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09/01 Direct Link

The beauty of prayer, and the power in it, and the depth.

The joy of competence, sharing the way out, putting the tools into their hands.

The happinesses of family, the love of a brother and a sister, the ease that sets into my heart.

The humility to accept love offered freely, her tremendous gift of time and love, intelligent listening.

The joys of living in this wonderful country, the blessings of it, the knowlege that I can do anything, that self confidence, my birthright as an American.

The pleasures of a gray and shining afternoon, the cool of it.

09/02 Direct Link

She's in the jail, and that is where she is safest.

Hard on her, and hard for me to see her there; perhaps this time she'll be able to get the depth of her disease.

Consequences happening faster and faster, hitting harder and harder; each time she uses she loses everything immediately. This time it took her less than a week to hit the streets.

She lost everything again.

At least this time she did not have to kick junk in jail, it was mostly crack.

She'll be twenty-three later this month.

I love this kid.

Please, pray for her.

09/03 Direct Link

I looked right at it.

In fact, I looked at it closely as I know how, for about twenty minutes, and still saw something there that was not there.

The line was headed into a different direction, and though looking directly at it I didn't see it, not until it was pointed out to me.

I drew what I knew was there, not what was clearly in front of me.

The power of the mind is large; I saw something that clearly I did not.

I was looking right at it, in fact was studying it.

Learning to look honestly......

09/04 Direct Link

Cubs win!!!

The biggest thing in my life today - the Cubs won.

In Chicago.

Against the Cardinals.

It's silly as hell to be a baseball fan, and more particularly to be a Cubs fan, but there it is.

It's like a religion, or being an American - it came to me as a part of my familial identity, it was in the air I breathed, it was broadcast from radios, and televisions, it is part of my earliest family memories; trips to Wrigley field, to watch them lose.

But they won today, and did so convincingly, a huge game.

Cubs win!!!

09/05 Direct Link

Learning is a rough process, and not one I particularly enjoy when I don't know what I am to try to learn, when I am in the stumbling phase of it, which, unfortunately, I was in for today, and for a long while today.

But that's ok, and has to be ok - while I question the value of using pictures cut from magazines as a forty-eight year old man, it is I guess a learning tool, and not something that we're to do each and every day of this class.

Almost no sleep last night, and a large panic run...

09/06 Direct Link

It is a devastating illness, takes lives and ruins others, and ruins lives of those close to the person who has the disease.

Unlike cancer, those who have the disease spend much time attempting to convince others, and damn sure themselves, that they don't have it, that their symptoms are 'not that bad' and 'hey, I was just having fun' and 'everybody does this'.

Everybody doesn't do this.

Those who suffer from the disease - and they damn sure do suffer - find themselves isolated from others whose lives are intertwined, as the disease is, understandably, fiercely misunderstood.

Jails.    Institutions.     Death.

Alcoholism.

09/07 Direct Link

Though she is of course an American, the words that came to my mind as we spoke were African Queen.

She has a regal beauty, a royal carriage, totally natural, not at all forced.

Rich brown skin, thick brown hair, strong brown eyes.

I've seen this before but rarely; now this face, now that face, now American modern, now African Queen. It's distracting in conversation, watching her emotions play, watching her shift one to another to another, I'd lose the thread.

Her face shifts; her facial structure is not static; her face molds and remolds as the emotions play.

Cher.

09/08 Direct Link

Up at six, out at seven-thirty; good, hard, physical labor till noon.

The detox meeting - I brought a friend today, and in fact hooked him up so he will have his own meeting, which he really wants - he likes this hour as much as I do.

A great meeting.

More movement into the drawing, how is it that I see, how can I learn to see more fully, more accurately.

Crying in my therapists office; the thin gold light is beautiful but last year it heralded the onslaught of that manic run - will this happen again?

A busy day.

Bedtime.

09/09 Direct Link

Up at ten after five, and not stopped since, and that is good I think, though it is of course cause to wonder:     Is this the prelude to the traditional Autumn Manic Run, starring Mixed States?

Co-starring emergency psych clinics, confused friends, great paintings, no sleep.

Fuck.

Scary.

This is the most productive day I've had in months, deep sweats in the work, and much pleasure in it - I am damn sure a good carpenter, performed the impossible today and did it fast and did it well; no way that door should look that good, given what I started with.

09/10 Direct Link

Much as I bitch and moan about orderly people, and numbers, and plots, and charts, and methods used to cut life into shitbag bits of dry, dusty boredom, I found today that lines help me capture accurately onto the page errant visual patterns, which I could not capture cleanly in other ways.

This pleases the living shit out of me.

It's a great thing to have learned, a powerful tool.

I had no idea that drawing really is something that can be taught.

I just didn't believe it.

I do now.

I am moving, faster than I would have guessed.

09/11 Direct Link

And today was a day of bitching and moaning and hurting, and no call for it at all; I refused to pray, refused to meditate.

I refused to accept the ease thats close as my hand.

The guy insists:     It is at hand.

He was certain of it.

He mentioned it a lot.

And I know its true - I've turned that way often, and also not turned that way often, and have experience both turns.

I turned today into pain.

No; I refused today to accept the grace, thus experienced pain.

It's pretty simple.

A child could figure it out.

09/12 Direct Link

Nothing to it today, no words to spin out here, just writing this because I'm committed to this disipline, and a wonderful disipline it is, too, and one that has given me so damn much, this writing every day, like it or not, want to or not, words to say or not, good day or bad, happy or sad, peaceful or hateful, the words have to be here, they have to end up written, and when they are I feel ever so happy, the counter spins to one hundred and the smile eases onto my fat face, and then I'm

09/13 Direct Link

A day of beginning, with Rod.

He's a damn good guy.

He's got my disease.

He wants recovery from it.

He may accept what I have to offer; no telling, Most do not want to work the steps, or, more accurately, they want to have worked the steps; they want the goods without doing the bloody work involved in the gutting of the ego.

Everybody wants to go to heaven, nobody wants to die.

No surprises there.

But Rod maybe will do this, he damn sure is ready, fighting the addiction for five years, the futuility of that.

We'll see.

09/14 Direct Link

We sat in that perfect light giving to one another.

From both sides of the chair it was good today.

I am blessed, I know that I am, to have this depth of understanding in my life.

And it is good to be in my competence in my giving in that relationship also, to have solid answers, and to tell what it is that I see, and to have those answers respected and then acted upon by a man I deeply respect.

This really is a fun part of my life.

In that perfect light I told of my life.

09/15 Direct Link

Way too tired, it's way too late, I'm writing this just to be writing the hundreds tonight, nothing to say but I'm gonna say it til the counter spins to one hundred. It's almost eleven, and that's usually just the prime of my evening but tonight I'm beat and headed to bed, almost forgot these words, did in fact forget them but then fortunately remembered, though not fortunately for you, who is reading this drivel, walking through it, suffering through it, wading through it, hoping almost as much as I am the the counter soon hits one hundred, and when

09/16 Direct Link

The best of the day isn't from today, it's realizing deeper something from a conversation last night, added to by reading what I'd written earlier this year.

I am getting better.

Slowly, a slow and uncertain walk out of the morass.

But I am in a much, much better place than I was in earlier this year.

The help I've recieved from my therapist, from my psychiatrist, from my sponsor, from the detox meeting every week - it all seems to be coming together now.

I'm not in pain as much, nor as deep.

This is good news.

A slow process...

09/17 Direct Link

Yeah, it's just boxes and chairs and rooms I've drawn thus far, and some other simple shapes. But the fact is that I didn't know how to draw them a month ago, and now, while they are not picture perfect, it is plain that this one here is a box, that one there is a chair, this one here shows a room in some detail, that one there shows a bookshelf, a ribbon hanging from a book.

I really like that one.

Also, I've gestured a musician that I like very well, quite primitive but fun.

This is really good.

09/18 Direct Link

The fear of the mediums, and then to fall onto the project, and into the project, with something approaching happiness, though the fear was and is still present.

I guess that's a good sign.

It means I'm growing, maybe.

Or maybe I'm just afraid.

No telling.

The ache of the conversation with my father, spared all those years, and now to be felled as he lives, his soul eaten into by his illness, a scourge of our race.

Another scourge - my mothers insane religion, her insistence that her dark visions are at hand; complete lunacy.

But I love them deeply.

09/19 Direct Link

A black day, a grim day, a dark day, holes blown in my soul, winds rushing through, unconstrained, uncontained, or barely contained.

It's affecting me far more than I knew; to talk with him, to hear the pieces missing, more each time, a fast descent, horribly fast.

I ache to know that he knows this is happening to him; he's watched his siblings go, one after the next.

My father.

I love this man.

A remarkably capable man; the most capable man I've ever known.

Always strong - huge arms - always capable, always bold, to a fault.

It's all gone now.

09/20 Direct Link

I'd be furious, but there's no one to be furious at, it's just life, it's just disease, tis no ones fault.

So instead of fury, I get the agony of the pain of it, and the depression.

It's not his fault, it's so goddamn cruel, he's a good man, did his time.

Why the hell does he have to go through this?

Almost worse, why does he have to know that he's going through this?

It eats at me, it scalds me, it burns me, a scourge through my soul.

I love this man.

Dignity, all I want for him.

09/21 Direct Link

So here's my cheat day, written on October third, late at night, Friday night, getting these words entered prior to a trip to Chicago, and moaning and groaning about how long it's taking me to get them posted online.

To enter them, I've got to check them out, spelling and punctuation, and then add HTML tags, and then double-check them after I've put them out there, and sometimes make corrections.

This is all a big pain in the ass.

I need a secretary.

Do you want a job?

I won't pay worth a damn, and the hours are for shit....

09/22 Direct Link

So I sat there with them, shared an hour with them, and told them what their life is going to be.

I told them what changes would need to be made, what it is that they would have to do in order to live a life that wouldn't lead them constantly into a dangerous deadend way of life.

I also told them the almost certain results of not making the changes I told them of, told them of lives spent poorly, soaked in alcohol, buried in heroin and crack and speed, lost to the living.

A living death.

One hour.

09/23 Direct Link

I would have to say that the best of it was the meeting tonight, sitting with friends, being presented with yet another opportunity to give what I know to another.

This pleases me.

Also, good not to hold back from Rod, to clear the money thing and step back into the work with him, such a fine man, a real integrity, an honest desire to reshape his life, a willingness to do so, just needs the information, and I can give him that information, I can show him how to tap into the power.

The manic panic is overwhelmingly difficult...

09/24 Direct Link

I can draw.

I cannot draw perfectly, I cannot draw fast, I cannot draw everything, I certainly cannot yet draw people. But I can draw, I have learned much, amazed that I can do this, my hands now able to move in a new way, my eyes now seeing what theyve not before noticed, the depths and the shadings, the methods of manipulating 2d.

It's fun.

And I'll damn sure get better, I've just begun this course of action.

I drew last night a section of my bedroom, drew it fast and drew it accurately, did the same today in class.

09/25 Direct Link

Nothing to say here tonight, I'm beat, a huge day.
Nothing to say here tonight, I'm beat, a huge day.
Nothing to say here tonight, I'm beat, a huge day.
Nothing to say here tonight, I'm beat, a huge day.
Nothing to say here tonight, I'm beat, a huge day.
Nothing to say here tonight, I'm beat, a huge day.
Nothing to say here tonight, I'm beat, a huge day.
Nothing to say here tonight, I'm beat, a huge day.
Nothing to say here tonight, I'm beat, a huge day.
Nothing to say here tonight, I'm beat, a huge day.

09/26 Direct Link

Better living through chemistry.

As a bipolar, my life so deeply shaped by the disease I have, it is imperative that I keep a close eye on how my body reacts to medications, it is imperative that I find a medication which will help me; I have had to learn a tremendous amount about many drugs, I have had to learn a tremendous amount about my body and its reaction to those many drugs, I have had to learn to notice nuances, slivers of difference.

I noticed one today, and lived in a much better world than I otherwise might.

09/27 Direct Link

Today I reveal a sordid piece of my life to you, something I've not disclosed.

I'm a Cubs fan.

It's a silliness, a leftover emotional illness from my youth, a sickness, a weakness, a sentimental insanity that plagues me; regardless that I know how stupid it is, I still got chills listening to the game today.

One of my earliest memories is of the Cubs losing to the Dodgers.

I've completely let go interest in any other sport, don't watch it on tv or read about it with more than passing interest.

Today, I got chills as the Cubs won.

09/28 Direct Link

Fear.

It's on me as I key these words, it's been on me for months.

I don't know what I am going to do.

I'm going broke.

Like so many others, I'm finding that the economic blues our country is currently in are not abating as I hoped they would, as I thought they would, I don't think anyone thought this would go on as long as it has, that there would be no jobs for years and years.

But that is clearly the case.

More to the point, I am not even sure if I can work any longer.....

09/29 Direct Link

He sat there glaring at me, sneering, moping, refused to acknowlege us, refused to be a part; sitting in a detox on a beautiful Monday afternoon, acting that he has the answers.

I told him that his denial is so big that he doesn't see a thing.

He told me I couldn't say that, I had no idea what I was talking about.

I told him I'd say whatever the fuck I wanted, that I knew what I was about.

I broke his fucking shoes.

God, was he mad!

He stormed out, came back fifteen minutes later, ready.

What fun!

09/30 Direct Link

A beautiful day.

Central Texas in Autumn is truly special.

Sunny, soft breezes, low humidiy, gentle temperatures; fragrant, luscious, fresh as spring; an amazingly beautiful thin gold light in the late afternoon.

Delightful.

Autumn in Austin is like summer in Chicago; perfectly beautiful, soft and forgiving and gentle and kind, to walk in the sun is exhilerating, but quietly so, a sort of grace.

I recomend it.

Balm to the soul.

Summer is damn sure over.

I'm damn sure glad.

There must be a way to summer in Chicago, three seasons in Austin, the sun sliding gently through my life.....