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08/01 Direct Link

I'm stronger day by day, and sharper.    Weakness was hellish, is hellish, I'm coming back, and glad of it.    Less pain each day, also I know now what the pain demands, and honor it, pay its tare.

Completely human but total foolishness to try to find a reason, somehow apply logic to it, it's much larger than that, any thought that I'd be able to lay mind to nowhere near large enough to encompass anything at all but the most mundane trivialities.

It's a mystery, one of the largest.

It's for me to give thanks, honor the gift, show appreciation.

08/02 Direct Link

Lying here recovering, I've had time to think some things through.

I don't want to continue on as I was.

Seems that I've got to find another way.

The only way that seems to make sense to me is stepping deeper into prayer.

I don't know about god, I surely don't know how it's all set up, but three times dead - and not just sorta dead either, but full-blown dead kind of dead - it just seems that perhaps I'm supposed to be here.

There is no telling why.

But this place is nice.

I'm glad I got a new lease.

08/03 Direct Link

A day of reading and paying bills;   JUST in time on one bill to avoid late fees and higher interest rates - yikes!

I noticed today an edge returning, anger, impatience.    Each time that I noticed it, I was driving - perhaps I'll need to take special care before getting behind the wheel from now on, to avoid the foolishnesses of impatience.

I don't want that in my life, and damn sure don't need it;    sitting there with my heart hurting because I think someone should drive different, or should answer the phone when I call?   Come on…

Life is too short.

08/04 Direct Link

Two hours of talk.

Phew!

Not that it was or is bad - I love these people.     But it's taxing, it takes energy to be present.

It's difficult to discipline my self in these conversations, cut them short enough that I have something left afterwards.     But I'm going to have to learn it.

Everyone is concerned, wants to show me - hell, they ARE showing me - concern and love, and I sure like to be available.

But I'm tapped now, and the evening is gone.

I know that there are larger problems.

I'm blessed with loved ones.

Thank god.

And I do.

08/05 Direct Link

What a day!

Busy as hell, tired in parts of it but not overall, very active and got much accomplished and had fun to boot.

If only every day could be this good.

And maybe they'll just keep on getting better, that surely seems to be the trend here, the past ten or twelve days.

It just feels so good to be here, even partly to be here, alert and moving in my life.

I feel like me, and have for most of the day.

Some heart pain, a few times, but not long and not hard.

This is good.

08/06 Direct Link

So it was a great day, and still is.

I'm up very, very late, midnight as I key this in.

I've been writing.

This is the latest I've taken my meds in months.

Jesus.

So maybe I'll suffer tomorrow - I've got to have some flexibility in my life, a little at least, and writing and entering those words was important.

But - back to today, feeling good.

I really feel like I'm back, like I'm me - I blasted rock/roll music tonight, first time, a large step.     And the fun at the meeting tonight, being with my people was just great.

Bedtime.

08/07 Direct Link

Hit the snooze bar lots but made the meeting, and that commitment serves me well.

Library account now set up online - very cool.

What an amazing life Claire has lived!     Jesus.     Our friendship is a given, I want now to deepen it, grow it.     A great conversation.

A thirty minute swim, the late afternoon sun - pleasure, perhaps joy.

Amy's friendship - so different now, richer, warmer, deeper, less pressure, the love a given. The lightness in her voice attests her freedom.     Great conversations, California dreaming.

CA meeting - Jim, Hector, John.    Friendships.     Strength.     Recovery.

I'd have trouble choosing the best of today…

08/08 Direct Link

if I died
of a broken heart
and I did

what does that mean
if anything
at all
to who
if anyone

what it means
to me
is this:
I can no longer
live
heartbroke
and
I don't know how to do this

not yet

or
rather
I do know how
but it is old knowledge
no longer applicable
I thought

I learned it in 1984
or 1985
not sure which
no matter
long, long ago
Kathy the teacher
love the lesson

I need not live
the heartbroke life
can walk
smiling
a happier world
which contains
consists of
peace

08/09 Direct Link

I surely am enjoying the peace.

I'm not practicing, don't have a discipline now, I'm not sitting twice daily as I've done off and on for years.

Somehow I'm hitting the peace regardless.

I've had time to think it through, and have more time to think it through - healing has its very own pace, and moves at that pace.

If I don't have peace, whatever I have is not enough.     If I do have peace, that's enough, regardless whatever else.

I don't know that I've walked this piece of the road before.

The view is pretty.

The pace is right.

08/10 Direct Link

A novel idea.

I'm resting, recuperating, gathering strength - as noted, it has it's own pace.

I've been watching movies - lots of them - and I've been reading.

I started with some trash novels from a friend.     (One of them won the Pulitzer but I don't see how;    your basic piece of shit best-seller novel, okay but not great.)

I shy from popular books, ever suspicious of Americas Wal-Mart tastes.

I've since read two novels that I couldn't set down, a pleasure, and for me a rare pleasure.

I want to share them with you, but you've got to find your own.

08/11 Direct Link

Over a month later and so much of my life still centered upon, focused on, responding to that dang heart attack.

It's surely a big deal.

And a big deal getting over it too.     Overall, my physical condition on the upward, but any particular day can be flat, low energy.

I walked slowly through the pieces of my day - early AA meeting, some shopping, physical therapy (the most exhaustive workout yet, learning to find the limits of my body), finished a really good novel, watched a very funny movie, ate good food, drank the best damn latte on the planet.

08/12 Direct Link

The prettiest day in months.

The wind blew in last night, kept on through the day, more a breeze than a wind, pleasant, seems it blew out the humidity and blew in the cool, the skies a rich blue, white clouds, maybe mid eighties.     A summer day as pretty as any you'll see in Austin, or most anywhere else.

And I got out into that day, enjoyed it just one hell of a lot, drove around town with the windows down, swam, lay on my back in the pleasant water of the pool and just enjoyed the day passing by.

08/13 Direct Link

The hardest workout since the heart attack.

I felt great, exhausted afterwards but strong, almost no heart pain, and none it of the stabbing pain like at the first.

I'd never have done this unsupervised.

My tendency is to push, to move too fast.

I've one last session of physical therapy.     We are planning my gym workouts, after physical therapy - how much work, how hard, how long.

Seems it's key to not go over 110 pulse just now.     And listen closely, not only my heart but also just for exhaustion, over-exertion in general, not to push past that threshold.

08/14 Direct Link

I had no intention of going there.

I showered, dressed, made a latte to go, hopped into the pickup.

I'd not been at this meeting in recent times.

I saw there a kid I really like.     I've known him since he started trying to get clean and sober.     A pretty kid, a good heart, not lost much because he's not had much yet, seems to want recovery.     He hasn't yet been through the beatings some of us need to get serious.

I would love to see him save his face, not claw it, writ there the pains of the losses.

08/15 Direct Link

I like best the light in Bobs studio as it grays, after the sun sets, in the gloaming.     It is one of my favorite lights, a great room, filled with objects that the light falls upon in such an interesting way.

And I love to watch it get richer, the dark coming on but doing it slowly, falling one measure at a time upon us in that room, it's a happiness that settles upon me there, motes of darkness gently laying one at a time upon all that there is to be seen.

And in that light, honesty, safety, warmth.

08/16 Direct Link

I'm finding out more about what happened when I came into the hospital, I find that I'm quite interested in the step by step of it.     I've a friend who is a cardiac care nurse, I've prodded her for information, am learning more now about the plumbing and electrical aspects of the muscle that pushes the blood through my body.     I hadn't really ever thought it out, that there's both plumbing and electrical involved, working (hopefully) in a synchronized fashion.     But I'm slowly getting onto it now, and onto the steps that were followed when I got to the ER.

08/17 Direct Link

My right arm started hurting as I swam today, for no reason that I could determine.     It continued to let me know it's presence throughout the afternoon, and into the evening, scaring the shit out of me, not knowing if it's anything, not knowing this new, broken body.

And I've been tired all day, I've hardly any energy.

People say "Allow yourself to heal" - I'm like "Hey, allow yourself to fuck off".     This is frustrating as hell, always I have been physical, pushed my body to whatever limit there was, then pushed past that.     Fuck limits.

But I am limited today.

08/18 Direct Link

Learning this is difficult, such tedium, dragging again and again over the same goddamn ground, my body paying the price as I learn to listen for its signals to me.     I miss them, and then miss them again, I don't know what to do when it might be clear to others, is clear to others as a matter of cold hard fact, clear to them and they're not shy about telling me.

Maybe it's best to learn this at forty-nine, and have a head start on it when my body begins to fail me later in life.

A hard day.

08/19 Direct Link

A beautiful afternoon (though probably not one I ought to have spent outdoors without much shade), towering cumulous clouds floating past cirrus laid up high, the sun just a huge presence in that sky, and hot as a son of a bitch.

I like this kid, I'm glad I'm sponsoring him, we sat in the afternoon going through the text, me passing it to him as best I can, his first run through the Big Book with a sponsor, his first run through the steps.     Exegeses time, friends, and time to exegete cleanly, clearly, directly; interpret, not sermonize, nor lecture.

08/20 Direct Link

I didn't push too hard, nor too soft, a nice workout, kicking back and forth in the beauty of the late summer afternoon, the pool so nice and clean, surrounded by flowers, the water perfectly clean and clear and pleasant.

After the workout, I got out, lazed, lay in the sun, read some light words, gentle reading, jumped back in the pool after the water dried and the August sweat came on, did this a few times, and then I quit reading, and just sprawled in the sunshine, watched the towering clouds, enjoyed the flowers, the beauty of this day.

08/21 Direct Link

Watched a hollywood movie and enjoyed it, even liked some of it, though I don't like that I enjoyed it, don't like that I liked it.

This movie is manipulative, it was formula for sure - swelling music, an actor I can't stand, and an actress too, so pliable as to be non-existent, she just becomes her roles.     Which is I know the point of acting but I can't stand her.

But I liked their acting in this movie, and it was well written, actually made fun of the formula as it spun it out, and parts of it shot beautifully.

08/22 Direct Link

An honor.

A joy.

A privilege.

A responsibility.

One hell of a lot of fun.

Sponsorship.

I met today with two guys I sponsor.     Then, in the gloaming, that beautiful light of dusk and in the perfect setting of his studio, I met with my sponsor.

Prayer, holding hands, the surest way into The Presence.     The best of the prayer - silent contemplation, after the words.

A prayer:     "Please, help me to be teachable."

Another:     "Please use this time to best effect."

These words are for our ears, they're damn sure not for god - god knows what the fuck we need.

08/23 Direct Link

The detox meeting small today, five women, no guys.     One woman really in pain over what has happened in her life, which is considerable, and I bought into it, listened to her tale of woe, didn't cut her off as she droned.     Normally, I'd have cut this way short but I am still not back to full strength, tis clear.     No one gets to detox until their life is a wreck, and an AA meeting isn't so much a place to talk about the wreck as a place to address the wreck that it is and begin to change it.

08/24 Direct Link

Up.     Phone call - Amy, in California - fun.     Breakfast.     Medications.     Latte.     Phone calls, taking care of business.     Swimming - ease in the sun, good for my recovery, good for my soul, the beauty in the surroundings, the meditative qualities in the simple movements; start slowly, ease into it, kicking back and forth, let it grow into the workout.     Movies - a powerful art form if done well, and these two were damn sure done well.     Food, through the day; not a huge deal to me, at least not today - fuel.     Then the meeting, friends, old and new, a great topic.     That's my hundred.

08/25 Direct Link

no poetry in my life just now, walking through the days (daze?) gently, caring for my body, eating right as I can, exercising but not too hard, just to work the heart, don't want to push it at all

so maybe there is a poetry in this, maybe there is something to be said about learning to care for myself, to gentle through my days, not to push, not to run, not to sweat the small stuff, to remember it's all small stuff

and it is all small stuff - there is nothing to get excited about

life is surely beautiful

08/26 Direct Link

I missed writing on the twenty-sixth, I write these words on September first.

I missed the entry because I had stayed up so late, talking Amy through her very own hell; she was in it deep.     But that's a good thing to do, worth missing a days writing I think, I did surely ease her passage that night, and glad to do it - she's a good broad.

She's decided to leave that dead marriage and leaving California also, for West Texas, re-group, with familial support.

I'm glad she's in Texas, a good place to salve the heart, in my experience.

08/27 Direct Link

Joking, Amy told me to send a pair of my underpants, after they'd been worn, that she would, as a way to ease the pain she caused me, display them in a special box - with emeralds upon it - with an inscription carved into the box stating that these underpants would always be upon display, set upon a dais in her home.

I am, of course, going to take her up on it.

She was in too deep before she knew it, wasn't thinking clearly - she knows that I will do this.

I'll send the worn black ones with scuzzy elastic…

08/28 Direct Link

Lazed in the morn and then an AA meeting at which I spoke not a word, a few words afterwards to a few folks, then on to lunch and was - Surprise! - joined by a couple of guys who were at the meeting.     A nice surprise - these are good guys - a nice chat, a nice lunch.     Then to the library, and then moseyed on home, where I've been since.

Lazed would be the key word here.     Though the fact is that the word peace would work also, or in addition to.

Lazed peace.

This beats glazed peace, to be sure…

Bedtime.

08/29 Direct Link

I started today a letter to an old flame, saw the foolishness and stopped.

The flame is long gone, or ought be, but isn't, not from my heart.     It's strange, the foolishnesses, my stubborn heart, holding on, and holding on some more.

It is her vulnerability - that is the hook.     And some sweet memories.

I wish that these memories were not so sweet.     I'd love to cut them out of my soul.     But sweet they are, and cut deep, etched, or perhaps carved in.

How is it that I have so little say over that which my heart holds to?

08/30 Direct Link

Keys locked in pickup.

Spare key, usually hidden on truck frame?     Inside my second story condo.

Grabbed a chair, jumped up, grabbed hold the railing, pulled myself up and over, hand over hand.

A huge mistake!

Goddamnit!

The largest concentrated burst of energy since the heart attack, except maybe the fist fight with Daniel.     I've been warned about bursts of energy.     That's why they've kept me off my bicycle, no wailing up/down those trails;    I'm to warm slowly, heart rate up gradually, hold steady while exercising.

It scared me today, I still am scared;    it hurts again.

A limited life.

08/31 Direct Link

A friend of mine died yesterday.     Cancer.

It seems unfair but I know it isn't.     Life, on lifes terms.     I sorta take it as an insult if someone does not get their biblically allotted three score and ten but the fact is that organisms are fragile, we're dancing on borrowed time, I know I surely am.

She was a fine person, a drug addict who had tremendous trouble keeping a needle out of her arm, but she died nineteen months clean and sober, surrounded by people who loved her.

She was twenty-seven years old.

Katrina.

May she rest in peace.