is close; I must post a vigilant guard.
Those plants which survived lost much. Deep pruning, immersion in water; new growth will come.
I need art and prayer, have settled for latte and rest.
I must move but cannot.
Friends are my saving grace. They remind me that pain is certain, suffering optional.
Rusty, The Wonder Dog, was all heart, all love, a beautiful red doberman.
Untrained, she would not respond when called.
Horrified, I watched her run into a car.
This led to intensive training.
A tedious process; having run totally free, she really fought submission. We struggled, together, strong love and strong disipline, the carrot and the stick.
She gained tremendous freedom. Because she learned obedience, she was rarely on a lead.
She reveled in the praise she got, and in the admiration she recieved from all sides.
She was the best.
She fought the disipline but it gave her independence.
Leaving things behind is not easy for me, not something I've ever learned to do well, it's as though I think I'm going to live forever. Kathy damn sure knew how to leave things behind, and while it hurt her some I think for the most part it gave her more than it cost. Alison was also good at leaving, and Ann, and David - so many people who do well in life do well at leaving things behind them. I think that there is something to this, somewhere there is a lesson here. Bye-bye Austin Texas?
Work has brought me a sense of fulfillment. I love a big job, I love a challenge, am prone to accept one.
I derive tremendous pleasure in finding the pattern, developing a system which breaks down repetitive work into a set of tasks, then roaring through that system FAST! FAST! FAST!
That is real fun, my family heritage, the American in me...
I now want to find a way to earn a living doing things which I find important and that I am particularly suited for.
I want to use my skills in work which I find valuable, fulfilling, rewarding.
I know that forgiveness is the key to a life worth living, but much of my life is bound up in judgement.
It doesn't matter if I think I am 'right' and they are wrong, or if they are 'right' and I am wrong; either way constitutes a judgement and separates me from the whole.
I have made forays toward resolution; prayer will help me see more and also provide a cleaner resolution.
It is good to see what needs to be cleared, though not pleasant to look upon my self and see how I prevent my freedom.
He's fallen now, tumbling downhill, the tumor in his brain disorienting him. His entire life he's been sure-footed, but just now he cannot get his feet planted.
His life wouldn't be hard if not for the confusion caused by his fall, and the fear which that confusion causes.
He's watched his siblings drift and die, alzheimers, his twin sister now a total blank.
It has given him humility, it has taken his rage, it has allowed a fine sweetness often hidden behind the anger to shine through.
Mortality is absolute. The years stack.
Happy Birthday, Dad.
Twenty years ago today, my life in tatters, I started what I pray is my last drunk.
Being completely out of control is what scared me the most; if you have ever ridden a roller-coaster, you have a sense of it - there you are, strapped in the seat, it begins to move, clanking upward...
That night is hazed; I do recall pulling the .357 on Frank (I was just kidding around!), I recall the taste and the bite of the gin and I recall burning a few joints.
I recall drinking alone at the end.
It was the most important morning of my life.
The difference between it and countless other mornings which were equally grim, and many which were worse: I'd reached the breaking point.
I'd been broken for years but this was deeper.
Something inside had switched - I knew I was not only broken, but completely defeated.
The fight was gone.
The run was over.
The time had come.
I was ready to do anything, whatever it took.
I had no idea what that might be.
Which is sorta the whole point of being broken and defeated.
I was ready.
Time is not a healer, but it does ease the pain some.
Art is the most powerful force on earth.
There is happiness, despite not getting what I want.
Real change takes much, much longer than I'd imagined it would: Seeing a problem, wanting to resolve it, does not give the ability to resolve it.
Prayer and contemplation are always beneficial.
Prayer rarely (never?) changes externals but does change me, gives peace and clarity in times of chaos.
Artists are insane, therapists are worse. Artists are much better in bed.
Service to others brings happiness.
Deep friendship is imperative.
Knowing my self, my true size in relation to the events of my life. And in the lives of others.
Knowing the extent of my weaknesses, the extent of my strengths.
An honest perspective of who I am, neither as good nor as bad as I often believe I am.
'The wisdom to know the difference.'
Knowing in my guts that without prayer I am a vessel with no rudder and no compass, no way of charting where I am, which direction I am headed.
Service without expectation, a quiet love.
It is not mine, it is ours, a gift.
Her eyes, brown, mottled with gold. Warm, rich, intelligent, sad, lovely, catching more gold from the Tucson sunset, alive and intense and looking right at me, a question posed.
One of the most stirring moments in my life, one of my warmest memories.
My heart singing, soaring.
The fairest of them all.
My heart still sings, now a sad song, bittersweet.
We gave all, and more, dragged through the streets, worn beyond belief, worn beyond hope. I love her more for all she gave, and I loved her plenty to begin with.
Her courage is outstanding.
Her beauty is forever.
An honor to be in peoples lives in this way.
From the outside, an ordinary life. Probably even small. But the joy of giving, the gift of fellowship, the privilige of service - this I have.
The equation extremely difficult to decipher; recieving through giving - this type of math took years to learn.
Prayer with others an intimacy unlike any other.
Honesty is often painful, especially from this close range; important that I remember that there is honesty, there is brutality, but there is no such thing as brutal honesty.
The giver and the reciever one and the same.
Sitting quietly, hoping for communion.
But rest came only sporadically.
The resistance is powerful.
"and I know / my ego / ain't my amigo / anymore"
Telling my self to still does not bring stillness, at best it brings an attempt at forced quiet, my soul now stuck to the effort. Comical.
Any thought which I lay hand to pulls me from peace.
I know that it is all part of the disipline.
It appears to me that I am to wait.
It can't be forced.
It can't be manipulated.
It damn sure can't be fooled.
It is not thought.
It is not emotion.
It is not sensation.
It is not in space or time.
It cannot be reached because it's always at hand. It cannot be found because it's never been lost. It is not a place to get to because I'm already there, I am always there.
It is to be experienced.
Tonight was as nature, as of a rock face, ethereal, clouds, sky.
It was as trees, as earth, nature itself, unhurried, creative intelligence.
I didn't see it, I didn't feel it, I didn't think it.
I was in it.
Much more green tonite than normal, not a usual choice for me, tend to hang in that whole gold/blue/brightass red/purple/yellow thing, some copper, some silver, whatever, but not much of a green thing, always forget the power of green. But tonite I went there first and sorta stuck there for the night and thank god I did.
And white, it saved the second painting. How is it that I forget white, that depth? Fuck. White saved my ass tonite, the best painting to my 3:19 a.m. eye. Let's see what the sunshine shows tomorrow.
Tonite I do not feel like writing. I hate that I don't want to give this time - this is important to me - but I just don't give a fuck tonite.
I am tired, exhausted actually, the mania from last nights colors carried me all the day and this far tonite but now I have fallen flat and am tired and whiny and am not going to try to make any art for this page of words today.
Report from last nights color front - my early moring eye was dead on, the painting is great.
Another day of no real words, nothing shaking here, tired physically, drained.
I could write if I made a latte but then would be up all night and tomorrow would be wrecked, which it may be anyhow, if I continue this line.
The acrylic wash came out nice, so far, gold on green, more gold to come tomorrow, let it dry completely. I want to learn washes, have not messed with it til now, have loved many that I've seen. Seems to be much about luck though I'm sure I will find that there is a feel to learn.
Was it special?
Was it holy?
Did her soul touch yours?
Does her soul still touch yours?
I came to need her very, very much, lust turned love, as time passed. I opened to her in ways that I did not know existed.
Without even knowing, damn sure not understanding, I trusted her completely.
She knew it all.
There were no secrets.
Her breast my church.
I needed her ever more as my life came undone.
Her consistant love was the one thing I had.
I did not know that.
I found out.
Here are one hundred words about not wanting to write one hundred words.
It is not that I do not want to write, actually. It is just that I am flat and down and tired and fuzzy and this can be a pain in the butt when I want to just go to bed.
I am finding that I cannot be serious every day and write cool stuff.
I am not inspired every day.
I wish I was. But I am not.
I would like to move you, make your soul shiver in awe. But it's not gonna happen tonight.
A slow learner, a fast forgetter.
Oh, to be granted the ability to remember, with real force and clarity, that when I stop doing the things which I know to bring me peace, suffering will always result.
But I do not remember.
I go over the same ground, dragged through the mud again and yet again, moping and shivering.
When I tire of that, comes prayer, consultation with others, eating right, creating yet again things of beauty.
But then from the order comes comfort and I am once more off and running...
Is it my destiny to circle this way?
It is my responsability.
I took this on.
The fact is that there was not another choice. She was heading into the sea, and no one else to keep her from the depths.
By stepping as far into her life as I had to in order to effect the depth of change needed, I have committed deeply to her. It is not fair, it is not love, to step in at that level and then turn away from her.
At whatever level I removed her autonomy, at that same level must be my commitment.
No nice words.
I have been fighting with my goddamn pc burner all day long. And most of the night last night. And it is no two-thirty am here and still trying to make the garbage work.
This is a pain in my ass.
I am a person who is not technical, but have adapted to learn to deal with software problems. It is a project I have taken on to help friends, and also to learn my new hardware.
No way did I see this as being so far out of control; my day today was pretty much wasted.
I noticed the beauty of the evening light streaming into this room. Sunset.
Thrown from my chair, infused with happiness, on fire with enthusiasm, completely immersed, I painted in that perfect light.
Color under the knife in that light is pure joy.
The first painting I've been painting this last year, gold coming through red/blue/purple, black gesso. I have not tired of it, love to watch those colors pull under the knife.
The second I have never painted before. Dense, heavy mix, brought up with lighter colors. It really sings, a mad, swirling storm.
My new darling!
Such a tacky city - a rotten, sleazy whore, sweating, cheap makeup running, lolling there in the swamp, close to the gulf.
Close enough to Louisiana to have good food and bad teeth, flush with cash but dressed poorly, a trashy town.
It was the first city I learned on my own, a tremendous pride then, and I feel it still when visiting; I know where to go for good food, and where the museums are, and how the neighborhoods feel.
An unusual mix: A Southern city, a southwestern city, damn sure a Texas city.
I love Houston Texas.
Blah blah blah blah blah.
Blah blah, desperation, blah blah.
Blah blah blah. Blah blah.
Blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah mania blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah; blah blah blah.
Blah blah blah blah blah blah - blah blah blah smoke, like tears blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.
Blah blah blah blah blah blah. Then blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah - blah blah blah, blah blah. Goddamnit.
Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah.
Blah, blah blah blah.
The uncertainty is the worst of it.
Looking in muddy water, willing it to clear, to reveal my next step.
Art and Commerce do not often intersect; Color is an avocation, or perhaps a vocation which must be supported.
Zeros and ones never meant a thing to me, clear from the very start that it was only for money. I do not think I can will myself to live a lie again, I hope I cannot will myself to live a lie again.
I believe deeply in the power of the telling of the tale: Am I a social worker?
It is articulation that slows me, humbles me; I stumble as I attempt to encapsulate experience into understandable pieces of information.
But every time I attempt to describe what I have experienced, I come to know better how I have lived, how I wish to live. In putting experience into words for others I also get the words for my own ears; only in passing knowledge to others have I learned a subject deeply.
Giving is receiving, the giver and the receiver are one and the same.
Weakness: I do not ask for help, extremely difficult to depend upon others.
Today I stepped deeply into the lives of three people. And they stepped deeply into mine.
It is by far the most important thing that happened in my life today.
When I look at what it is that I enjoy in my life, and what it is that I am most at home doing, and when I feel the most connected with the world, it is in talking in depth with other people.
Ben. L.E. Louis.
Each allowed me to enjoy myself and their company also.
It is what I am most at ease with, and they tell me all.
To the uninitiated, I am sure we are a strange crew.
Among the seven of us in the room tonite, there was about ninety years clean and sober.
And that does not take into account the time getting to the place where we could be clean and sober - that alone can take years, to learn the willingness to leave it be.
To set it down.
It took years for me to gain competence, to walk through the rites, to begin to understand. With the understanding comes the obligation to others, the ability to give, freely, heartfelt.
Pass it on.
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