Ten thirty.

A thought came to me yesterday or the day before. Probably some of the people of the congregation have been praying for me to keep me sober and safe. This leads me to other ideas, like the realities of good and evil, and the existence of God. For some reason, it worked when I joined the church over five years ago. It was the last option that I hadn’t tried for the fight against alcoholism. By contrast, I had known people who were naturalists, or bluntly put, atheists, and they had been powerless to help me with my addiction. By a kind of blind instinct I turned myself in to Our Redeemer and let myself be churched until I started feeling more independent. I don’t know if prayer works or if God listens to people. My own connection always seems to be blocked, the frequencies jammed. But so far, church is the only thing that helps me against alcoholism, and my independence is a foolish self delusion. Actually, writing is merely a compulsive activity for me to hold off cravings for booze. It wouldn’t even matter what I wrote down— at least some of the time. So, Sue was right when she told me I was full of hot air…


The Salon; and, Questions

Seven twenty.

Maybe I’ll stop by Karen’s today. I thought about it yesterday, then walked on by. I peeked in the window and saw her at her desk, doing business. I reflected that she doesn’t charge enough for her services. A men’s haircut is only twelve dollars from her. I won’t know how Darlene is doing until I ask Karen. Fridays are different now without going to the salon in the morning… I notice how slow I am to get anything done. I have the motivation of a tortoise, and that’s why I don’t think I can work like other people. Music happens to be easy for me. And no one’s life depends on a gig, unlike brain surgery. The world demands high speed in everything. People want things fast, fast, fast. In my case, the world just has to wait a while… It’s another partly sunny day. Yesterday morning I learned from Victoria that she graduated from the University of Oregon in psychology. She wants to get a Masters degree and be a therapist. I wished her luck… If I were the traveling type, it might be interesting to go to India, from where I have quite a few followers to my blog. There seems to be an affinity of my concerns with theirs, something hard to put my finger on. I think it is some spiritual and human quality. I imagine that going there would help me identify this elusive quality. It could be very important. What seems like nonsense to one part of the world might be coherence to another.

Eight thirty five. It might be ok to sort of relax control and let life happen. Take it slow. Accept things as they are, including myself. Not judge or criticize anything. Go with the flow. I’d kind of like a big two liter of Coca Cola today. Treat myself just for hanging in there.

Ten o’clock. I went to see Karen. Darlene is not doing well. Also, L– has a friend with pneumonia who might not make it. She’s in a funk over it and won’t talk to anybody. I believed I had problems, but it can always be worse. Karen asked me to pray for L– and her friend, and I just nodded. When life is out of control, what can we do to try to make it better? In our powerlessness, we appeal to whatever forces govern events. We tend to think that there is something invisible behind the scenes, like a God and a devil. But what if the visible is all there is? And then I think of my music, which seems to be a radio to the spiritual. Even if it’s merely a human connection, it’s still significant. I lose sight of it often because I’m on Vraylar, yet for most people it still operates… I once sucked a lot of pleasure out of life, but now I question whether that was ok. Emerson condemns sensuality as selfish. He could be right, and my parents’ lifestyle was wrong. I’m in the middle of a change. Hearing Bartok again was a kind of shock. His music is so sensuous, so lush and voluptuous. It’s beautiful, but rather self indulgent, and far from austere. What difference does it make? Perhaps a big one. How do we want to teach our children?


I feel inclined to go back and finish The Prelude. I love Wordsworth’s poetic voice, so pompous and commanding— majestic— in his eloquence, as if truly inspired by an invisible spirit. The breath of heaven, as he calls it. And this literally is the meaning of “inspiration,” a being breathed into. So that, almost, Wordsworth is not the author of his poems, but rather God is, or some lesser angel. In Jungian language, it comes from the collective unconscious, the most impersonal and objective component of the psyche, common to all human beings. Greeks called it the nous, Emerson the oversoul, but these are multiple names for the same thing. One may choose the term they like best.

A moment ago I pondered the stars, considering that there are two approaches to knowing them. One is astronomy, a hard science. The other is to name the constellations the way people have created them, mapping out the human soul on the heavens and worshiping it. My brother scorned the zodiac as stupid, but you know, I can judge that for myself now. It may be my brother who regrets his ignorance of the soul as time ticks down. Eternity is always there, existing outside of time. I pray for my brother to see beyond the physics one day and find the bliss he has missed.