Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Appearing daily are "new and improved" methods whereby one can easily stop drinking and stay sober, with no meetings, no sponsors, no steps, no Traditions, no rules (suggestions!) and no lifestyle changes to disrupt one's routine. Below, you will find another such "tried-and-true" method in this


Ummmmm...I like chocolate! I've been reading and studying the Big Book for a long time...years! And still I find little nuggets of mirth strewn about: do you recall that the BB tells me to eat chocolate?
Check out bottom of page 133 where it says (taken out of context), "...all alcoholics should constantly have chocolate..." (MC, this one is real!)

And this is what has been my style. I can take several words out of a sentence, maybe add or drop one--or change the "do" to a "don't", and procure the meaning I wish to convey. After all, if..."There is a God, and I am He..." then my job is to create, right?

Aside from that, well, you know I was just making a point, correct? But back to the topic, chocolate. I used to declare my favorite town in the country is Hershey, Pennsylvania. The symphony of which I was a member played there while touring the thriving musical capitals of inner Pennsylvania rural counties, -grin! We spent two nights in Hershey, and I shall never forget the street lamps shaped like Hershey Kisses, and other land marks of similar note.

And the smell, that odor, that blissful olfactory happening kept me awake most of the night. And I dreamed I ordered and ate street lamps for breakfast. Oh! The ecstasy! And coffee mocha! And chocolate chip waffles...you get the picture of my raptures.

Well, as with every thing of beauty, there is at least one flaw, one non-perfection. Chocolate is no exception. Here is my problem--or rather WAS my problem. Hershey Bars interfered with my drinking.

(NOTE: I mention the Hershey name throughout this blog, because that was and IS my favorite of favorites of chocolate.)

I could never eat an eight-ounce bar or two, and then get drunk! And that IS why I drank--to get plastered, hammered. When I ate chocolate, I could not then hide from you or anyone else. I could not hide even from myself--which was the worse concernment. So, for many years chocolate--namely Hershey Bars--remained second in preference on my list of two indispensable foods.

Has anyone else tried to swallow a glassful of Bourbon, Scotch, Vodka, Gin--in other words, dietary staples--and got it all the way down, AFTER eating a couple eight-ouncers? It all came right back UP on me--for me...well yes, ON me, too -grin!

And so, I propose that any who wish to stop drinking, develop a Hershey Bar habit--only the BIG ones. As a research project, one might even contract with Hershey Inc., for free bars for life if one could stay sober using the "Steve E Method" of sobriety.

I can just hear it NOW--the beautiful sounds, those words delivered at the Anniversary Meeting: "By the power of Hershey Bars, and the Hershey Company I have managed to stay sober for thirteen years!" (Much Applause!)

"And I am FK'ing MISERABLE! WRETCHED! I've spent five years in prison, two years in a flophouse, three years in a halfway house, three years living in the woods in South Florida, and I stand--all 357 pounds of me--before you to say, 'I owe it all to HERSHEY BARS!' Thank you. Excuse me, I'm going out and get drunk--maybe I can find some normalcy somewhere on this earth!

"The Blog above is NOT true--The following IS true..."

Sent in LOVE and Service
To my blogger-friends,
Sincerely (REALLY)
Steve E

Today, Thursday, we are traveling across the state to Cocoa Beach, FL, to attend a four-day roundup called "Woodstock of AA", and so my blogs may come through at odd times, or not at all. My new laptop did not make it "home" yet. So I'll be using a strange box.



At the top right is the "JUST BEING REAL" award
handed to me by Just Be Real. Click HERE for
her blog, and please visit this wonderful
REALLY real girl

This Higher Power thing. I do not have trouble with it, for I do not ponder what may be wrong with the notion of God. As is popular to say nowadays, "I call Him God, 'cause that's His Name". I have, from day one, right or wrong, accepted everything Alcoholics Anonymous had to offer me, through people who seemed to know what they were talking about. I was really just THAT sick!

The only proof that I made a good choice, is that today I am still sober. Also, today I could not be more happy than if I'd "died-and-gone-to-heaven", as it were--but I ain't! Watch out folks, I'm old, but not dead. And for that I thank AA also--that I was able to 'get old'.

Imagine--as I look back--I had two heart attacks before age 34, and lots of other crap health-wise. And now, when they prop me up in a chair -grin! I don't wanna go out and play, I just wanna blog! And should ANYONE question why I took the bait of AA hook, line, and sinker, I'll tell 'em exactly why. I don't KNOW! I'll show them now, though. I'll pass them at 100 mph on my scooter (and kill myself, proving--WHAT did you say?)?

Admittedly, AA is NOT for everyone, nor is Buddhism for everyone. All I can say unequivocally is that it IS for me. Thank You, Higher Power. Thank You, God!

This morning I was traveling from my AA meeting to the eye doctor who planted lenses in my eyeballs last fall. He said, "Everything is looking good." Whereupon I thought, "Why does he not ask ME how everything is looking? I'm the patient here." So I told him I see roaches on the walls at night, crawling, crawling. Then when I reach out to grab one, nothing is there but wall. He says, "Well that's something which may clear up in time." Oh well, since I am SO HAPPY with my eyesight since the surgeries, I really have no complaint.

But hold on, I got off topic again. Riding my bike to the doctor visit, I was being tailgated by one of those fancy dandy pickup trucks, driven by a guy whose father died young, and left him a pile of unspent drug money. He was rumbling along bearing down on me, right on my butt, and my butt was uncomfortable. And so was I. So I called on my Higher Power of the moment, named Suzuki. And I gave Suzu the gas, and the power I felt--OK, my butt felt it--was akin to leaving earth on a flight to Mars, or wherever they're traveling these days.

I rear-mirrored the truck, and it looked a lot smaller--three blocks behind me. And I thought, the power in my bike is similar to that Power over heaven and earth called God. It is there constantly, and always, helping me to idle along, or to pass a slower vehicle. And when I am in deep shit trouble, I can--and do--choose to call on that Power for EXTRA help.

The help from God I receive, that unseen and unfelt Roaring Power, is almost always now, immediate, plentiful, consoling, forgiving, loving, and lasting. Next time, I only have to remember the previous time.

Note: It was not always thus. This kind of God-Power "Quick-Launch" came only after some years of dedicated practice, and remembering to pull out the throttle. When I received my new bike one year ago, I did not dream it might prove to be a conduit for my learning, for my spiritual growth...and OH! Do I still need to grow spiritually, Oh my, Yessss! Perfection is unattainable, but striving for it is NOT.

And I know where to go. I just love the people where I go. My church is full of peeps, trying consistently to be better people of God. And AA meetings make it for me. The Steps, Traditions, sponsor, connecting with friends, opportunities to meet and help new guys, YOU BLOG PEEPS...I just am in love with it ALL! "And here, WITH the Grace of God, go ME!"

In LOVE and Service,


Steve E

Monday, April 27, 2009



Tuesday's blog has been written and deleted. it was me ranting about corporate America, our government, the world, and I was becoming angry. How would I ever sleep with resentment in my head? God...help!

A trusted friend just sent me a short movie-type URL which, upon watching, I found a sense of calm, of serenity deep down--hiding. Just over three minutes, there is at least one quote which will grab you. Guaranteed! All are quotes, tried and true. Give a look, it will make you smile. I've never sent something like this before, and will not often, but, well, here 'tis: CLICK ME!

I am grateful tonight for:
  • Healing hands
  • A computer that works
  • Friends, both here--and there!
  • Trip across Florida to a roundup this Thursday through Sunday
  • A program that works (if ya work it? Ugh!)
  • Choices, options, Free Will
  • Sponsor, to say "No" to choices, options, and free will.
  • Wife who puts up with a lot of crap
  • Blogspot
  • TSR
  • Snows in Denver
  • Does not snow in Naples
  • Sponsorship
  • Service
  • They are NOT the same!
  • God's Mercy and Love
  • Joyful anticipation: what this summer will bring all of us
  • We all will stay sober today--together
In Peace, Love, and Service,
Steve E

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Check out "MY STORY" at TSR:
Click HERE!

Also check out friend Mary Christine's "GUEST POST" on TSR: Click HERE!


Home, to me, means comfort. Comfort, that is, with people, sounds, surroundings, the feeling touch of things, food, temperature, smells and sights. At a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous anywhere in the world--I am "at home". And that is truth!

In my church building, or any catholic church, or any synagogue, temple, or church--I am "at home". That is the truth!

After a lengthy motor trip, when I cross back over the line of the county where I've lived for 44 years--I am "home". And that is true! (NOTE: I used to stop the car, get out, and down on my knees, say a blessing, and kiss the Collier County sandy soil. That really impressed the children--and me!)

If I walk on the beach alone, or in the woods, or even along a busy highway--it is "home" to me. True!

And riding my Suzuki "Bergman" 650cc Executive Scooter, I am definitely AT HOME...True, True!

After I tread the Twelve Steps (yes, twelve of them!) which lead up to Dr Bob's (AA Co-founder) House in Akron, Ohio, I hear those wonderful, consoling, heart-heating-beating, spiritually-laced words, spoken
with real warmth by a greeter at the door: "WELCOME HOME!"--I know I am "home". How true!

And...and when I am in our own home, in whatever room--or outside--I am so very comfortable--for it IS "home". That's right!

In AA meetings, in churches, in Collier County, Florida, on the beach, in the woods, along a busy highway, in Dr Bob's House, at my own residence, on my beautiful fast scooter...it is not the place which "is" home. It is ALWAYS the PEOPLE! That's where Home is, among God's people, God's peeps! It is certainly--as I have found out--a "WE" program. LIFE is a "we" program!

One other place--situation--where I feel so much loved and as loving as in any of those other scenarios, is when I am commenting or blogging with my lovely peeps, here in my beloved 'sphere. It is where I find I can BE helpful, and can receive help, for my disease and my soul, for my head and my heart!

In LOVE and Service,
Steve E

It Makes a Difference! YESSSS!

Thank you MILE 191 for sending me this award, as it makes me look like I occasionally make a difference in someone's life. It is for what we all wish God will allow us to be used. Love ya, girl, and your blog. Keep Up The Good Work (KUTGW!)

(Sigh!) Another "Gratitude" meeting Sunday morning. I swear, if only people knew how much I LOVED Gratitude meetings, they would not choose that as the topic with such frequency.

I am grateful for people who make a difference in another life, or in others' lives. How great the reward must be for those who help others with no thought of self aggrandizement. (I learned that word yesterday!)


Yesterday was the first day in six months that I had arranged to pick up a driver-licenseless man named Gene. We were going to the 7AM meeting, and guess what, I overslept! This NEVER happens! So we were a few minutes late.

We then stayed on for the 8 AM. Both were good meetings, the kind Gene needed to hear, but experience has taught me that ya never know what another is going to "hear" in a meeting.

I have blogged about Gene in earlier months, and he has been again struggling this past year--and for about 24 years--to try and stay sober. But a long-term sobriety eludes him still.

After the meetings we went for breakfast. Now, this "breakfast with the boys" is still new stuff for me, but I'm willing to change--a little!

Gene seems this time to be more interested in staying sober. If he drinks again, he has SO much to lose (again!) and I'd be concerned if he'd live long back out there. He's in a halfway house right now, has another job. Gratitude? Maybe.

I'm reflecting that in the past I used to "tell him" everything he should be doing. Today, I just merely sat with him and listened. It's a lot easier that way, and maybe he likes it better also. Who knows? God knows, and only God will keep Gene safe this time--with Gene's cooperation.

We did not talk about love. But it is still there inside me, all this love, just pushing to get out, and DO things. That is one of the attributes of love, I suppose...doing for another, or others.

Good night!
In LOVE and Service,
Steve E

Saturday, April 25, 2009


AMENDED: Alix asked me to "be brave" and write my story for TSR. So, my first excursion onto the site TSR (The Second Road) is "My Story" See if ya like it. Click HERE! Thanks.

The Hypnotist

He was a wonderful entertainer, the hypnotist. People around the world wondered, "How does he do it?" He played the finest theaters, to the finest audiences in all the finest countries. His artistry was in demand.

One such performance required that an audience member volunteer to assist him, enhancing the credibility of his presentation.

He called for a volunteer. No one accepted. He asked again. Nobody came forth. He got on one knee, the audience laughed. He begged. Silence. He became irritated. People in the balcony became restless.

Finally, the hypnotist said simply, "Since not one single person wishes to aid me, I'll just hypnotize the whole lot of you." And with that, he took out his shiny gold pocket watch with a long shiny gold chain, and began to swing it back and forth in the fashion of a pendulum. Heads began to move, in time and rhythm to the gold watch, back and forth, to and fro--suddenly and accidentally his beautiful gold watch went flying to the floor, broke into a hundred or more pieces, and he said in a stage whisper, "Oh, SHIT!"

It took more than three weeks to clean up the theater.


I am a member of the Naples Group of Alcoholics Anonymous. As the group librarian, I am charged with the pre-meeting telling of a joke each Thursday night, to "prove we are not a glum lot."

I enjoy this part of my service work immensely--so I guess I cannot call it "service". This was the joke two nights ago April 23. The peeps seem to like the jokes, all of which are old standards, from my bartending days.

If you've heard this joke before, or if ya just don't like it, please don't tell me -grin!

In LOVE and Service,

ATIYANNA, my favorite Witch (Click HERE), has awarded me the "LOVE YA AWARD" and if you visit her blog, you might notice that I am in such company as I do not deserve. Thank you Atiyanna! Ya know, an award like this means so much to me when it is bestowed by someone worthy of trust, of faith, of LOVE! Thank you once more, (kiss). Steve E.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cookie Meeting Plus Gratitude List


Last night's "Speaker-Cookie" meeting featured two long-timer guys. With about 80 years of sobriety between them, it was a surprise to most people that they just gave straight and VERY GOOD AA talks, and did not come downtown to "teach" us how to stay sober.

They are both from my morning home group which meets at 7 AM, and with them came quite a large entourage of "morning" people.

You see, the "Morning" and the "Night" people seldom mix, and so they were surprised to see ME there (my second Home Group) at night.

It is fun for me to be active in two groups. And I have something to offer each group IMO! And of course, my job is to tell a joke--to prove we are not a glum lot. It was a classic, 200 people laughed as I told that old one about the hypnotist. It IS funny! Maybe I'll blog it tomorrow, has anyone NOT heard it?


Items concerning my/our personal health do leak out now and then, e.g., when I ask for prayers, as for a surgery on myself or one close to me. But on the way home from last night's speaker "cookie" (Ummmmm yes, Pam!) meeting, I found myself looking backward again, just for the sake of "being grateful for" a list of health events.

I am SO grateful:

That after having two heart attacks at the ages of 34-35, I have had no recurring heart problems through the years.

That after suffering with phlebitis, and finally the stripping of veins in both legs, I've had only minimal problems since.

That after numerous 'close calls' during certain death-defying behaviors, I'm still alive, and everything works--well, almost everything -grin!

that after severe back injury about 25 years ago, I opted to NOT have surgery, and I've been relatively free of that problem since.

That I found a wonderful doctor who replaced my thumb (ball) joint with wrapped-up tendon (my own), and I have had no problem since on that score.

That when I have problems which produce severe pain, I know a woman, a healer-type, who lays her (extremely hot) hands on me and the healing is nearly always immediate, and permanent. Lady's name is Prayer Girl--I probably should not be blogging this...

That I am careful to whom I tell these things, because even though I make them sound supernatural, they have become quite the ordinary way of life here.

That, at the end of the day, isn't nature itself supernatural; birth, death, bulbs-tulips, acorn-tree, egg-bird, water-life, H.O.W.-sobriety, and much more, maybe everything?

That after prostate cancer two years ago, and the accompanying discomforts (I 'loved' six weeks of daily radiation--it was a chance to do nothing but read, or listen to good music for a period of time each morning).

That modern medicines i.e., periodic hormone shots have kept and will keep me alive and cancer-free for years to come.

That Medicare plus a supplement (AARP) pays those bills.

That last September I had my eyeballs repaired and Restor lenses implanted--and I could FEEL the love and prayers of this group as I lay there in surgery--and can now see well without glasses, for first time in fifty years! What a miracle! Thank you peeps, AA, for sobriety and thank You, God, for faith, Hope, and Trust that "all will be well."

That children being born in this century will experience such changes in their manner of living, that neither they, nor we, dare claim to have a clue.

That there is much more on my Gratitude List, but this "health" stuff is more than enough for now.

In LOVE and service,
Steve E.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



Oh, thank you Prayer Girl for this award.
As you might have guessed, LOVE means
a whole lot to my sobriety, and my life, and
I love both of those. And I love YOU, too!

To me, the essence of God is love, and the
Essence of love is God. the two are ONE!

Thank you Anna at "OnePrayerGirl" (click here) for giving me The LOVE YA AWARD:

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

If you've won it already, please just accept this as a gift!

Thanks to the following for blessing us with your openness in sharing your journey:

1. Wait! What! (Cat) Cat has been working to better herself, so that "things might get better". And things are getting better, and it's happening because of her deep LOVE for her family. Her blogs tell us of a great recovery program in which she refuses to just "give up". She has taught me it takes not only work...but LOVE, to witness a change in me and around me.

2. Vicarious Rising Perseverence mixed with a large dose of LOVE is what is helping VR to attain one of her goals. The world in which she is moving is a world of not what...but who ya know. And when combined with LOVE, she is gaining ground in her rather new profession.

3. Letting Go (Louisey) The outpouring of love from Louisey's blog is a daily reminder of how to get well, and how to stay that way. Mary Louise practices her program and her life with a LOVE that shows the way, to us all.

4. Scream Quietly (Indigo) Dear Indigo works through her life with courage, dedication to principles, and a 'relentless' but very gentle LOVE for the creatures in her world, our world, and us. And Indigo is loved by bloggers and many others, because LOVE is something which always goes around.

5. Haunted House (Rainbow) And Rainbow; wonderful people live in her house, and LOVE abounds there. From her blog, words of love come to us. Rainbow is ready to write "I was wrong" in such a loving way, she spreads messages of hope, trust, and LOVE everywhere. I know this.

6. All Who Wander Are Not Lost (Gabi) So well I remember receiving in an Email, an introduction to Gabi, who I knew would be friends to all of us. Just her name, Gabi, told me there is an outrgoing personality who carries the message with tenderness (sometimes) and LOVE (all the time). Thank you Kristin, for spreading the Gabi news of LOVE.

7. Within Shades of Grey (Calli) Artist, writer, reader, poet, LOVER of LIFE, free spirit--and she is good at doing all these things. Love drips all over her blog site and her gallery site click HERE (don't miss it!). She allowed me use of one of her paintings LADY IN RED as my desktop background, most beautiful, and I see the artist's eyes in the eyes of "Red Lady"...and LOVE is there. Thank you Calli...for being...Calli!

8. Jilli Java Garden of Eden (Kristin) Kristin is SO easygoing, I wonder if her life has always been ruled by love. She LOVES her husband, childeren, and her life. She is SO giving, and I can sense LOVE in all she work on these blogs. Dream of a coffee house (or something else) is never without a loving component of spirituality, faith, trust in God's Plan, His will. I value highly the words of LOVE which come to me from this girl.

9. AKAnnie's Weblog (Annie K) What can I say about our LOVING ANNIE? Only good stuff. She is not merely the planner ov events, but the shaker behind them. LOVE is a huge part of Annie's life. She reminds me of one who has few troubles--because she is "too busy" for that. (I hope I'm correct here!) And Annie, as all the others above her on this list, LOVES her programs and her Higher Power--and trusts. How good is THAT?

Oooops, I only had eight slots, but there are so MANY more. I will not sleep tonight, for thinking of those not on this list.

And please excuse if I've made some midtsakes! Also, some peeps who I would have enjoyed listing have made it clear they don't DO these things, so they are not listed...I could have put up at least fifty names and addresses!

Bless you all. God is LOVE. LOVE is God. The two are one! IMHO.

In LOVE and service,
Steve E.




"We shared too much history for him to pay any attention to my directions." ---Quote from Big Book, pg 97

But you will not find that quote in your book. I had looked through my 4th Edition page-by-page, then 3rd, then 2nd Edition for this quote, found it on page 97 at bottom. Under the printed matter, there it was in faded blue ink.

I recall the happening. A quasi friend, who had been a daily bar customer (one of many!) of mine for five years, found his way to the AA room, and asked me to be his sponsor. I just couldn't do it, and told him so.

I could not tell him the reason though: I had been his bartender/entertainer for too long, and knew everything about him. Hundreds of times in our past I had agreed with his words, when I knew he was full of craparoni, and I could not now own up to that. It was then I asked my sponsor about it, and he, knowing both of us, said to me what I quoted above. We just knew each other too well--we shared too much history. It would have almost been like sponsoring a brother, a fairly well-known setup for disaster.

LOIS 1968:

This quite attractive lady, mid-thirties, and (ahem) quite well-proportioned, was also a daily customer, in the beginning drank very little. She was always scouting for young guys, and depended on me to guide her to ones which probably would not hurt her. I would point out a guy, she'd move to sit next to him, and minutes later, they would leave.

She always saw that I got a BIG tip. Lois owned a dress shop a few doors down from the (unnamed) bar. After about an hour the man would return, she would not. 'He' always needed a quick one. Every guy would ask me questions like, "Where did you find HER?" or "What time does she come into the bar tomorrow?" or "Wow! Phewww! AMEN!"

Some nights when we were alone at the closing of the bar, she would give me a good hug, and a better kiss, but never suggested more. I have often wondered (pictured?) what went on in that dress shop, and why I was never invited. She told me once, she "respected" me...Oh SHIT YEAH! But she always behaved like a "lady" and ALWAYS tipped more then the cost of her drinks. And she LOVED violin playing. Well, in a fashion, I suppose I 'respected' her also!

Lois finally settled down and married a real nice man, They asked me to play at their wedding in a church. I did. It WAS nice. (And I had introduced them at the bar!) Marriage lasted several...months. So I felt I was a failure at "Matchmaking"...(Although MANY of the people I introduced to one another are still together 40 years later!)

Lois found her way into AA, and asked me to sponsor her, and just could not understand why it would not work. And I could not understand it either! Dammmm rules!

May her wonderful soul rest in peace. She was good. I loved her.

I have SO many stories of real people-of-the-night who I got to know so well...maybe that's why I cannot get to bed on time--ever. I'll blog some more eventually. Some are REALLY good, Oh my yessss.

REALLY, In LOVE and service,
Steve E.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Perspective of a violin player

We may hear people discuss their weddings, and some will say, "We went to a Justice of the Peace, just had a generic wedding." Another, "well, they had just an 'ordinary' wedding." Or a "regular wedding."

I am a violin player, and have played for literally hundreds of weddings over a fifty-year block of time. Never EVER has a single one of them been what I'd call "standard". Every wedding is as unique as its celebrants.

(Once I asked a well-dressed guy if he was the celebrant. He, a Rabbi, taught me that he was the officiant, the bride and groom are the celebrants!)

As you might have guessed, this preliminary stuff IS leading somewhere...where? I don't know! But, each time I play for this ceremony, I am so overcome with the seriousness, the solemnity, spirituality, the vows, the joy, tears, and yes, the tensions and stressfulness and all the other emotions and legalities which form the lifetime partnership agreements entered into on this occasion. And the music.


Couple months ago A visitor at my early AA meeting announced he was a musician. So we talked a bit after the meeting, and exchanged numbers, I told him I played a fiddle. This past week he called to ask if I'd play at his wedding, at a church in a town north of Naples. I said, Yep! For regular people, $250, for 'good' friends in my AA home group, FREE, and for acquaintances in AA $50. He said OK.

My job was to play for about half an hour before the ceremony, then play as the bride walked down the aisle. I asked what to play for the bride's walk? She had told him "Anything." I love to hear those words, because, after all, who knows better what sounds on a particular instrument will please her guests, more than the violin player?

I did not realize he had hired bagpipes ("Oh my God, let this chalice pass from me..."), two guitars and a country vocalist. And everyone was doing sound checks while I'm playing right there at the altar. Finally one of the minister-guys stopped the strumming and piping.

So I played some stuff...been doing this for so many years, I don't use music, just play tunes, whatever comes into my head. Usually it fits pretty good. And I was amplified, which helps in a big venue.

After some short time I spotted about a dozen little children sitting, not together, in the first few rows of pews (What an ungodly word...PEW?), so I played "It's a Small World". Guess what, these little kids started softly singing the song, one girl, 2 feet high, got out into the aisle and danced...delighting all the wedding guests--and ME!

Grooms and "officiant" walked down the aisle to the altar steps, stood right by me. and then, the bride stood at the rear door, ready to enter!

Here I digress a minute: At that moment a tune came into my head as if 'sent' there. Flex? Angel? Is that you? This tune was taken from a String Quartet by Schubert. It had been inspired by a man and a woman who had married as teenagers, separated, divorced, and lived separate married lives, each with large families.

Though more than fifty years had lapsed, each had secretly still loved--and never forgot--the other. Their spouses had died. A chance meeting at a funeral of a mutual friend brought the widow and widower face-to-face.

Tears began to flow, as they slowly felt through air for the other. When they embraced, it was as if they'd never parted. They never left each other, holding on for dear and precious life. They were remarried within ten days. This music was played as they made their way slowly down the aisle, almost holding up one another. It was beyond magnificent beauty, the ambiance of the whole affair. United at last!

Back to the present:

As the bride began her walk, with her father at her side, I played this very same sweet old classical melody, muted and miked, and my violin had not sounded so wonderful since Easter Sunday morning. As the attractive smallish young bride approached, I thought to myself, what a fortunate girl. She is marrying her man AFTER he got sober! They can grow together in a loving household, being nice to each other.

I was still playing, and ended just as the bride stopped, about five feet from me. She looked and smiled so prettily in my direction and mouthed the words, at the same time whispering them, in a stage whisper, "That was beautiful!"

Ya want to see a violin player cry? I was scheduled to leave, and so I got out of there before anyone could notice the wet on my cheeks.

I guess the whole point is that without my having found Alcoholics Anonymous a long time ago, I never would have experienced such a tender loving moment (for me), and would never have even thought to play special pieces for special people. I would not have seen the children dance and heard them hum the tune I was playing.

I am just so grateful for the Power which I feel in the rooms of AA, and for the people at daily meetings, and for my peeps, the bloggers.

I have discovered that the answer to so many questions is found in one word: Love! For without love, I have naught but a hole where would have been my heart.

In LOVE and service,
Steve E.

Monday, April 20, 2009



The "Goodfellow" said:

"Who do these people think they are, putting stickers all over their vehicles, saying to the world, "I am a recovering alcoholic"? That triangle-enclosed circle is nothing more than that. And..."Easy Does It"...who, while driving and fighting the traffic, needs to read THAT trash?

Back when I got sober, we did not advertise.It's a program of attraction, not promotion.

I just don't know what's happening to AA anymore...it's just not like I remember it."

I heard the previous statements said by a self-designated AA guru long-timer, at a recent morning meeting. I remember wondering what business of his it was WHAT I put on my bike. He was making Tradition points, "Attraction rather than promotion", and "Anonymity" particularly. However, more and more I'm letting those kinds of remarks bounce right off my "easily bruised, ultra-sensitive, self centered" Psyche.

A week or so later, the following incident occurred, REALLY:

Coming back to Naples on my bike last night, from an out-of-town wedding, at which I played violin, I was stopped at a red light, and an "older" pickup truck pulled right along side me. "Older" means c.1980. The driver looked to me like he would be at home--as a brand new member--at any of our early morning meetings. He needed more and cleaner shirt, and less--and cleaner--hair...everywhere! And he spoke to me:

"Hey, I almos' din't see ya." I nodded. He continued, "Ya wanna yeller vest? It'll he'p keep ya safe!" Again, I nodded. He threw at me a not-too-clean (or sober!) nearly- yellow vest, the type of which which is worn by many highway workers. At this long light on a busy, busy six-lane roadway, he went on talking (yelling) to me.

"I saw your triangle-and-circle emblem, and figgered you was AA, and then I saw the bumper sticker which reads "SOBER" (Thank you, Scott W!) on your bike's rear tire guard, then I KNEW you was an "OK" guy. I used to be in the "Double A", but it didn't work for me, but you people were sure good to me, and I'm returning the favor. END OF STORY!

Whatever works peeps. and as long as I have a sponsor, I'm working the Steps, doing Service, sponsoring, loving God, AA, my family, my peeps, my AA friends, my meetings, I am in good shape. And as long as I maintain my spiritual condition, I'll be OK. And as long as I'm OK, I am able to love LIFE, and I'm allowed to love YOU!

In LOVE and Service,
Steve E.

Sunday, April 19, 2009



October 26-November 2, 2008, Prayer girl and I went on what was my first cruise, a seven-night sailing aboard the Freedom of the Seas. On the balcony during dark nights, I sat gazing out into the blackness beyond the deck railing. Far across the rolling sea I saw a hotel of lights, sparkling like stars on the water's edge.

It was another passenger liner heading the opposite direction. And I thought to myself, "So this is what's meant by 'Two Ships passing in the night'"...what a sight! Six thousand people here, and just across the water, five thousand. Two complete cities noiselessly passing each other in the night. I could write a blong on that, but for an occurrence of Saturday morning:

The following is about two strangers passing each other like ships passing in the night. Stopping only for a bit of chatting, each was allowed to delve deeply into the psyche of the other. Each was allowed to be helped by the other.

At an early morning meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous I met a guy from Cleveland. He and I talked for about 20 minutes. In that short span of time we learned a lot about one another.

He knows more about me and my life in a few minutes than my brother or sisters know about me in 65-70 years! We treated ourselves to 20 minutes of non-stop talking. We were two ships passing in the night. We well might never see each other again.

But while we were talking, establishing a thread of friendship, I could sense, could feel, the Presence of God or something Spiritual arising around us. All other chatter in the room was beyond hearing, it was like we were in a vacuum, trading thoughts of recovery and sobriety.

And there, a certain happiness arose also between us. I found myself smiling, even after I got on my scooter outside, and revved out of the parking lot. God is truly a Good God. He allowed me to enjoy these moments of a happy, chance meeting, and an opportunity to gain another small piece of self-knowledge.

What a difference a few choice moments can produce in the lives of two men. Two men who together simply reach out and let their lives be touched by one another, responding with honesty and openness.

HERE IS THE REAL MIRACLE: This kind of "chance" meeting happens millions of times a week, all over the world in recovery societies, in AA. This is definitely a WE program. I cannot do it, but we can. People meeting each other, sharing, learning, helping, enjoying, staying sober together--this is the essence of AA. This is why I am here.

I am certainly not afraid to die. I AM afraid of living...like that again. For me, I KNOW that as long as I stay close to you Peeps, I shall remain safe. Thank you God. Let's ALL stay sober this Sunday.
All day!

In LOVE and service,
Steve E.

Friday, April 17, 2009



I am so grateful:

...That yesterday I sought an amend from the administrator of another online recovery community, and ended up realizing it was I who had to make the amend.

...To report that the admin let me simmer ever so gently, almost without me knowing what went down.

...To know that a 'right' motive, honest discourse, and the whispered movement of the spirit of my Higher Power, are all it takes to melt my hardened heart, and heal a rift between two or more people.

...For sandals all sewed up again...cobbler, cobbler!

...For a Gold cross that's real gold, and real cross.

...For Aspirin.

...Modern communication.

...First Grade teacher, Sister Rose Gertrude.
I never since have met a Gertrude, nor been
in the First Grade, nor had as fine a teacher.

...For hormone shot every 84 days.

...For the Cyberknife.

...For my family--wife and our children.

...For blogging and bloggers where EVER you are.

...For my "special" peeps and our love--it works both ways, gang. And I thrive on it, believe me!

...For Night

...For Light

...A great sponsor, sober 30 years, and my age.

...For a new laptop I shall order tomorrow. YIPEEEE!

...For snow, anywhere but here. Send photos!

...For sleep, which is imminent........Thank you for being here.

In LOVE and service,
Steve E.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


"The greatest thing....You'll ever learn
Is just to love....And be loved--In return"
--eden ahbez


"So how do you become real? By looking, seeing, becoming sensitive to all creation. Do this and you'll become real yourself. You won't have to work at being loving. Love will grasp you in its warm embrace.

Can a rose withhold its fragrance from the bad and give it only to the good? Can a lamp shine only on the kind and compassionate and withhold its light from evildoers? Can a tree withhold its shade from the evil ones and give it only to the doers of good? No. And as the poet Kabir says, "Even if it is cut down, if it is a sweet-smelling tree, it will leave its scent on the ax."

Stories abound to illustrate the mystery of love. For example, consider the soldier who asks to go search for one of his wounded buddies. And the commander says to him, "No, permission denied. If you go out, you might be killed, and we don't even know if the man is alive." However, the soldier goes out anyway and when he comes back, he has the body of his buddy in his arms, but he himself has been mortally wounded.

Exasperated, the commander says to him, "Now do you see how stupid that was? Now I've lost both of you." But the soldier gasps, "No. When I got there, Joe was still barely alive and he said to me, 'Bill, I knew you'd come.'"

How can you explain that kind of illogical thinking except in terms of the mystery of love?"

--Anthony De Mello "Praying naked" P. 109 Becoming Real

In LOVE and service,
Steve E.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hopeless, Helpless, and Happiness

Pammie, Note: "Cookie" Meeting Tonight at Naples group.


Ya know, I am finding that the more meetings I attend of Alcoholics Anonymous, the more opportunities arise where I might serve. Instead of lurking in the rear row of seats once--or three times--a week, and gaining nothing, I stay not only sober, but remain a "part of" your world of happy, recovering ex-drunks!

Imagine: (Big Book, Forward to 1st Edition) ..."from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body"...to..."remaining a 'part of' your world of happy, recovering ex-drunks!" (Steve E. one paragraph up from here *) As I meditate on these distantly-related, almost opposing quotes, God enters my picture. As Maker of all that is seen and unseen He is visioned. HOPELESSNESS was seen, and HAPPY, RECOVERING EX-DRUNKS is seen. But all the in-between stuff, the Spirit moving ever so slowly through you and into me, and back again; through your life, and into mine, and back again--was and is the realm of the UNSEEN.

And I thank God, and you people for my seen and unseen existences prior to, and during my second life, this new life of--and in--sobriety.


This short story was inspirationally remembered from a remark by Mary LA (click!) that she hid empty liquor bottles in her bedroom, and yet others where she would see them as she arose before breakfast. My story:

There was a time--and this I do remember--that I was so positive I'd run out of booze, that I kept a closet full of cases of full quarts of Vodka, Bourbon, Scotch, and Gin. While preparing myself for work, I'd take a swig (long pull, or gulp) from each bottle, until I was satisfied.

And then I methodically filled each of those quarts (minus 4 oz.) with water, until I got all the way to the last one. In this way, I guaranteed myself spirits for a longer period of time, and saved money.

But truly, it was neither money nor guarantees. All that mattered to me was that each morning, I'd check my closet first thing, and find ALL the bottles filled to the brim. Sheer JOY, euphoria! It just never occurred to me that...I mean...Ummmmm...WHO was I kidding?

Now I can say with personal knowledge and with truth, that "Some are sicker than others"!

Real, real, sick-a-roni
Who is seemingly getting better!
And, in LOVE and service,
Steve E.


(Click here, for) Jessie, I feel embarrassed,
and honored at the same time. Receiving
this award means a lot to me. It tells of
Hope--in the face of heavily tilted odds..that
Hope which God gives through His children,
one to the other. And it is here we get Hope,
and we give Hope... through our blogs and comments.
Thank you, Blog-Friend and More!


Man-o-war! The cars are still filling up the three-and-four-lane roadways at 5:30-6:30 AM, which are times I am biking to a meeting. So here I am, before many of you are awake--well, that would include me, even though I'm functioning! I'm surrounded by behemoths, riding through the fog of exhausts, and finally I do push my way through the mazes, to the front of the pack.

And I be the leader of all that behind me, and I'm happy as a Lark singing overhead. Yes, guys, happy! I'm on my way to an early morning dose of friendship, fun, laughs, sadness, reflection, serious moments: a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.

During the AA meetings, when chairpersons suggest "turn off your cell phones", I usually do not bother. Nobody EVER calls me on my cell at 6 or 7 AM. Well, from now on, it will be programmed to "buzz, shimmy, and shake".

How embarrassing that was, to hear my cell loudly play Beethoven's great Ninth Symphony, while someone weakly and tearfully was sharing how she was raped as a child...by her father and two brothers. Well, I'm used to being a clod, but I felt a sorrowful sadness for the girl, who was spilling out her deepest, darkest, to a room full of eighty alkies.

The cell call was from a mother of a 31-yr-old 'child', a son who had just left jail, and was in need of his clothing--and his medications and cell phone, which she wished I would carry to him. She wanted to NOT SEE HIM. Mom was so tired of same-old, same-old stuff, time after time. So we made the pick-up, drop-off arrangements. I had not met either mother OR 'child'--a definite druggee (Whoopeee!), prior to this day.

Meeting lasted until 8 AM. I had a rehearsal at 9:30, then was contracted to play a funeral mass at 11 AM. All this was after 4.5 hours' sleep--it is catching up with me, peeps. Got home after noon, read a half dozen blogs, commenting in my sleep! Please forgive some of my stupid comments, if they do not make sense -grin!-delete!

After some phone calls, a nap (Ha! Now you got the secret!) and supper, here we are, 9 PM. And guess where? Blogging, of course!

Bess, the brain-tumor girl is home from the hospital, plans to attend a 7 AM meeting and I'll be there with a smile for her...well, that's what I DO! She thanks you for your prayers. She may have surgery at end of May, wants to finish school.

Tonight I have yet to file an extension for IRS taxes 2008, and set up two packets of music to play for weekend masses, plus another funeral...NEXT Wednesday. Since I'm the only violinist in our church of 8,000+ people, I'm just gonna figure out a way to play at my own funeral.

An AA musician (pianist/recording artist) here died not long ago. He had set up his own "Celebration of Life" music, which he had composed and performed (CD's) in a very large church. I thought it kinda weird. In fact, it made folks uneasy. I left, and became first in line for coffee, and goodies!

Peeps, I am SO fortunate. God has surrounded me these past years with many people who are supportive, giving, and loving. He has surrounded me also with many people who NEED support, giving, and love. And life has become one wonderful, giant, action-packed movie, in which I get to play a major part. You all are stars in my film of Life--that's what makes it "Wonderful"!

I promise...a more interesting blog Thursday. OK?

In LOVE and (yawwwn!) service.
Steve E.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009




Yesterday I had some time to wait for a 'happening'. There is plenty to do, but, being a full-fledged blogger by now, you all know where I sat my behind!

And I realized this past week was so busy for me that some of your blog entries got missed. So I spent one hour clicking back through the past few days to catch up. I commented on a few oldies, and as I'm reading your out-of-this-world beautiful stuff (AND the comments), I began to cry--right out of the blue (lips, and all!). I realized how important 'comments' are, to the overall blogging experience! How you all are here to help one another, either directly, or by simply and wonderfully reporting how you are living sober, One-Day-At-A-Time.

These tears--yes they're still flowing--are of gratitude. I'm once again overwhelmed with gratefulness for your blogs, for my having found you peeps last summer. I'm thankful for my personal growth which is a result of many events, one of which being God's grace as it appears daily on my monitor, beginning early in the mornings.

My days begin with Pammie, Mary Christine, dAAve, Linda, Vicarious Rising,
Shadow, Mary LA, Syd, Gabi, Kristin, AnnieK, Tyra, Banana Girl, PG, Hope, Atiyanna, Tracey, Jim, Ed, Jessie, Sara, Patty, Lou, Mark, Clean and Sober, Scott, Bill, Scott W., MILE 191, Just Be Real, SponsorPants, Socha, Sochie and many others, who are right here on my computer desk nearly every morning. I'm talking morning, like 4:30-5:30 AM, guys. What a group.

I'd probably not even get out of bed if it were not to check who has recently blogged and/or commented. Ya know what? I think I'm SICK--addicted to what messages you Peeps have for me/us each day. After meeting some of you face-to-face at an annual BBQ mid-June 2009 at Annie's home (near St Louis), I figure I'll become somewhat cured. (I remind myself of a guy who switches from Scotch to beer, to cure himself of alcoholism!)

I'm trying to discover a point for this blog entry. Guess it is a statement that I yam here to stay, and stay here I yam. Seriously, I've never found an AA 'home' in which the residents are more trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful, clean and irreverently humorous. You bloggers, Alanon and AA, so freely give of yourselves, what was freely given to you. And I have been often the recipient. How can that ever be repaid? ONLY by service of some kind.

Sure, I pretend to know stuff, but whatever I have, was given to me. Whatever I write, I heard or read somewhere in our literature. If something is amiss, it is because I let my own brain insert itself into where it did not belong. Progress, not perfection: how many times have I used that line as an excuse, instead of as simple truism.

I may not always and forever work this program as I ought. But make no mistake; I LOVE our Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. I LOVE our whole AA program, the first 164 pages in every edition of our beautiful Big Book. I LOVE my God Who gave us this program, using two real alcoholics, really hopeless drunks, to show us that He can write straight, using a crooked pen. I LOVE Service work. I LOVE AA meetings. I LOVE you peeps, my most favorite people in the world, and I've not met a single one of you. I LOVE my family, and my wife. And I LOVE life! And I am just SO GRATEFUL! Thank you, all for reading my heart, the contents of my very soul.

I must read again Anthony De Mello's meditations on THE WAYS TO LOVE. Maybe every day, like Jessie! De Mello helps to keep me straight.

In LOVE and Service,
Steve E.

Monday, April 13, 2009



Please, in your prayers, mention Bess,
a dear friend of mine, who is in the hospital.
She IS in AA, but not (yet) a blogger.
She has an operable brain tumor.


The thought of one day (soon in some cases!) meeting face-to-face with blog peeps excites me, really. A LOT! Being sober has given me a desire to meet new people, to share ideas alike or different from my own. I am a very outgoing person since being a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous. 'Overbearing' is a more likely correct word -grin!

On the other hand--at the same time--I began to feel apprehensive about meeting some of you peeps. Are you really who I think you are? And does it even matter. Well it would matter, yes. If you are not who I 'know', who I 'see', who I believe, I will be completely disillusioned. One whole minute each day that thought makes me shudder. Look in a mirror? No! I AM me, and so that is not my fear.

A fellow blogger in a recent Email mentioned to me that his experiences in meeting many online friends finally face-to-face, proved to him that almost all of us ARE just like we blog. In other words, blogs of a loosely knit community of our type, expressing a common illness, and a common solution, well, our writings are a fairly accurate assessment of who we are, what we are, what we seek and how we think, as individuals.

As months roll by (do they ever roll!) I find that what I read that first day on here, is essentially what I'm reading today. I mean that, even with ups and downs, people are not different from who they really ARE. That sounded weird, but I read it again, and "I'll stand by it". Fact is we do not, as bloggers, represent ourselves as anybody else. We are all Popeye's "I yam whut I yam", peeps. Mostly!

And so, back to that deep-in-the-gut excitement--more like enthusiasm--I am again experiencing, I guess it will remain until the moments happen, those moments of meeting my FAMILY of YOU! And that's just the way I feel...it is what I KNOW!

God blesses you all. I do.
And God LOVES you all. So do I.
Steve E.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


dAAve Saturday April 11 inspired
this picture: youll see why...
When ya visit dAAve

BLOGGERS! Boys and Girls. Hear ye hear ye! A new guy has come into our presence a couple days ago. Since I believe there are no accidents in God's world, please welcome blogger Jim at "Alive and Smiling". We have been in touch by Email, and he seems like an OK sort. He is ONE OF US, and that is why I am introducing him in this veddy veddy formal manner!
--Steve E.


I used to walk in a public place thinking the crowds of people there hated me. What a shock to find they didn't even know I existed! Of course, I never looked eyeball-to-eyeball with a single soul. My eyes were planted on the floor, venturing only so far as the next step might take me.

Since I never looked up, how did I know you hated me? How could I EVER entertain a notion that you didn't care one whit for that guy (me) in a dirty trench coat, and old tattered shoes? I did not SEE you, therefore you did not see ME! Maybe that's the summation here. If I do not see you, you will not see me! As if ANYONE ever gave a Royal F'CK either way.

Well, all that changed--over time, not in a blinding flash. In Alcoholics Anonymous, I recall certain events which 'brought me out from my shell'.

1. I was asked to stand up in a room full of 70 people, and say "I'm an alkie, etc., and I had my last drink -insert how many days", etc. I recall that first "desire" chip. They made me come up to the front. How NEAT! That was me, learning how to face people and how to utter 7 words: "I'm...I'm...I'm Steve. I'm an alcoholic."

2. After I was free of alcohol for several months, someone asked me to read "How It Works" out of our Big Book. I recall shaking plenty. I'm sure no bird would have alit on a branch which was shaking so.

3. Some weeks later (three months) a lady named Mary gave me a 24-Hr Book (Hazeldon) and I have had that book ever since, and I have used it ever since. It is well-worn. Mary went out soon after that, never did make it back. That's what happens. I become ashamed. I am, after all, addicted to alcohol. What low self-esteem! What PRIDE!

4. After about seven months in AA, I was asked to chair a meeting. I prepared for this as if I were defending my Thesis. It was truly a farce, but I did learn a lot from the experience...do not try to memorize ANYTHING, the Lord's Prayer...anything!

5. Finally, it became time to "share" (and maybe this is why I do not like the word "share") my Experience, Strength and Hope, from the microphone. I blubbered like an idiot. That is NOT "humility" talking! But I got through it.

I did not mention tending the coffee bar at the 24-Hr Club, Twelfth Stepping, emptying the trash, setting up the chairs, doing the dishes, playing doorman (my favorite job today!) as tricks you AA people did to bring me into your warm bosom, and confer on me sobriety and willingness.

Now, that I fear no one, nor anything; now that I am FREE; Now that I can blog, write, ride, talk to whomever, wherever, and whenever; now that I have a checkbook and a couple bucks in my pocket; now that I am outgoing, happy, and blest with an attitude of gratitude; now that my enthusiasm for this program is known--I cannot let ANY of these gifts from God take over my life, rule my thinking, or guide my feet.

Since God has given me these gifts, I must use them ONLY for His greater honor and glory. That all being written, I hereby bestow upon all who are reading this my love, and when we all stay sober today, I can smile at the end of this day, and say that I did what I could to make someone happy today. And it IS worth it!

In LOVE and service,
Steve E.




Pre-Blog Comment:

A Good Friday celebration at our church was really neat--hundreds of people--and fun for me, because I got to play some of my favorite hymns from the "old days".

About Commenting

Bloggers, you have recently been extremely kind in your comments on my blog. I hope you are not all living on the same 'funny farm'. Wait...what! Let me look out the window. I cannot find it. Also I cannot locate a doorknob. There IS one door, but no keyhole. No locks, no knobs, no widows--Ooops! I mean WINDOWS! Dammmit.

I want to see the manager. This is no way to run a hotel. They even took the strings off my violin. Maybe they think it sounds better this way. Maybe they are right.

(Right about here, I'm expecting some rather caustic remarks by dAAve or Pammie or Anonymous....)!!!


Some few of you on occasion, have mentioned you'd like to hear the sound my violin makes. I tried to listen to it tonight, held it right up to my ear. Guess what? Didn't hear a thing, no sound at all. I'll try again tomorrow.

Steve, "What's the point?" The point is that we become willing to grow along spiritual lines...wait a minute! Here was the point--I hope no one is following this. I'm old tonight, and tired, but NOT DEAD! Well, "...we think not!"

Back to the point. Some time in early July 2010, I'm going to be--with 59,999 other alcoholics--attending the 75th Anniversary Celebration of Alcoholics Anonymous in San Antonio--yeah (sigh)-- Texas. It is quite possible some of us (ALL of us!) will be getting together for a breakfast, lunch or dinner, or 3 AM "Dessert Blast". This will be, for many of us, our first face-to-face meeting. And I'll certainly have my violin there, since I have "to practice these principles" of violin playing every day. And I'm always good for one or two tunes, it would not be boring. So count on that, 'cause I'm a'gonna fiddle, man!!

Hey, fellow peeps--I wish to congratulate us and thank us all for coming around here every, every day to read, blog, comment, Double Dip, post photos, teach, learn, share daily experiences, work the Steps, Study the Traditions, rant, paint, cook, travel, pray, support, receive support. We mostly just suit up and show up...
and get a sponsor and work the steps. This is the most beneficial computer experience I've known, and it only began--for me--toward the end of June 2008

I am truly indebted to all of you for the enrichment of my life. Again, I'm ending this busy day so full of gratitude, and love, for all that is AA, for all that is YOU, for all that is God. Amen.

In LOVE and service,
Steve E.

Friday, April 10, 2009


NOTE: Here is my blog for Good Friday, so serious, so spiritual,
so UNLIKE the real me...while all about in the
blog world tonight is frivolity, and bawdiness:
Click here and see Pammie's latest...oh well, she lives in Texas!



This Good Friday at 3 PM, I am to play violin solos, sans accompaniment (means no organ, piano, voices, or other instruments). It is for the "Adoration of the Cross" time, which can last anywhere from a half hour to one hour, depending on number of people attending.

So, again, since I thoroughly enjoy playing my violin, the age-old argument rages on in my head. I don't care what anyone says about "How nice, that you play for our meditation, etc., etc." Nor does it phase me that the priests all tell me how much my music adds to the parish community and its services. My Pride (yep, I have that also, plenty!) just does not even "go there".

It is that I feel I should be praying, not doing. When in fact, if I think it through, doing IS praying, especially when in the company of a correct motive.

Isn't this akin to our wonderful AA Program? I cannot simply sit there in AA meetings morning after morning, listening and maybe 'sharing' (still hate that word), maybe sharing what I consider to be some witty tidbit which I heard someone utter many moons ago.

This "three-legged" Program of ours is about Unity (of which most of us know little), Recovery (which we work for the most part, in a private manner, with a sponsor) and SERVICE.

Service. Aha! There it is! That means I'm DOING stuff; cleaning ashtrays, mopping floors, painting the clubhouse rest rooms, setting up, tearing down, chairing meetings, doing actual Twelfth Step work, sponsoring, attending group business meetings, serving as a trusted elected person, and God knows what else!

Service is my guarantee of a better, happier, soberer, more fully lived, recovered (ing, whatever) life. Therein I find that Peace which surpasses all understanding. This is how I stay sober and show others (by example, and by training) how to live it by doing it.

When I came to Alcoholics Anonymous, I thought it was a totally giving organization...giving to me! However, a few years later I found it was ME giving to IT that helped me to grow spiritually, and grow in that social grace, to get along with others.

My life is divided into two parts, before and after AA. Before, my first 40 years I can truly describe as dying embers. Since then, my description of this new life, the second half of my lifetime, can only be looked at as a BURNING FLAME! And that burning flame is LOVE!

In LOVE and service,
Steve E.

Note: "Burning Flame is Love"--words taken from a Kahlil Gibran poem.