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Both sides of the sponsorship chair today, and from both sides I did well, though when I sat on the side of receiving help, I know that I did not contribute as much as I could have to my recovery, there was a dishonesty, one of omission rather than commission.
But when I was in the role of sponsor, I performed well, even great I think.
It was damn sure fun, it is a skill I have, something at which I excel. Or I do on some days.
Today was one of those days.
Nineteen years with no tobacco today.
The best of the day was the rest in the evening, finding peace in the gentle prayer.
I lapsed into a nap but it was not a deep sleep, just a restful time enjoyed without the continual push to do something, be somewhere, run run run, do do do.
I find that part of my self loathesome, in fact I believe it is behind most of the pain I experience. How is it that as an adult I have lost the ability to relax?
Even my attempts toward peace are structured and guided and driven - it is foolishness, wasteful, painful.
The storm is raging.
Been threatening for days but now it's here, pounding away, middle of the night, lightning cutting, ripping thunder, raining like hell, blowing like a sonofabitch.
Texas storms are great, they just come on and on.
And no storm inside, the peace I found yesterday continuing; though the externals remain the same, inside my heart there is a peace.
I do not trust it at all, bluffed many times by peace that does not last.
The best of the day was time spent with Ken and also with Jim, a fine man who is lots of fun.
Not a goddamn thing to do today.
Total and complete boredom.
Not sure how long I can keep this up, this level of dazed and slack-jawed dozing through the days of my life. I see others who are engaged in life and envy their connection; my days filled with nothing right now.
How will I ever be able to pick up the pieces of my life and move forward?
Where is there to move to, what is there to move toward? What the fuck am I to do with the rest of my allotted time on this fucker?
Listening to Joe Frank show now, was up late in the night last night, now hopeless and helpless to change the weight I am laboring under.
Unshaven, bored, depressed, flattened, out of sync, out of time, out of gas.
Nowhere to turn, nothing to escape into. No work that I can lift myself to.
Big D depression.
Why do I even bother with these words?
Why bother with anything?
What the fuck is the point?
I wonder if ever I'll get free from this morass.
Prayer is my only hope just now, I have to head in that direction.
Three am, the end of my day, and a long and good one it was.
Prayer. Meditation. Carpentry. Art. Flirtation, though denigrated by fear; flirtation nonetheless. Latte. Excercise. Family. Friendships. Giving. Recieving. Wrapping presents, one for a friend, one for a brother. Music. Hugs, lots of hugs. A task avoided for weeks started and stepped into deeply. Teaching, or at the every least transfering knowlege. Hope. Happiness. Steps toward order. Bipolar friends.
Steps toward deepening the friendship with Patrick. Once again, clearly looking my current options dead on. Beginning stages of planning a big road trip.
A good day.
Or was it rest?
And then prayer, and meditation, and a small amount of work, and then out into the world, and what a wonderful world I found today, and tonight.
I am happy. Maybe that is not the right word, or the right phrase, or maybe it is; sometimes I confuse hypomania and happiness, sometimes think that happiness is a buzz and not a contentment.
I know tonight that I fit in this world.
I know tonight that I was of use to others in this world, that my life experience added to the quality of others lives.
The relationship is becoming richer, the possibility of deep friendship.
I've sponsored him for over a year, and in that time I was afraid of him, wary of him, supportive of him, gave what I could to the relationship.
Three months ago, I asked him to sponsor me also, not unheard of but not the norm, as it is easy to become mired; it is imperative that we keep lines defined in our roles.
This we have done.
Out of the honesty which we are showing one another comes this richness, the warmest part of my day, and the best.
Only from deep love could such a hatred be born.
Only from foolishness could it have been carried so long.
It tore through my soul, as acid in a leather bag.
Resentment: 'From it stems all forms of spiritual disease...'
Unaware of the trap I set, tangled ever deeper in it, blind to my part, aching with the pain, burning and alone, cut off from The Presence.
He says that if I'm sideways with my brother, set it straight before an attempt on the kingdom. Those roads cannot be walked while hauling that burden.
Happy Birthday, David, with love.
Bills paid. A greiving brother called. Friends called. Friends visited. Meetings attended. Web page amended. Furniture design reworked some; a step closer now. Food purchased, food cooked, food eaten, and enjoyed. Letters written, friendships tended to, steps taken toward a studio of my very own - what a blast that would be!
If that were to happen, if I were to be in the company of artists, if my work was to be visited and spent in the company of other creatives, what a joy that could be. And what a terror - these folks are not lightwieghts.
A very fun day.
The best of the day the bike ride at dusk; gearing up, braces on my wrists, gloves on my hands, selecting the jamming music to stream through the phones, pump up that slow leak before heading into the evening, pounding up and down those hills, the beauty of the sky, the breath in my lungs and the music wailing, pushing me
harder! harder! harder!
and then the workout on the bridge, arms, chest, back, three sets of three exercises, each set to exhaustion, wiping the sweat with the clean white towel and drinking the last from my water bottles - Fun!
A great day.
Awake at 3:30, finally gave up sleep at 4:30. By seven am, seven loads of laundry done. By eight-thirty, was leaving dentists office. By nine-thirty, was leaving store, headed to breakfast. Noon AA meeting, then started painting in afternoon. Eight mile bike ride in 95 degree humid heat, a monster upper body workout on the pedestrian bridge, a cooling swim at Barton Springs. Then home, finished the painting - it is great, bright and fun and intense of course, honest as I could, then to meeting and then home...
I'm completely flattened. Exhausted. Zoned. Wasted. Tanked. Tapped. Blasted.
The storm was raging: a monster downpour, lightning blazing, cracking, pounding thunder.
I stepped from my pickup, soaked instantly, ran back, dropped the tailgate, water over my ankles. Jim wasn't home; I offloaded the wardrobe alone.
I got that bastard off the truck and I don't now remember how I carried it - six foot tall, three foot wide, half-inch cedar - to the house, five steps up onto the big, covered porch.
Then I untied poor, terrified Woody, and brought him onto the porch.
Toweled off the wardrobe, myself, the dog.
Then I pet him as we watched the storm rage.
A monster bike ride.
A monster sunset workout on the pedestrian bridge.
Then rode to Barton Springs for the Full Moon howl. Pot luck, and while I brought nothing I was still an active participant in the watermelon chips dips pizza cookies brownies ice tea extravaganza.
It was great social fun - Austin truly is Disneyland for adults.
A cooling, refreshing swim in Barton Creek - joy.
Talked with Becca, a swimmer, a beauty, glowing health, friendly, bright, fun.
Then rode home
hard! hard! hard!
Next, late night meeting.
Deep interaction with Bob. Prayer. Peace.
Wrote these words.
The talk was deep.
The company was good.
The day was beautiful.
The timing was perfect.
The depth of the friendship with Bob increasing step by step, week by week, each time we met the trust is growing, the faith which we have in each others safety, and in each others judgement.
A two way street.
My role that of observer as Jason wrestled with demons of his past. Keeping him focused upon the twin thread of facing the anger while embracing forgiveness of those he's angry at.
And Ifanyi is back in the fold - a short but deep chat.
You've not lived until you've been on a detox unit, seen the devastation poured upon people whose disease is fatal as cancer, which tears through families, reduces people to shuddering wrecks, scared and scarred and broken, facing realities clean and sober, often for the first time in years.
I make certain they face their boken lives, give a thumbnail sketch of AA, drive home the absolute need to work the steps if they are to live.
It's intense but it's damn sure fun; we laugh a lot.
It's probably the thing I'm best at in my life.
Monday afternoons, 1:15.
The pencil moving across the paper without design, flowing, learning the feel of it on the paper, getting used to the idea.
Relaxing, fun, real enjoyable, listening to Joe Frank rant on as I scribbled and scrabbled aimlessly.
It's what I'm most afraid of, thus of course what I must head into, to learn to draw, to capture what I see and somehow get it onto a page, later of course onto a canvas.
I love what it is that I do in color and expression but I want line and form.
"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing poorly."
I am sore and tired but I don't give a fuck, I did lots of physical work here today and then had a great bike ride and a great workout and a great swim and regardless sore and tired, I'm happy.
I cleaned off my patio today -it was a mess, a white trash sorta thing - christ...
Helped my buddy move a few days ago and he gave me eight or ten plants, and they are now festooned about the patio, and watered.
The conversation with Mona was the best emotional connection of my day - I am truly blessed.
I would have to say the best part of my day is creating order in one part of my life, a large basket of junk that has been hanging me up for over a year, tons of paperwork to be gone through, sorted, what is important, what is not.
Threw out a lot of it - one good thing about procrastinating for a year is that much of the things being avoided ARE avoided. Such was the case today.
It sounds like a small thing and I know that it is but not to me, it was a very good thing.
So today it was just great, from the time I stepped out the door until the time I stepped back in it, and been pretty nice since then, too.
Paul and I chatted for hours as we spun through the day together, drove to his new resturant and I gave of my expertise. Construction background helps sometimes.
And then to two AA meetings, a very full plate there, surrounded by love, especially at the early meeting, which I've only attended once in the past two years - it was really special.
Totally unplanned; the love kept on coming to me.
Up at 4:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. Put shit away, got a call from Jim, rocked with laughter over the stunt I pulled on him last night - great, great fun.
Early AA meeting, then to help Ken, then napped, then dicked around snoozy-like, and then to East Side AA meeting with Steve.
THEN, a monster 15 mile bike ride, hard, not hard as I can but hard, and then an upper body workout, three sets of three exercises, all to exhaustion, sweat pouring off me, totally soaked.
Then jumped into Barton Springs, swam, dived, relaxed, enjoyed.
The fact is that I don't have time for this.
It takes more than the time involved, often there's an emotional hangover involved, certainly there was one today.
This might have easily been ended a year ago, probably should have been.
Live and learn.
When it is as much like wrestling as anything else, it is time to set it down. And this really is like wrestling, there is not an interchange here, and if there is one it's because I've won a match, hardly a way to spend my time.
It's been a good thing but it's past due.
Beauty poured forth for tips.
Joe Richardson - electric, blue-eyed blues, a stand-in for his regular bass, his voice buried in the fucked up mix; great show regardless. Joe and the bass player smiling and chatting with their fingers, learning to talk to one another in the language of strings.
Lola - insane sidewalk artist, chalk on concrete. Her face ravaged by her life; intense, intelligent, street-smart, loving eyes; her arms strong, her palms calloused. Ringleader of a rag-tag collection of hangers-on who clearly are her family. If she doesn't create in public, her demons eat her alive.
No silence inside tonight, and no joy.
Every thought caught the eye of my attention, and I followed these thoughts down whatever trail they took, and difficult for me to notice, to turn back to the quiet.
It's important to me to sit nonetheless.
It doesn't matter how I feel about it, or how I feel during that twenty minutes.
What matters is that I show up.
What matters is that I take the time.
If I do not reach peace, that's fine.
If I do not reach elation, that's fine.
Not even waiting.
Two weeks of depression lifted, happiness even, and now..... two days of pain.
So - What happened?
Fuck if I know.....
A change in medications, yes, but that ought not to bring on this type reaction.
Or was it my Monday night / Tuesday morning up all night gig, can I no longer do those crazy hours?
Who in the fuck knows....
Chasing happiness around is futile, it is not something that can be caught.
I had it for two weeks, faded now like an old, worn-down love...
If you've ever been depressed, you know what I'm moaning about.
I told him to tell me everything he never intended to tell anyone. Ever.
I told him I wanted to hear the things he intended to take to his grave with him.
And he told me.
He was of course insistent upon knowing that what he told me never left the room we sat in. I cemented his faith in that by telling him things that I'd intended to take to my grave with me.
We created in that room a quiet safety.
An honor, and a responsability.
And I may never see him again. No telling.
AA is fun!
And school is looking more and more like the coming thing.
And debt, also. Or maybe not - I just don't know.
It's gonna have to play out, one day at a time.
Which of course I hate, I hate that whole 'give us this day our daily bread' shit.
I'm much more interested in 'give me this day my whole goddamn years worth, and also show me the stock for the whole rest of my life, and by the way, it had best be a long life, and hows about me getting laid sometime soon, too?'
I'm a happy man.
I keep a copy of Bukowskis last book in my pickup, read some at breakfast, at the greazy tex-mex joint up the street.
While driving around later listening to the radio, there was a spoken word song about Los Angeles, damned if it didn't sound just like Bukowskis words sung soft, put to gentle mexican guitar.
Called the station on the cell and found out that is exactly what it is; Tom Russell has put 'Crucifix in a Death Hand' to music.
It is fucking great.
The cd's called 'Modern Art' - I like what I've heard of it so far...
'If you ain't living on the edge, you're takin' up too much room'
A great hook in a song by James Anthony, a busker, plays the streets of Austin for tips.
Heard him this evening on Congress Avenue, a distinctive voice, loud and very clear, ringing that beat up accoustic like a bell, really inventive playing, strong, controlled.
The heart of Austin lays out on its sleeve.
Austin is art, walking through Austin is like walking through a rich painting as it's being painted, a work in progress.
We all get to add our color, and many of us do.
A lazy morning, but a fun one. Time not wasted; time enjoyed.
Detox meeting, where I shine. I did so today.
Faced bills, stepped DEEPLY into unsecured debt, worked a beaurocracy.
An easy talk with an old friend who I'd been crossways with, now smoothed.
Falling in love again, the richness of Austin, of Texas.
Texas music - none better.
Bike ride, workout. A longer ride around town, saw Lola, the street artist, one of my heroes.
Deepened the friendship with Gloria; bright, warm, beautiful, sensitive. A fire lit; her arms soft under my lips; a tentative, soft and gentle kiss.
The Tip Jar