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 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 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