Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Like the Clash song of the same title as this post I find myself in a quandry over deciding to stay here in Phoenix or to return to California and go back to work in real estate with an old partner and friend of over 20 years. This is a very dear friend of mine who's more like a brother to me than my own biological brothers but also one of dubious moral character. I don't say that in a mean spirited way at all for, if anything, I encouraged, aided and abetted him in most of the illicit behaviors and nameless activities the two of us embarked upon for a great number of years during the late 80's through the late 90's and in fact he was the "stable" one of the duo always having to get up in the middle of the night to bail me out of jail after I had poured him into bed passed out cold, swiped a few c-notes out of his money clip and stolen his car and sped off into the night to places, people and activities that wind a person in jail....and rightly so!

Now that I've been released from probation and am free to leave the state there is an opportunity to return to California to rebuild the real estate consulting firm that I founded in 1990 and later turned over to this partner in 1996 when I moved up to Northern CA to work with my biological brother on his vineyard/winery which I did for seven years along with my vintage guitar business. I had also become involved with a woman up there in what would prove to be the longest relationship of  of my life (to date).. Then in the fall of 2002 my father suffered a stroke that left him partially parylyzed at the age of 80 and I dropped everything to come to Phoenix to care for him for what I thought was to be a mattter of a few months that was to turn out to be the next 6 years of my life. I have chronicled much of those years in this blog....

This blog is really the precursor to A Divine Catharsis and since I've closed that chapter in my life and picked it up here I thought it only fitting that I link it back here for continuity's sake. Between the two blogs any reader(s) gets a fairlly detailed look at the past seven years of my life leading up to my current situation.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blank Canvas....

Today was the first day in 34 years that I have not been under some form of govermental control, either in the military, incarcerated, in a court ordered facility of some variety or on probation. The last time I could say that I was 17 and I'm now 51. I'm 42 days clean and sober, unemployed, near broke, have 15 teeth left and soon to be homeless and living on the street or in a shelter and it really doesn't upset me all that much. I've been through so much in my life that nothing really gets me ruffled...I'll figure something out. My life is like this blank canvas I've been staring at all day...today was a very good day!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just watched this again...

God, I sound like my brother...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Supplies dwindling and the elevator has reached the basement...

I sit here in the urban abode on a pleasant autumn afternoon taking stock of my current situation, which, at first glance (or even second or third) is bleak, dismal and disparate if not rapidly approaching desperate. By all logical accounts I "should" be laying in a ball in the corner in an absolute anxiety attack not unlike this rubber band ball I toss around for Juliet. I am unemployed, got a can of soup, half a box of crackers, some koolaid, a dozen or so tea bags, some bouillon cubes and a carton and a half of smokes, maybe fifty bucks and a quarter tank of gas in my borrowed '94 Geo and no clue where my next buck is coming from.

Facefuck (book) just obliterated two years worth of my work in one *blip* earlier this week but I remain optomistic to a point where I'm questioning my sanity but since they turned me away at the psych ward last month when I tried to check myself in I guess I'm not crazy either....damn! So what is it? Why am I not freaking out? Is it a "I've been down so long it looks like up to me" sort of manifestation? Perhaps. There most certainly is some sort of conditioning to adverse situations at play for I am no stranger to life behind the eightball to put it lightly. *ahem*

I guess it's a matter of faith more or less; although, I'm not exactly a religious man by any stretch of the imagination. I sit here writing  this as a homeless man is pushing a shopping cart past my window and would be willing to bet he has more money in his pocket than I do yet there is a difference between us.

I received the official release from probation in the mail this week and I am now free to leave and go anywhere in the world I so choose and have my current passport right here yet I've committed to myself to complete the twelve week substance abuse program at the VA and I will complete that four days before my lease expires on this house but I have nowhere I'd rather be...not at this point at least.

So...today is a good day and the rest will fall into place as it would anyway so I'll spare myself the panic attack and have a cup of delicious beef bouillon (*cheers*)!

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Evolution Revolution Continues

So yesterday my primary Facebook account was deleted by Facebook with no warning or explanation. Over two years of intensive work flushed in an instant. Over 4,100 friends gone, a dozen or so groups and fan pages gone, all my causes, blogs, notes, applications, events and posts vanished before my eyes in an instant....*blip*

It may come back up, it may not...

I'm not depressed, not stressing, not freaking, not drinking or using...have food to eat and a place to sleep.

Today is a good day...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Free To Soar....

I just came back from my monthly meeting with my probation officer and she informed me that as of last Friday 10/02/09 the judge signed off on my release from felony (possession) probation and that effective at 12:01 am on 10/17/09 I will be a free man. This will be the first time in 34 years or since I was 17 that I will not be either in the military, incarcerated or under some form of court order or other governmental control and that I will be able to petition the court to have my felony conviction reduced to a misdomeanor and fully restore my civil rights!

Today is a very good day indeed!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thirty Days In The Hole

Today is the real thirty days clean off meth for me. Some of you may think I'm off on my math but this is the honest date as I did not stay clean even this past time until just prior to entering the intensive outpatient program at the VA Hospital of which I am still in and will remain until mid-December. I am now physically feeling much better although my appetite has yet to kick back in full force and my sleep patterns are still off kilter. My body still seems to need 10-12 hours of sleep per night. Mentally I'm doing better but am prone to severe bouts of depression, shame, remorse and anxiety attacks. My focus is coming back and I'm able to concentrate on one (dozen) task(s) at a time...my "normal" mind seems to have always been a "multi-tasker" so this is a vast improvement over the way it was misfiring a month ago. Financially, I'm still a total mess but I am not homeless(yet) and I'm working daily to improve that as well but for now, I'm letting those chips fall as they may...life is good!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Couldn't Say It any Better....

When I fell from grace
I never realized
how deep the flood was around me.

A man whose life was toil
was like a kettle left to boil,
and the water left scars on me.

I know now who I am.
If only for a while,
I recognize the changes.

I feel like I did before the
magic wore thin and the "baptism
of stains" began.

They used to say I was
nowhere, man,
heading down
was my destiny.

But yesterday, I swear,
that was someone else not me.

Here I stand at the crossroads edge,
afraid to reach out for eternity,
One step, when I look down,
I see someone else not me.

Looking back and I see
someone else.

All my life they said I
was going down,
but I'm still standing,
stronger, proud.

And today I know there's
so much more I can be.

From where I stand at the crossroads edge,
there's a path leading out to sea.

And from somewhere
deep in my mind,
sirens sing out loud
songs of doubt
as only they know how.

But one glance back reminds, and I see,
someone else not me.

I keep looking back
at someone else... me?

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Madness That Keeps on Giving...

I'm just trying to stay straight and get back to living life and I keep getting pulled into the insanity of others who are out there still out there doing what they do and I have to change my cell phone number again. The ones I stated earlier that weren't calling are now blowing up my phone with this drama or that drama that I'm expected to fix for them. The sad part of it is that there are many innocent people in their lives (kids, parents, spouces etc...) that are caught up in their loved one's insanity that will be hurt if I don't intercede but for me not to would seriously put myself at risk at many levels and I just have to let the chips fall where they may. I sure didn't give any of these folks their first blast and I can't do anything to take away their last...

I Lock Myself In At Nightfall...

So last Sunday I graduated my fellowship program at The Center for Progressive Leadership and flipped right into my 12 week substance abuse treatment program at the VA Hospital the following day...talk about polar opposites...such has been my life for 39 years. I'm pretty much physically detoxed off my 6 month run back into the depths of insanity and demoralization and while the insanity part has subsided the demoralization has gotten far worse as snippets of what I did, with whom I did it with and where I did it pops into conscious memory.

I won't elaborate further as it serves no purpose to do so but let's just say I'm one blessed man for having escaped relatively unscathed and I lock my doors at night more to keep myself in than anyone else out.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pulling back on the stick full force....

The nosedive of my relapse into my addictions has me pulling back on the stick so hard I've bent the fugger...my landing gear was sheared off by the treetops and I've had to jettison the spare fuel tanks but as they careen into the deck I find myself pulling up and out of the dive with their explosive flames blackening my tail.

I can see a speck of blue sky through the flames, smoke and tree branches stuck to my canopy....it was a close one...the closest yet in this 39 year long dogfight and I've yet to access the flack damage yet I feel the engine sputtering back to life and I am once again heading in an upward trajectory...

I have returned to the fight...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shadows of Existence

So today is my birthday...my fifty first. It's a beautiful day meteorlogically and metaphorically speaking and I am alive, clean, sober, unincarcerated, have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, have a car in the driveway and so forth....so on...blah, blah.
Think I'll stop at that....and think of all of those who have none of those....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

When it rains....

My luck has turned from bad to really, really sucky. I was informed that the investors at GiveClicks.com took heavy losses on another venture and have pulled funding and handed everyone pink slips with no severence, no warning, no nothing and that I won't be paid effective immediately. Great, they were my sole source of income and I have less than $100 to my name and have a stack of bills already late and more due on the 1st. Not sure what to do, not much to do other than start beating the streets for work I guess.

Great timing huh?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Waitin on a Train...

Today I met with a social worker at the VA for my final step in qualifying for the 12 week substance abuse intensive outpatient program and she interviewed my about my life and substance abuse history and I told her of my five 28 day inpatient treatments, use history of every substance, periods of use for each, method of use for each, family history, marital history, employment history, medical hsitory, nonsubstance addictive behavior history and so forth, so on. Needless to say she determined me "qualified" for admission into the program and scheduled me to begin treatment on September 14th which will be about 45 days after I first sought help for my problem and 30 days after my last use. As a lifelong addict, I'm used to waiting. Addicts are always waiting as Lou Reed so aptly chronicled in his song "I'm Waiting For My Man".

I'm waiting for my man
Twenty-six dollars in my hand
Up to Lexington, 125
Feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive
I'm waiting for my man

Hey, white boy, what you doin' uptown?
Hey, white boy, you chasin' our women around?
Oh pardon me sir, it's the furthest from my mind
I'm just lookin' for a dear, dear friend of mine
I'm waiting for my man

Here he comes, he's all dressed in black
PR shoes and a big straw hat
He's never early, he's always late
First thing you learn is you always gotta wait
I'm waiting for my man

Up to a Brownstone, up three flights of stairs
Everybody's pinned you, but nobody cares
He's got the works, gives you sweet taste
Ah then you gotta split because you got no time to waste
I'm waiting for my man

Baby don't you holler, darlin' don't you bawl and shout
I'm feeling good, you know I'm gonna work it on out
I'm feeling good, I'm feeling oh so fine
Until tomorrow, but that's just some other time
I'm waiting for my man
So, you see, I'm used to waitin...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Funny how the phone stops ringing....

It's been a bit more than a week now since I've gone very public about my struggles and I noticed today how much less my phone has rung and I kind of chuckled a bit. The old using friends have now all found out that I'm clean and no longer have anything to offer them and their lack of calls are welcome. It's an unwritten law and fairly understood among users that when one gets clean that the others leave them alone. It's a mix of wanting that person to succeed as they wish they could and an inherint distrust of their former fellow user...it's just the way it goes. Once fast friends through thick and thin, through the daily hustle to keep everything together and everyone dosed simply disappear off the face of the earth. There are remnants of their existence around that I am still finding around the house....a G-bong made out of a soda bottle under the sink or a lone CFM shoe under the bed but they've all scurried off and found another place to get high or another buddy to fix with who will listen to their babbling story of regret, remorse and justification.

It's not just them though...it's all the others who I knew in my "other" life...the business contacts and the non-using friends. Those are the ones who I can only assume feel betrayed by my revelations and to those all I can say is I'm sorry but I didn't become an addict just yesterday. I've been one since I was 12, long before I met you and I've never hid this fact from any of you and quite to the contrary have always been very upfront about it. Did you think I was kidding? Do my open discusssions about my situation embarass you? Make you uncomfortable? Make you want to distance yourself from me? It's ok if they do...distance away if you must but I'm still here, still me...just clean now...not long to you perhaps but to me 10 days is like 10 years.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Ghosts that Haunt my Soul....

It's early Sunday morning and I'm alone with my cat in the Urban Abode less than 48 hours since attempting to check myself into the psych ward at the VA hospital and being turned away...if that wasn't the ultimate rejection I don't know what is. I guess insane people don't know that they are huh?? It's now one week since I last injested any illicit chemicals and my brain is starting to thaw out and is oozing sorrows of a lifetime onto my floor and I lack a mop adequate enough to to sop them all up. So I've been sleeping on the floor surrounded by these puddles of pain...rolling around in them...feeling their cold wetness...reliving the nightmares over and over again...gonna get out of here...anywhere but here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Book, Addicted Like Me, A Mother Daughter Story of Substance Abuse and Recovery

Book, Addicted Like Me, A Mother Daughter Story of Substance Abuse and Recovery

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Surrender To Win Is Just Not My Style...

The concept that an addict must first surrender in order to win goes against every cell in my body to the very core of my being yet here I sit once again beaten down, in poor health, alone in my pit of demoralization and depression. Unable to stop but likewise unable to go one more day as it's been these past four months since my relapse into darkness. I drove myself to the VA Hospital a few weeks ago to start the process of getting help. The paperwork was easy but the wait for treatment was almost a month and I started it two days ago with a physical, meeting with a dietician, labwork and on Monday I meet with the folks in the mental health clinic to start treatment for what I already know is my diagnosis....polysubstance addiction, ADHD, depression and PTSD...quite a cocktail to drink on a daily basis but it's been my morning coffee now for decades.
This will be my sixth full scale attempt at treatment in the past 25 years.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Today I'm going to seek treatment for my addictions (again) at the VA Hospital. Here we go again, another surrender, another failure, another shame. It's hard to admit after all of my former attempts but it is what it is and to live in denial any longer would be futile insanity. Another turning point, another fork in the road, another decision.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Nolo Contendere...I do not wish to contend

It's a 100 degree plus early Friday afternoon, listening to Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" and having a light lunch of Saltines and black cherry soda and watching Juliet trash yet another catnip mouse and roll around on the oriental in the kitchen. The past ten days or so have mostly been spent laying on my bed watching the fan go round under the dim red light with towels shoved in any cracks between the blinds and window frames. A lot of sweat, a lot of regret, not much use for fear anymore...it serves no purpose...not much left to be afraid of anyway. There was a double murder earlier this week four doors down and when the ghettobird illuminated my bedroom in the middle of the night I simply rolled over and put a pillow over my face...Nolo Contendere...Nolo Contendere...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

100 Days of Lost Divinity

Took a turn off the 202 at Priest on Friday evening March 27th while on the phone with Cam who I informed that I was off on yet another mission. Eight months clean, sober and as sane as I had been in years yet very much insane and with full forethought and malice made a beeline to where I knew I could score and use with impunity....and did just that. I had told myself that it would just be one night, one last dance with a mistress of 35 years....a mistress that took my virginity at the age of 12. More later after I get her out of my veins but just had to make a public admission to document the moment of clarity and surrender...one more time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I have all these brushes...

I have these paint brushes hanging on my wall over my desk back in the office...some are used and have paint residue on them and others are new and unused...all different sizes and shapes...some flat bristle...some round. I stare at them sometimes and look upon them as the many things I do to occupy my time while I wait...one for my CPL Fellowship...one for my work with Alwun House...one for The Icehouse...one for my cat...one for my friend Barry...one for my probation officer...one for my photography...one for GiveClicks.com...one for the urban abode and on and on and on and on, so forth, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

Busy little brushes they are....all lined up in a modicum of order...each with their own place...own color...own spot on the palate...each serving to sop up time like bread in gravy while I wait...

The problem resides in the fact that I have no clue what I'm waiting for...but I'm waiting just the same...the other shoe dropped years ago so that's not it...nope...it's something else.

Bad luck? Success? Fame? Fortune? Love? Lust? Ripped through all those like a box of Kleenex when you have a cold many years ago....there they are crumpled up in the corner over there...see them all?

Death? Naw..."Keef" & the Cockroaches got a running bet to see who's last left alive and I'm holding their bets so that's not it either...shit!

Waiting, longing, wishing and hoping only work well when you know what it is you're waiting for and when you don't it's just this hole in your gut...a tear that runs down your cheek at night and rolls into your ear...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Razor's Edge...

I'm currently reading W. Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge" again for the first time in probably about 30 years and finding myself identifying greatly with both the young protagonist "Larry" as well as the older, wordly yet disingeuine "Elliott Templeton" as if I'm Larry trapped in Elliott's life. My life right now; while on a truly positive track for the first time in 38 years, if ever, is continually hampered and haunted by the past in very real and profound ways on a daily basis; the specifics of which are ancillary to the core of the conundrum I find myself in.

It just seems that with every step I take in a positive direction I am pulled back two or more steps as the result of some misstep(s) of my past life and the situation is frustrating at the very least and at times quite maddening in cause and effect. At first and even second glance it would seem that I will be stuck in this situation for the rest of my life and that I will never be able to climb out of the karmic hole I've dug and thrown myself into and that I may as well just toss dirt over myself and and make it my literal as well as figurative grave and give up yet the changes I've been through to date are preventing me from doing so. I've never been a quitter in my life yet I've never really completed anything for that matter either. I've been paying for my entire life by cashing yesterday's checks by funding them with tomorrow's promises and now that I've abruptly ceased doing so the caboose of my "train" is catching up with the engine by slamming into one freight car at a time over and over again....bam, bam, bam!

I don't know how many more freight cars there are left separating the caboose from the engine but I do know in the core of my being that I must keep a deathgrip on the handbrake of the engine as I quite clearly see the end of the tracks leading over the precipice of a bottomless chasm into which my train will surely catapult into and burst into flames should I ever go back onto the track my life was dead set upon a very short seven months ago...

Friday, February 20, 2009

The cock crows thrice and other tests....

I'm in a very strange, almost surreal space right now and I feel as if something is testing me hard and around every corner. It's as if my moral character is on trial and on the witness stand and it's being cross examined by a very contemptuous and crafty prosecutor who's throwing 100 mph curveballs directly at my head in rapid succession. I also feel that it's no coincidence that my confirmation name within the Roman-Catholic faith of my childhood is Peter, first of the twelve apostles who was later to deny Jesus three times before the cock crowed three times before dawn.

Without going into great specific details I'll just touch upon a series of events that occured yesterday that have me wrestling with myself over moral issues. The first of which is that I discovered through some investigative legwork of a friend who it was that burglarized my home twice this month and stole several laptops, what's left of my guitar collection as well as some treasured and irreplaceable family heirlooms. I know for a fact it was a person who was doing some work here at my "urban abode" as I heard and recognized his voice on a voicemail he left on my friend's cell phone in responce to my friend's email sent on the one guitar that this person was attempting to sell online. My dilemma comes into play because I know this person is going through a very painful trial right now with a terminally ill spouce being removed off life support today and being allowed to pass. Does this justify this person to break into my house and steal family treasures of extremely sentimental value that I had been saving to pass down to my son? Obvioulsly not but it does cause me great internal struggle about having told my discovery to the detective assigned to my case yesterday. I was very upset with the fact that I was violated by a person that was hired and paid to do work in my home and who took items of such personal value to me yet conflicted and moved to tears with feelings of understanding and deep compassion for someone who is under the great emotional distress of having to literally disconnect a spouce from life suppport and I am still struggling within myself over this situation although I intellectually know what is right and what is wrong and that I did the right thing by giving this information to the detective to investigate.

The other test that presented itself very vividly to me yesterday was being made aware of a friend who was in the depths of methamphetamine withdrawl which is a living hell that I've had to experience more times than I care to recall in my life and was seriously dope sick and in need of a fix but broke and no means to "get well" other than to resort to selling her body which she would have done in order to get what she needed so I asked her this question "Do you want to get clean or are you just out?" and the answer was "Just out" and although I know it was the wrong thing to do I wound up giving this person enough money to get well and spared her the indignation of selling herself. I don't abide by the "tough love" philosophy as I've been on the receiving end of that doctrine and it doesn't get anyone closer to surrender, it just makes them do more degrading things in order to get well and cause the cycle of guilt, shame and remorse to start all over again...lather, rinse, repeat. I know all too well that nobody's ready to clean up until they're ready and I sense this person is close but not quite at that point so she would have "gotten well" one way or another without my intervention and that's a fact but I do struggle with it and actually came very fucking close to doing some up with her myself last night and took off out of her parking lot like a bat out of hell with my "hand wet on the wheel" as in the song Radar Love and locked myself up in my little house down here in the hood with the bars on the windows and held my little kitten and thanked God or whoever, whatever it is that's throwing these curveballs at me for one more day clean and sober.

That's all for now I guess, just needed to get this out so I can get back to the many tasks at hand and let things shake out the way they will shake out and be glad that I have such "moral dilemmas" in my heart today for not too long ago I would have handled these very same situations much differently. A very short seven months ago I would have hired a few goons, gone to this guy's house, kicked in his door and his face, taken my shit back then gone to my other friend's house bought and sexually abused her body and then done the dope with her and that's all there is to it....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Violation & Solitude

It's Valentine's Day and since my last post my home was burglarized twice and that's never happened to me before and it has left me wanting very little to do with people and I find myself in a very solitary mode and withdrawing from socialization more and more with each passing day. The violation of coming home to finding my back window smashed out and muddy footprints on my pillow and much treasured, irreplaceable personal items missing has been devastating. This little house down here and the few things that I have left to show for my 50 years on Earth mean so very much more than merely "possessions" to me....I lost most of my "possessions" many years ago and every single thing that I have left, which, is not much are treasures to me and the thief stole things like my son's first guitar that was a gift from a very dear friend of mine and my last bass that was a gift to me from another friend that was the last icon from my decade in the music industry, my grandfather's pocket watch and my father's WWII Army Air Corps pilot's wings. It's as if my very DNA was taken from me and I am saddened and angred beyond description yet I realize that they are most likely gone forever and I have to accept it and continue on and not allow it to dissuade me from continuing along this new path I'm on.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The clock just struck twelve....

...and with that I just crossed the 6 month hurdle mark on this trip I've been on drug free for the first time in 38 years of living hell. I don't know where this path will will lead me down the road, all I know is that so far this has been one hell of an adventure filled with "highs" so much higher than I ever got from using and that's no bullshit. Look, if there ever was any addict out there that stuck it out through thick and thin it's me. I took it past the divorces, bankruptcy, lost careers, jails, rehabs, halfway houses, being robbed, beaten, shot at and stabbed to the very brink of insanity and death many, many times in my life. I have been legally declared as being "unrehabilitatable" and I am here to say that there is no such thing and that I am living testament to that it is indeed possible for anyone to:

1) To restore to good health or useful life, as through therapy and education.
2) To restore to good condition, operation, or capacity.
3) To reinstate the good name of.
4) To restore the former rank, privileges, or rights of.
So, if anyone out there who may stumble upon this blog post is having a hard time believing that it can be done and is stuck in the depths of the pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization which was my daily existence for very long, very hard 38 years I'm here to tell you that it can be done! It's not easy, in fact, it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and I have to do it over and over again every damned day but it's starting to get a bit easier to do with every passing day that goes by.....one day at a time.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Real seeker is not concerned about the goal...OSHO

Don't be worried whether you will be able to make it in this life or not. Once you have started flowing, you have already made it.
Every river is constantly moving to be the ocean. The problem is only with those who have become ponds, closed, not open to flow, having forgotten that this is not their destiny, this is death.
To be a pond is to commit suicide, because there is no growth anymore, no new spaces, no new experiences, no new skies -- just the old pond, rotting in itself, becoming more and more muddy.
To be a seeker means dropping this static state and becoming a changing, moving, flowing river.
It does not matter when you reach the ocean.
The beginning is the end.
The whole beauty is in the beginning, because once you have started moving, the end, falling into the ocean, is absolutely determined. The beginning was in your hands; it was your freedom, hence the beauty of the beginning.
Falling into the ocean will be tremendously ecstatic, but it is not in your hands. What was in your hands was the beginning, and you gathered courage; you jumped out of a static, dead situation into a living being... alive, singing and dancing.
Who cares when the ocean comes?
The beginning is enough, more than enough -- because falling into the ocean is bound to happen.You have started flowing. Rejoice in it. Don't think of the tomorrow. Today is enough unto itself, a blessing, a benediction.
And you are the ocean -- what more are you going to gain when you fall into the ocean? It is simply the realization that the water, whether in a dewdrop or in the biggest ocean, is of the same nature; every dewdrop contains oceans in it, and all the oceans are made only of dewdrops.
So the real seeker is not concerned about the goal.The real seeker is concerned about the right beginning, and you are blessed because the right beginning has happened.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Hole in My Soul

I just sent this note in reply to a dear friend who asked me how my day was yesterday with the hope that it was a good day:
I had a "different" day yesterday, not sure I'd call it "good" necessarily and likewise not sure I'd call it "bad", it was a very emotionally raw, instrospective day like most of my days as of late. At one point last night I found myself slumped down in the doorway between my kitchen and studio frozen, sitting on the floor, unable to move, unable to cry, unable to focus and I remained just sitting on the floor in that doorway for what seemed to be an eternity but it was close to an hour I'd say.

I wouldn't classify it as depression, I wouldn't classify it as lonliness, I wouldn't classify it as sadness but more rather a combination of the three. It was a feeling I've come to know quite well in these past five months, a feeling I've had all my life at times....it is the "hole", the hole within myself that I have previously filled with my addictions in order to not to feel it and when it hit me last night it was like someone hit me with a cattle prod directly in my heart, directly in my soul. I was rendered totally defenseless, unable to move, unable to emote, unable to do anything other than to remain sitting on the floor and wait it out.

When it finally subsided I neither had any new insights, clarity, serenity or anything remotely positively intuitive to draw from the experience. It simply lifted from me like a passing fog bank one encounters while driving down the grapevine at night....I stood up and made a cup of tea and shuddered a bit and finished setting up my studio.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cold Water Flat

So, I managed to escape the suffocating existence out one the edge of civilization and traded it in for what I have come to call the "Urban Abode" down on Roosevelt Row in the heart of downtown Phoenix and I've now just about got it arranged for what I have begun to call "The Winter of my Content" as a play on Steinbeck's novel. In his "Winter of Our Discontent" Steinbeck's character, Ethan Allen Hawley, works as a clerk in a grocery store he used to own. His wife and children resent their lowly social and economic position, and don't put any value in the high levels of honesty and integrity that Ethan struggles to maintain in a corrupt society. Under this constant pressure, Hawley will eventually manage to get back the store by renouncing his morals, but the new-found wealth will not bring happiness.

I have set about to do the opposite of poor schnook Ethan in many ways by rejecting my former lifestyle in all ways, first with cleaning up my multitudes of addictions with substances, gambling, sex and general mucking about and thus "announcing" my morals and living down here on "The Row" with the ghosts of society in sobriety, abject poverty, mostly solitudinal, generally nocturnal and celibate. Although I haven't been able to maintain a perfect record on all counts, I'd say I'm batting a solid "900" with only a few lapses in a couple areas with no relative harm done by any regression and I intend on continuing on with all of the above, at least for a while.

Most of my time has been spent getting the house in order these past few weeks and it is now pretty much the way I want it with only a few things left to do, not least of which is to scrape up enough money to get the gas turned on so I can get hot water, take a hot shower and start cooking on the stove instead of only in the microwave, but at least the ice cold showers have proved to be helped with the celibacy issue...LOL

I probably will wind up selling the 350Z and taking my equity after paying off the balance and buying something for cash to get around but I really don't need a car that often down here since everything I generally want or need is within a matter of four or five blocks and the new metrorail line is just a few blocks away at Roosevelt & Central but I will look for some funky car or truck to tinker on just the same. I'm looking forward to spring so I can plant a little veggie garden out back and small seeded lawn in front.

I guess that's it for now but things are going pretty well in this new lifestyle I've started living and I'm discovering and trying lots of new things that I either never had time to do or didn't even think of doing before. It's amazing how much time being a drug addled, skirt chasing degenerate sucks up in any given day and I now have loads of time to do a lot of cool stuff!!

Since this journey started now over five months ago I have become brutally aware of many behavioral shortcomings that I developed over the years that although were highly unsuccessful and unfulfilling, they were at least "comfortable" after thirty eight years of habitual repetition and I'm now starting to get a bit of time under my belt living a different way and it's like starting over with a blank canvas and I can paint anything I want in any color I want!

No Shit

It was in the winter of my fiftieth year
When it hit me
I was really alone
And there wasn't a hell a lot of time left
Every laugh and touch that I could get
Became more important
Strangely, I became more bookish
And my home and study meant more to me
As I considered the circumstances of my death
I wanted to find a balance between joy and dignity
On my way out
Above all, I didn't want to take any more shit
Not from anybody
Iggy Pop