I did so much studying of the Renaissance in school, probably the ultimate in finesse and snobbery… An old song by Stanley Clarke off of School Days plays in my head. The album title is pertinent. It is the way my subconscious mind works, sympathetic to the main argument… My hopes center on my house getting done. Until then I can imagine living in it: my own big space, subject to my rules and tastes. It’s all taking shape in reality, what was once a castle in the air. I’ve definitely paid a price for this gift. It’s the house of a Renaissance Man… Now it’s a song by Earthworks called “Shadow of a Doubt.” What is the doubt, I wonder? But The Sound of Surprise was a Cd I bought during my first recovery in May 2003. Treatment wasn’t so bad at first. The counselor was open to me as long as I didn’t drink. I was a good boy, honest about doing UA’s and such. Yet I was so different then from now. So much younger and fresher; it’s hard to believe I was the same person. Gradually I understood that alcoholism was something I was being blamed for morally, and that’s when I rebelled. I came to loathe the program for the shame it put me through. Alcoholism is a defect not of morals but of genetics, and forget the crap about “the sins of the fathers.” Years later I encountered practices that made schizophrenia a moral matter as well, and again it violated science and common sense. I guess I’m just a believer in modern science. The world will be a better place when old notions of moral blame and shame are replaced by understanding logically; when everyone puts on eyeglasses and looks at life through the microscope. The beauty of science is how it exonerates us from stigmas of habitual religion. Instead of holding a crows’ court and murdering our outcasts, we shall understand and love them even for the fact of their defects. Every ugly duckling is a swan in the eyes of science. And let there be no quack science either. The conspiracy of bullshit eventually must come crashing down. Thereupon we can rebuild society from scratch.