Healing…

It’s been raining all night. It kept my insomnia company, though I don’t know why I couldn’t sleep. The positive is that I’m getting a new sense of possibilities as far as being a human. The greener pastures are truly available to me and to anybody in recovery. Nature’s tendency is to heal itself if it can. It repairs the damage and violence done to it, helped along by patience and endurance. My sister and I spoke yesterday morning on a footing of more or less equality and respect. So many times in the past she would overstep my boundaries. Nowadays she falls back on the generalization that families are difficult. She didn’t impute blame anywhere this time, but just left it without details. Life is a learning journey. Some lessons take many years to learn. I believe that codependency is a valid health phenomenon. But some people reject the idea and refuse to learn anything about it. I think my sister is at last letting go of trying to control other people… The overnight rain has stopped. Aesop went out to do his business in the predawn dark. Now there’s the glow of the day’s first light. The internet repair tech is coming out this morning after eight fifteen. Maybe today I’ll be using my Fire tablet again and discovering new things.

Wednesday Morning

When I got up, the eastern sky was magenta. I thought, Red skies at morning, sailor take warning. I poked around in some boxes and found my textbook for first year French. In the same box were my books of Homer and Immanuel Kant. There may be one or two more unopened boxes. It just takes me longer to do anything because my motivation is so low. I flipped through the French a little and remarked to myself how I’d learned that stuff drunk. The pages didn’t look very familiar. But the Homer epics were inviting: I never did read The Iliad, and I think that’s important. The abduction of Helen of Troy and the subsequent war is a classic story. And Achilles, who was invulnerable in combat except for one spot where the magical waters hadn’t touched him: his heel. And Odysseus brainstormed the Trojan Horse… The sky now is seamless gray overcast, very dark. Today is verdict day for Chad’s company. They’ve had their last chance. After this, Nate will send in his own people if necessary to finish the house. I hope Polly and I can get together for lunch before the end of the week. I’ve had enough of strangers entering my home and disturbing everything. I see that it’s windy outside; the magnolia shifts a bit. It is probably bitter cold like yesterday. I’ll experience it firsthand when I go to the store. I hope it doesn’t snow as it is rumored it will. But then, I don’t have to drive a car in it if it does snow. And if it does, I might as well enjoy the natural beauty of the phenomenon.

To Trust Nature

Ten fifty. It again occurred to me that sobriety is the open highway. Addiction to alcohol is the severest form of attachment to material things; to drink is to desire. Once free of desire, a person is free of everything and is close to what Hindus call moksha, spiritual liberation. After that, life is a big adventure into uncharted places. There are no more must see movies or must read books; no must listen songs. Your mind becomes a more accurate mirror on the world. Even on the darkest, stormiest day or night, sobriety is intrinsically light. I sometimes wonder what in the world I’m doing, and where going, but I remind myself that it’s only been two years, and the rest of my life calls me towards something entirely different. I must trust nature to lead me where it will, and know that it’s for the best. The important thing is to move forward and not back, keep your eyes focused ahead. Whatever happens, be fearless and go with it. The worst that can transpire is you die, but even then, your death will be like that of the yogis.

A Monologue

I still haven’t figured out what my values are for sure. I think the kind of world I want to live in doesn’t exist yet. I have to help make it a reality. Mostly I’m an observer and a dreamer. A lot of people don’t have time for me. It’s raining right now, while the sky is a lighter gray than before. Lunch with my sister can wait. I know her old fashioned values and don’t share them. I believe in maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain. Someday we’ll get it right. Jeff called me a hedonist, but what I really am is a utilitarian in the sense of John Stuart Mill. I’m getting sleepy. The sky is darkening. I remember old pleasures, times in the past when I went with my brother to the coast and we drank and ate like pigs. We missed part of the point of utility, which was happiness for all individuals, not just ourselves. Also the quality of our pleasures was swinish. I was interested in cerebral things, but my brother didn’t like to talk philosophy…

The worker just left for the weekend without announcing it. Actions speak louder than words. Yet even to say this requires speech. The gray sky is lemon now, pale white on the wet cement. I’m reminded of more old times, not quite two decades ago. Coast trips and kenneling my pug dog, and always being hung over when not drunk. I was 35 years old and my body could handle the alcohol then. We were two bad boys being stupid together. More sunlight: amber rays making shadows on the glass. There’s a rainbow somewhere outside— there, just behind Diana’s house, above the tree line. The clouds are midnight blue, the sunshine pale yellow on Roger’s garage door. And home comes his 77 Ford truck, audible before visible. The engine gargles and belches from the end of the street. Now the rust colored pickup sits silently in the driveway. Past and present dwell together in the mind, but in the world, time has no memory. Drops of rainwater drip from the magnolia leaves. In the foliage may be a dove. Beyond my backyard, roars of the highways.

Progress and Prophets

Ten ten. I priced some desktops, laptops, and iPads. I believe I’ll need some advice on what’s popular and efficient nowadays. I really don’t relish the prospect of setting up an old clunky computer that takes up space and has tons of usb connections and cables and crap. I want something smaller and handier and easier to work with. Maybe a laptop is the best option? I saw many for about $200, which doesn’t seem bad. Whatever helps me express myself is best; though it appears that the world is rushing ahead too fast for me to keep up with. Am I alone in feeling left behind? It would be very logical to feel that way.

The worst part of it is that people don’t interface with each other like they should. We avoid talking to one another anymore, and as a consequence become increasingly dehumanized. The writer D H Lawrence from a hundred years ago would be aghast at the state of human affairs today. He thought the coal pits were bad, and motorized wheelchairs and the invention of cars and the railroad even. I think it was Thoreau in Walden who observed what a terrible black thing the locomotive was in the middle of the countryside. Of course it’s impossible to reverse progress, or what we call that. How much of wilderness is left on planet earth? Can we afford to be technocrats anymore? What if Mother Earth was vengeful? We should expect a lot more natural disasters. What difference does it make whether I get a new computer? Still we race ahead towards certain doom…

Hope Also Rises

Quarter of eight. The vision is leaving me. Outside, it’s a thick fog. The sun wants to appear. I’ll never have another girlfriend like Kate because my alcoholism made me a different person with her. The next romance will be something new. It’s the weekend now. I have no plans for today except my daily run to the store. I might not go to church tomorrow. I just have a mental block with Jesus. How has the Lutheran church influenced my mindset? By making events dramatic and significant, as if willed by a God. It’s sort of like Shakespeare for me, with God having a plan; like Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Nature is seen as having morality in the sea imagery, the wave patterns. Pastor gave one sermon about theodicy last spring that made an impression on me. Otherwise, the Jesus stuff is unhelpful… The sun continues to wax and show through the fog. With Christmas over, I’m gradually finding my way. I see blue sky outside. I’m in the mood for peppermint candy ice cream. I remind myself that there are no right or wrong answers. Maybe ice cream is the only emperor…

Nine fifty. I just ate half the container of ice cream. Aesop had two big bites. I wore my ASIC shoes to the store. The temperature outside is right at freezing. I wonder what happened to Charlie on Thursday and Friday? I guess I’ll know Monday. The sun is still out, mixed with white clouds. It splashes orange on the old oak leaves…

Vocations

One ten. I commented on a blogger’s post a bit about industrialism gone wrong. Dr T— and my sister shared the view that everyone must work at jobs we hate in order to be worthy people. His work ethic was best expressed in Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Supposedly, it doesn’t matter what job you do as long as you do it with quality. I couldn’t disagree more. Of course it matters what you do for a career! Every human being is born to be something. It’s just that in a capitalist system, people are pressured to give up their natural vocation for the sake of making money. I loathe Robert Pirsig’s book. Instead, take a look at Ayn Rand’s Anthem, where the nameless but numbered protagonist is elected to be the city street sweeper. Eventually by thinking outside of the box he revives the wisdom of antiquity and names himself Prometheus… There has been method in my madness from around the time I read The Fountainhead thirty three years ago. By an extended effort of sheer will, Howard Roark pushes through his dream of being an architect, and does it all his own way. So I still believe in big dreams, and I believe that where there’s a will there’s a way, because nature has a purpose for every one of us. The key to success is persistence. Never give up. The way nature works, every sentient being is born with a dream, however our capitalist society may try to crush it. Or maybe the problem is not the system of government, but the way people perceive it as inevitable…