DRINKING ALCOHOL TAUGHT ME HOW TO FLY
THEN IT TOOK AWAY THE SKY

Monday, November 30, 2009

GRIEF



GRIEF

Following is a quote from a Blogger-friend whose young husband lost finally his battle with cancer.  She lives on a part of our globe across the International Date Line.  I decided to post this poem. Also I am deciding this moment to post her blog address HERE in the sincere hope that her most deep, beautifully-worded inspired expressions may help someone who is out there grieving loss of a cherished loved one.

"......grief is what happens to your soul. It knows not age. There is a universal pain that one can always put a finger in it to say, I know that one too even though the details of our stories may vary. And we have yet found another gift of humanity. Compassion. And that's when we shed a tear for a stranger when we learn of their own loss." --Silver


I know a place
Where tomorrow always is
I see white curtains lace
Blowing in sweet breezes
Of tomorrow...today!

When in this my place
The sun daily at last sets
Forever at the same time
Your sun rises there
Because it is tomorrow

Always and forever
Tomorrow is there
Yesterday is never
And now I know why
God made it that way

Just so you could cry
Tomorrow, not today

So smile through tears
Of joy and tender love
For what's been all those years
Will be--is--even more, above
In heaven's perfect place
Today...and tomorrow

New moon, full moon,
A sliver of Silver Moon
A life here is beginning to stir
And from that rebirth soon
Will gush forth loving loveliness
From yesterday--in tomorrow

Writings of exquisiteness
Find themselves unleashed
Upon a world of cyberness.
Today's reminiscence--
Tomorrow's unchained thoughts

Fill us with your beautiful inner self
Empty all which blocks the sunshine
Which he continues to send
In complete total love...your Ben
Today, tomorrow
Forever.
 
--Steve

Sunday, November 29, 2009

BY CHANCE? OR NOT!



AMERICA'S COFFEE HOUSE

A CHANCE MEETING!  
AREN'T THEY ALL??

Starbucks takes a couple of my bucks before every rehearsal. This morning I gave the the Barista my order--Venti Bold. A man just ahead of me in line said he'd have the Mild. Out of my big fat mouth--it shocked me--leaped the loudness of one word, "SISSY"!

Some day my mouth will get me killed, but not today--yet.

I found myself next to the same fellow at the condiment cupboard, he said that he cannot take Bold coffee at 9:30 AM. So I told him (what else?) that in past times I was frequently found passed-out-drunk by 9:30 AM. He responded with "Me, too!" So, within seconds of the first time, I was shocked once more. Here I am, in a matter of few  seconds running into a stranger who--as you will see--is one of US!

He said he was sober 6 years, and asked me...so I told him 35 years. Since I DO go to lots of meetings I wondered aloud why I've never seen him? "In which AA meetings would I find you?".

He went through a litany of the meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous where he USED TO go; USED TO be a regular at my home group 7 AM meeting, USED TO 'attend' the Serenity Club; USED TO go to the New Attitudes Club; USED TO be at the cookie meeting; USED TO "hit about two to three meetings a week"; USED TO have a sponsor; USED TO work the Steps, etc.

He then launched me into a brief discussion of the "YET's" in AA. His words: "I have not totaled four cars in 3 weeks--YET; I have not been in jail longer than a month--YET; I have never been to prison--YET; I have never hit my wife or children--YET; I have not killed anyone--YET; I have not gone back to that chaotic life where alcohol was my God--YET! A small patch of sand and weeds under the Gordon River Bridge is NOT my home--YET!"

When we had done with that, I got him to agree to meet with me at the 7 AM AA meeting Monday morning (today) and we'd "do" coffee after, or maybe breakfast. OK!

Something entered my brain then, which refused to remain there, and so I said to him--and to myself, "One way to avoid all those "YET's" is to not have so many "USED-TO's"

Peeps, he and I intend to stay sober tomorrow--with you.
I love you, I really do!
Peace is for all of us!

Life is SO much simpler, easier, if I let go and let God...than NOT!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

STEVE LEAVING FOR A FEW DAYS



NEED SOME TIME!

The TSA Parody (below) by "The Bar and Grill Singers" (click HERE) has been long a favorite of mine--and I just found it with a pictorial, you might have heard it.... 




Peeps, I've gotten SO far behind in my violin practicing, cleaning, yard work. Dog LUCKY has been digging up and breaking off newly installed sprinkler heads.  He thinks they're bones!  BOY did  I become angry--lasted about an hour till I could calm down. I had just spent a whole morning digging and gluing and cutting.


Oh well...got to service two of our computers, install new operating system in two machines, along with programs which will work in 64-bit environment. And lots of other fix-it stuff which has been begging for attention. 


SO I have decided to abstain from posting on my blog, or commenting on yours...that will be the hard part, I LOVE to write on YOUR blogs!


May you ALL have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING and remember how fortunate we are to live here (especially us in Naples--grin!)


I'll be back, maybe Sunday or Monday, or Tuesday and I know y'all will be here still, but I have to letcha know this:  I WILL MISS YOU PEEPS!


Love and Peace to you all--I mean that. I will probably be reading you during this "sabbatical" because I don't want to get too far behind.


Thank you ALL for being here for me, this has been a wonderful year-and-a-half period in my life--learning all about you...and all about me...and about God!

STEPS ARE THE WAY TO THE NEXT FLOOR





YEAH, I'M SERIOUS!


Peeps, this will be a "serious" posting (yeah, right!). Every morning I slide out of bed and on my knees ask God to let me know His will for me today...and give me the power to carry it out. Well, this morning I really meant those words, "Show me" and then "Help me". Within about 15 minutes He showed me. Armed now with the realization of what I must do, I waited for the power. Some of it I could muster up from His Gift, but I found it lacking...His power for me.

Then I realized the "acceptance" part of my program. Every gift must have two elements, a Giver and a Taker.  If I hand you a book, and you do not take (accept) it, there is just NO gift. Period. So it is with this program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and God--Who gave it to me. For it to work, I must take it--and use it, work it.

At my 7 AM meeting, a person who NEVER is up that early sat next to me, could see that I was NOT as I (of course!) had answered, "OK!"  And he suggested the Power I sought was in an INVENTORY, preferably Step FOUR!  OK I said, then, "How come YOU know what I need to hear?" He answered, "Because I'm sitting in a mess of it myself, right now".  How good is God to give me (us both) a good laugh this early morning. And I sure needed it!

And, whenever I am in deep shit thinking, there is certainly another (others?) in their own mess! And THAT is God helping us, one to another, mutually and sometimes tenderly showing us the answer we need--and actually, want!

The answer, the solution, is not necessarily an AA "exclusive" LOL! Already God was at work in my emails at 5 AM, using a blogger to send me a message which was so "right on"--as help to one (me) who had a curtain blocking his view of life-on-life's-terms...in other words, ACCEPTANCE!

Another topic:
Enough of this. BERT, the cat I rescued 12 years ago is curled up around my feet, I cannot even move from the computer.  Ya know what else?  Bert has been sober for 12 years!

Be sober with me today, Peeps!
Love ya, Peeps!
Peace to ya, Peeps!

Monday, November 23, 2009

THEY CALL ME "RED" BECAUSE ONCE I READ A BOOK




BOOK-A-YEAR CLUB

This is MY choice for myself and one other Blogger who read an average of one book a year--THE SHACK by William P Young, published by WINDBLOWN MEDIA, Los Angeles, CA

Left picture is a book cover. On the back cover a publicist wrote, "You'll want everyone you know to read this book."


On the right is a photo of our home in Naples, Florida. I've been outside working on it--some repair, ya know? Although it's really OK as is. It reminds me of the first half of my life, before I came to my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. You might notice the two replaced "lanai" roof supports, there are a few other things on my list--watch TV, Blog, Sleep, Eat, Crap, the regular stuff.


This post concerns a passage on page 175 in THE SHACK. A minimum of background (my version)...God the Father is a woman. She is in the shack with our hero Mack. Mack's daughter died a horrible death. OK, that is the minimum.....


Mack:  "Is that why she died, so you could change me?"


God: "Whoa there, Mack...that's not how I do things."


(Skip a few lines)


Mack: "But if she had't died I wouldn't be here now..."


God: "Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrated the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I needed it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exists, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."

Peeps, to me there is profoundness in God's explanation to Mack--one which, in the midst of pain and suffering at another's hands, I too often overlook.


SOBRIETY.
LOVE.
PEACE.

Those are my wishes for you, and for me--today!





Sunday, November 22, 2009

OLD AND YOUNG--NOT MOODY!

OLD and YOUNG--NOT MOODY!






And here are the words, which frank Sinatra sings: so appropriate for me at this time of my life. Thank You God, for giving me this beautiful respite in my later years, I am SO grateful!



You make me feel so young
You make me feel so spring has sprung
and every time I see you grin
I'm such a happy individual
The moment that you speak
I want to go and play hide-and-seek
I want to go and bounce the moon
Just like a toy balloon
You and I, are just like a couple of tots
Running across the meadow
Picking up lots of forget-me-nots
You make me feel so young
You make me feel there are songs to be sung
Bells to be rung, and a wonderful fling to be flung
And even when I'm old and gray
I'm gonna feel the way I do today
'Cause you make me feel so young
You and I, are just like a couple of tots
Running across the meadow
Picking up lots of forget-me-nots
cause you make me young
give me songs to be sung
fell like bells should be rung
and a wonderful fling should be flung
and even when I'm old and grey
I'm gonna feel the way I do today
cause you make me feel so
you make me feel so
you make me feel
I feel so young

PEEPS! It is REALLY SO TRUE!
YOU CAN BE OLD AND YOUNG TOO!
Just be SOBER
Just LOVE
Just open up to some PEACE

Thank YOU, DSDP -grin!


"You Make Me Feel So Young"
Words by (Lyricist): Mack Gordon
Music by (Composer): Joseph Myrow
Additional notes: Written 1946.
Artist: Frank Sinatra

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'M GRATEFUL






GRATITUDE DINNER

My little village called Naples Florida has grown from a 1974 one-stoplight  "Four Corners" of about 7,500 people, to a widely spread-out city of about 300,000. I have lived here for almost 45 years, so as I look around, I wonder not only what has taken place here, but when the heck did it happen?  45 years ago was one small sign at the city limit which announced, "Entering Naples, Florida". Now there are huge signs over 250 miles (402 kilometers) away, spanning across 6 lanes of expressway which read NAPLES 250 MILES.  I guess these are warnings for Peeps to put the plug in the jug -grin!

The number of people addicted to certain mind-altering substances has also increased exponentially. There were 6 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings each week, with 3 groups in early 1974. Now there are 188 meetings each week, in 54 meeting places in our town.

So tonight we had our annual 35th Intergroup Gratitude Dinner.  Now anybody who is not addicted (or IS!) to anything--even HERSHEY bars, may not understand fully the implications of a Gratitude Dinner.  Some of us see one another only this one time each year, and it is cause for HUGE amounts of inner and outer joy, to see old friends of 25-35 years who are STILL sober.  And we talk about the "old days". And how different is today's atmosphere in and out of the rooms.There were nearly 500 people attending, we had a great dinner, (I had expected a thousand!).

SO many Peeps said things to one another, like: "Do you remember 24 years ago, and you said (whatever)?" Or "You have no idea how much your words helped me 32 years ago." Or "I came to my first meeting this morning, and you were the only person to welcome me.  You said 'Hello', and we found you and I had a lot in common. I sure hope we'll both be here, still sober, in 2010 November."  Can you feel my heart beat faster, at hearing these kinds of comments? Praise God, and the people in AA, who carry the message of AA to those who not only need to hear it...but WANT it.

Deserts were all over the place (before dinner)...and that's MY kind of dinner! Of course, I always eat less for dinner, IF  I've enjoyed some cake, fancy chocolates, sone kind of vanilla concoction

Gallons of coffee (to support my caffeine habit?) went along with the "Countdown". An AA countdown is a method of determining who has the most sober time in the room, and who has the least.  Oldest was a guy, with 56 years on continuous sobriety.

The newest member, a girl, had fewer than 12 sober hours, and so was presented with a Big Book, signed by hundreds of us.  The oldest in sober time passes on the Big Book message to the youngest member, truly symbolic. Because that IS the way this thing works, one passing the message on to another

Next we had a speaker. And 500 people sat there sober, listening to and laughing with a guy who was talking about the horrendous past he lived.  Who of us could not relate, identify with his behaviors--and it was not because I drank so much every day. It was/is my thinking which messes up my life.  Chaos ruled, and it is THAT cave into which I hid my real self from all of you, for so many years...as if you cared!

Thank you, all you sober bloggers--and others--SO much for being a part of my life, and letting me be a part of yours.  It is only together that we will ALL come through this alive.  Too many suicides this year, it IS a deadly disease with which we are dealing here.  We laugh a lot, as tonight proved--"we are NOT a glum lot.  We absolutely insist on enjoying life." BB.  But each of us know this is serious shit we're talking about.

Thank You God, for bringing us all together.

Love soberly Peeps...
And grab a chunk of PEACE on your way through this life.

Friday, November 20, 2009

FLASH NONFICTION FRIDAY 55







True story: that I pretended to be blind and deaf--
sometimes just to feel how it must have been for my father during those years.....


Flash Fiction Friday 55
is a story written in exactly 55 words.
Let the G-Man know if you write one
and read the ones of your fellow writers.


Sometimes pretending I can
Neither see nor hear
Locked eyes and stuffed ears
I go around like a deaf-blind man.  

Redolence of fresh-mowed Blue grass
Burnt toast, unburnt roast,
Of Angel Tulip scents 
Riding soft night currents
Are my pleasure

None of these compare
With that sweetest aroma--
Essence of YOU, my Dearest

_________________________________________________________________

Peeps, I wish for our SOBRIETY
Peeps, I pray for our LOVE
Peeps, I hope for our PEACE

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SO-PHISTICATED A LADY?












"SOPHISTICATED" LADY

For some reason one of my all-time favorite songs keeps running through my head tonight, named "Sophisticated Lady". It is not a happy song, and depicts one of so many girls I watched slide themselves into oblivion in a time determined by a combination of choice and fate.

For quite a number of years I supplemented my income by tending bar (I was the bar-man) and I was good at it, played the violin, mixed the drinks, waited table, entertained, everything.  (That is when I had my two heart attacks, age 34.)

One bar owner in Naples just sort of set me up in business, and I ran the place--and ran myself almost to an early grave.  For several years the old "Captain's Cabin" was THE place to go after a party, dinner, or dancing. Well, you DID get to hear a violinist play "your song" right at your table, ya know?

Among the 70-80 guests nightly (seating capacity was 65) always were a small number of lovely girls looking (in the wrong place) for THE MAN.  I introduced a dozen couples, men and women mostly, who later married and would bring in their children to meet me...how's THAT grab ya?

But likely as not, the girls ended up in one-night-stand-type situations, which saddened me, because, even during the maintenance of my drunken condition, I could sense so many of these beautiful people heading down the road to oblivion. If any one of the girls had just waited one more hour while I cleaned the barroom, they could have had...well...ME!

Sophisticated Lady is a song about just one of these Peeps who looked so pretty when they arrived in the lounge about 7 PM, and aged about 15-20 years by 2 AM closing.  And I'd see some of them night after dark night.





Smoking, drinking, never thinking of tomorrow,
nonchalant,
Diamonds shining, dancing, dining with some man in a restaurant,
Is that all you really want? No, sophisticated lady,
I know, you miss the love you lost long ago,
And when nobody is nigh you cry.

They say into your early life romance came,
And in this heart of yours burned a flame,
A flame that flickered one day and died away.
Then, with disillusion deep in your eyes,
You learned that fools in love grow wise.
The years have changed you somehow;
I see you now...



Smoking, drinking, never thinking of tomorrow,
Nonchalant,
Diamonds shining, dancing, dining with some man in a restaurant,
Is that all you really want? No, sophisticated lady,
I know, you miss the love you lost long ago,
And when nobody is nigh you cry.



A Lana Turner vid to Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" performed by Sarah Vaughan.

Peeps , please keep coming back, because I Love you all, and send wishes for a sober and peaceful day.

ANOTHER KIND OF BEAUTY IN MY LIFE




 
Beauty


Never have I really liked my mother.  During more than 60 years I did not  feel a warmth from her, a true non-obligated love.  When one has a strong intuition one way or another about anything for 60 years it cannot be denied, whatever were/are the reasons for the feelings.  Yes, I did and do love her--again, that sense of filial obligation. God does not demand that I love my mother, only that I honor her--"Honor Thy father and thy mother" or something like that.

That being stated, my mother did give me a lifeline to the road of happiness, a key to the notion of fulfillment.  My music.  I now sing in the church choir at St Ann in Naples FL. This is the first time ever that I entertained the thought of singing. For three months it has been a blessing in my life, and--for me--is another cause of living, not simply existing. So, I guess, "Thank you, Mom."

Jamie is the Music and Liturgy Director. I posted a blog about her in June 2008, if you are interested (it's pretty good!) here's the link.  And we worked together for nine months in 2007-8 and now I get to sing in her (really good) choir.  If it were not for my mother's years of constant prodding, I could not sit out there and read music as if it were a Stephen king novel.

Each year for 25 years I have been an orchestra member (violinist) at a large Baptist Church here for their annual Living Christmas Trees. We give 9 performances, and 2,000 people attend each one (18,000 people).

Anyway, to get to the point, I had not played in an orchestral situation for about a year. It is different than strolling, or playing alone in a country club foyer. To get "back in the saddle again" was sheer happiness, and with the greatest joy I told God how grateful I was that He allows me to continue to play in these types of situations.  So, I guess...thanks Mom.

And although I LOVE that we have some rehearsals now, plus those "shows" --churches like to call them "Presentations"--and I have some other gigs coming up, TIME is gonna be my problem. Maybe my Guardian Angel "Flex" will bend some time for me through these next five weeks. I will be reading, but not too much commenting. OK?

I was led to the Naples group of Alcoholics Anonymous a long time ago. One of those "things" I had to do was to stop drinking. Another was to pick up the "kit of tools for living" called Twelve Steps, and use them. Peeps I can unequivocally state that I should have been dead YEARS before now.  And I'd have missed the fun in life, the joys of helping other Alkies, and the pleasure of playing the violin until I'm 100--that's my new goal.

And I have never felt so young, so productive, and so happy for MANY moons!  I'll try for another poem tomorrow?  I feel one inside just in a rage to get out. I can hear it now:  "Rage, rage, rage".....

Peeps, let's stay SOBER today
Let's LOVE today
Let's spread PEACE today

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A "POEM"


"...to do Your Will." Click HERE

"GO MY FRIEND...

Is not the beginning
The end?
And the end, the begin?
And do I sit here
Without single sin?

"Bless me father"

To begin anew,
Meet and love you
That's what will give
Reason to live--
Now and ever

"I have sinned"

Meet and love
Again and again
Early love's infatuation
That wonder of life
Right now

"Since my last confession"

Meeting, loving, are
More common to some
Than others who love
from afar than near,
Right here

"Which was so long ago..."

First is knowing,
Loving after that.
Then it becomes
Beautiful happening
One more time

"How many times, Father?
I do not remember."

Enveloped in tenderness,
Arms reaching, all-around loving,
Gentle lip-sucking caress
Everywhere, everywhere, yes...
Right there

"For your penance--
do three good deeds"

Then, in peace,
The fulfillment
Realized...oh!
Heaven-sent
To us

"Go with DD and sin no more."

And after that
What is one to say?
Come back, oh yes,
Return another day
(Tomorrow?)



Love arrives, intrudes unmercifully.
It brings the aged back to their youth

Fantasized Ego says, "Hello, youth!"

Sense says, "Go away. I left you
Long ago for dead...."

Reality says, "Just live in this moment,
This day. Live it well, live it to the full.
Love it...cherish it, and
Find happiness in that--
For it is God's gift for you
NOW!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

TRITE...YET TRUE!



One said to me this morning, "Steve, don't always believe what you THINK!" And so I got to thinking about that--yeah.

When not drinking I used to think I would never be more than a piece of shit.

When drinking, I knew I was better than the next Peep...or ANYONE else.


I "THINK":

I'll live forever.
The leak in the roof will not get worse.
I can get by without practicing (my violin).
I can get by without practicing (My AA Steps).
Satisfaction will be mine, even when I do not practice "being satisfied".
I can eat a half gallon of ice cream every night.
Plus peanuts and potato chips.
And I will not put on weight.
I can live happy joyous and free on only 3 meetings a week.
A few weeks ago a daily meeting was essential.
She loves me.
She does NOT love me.
Nobody cares.
EVERYBODY cares.
Of course, it is NOT about ME!
My special Island I'll call
Bali Hai -- is calling me.
Every night, every day.
Temptation is more than the name of a song.
It keeps calling me also.
Freedom is "getting away from"...
Blogging is more important than anything in the world.
I am utterly happy and without turmoil.
And I WILL live forever! Hmmmmm?

NOTE: The above are thoughts which I try not to believe, OK?

Another note:
I love living, I love life--
I LOVE! YESSS!
I'm at PEACE! YESSS!

I'm SOBER! YESSS!
And I hope all the same for YOU, my PEEPS!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

MY NAME IS LUCKY


LUCKY


I AM LUCKY


In the dreamy dewy
morning's earliness
the man and me
we walked
I am Lucky
And so is he

I have four paws
The he has but two
With a very long tongue
I taste it all
On the greenish glades
I place my searching nose
between grass blades
I smell and I eat
the dreamy dewy
earliness

Sniffing and tasting
all of it is how I live
It's what I have left
to take and to give
in the early soundless
morningness

My man is a happy camper
Surely I know that
Even so, wish he had a tail
so he might show me
Happiness: something to spread
wherever this day our trail
up and down, twists and bends

WAIT!

Who else is walking
In the dreamy dewy
Morning early?
Are her footsteps
breaking the silence?
My hearing so sharp
detects not a single sound
but I feel her presence
A feet-walking other
With me and the man

So far away, so always close
in even these:
the early
the dew
the dark blending
with morning light
the dream, yes, the dreams!

The he walks with the she
Lucky is me....
Steve E

Peeps, I am sober
I'm at peace
I LOVE
I go now, wishing Y.O.U.
all the above.

Brrrrrrrr PLUS (YEAH!) LOVE


COLD FUSION by GUSTI BOUCHER

COLD: A PERSPECTIVE
IT IS ONLY WIND-CHILL

BRRRRrrrrr! Friday morning it was cccCOLD!  Well, in South Florida--for me--"cold" is
below 16 C  (60 F).  It DID reach 27 C (80F) later.  But I wish to say, that on a scooter in the early morning traveling at a speed of ***/kph (***/mph) I was REALLY cold. I DO have a pickup truck sitting in the driveway, but it has FOUR wheels. I like TWO wheels. I am Happy on two wheels. I can express myself without blowing a horn.

With four tires on the road I cannot lean my body to make turns, or swing myself a little to avoid a pickup truck (like mine!) when it is in my space. Driving a truck, I do not have that freedom of motion, to pass whoever is in front.  I cannot squeeze between the rows of vehicles stopped for a light or an accident, nor decide to change direction at the last minute.

Sounds rash and reckless?  It is being ready for whatever comes my way.  With Flex guiding me ("Flex" is Flexible, my Guardian Angel) and a modicum of common sense--that's all I can muster--I'll probably ride a HARLEY into heaven when I'm 100....

Enough of that--you "Peeps up Noath" please don't laugh too loudly when you read I am cold at 60 degrees.  Don't forget there IS a wind-chill factor! And I am sober. No brandy to warm the body--we do have a big dog now, but he sleeps alone--so far--grin!


YEAH, I KNOW...
MORE ABOUT  L O V E

Well, it had to be soon again...what can one NOT say about love? That it is unnecessary? That it was contrived by humans to "make us feel good"? That it is simply a feeling, an expression of affection? Well, maybe those last three words fit closer to the truth.

I am reading a book THE SHACK by Wm. Paul Young! (I know--everyone is saying, "Oh! THAT old book?"  I will not delve into the story, but a man (Mack) finds himself back in the shack of his past--with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They are girls, beautiful girls. They are three persons, yet they are One in thought, behavior, and in their LOVE for all creatures and things, and one another.

Our hero is watching as the Holy Spirit is cooking, stirring a huge pot of batter or something. The pot falls to the floor, breaking, and batter (or something) flies EVERYWHERE!.  It gets all over "God and everything"! Our hero observes the cleaning process.  Jesus wipes the food from Poppa's dress, then bathes her feet, as she (God) continues to cook something else. The Spirit is in cleaning also, and she also is behaving with such love.

(Mack) leaned against the door. His mind was full of thoughts. So THIS was God in a relationship? It was beautiful and so appealing. He knew that it did not matter whose fault it was--the mess from some bowl which had been broken, that a dinner which had been planned would not be shared. Obviously, what was truly important here was the love they had for one another and the fullness it brought them.  He shook his head. How different this was from the way he treated the ones he loved!

--Taken from page 105, THE SHACK, Wm. Paul Young

Peeps THIS is the brand of love I've been thinking about, writing about. Where mistakes are not even considered, only "what may I do for and with you".  SO much time I waste pondering who, what, when, where and why. And all I need do is simply focus on what only matters. Love. Love for you ALL and for the God within you. It IS that simple!

So love IS an expression of affection, a feeling, an intense desire and attraction for another--or ALL others. It is an emotional attachment, an enthusiasm for someone or something outside of myself. Love is an emptying of myself, so that there is room for the other. It is filling and fulfilling. As with my love for God, it is a strong desire to simply be with God, or another, or others, to share feelings, to care for needs, to desire  peace and happiness for others.

This all seems so clear to me (at times, like right now!)  Yet it is difficult to verbalize.  Love IS the bottom line.  And as I wrote a few days ago, LOVE never had a beginning, nor will have ever an ending. Love is infinite, forever. The only true love is that of my God for me--and YOU, Peeps! God IS love. Love IS God. Who is to reason otherwise?


PEACE

Thursday, November 12, 2009

PLAY BALL! PLAY LIFE!







Flash Fiction Friday 55
is a story written in exactly 55 words.

Let the G-Man know if you write one
and read the ones of your fellow writers.


 ME! Pick me. Pick ME!
Yesss it is I, fruitcake of fruits
wishing to become
not necessarily
Chosen One--
Just one of

Pick me, pick me
might well have meant
Pickle me
Again...about being chosen
As belonging. Oh!
The myth of

Alone and lonely
Fitting in nowhere
Despondent
Depressed
Pick This
Piece of Shit



SOBER, Peeps
LOVE, Peeps
PEACE, Peeps
From me to you, Peeps




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WIND AND THE SEA: ANSWERS




THE ANSWER MY FRIEND
IS BLOWIN' IN THE WIND
THE ANSWER IS
BLOWIN' IN THE WIND

I LOOK UP AT THE WIND AS IT MOVES THE SEA
 
Water, water everywhere
below, above, and myself
by the Gulf engulfed
Breathing not air any more
Yet breathing, yes.

What now
Did I hear
You call?

Breathing and dreaming
A certain wave of peacefulness
Overcomes my being, entirely
and I thirst no more...
Breaths of salty flavor

No longer
In charge
Was I ever?

Few seconds? Eons?
There is now not
the necessity for tracking
That ticking sound from my soul
is not a clicking of time

It is
between now
and forever

Stupor of drunkenness
I must be dreaming as
I am reaching for my bottle
What was its name
this tastes the same

Elixir you
are hiding
from me

That oh so bright
Light--is it night?
No my sir, No...
It is the Presence
It is that First Cause

Of all
things which
were made

Drowning? Yes I am
but not in a briny sea
Finally here viewing
the really real me
in all the brightness

the moon
the sun
the Deity

A wisp is hanging over
as from this bottom I see
it can blind me no more
Here it is my eternity

No begin
No end
Only now

If there had ever ever been question
Let this be my certain answer
The First, the Last, the Always
As it was, is still above! And
As I looked up--this simple response:

To love
To love
To love


OK Peeps?  I fell asleep on the keyboard (again!) while writing this poem.  And I remember waking and looking at the page just before the last several segments, thinking, "My God, this thing could go on for pages and pages!"  


Aren't you lucky I woke up? --grin!

Sober love, and PEACE to you all...right NOW!


NOTE:  
This is not going to turn into a "dedication" blog.
However, I dedicate this to my wife, Prayer-Girl (PG)

Prayer-Girl is worthy of a dedication-post.
Bless you Prayer-Girl, Sober, Mother, Homemaker, Spirit-Gifted Healer

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION


POETRY READER AT HIGH TEA

STEVE AND POETRY
OR
WATER AND OIL?


Peeps. I am trying out a new medium of expression.  It's ahh...well...poetry.

  There, I said it!  This first time, it is not about alcoholism or recovery.  However, without my program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I could never venture this far away from my usual AA dissertations.
Always I have tried to find the "meaning" of poetry or poetic prose.

I shall not work so hard at trying to 'interpret' poetry, because I am beginning to understand that the words have an ebb and flow sometimes of their own.

This evening I have come to a realization that Poetry, as Music, Painting, Dance, Architecture, Computer Graphics and other art forms, is created twice. The writer and the reader together are co-creators.  A favorite Poet-Peep was kind enough in helping me to this understanding.

What is the experience, or where is the fun, the pleasure, the spirituality, of a work of art, unless I take part in the author's effort?

For me to comprehend precisely what a poem denotes, I  would have to know what even the creator of the poetic lines did not.   For it is not in knowledge that I grow, but in the EXPERIENCE of doing, feeling, writing, enjoying, sharing and  loving all things and Peeps as they are, as they appear to me...as they choose to be.

I asked a famous artist two years ago about a certain "Lady in Red" which he'd painted--a wall-covering canvass, beautiful (Price $32,000).  I wished to know what was meant by the expression of her facial features, of what was she thinking, saying?

He said to me  "She is thinking and saying whatever you wish her to be thinking and saying." And he walked away from me.

So is it with poets and poetry? Maybe!

Here is my first serious (LOL--Me, serious?) attempt at writing a short poem.



NOWHERE OR ANYWHERE

Into haze-filmed arms
of early-morning ball of fire I ride
As the warmth I feel within
Tries to match the cool outside

On the path to anywhere
Nowhere

Does it least matter
Who I care to meet
What I wish to happen
Just take me there, oh feet

Over that path to anywhere
And Nowhere

Arrived is the age to see, to do
What is different from before
Change is what's about
Either now or evermore

To be anywhere
To be nowhere

There is but thin space remaining
One year leans into the next
So the time is now to be
Me forevermore...nevermore vexed

Anywhere
Everywhere

NOTE:  For her patience and time spent in helping me with poetry composition, I dedicate this poem "Nowhere Or Anywhere" with love and peace to my Blog Friend and One Top-Peep DULCE whose blog is named Sweeter Poetry. Visit her HERE!

Monday, November 9, 2009

IN THE BEGINNING..AND NOW





AS IT WAS...AS IT IS


At a meeting this morning, I heard a new member say she wished she could have at once a lot of knowledge about AA and how AA works.  She just "wanted to know more", in order to stay sober.


I sat there thinking back to my early days in Alcoholics Anonymous. I wanted to read everything I could, to immerse myself in the program.  I soon owned a collection of recovery literature.  "AA Comes of Age", "The AA Way of Life" (Later to become "As Bill Sees It"). In our library at home was a complete set of vinyl recordings of talks by AA's first alcoholic priest, Father John Doe (Ralph Pfau).

I really thought that more knowledge would help me stay sober. WRONG!  In fact, how could reading a book help me?  I would read one short paragraph, and the plague of my life would take hold. 10 seconds later I could not recall a thing about that paragraph. So reading, and listening were not to be the way to sobriety for me.

At the very end, I was mentally incapacitated and physically burdened, so that I was ordered by a counselor to drink one (no more, no less) pint of Vodka every 24-hour period, just to stay in survival mode. (Notice--I still capitalize the word Vodka.) And I did that for several weeks.  So getting sober was not so bad after all, right? --grin!

For some time, I really thought that consumption of one pint of Vodka every day WAS sobriety! Because it SURE didn't make me drunk, since I was used to several pints a day simply for maintenance of my stuporous condition.

Back to the real point of this post--I discovered that what they had said to me was correct. GETTING this program was not a series of lessons learned from reading books or listening to talks.  It was NOT "Don't drink and go to meetings!" GETTING the program of Alcoholics Anonymous required DOING things, not turning pages in a book. I had to do what I was told.  My first job was cleaning ash trays, and I became very good at that, they sparkled. In fact, I would gather ash trays during a meeting, empty and wipe clean...

My first meeting was a Step Study, as were the next dozen or so, except for a few speaker meetings.  I never heard "Meeting Makers Make It" until I was sober 20 years. I never heard a LOT of the crap that is bantered about now, until I had been sober many years. I DID hear "Help another alcoholic who is suffering." 


And that is where my program IS!


I was so fortunate to be surrounded by some wonderful, helpful, loving, long-timers, who took me along with them on this wild ride.

And I am blest today, this very day, to have been surrounded with some wonderful friends who love me, and I them. At tonight's meeting (Monday) I was made to feel like, well...someone special, ya know what I mean? Thank God this does not happen often --grin!

And I am simply honored today, these past 16 months, to be surrounded with you AMAZING Peeps online in this part of the blog world. Almost all of you are extremely honest, forgiving, fun and funny, truly non-fake spiritual Peeps.  


We all want to share, and do so with integrity (trying to not hurt others) our experience, strength, and hope. We are ALL trying, as best we know, to do the will of a Power outside of ourselves, to grow. We all pray, meditate, and help one another in these endeavors.

When all is said and done, THIS blog-world is a great part of my sober life, where I learn (sometimes the hard way --grin!) by reading, writing, and commenting. All is well in my world at this time, many thanks to many of you!

I am SO grateful, and I LOVE you all, and wish you the PEACE of untroubled mind, the PEACE of being wonderfully sober and connected with the universe.

SHADOW OVER THE WORLD




I am so sorry I overlooked linking "Shadow" 
to her blog address:  HERE it is!


SHADOW

I hear the Peeps all say
That it is her birthday
She can be seen in lightness
In the dark she writes less

Her poems are exquisite
As Peeps who visit
Her blog will shout
These pages are about

Everything ever created
Alone or, well...mated
Sorrow, love, life here
Faith, Hope, and Fear

All aspects of our Acceptance
At times written-in reticence
But always stories of forever love
Mindful of the Great Lover Above

Shadow, there is none like you
Nobody quite so truly true
I wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY
From Steve in Naples-On-The-Bay

Peace and Love to the Peeps!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A CLEAN SWEEP






I LOVE Sunday. (Well, I love EVERY day! That's the TRUTH!)

This morning is again AA meeting time, 7 AM.

Choir Rehearsal

Sing at 1100 mass

Visit daughter in treatment (only on Sundays).

Another AA meeting @ 1730

Meet with sponsee after meeting...hopefully.

Call a friend.

The day is over, the week is finished. Enough!  Amen!

This coming week is already scheduled as busy.  For me it is really exciting!  For years I have been wondering what surprises God has in store for me, who is there to meet?  Who might I help?  Who might help ME? I know God will use me somehow. Will He let me see that?  It does not matter,


Simply having witnessed now how it works lets me know that Great Things will be happening.
 

Alcoholics Anonymous has done that for me...given me back a life, my life, and added many years to what might well have been.


OKAY, It is time for a joke...to end this week of seriousness:

Two brooms were hanging in the closet and after a while they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married..

One broom was, of course, the bride broom, the other the groom broom.

The bride broom looked very beautiful in her white dress. The groom broom was handsome and suave in his tuxedo. The wedding was lovely.

After the wedding, at the wedding dinner, the bride-broom leaned over and said to the groom-broom, 'I think I am going to have a little whisk broom!'

'IMPOSSIBLE !' said the groom broom.

'Why...we haven't even SWEPT together!'
_________________________________________________________________

And Peeps, One thing I believe which always
was, is, and shall be, forever and ever is LOVE.
Sort of like an attribute of God, Hmmmmm?

It leads me to PEACE!
(Those Green Pastures by the Still Waters?)

May we all enjoy both Love and Peace...and Sobriety.
Today!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

STAY ON THE PATH


THE PATH

FRIDAY NIGHT:


Meetings early this morning, wedding music rehearsal later--after that a 2.5 hour bus ride for a concert of Festival of Choirs at the Cathedral in our diocese.  Just got home after a very long day, feel exhausted, but spiritually renewed.  The Festival of Choirs was extraordinarily beautiful, hundreds of singers joined together from about a dozen South Florida counties. This was part of the celebration of the Jubilee Year of the founding of our diocese.


God is so Good.  I got to witness many people's lives being affected, changed, altered, during this day.  It was a day of Love and Peace, my favorite conditions (feelings) of humanness.  Life is wonderful (for me) when I realize more fully the Oneness we are, all of us, with one another.  The single huge reason for this Oneness is that God is within each one of us (Big Book p 55).  Like it or not, that seems to somehow tie everyone together, in my opinion.


What is...IS.
What was...WAS!
And what ain't...Ain't!


I can only know fully--about me.  What was, I certainly know about.   I'm pretty sure of what is, at least for me.  And what ain't, that is sometimes difficult to ascertain. Of course, I do not know--really KNOW--any of "is, was, or ain't" about anyone but myself.  When it comes to the performance of God's will, I cannot, must not, be a judge of another's actions or behavior.  I can "like" it or not, but no gavel-pounding.


Back on the farm, OH! those were the days--those days I hated so much.  I now look back on them with contriteness and awesome love.  Anyway, the work horses always wore blinders, pieces of leather sewn or riveted onto the bridle or the harness shoulder pad.  These blinders kept focus of the horse on the job at hand.  I was always  amazed how much more work got done, when a horse or a team could only see the way in front of them.


The same with me--you get it, right?  When I allow myself to only see the path in front of me at any given moment, my work--in essence, God's work--will more likely be accomplished. Not exactly the same thing, but Coach used to say, "Keep your eye on the ball!"|


When a new guy is trying to talk to me, I am training myself (it works!) to give him my undivided attention.  If I'm looking around for recognition, or simply to catch the eye of a friend, the Peep talking to me senses that immediately, every time.  This is one of the ways in which God is allowing me to change.  There are others...for future posts.


It is nearing 1 AM.  When Peeps rise at 5:30 AM, they have a name for 1 AM.  It's called "bedtime"...Good night!


Peacefully, and lovingly sober today, Peeps. OK

Thursday, November 5, 2009

REST IN PEACE


FOR PAM'S MOM


Never met her
Never knew her
But this is sure
It is the Mom of Pam
Who last night
Passed on, right
Into the next life
Away from the strife
Turmoil and torment.
Angels were sent
To carry her away
From all the pain
Which earth has lent
Her inhabitant.
Now she knows
All truth.

Peace,
Love,

Steve


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

L O V E



IT'S ALL ABOUT LOVE, BAYBEEE


Just now...midnight Tuesday, my stepdaughter came to let me know she is "ready" to enter her 28-day rehab tomorrow morning early.  And she gave me a big hug.  It was the nicest hug I've received in quite a while--and face it--being an old guy, I get lotsa hugs, mostly from young girls who never knew their Grandfathers.

WEDNESDAY:


I don't know why, but this brings me to a topic on which I had not planned--it is just rolling out as I pounce on these bright yellow keys with large  black letters and numbers--I LOVE it!  And here rolls out the topic, Peeps. LOVE!

I have borrowed extensively and freely from a fine blog of a girl named Lighthouse, and I'm hoping she will not think too ill of me for doing so.

Many believe that some others throw around the "Love" word to the point of abusing its implied power, its sometime-erroneously-implied meanings.

There is a difference between love and being in love. I can love my friend, my sister, my cat, my blog… But being IN LOVE with someone has a different meaning.

Love is not "in love".  Love is one or more of the following: to take delight or pleasure in;  to have a strong liking for, or a desire for being in the company of, or an interest in; to be pleased with.

IN Love is an involuntary cognitive and emotional state in which a person feels an intensely romantic desire for another person.

For me, there is that huge difference, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, between the two words and their meanings. 


Examples abound:  Am I "in love" with my dog? No. (Although some may be--grin!)  Am I "in love" with my wife? Yes.  Am I "in love" with my Peeps? No! But I do love them to death, believe me! And during a slightest moment of chance, I would go anywhere to meet them, help them.

The whole act of Creation was and is an expression of God's LOVE for everything and for all.  Is love the Alpha and Omega of everything, even life itself? Mebbe so, Kemosabi!

Why might a discussion on this topic be troublesome to me or anyone? Quoting Lighthouse:  "I think this has a lot to do with people being honest with each other. We are afraid to tell each other how we REALLY feel because we are afraid of how the other person will respond. Will they like me as much as I like them? Will they be hurt if I tell them the truth? Will I hurt OTHERS if I tell them the truth? Will they not talk to me again? Will they gossip about me? What are some more consequences?  In any case, truth is the winner

Being a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous has allowed me to present--at least for my own unraveling of word-meanings--such a topic at this time, in this place.  


I am grateful and indebted to one, who in a phone conversation this very day, showed and taught me the difference between "Love" and "IN Love".

Peace, Peeps!
Stay free from bondage, Peeps!
Stay sober, Peeps!
I  L O V E  Y O U, Peeps--grin!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NOBODY READS LATE POSTS!


FLORIDA: THIS IS HOW WE DE-BUG 
OUR YARDS, IT'S CALLED 
"IBIS IN THE MORNING"

Do you know why many sea birds stand on one leg? 
Answer at bottom of post*

WHAT TO WRITE IN A LATE POST

WHICH NOBODY WILL READ ANYWAY?

So many subjects there are to touch. You know, I think I'll just (just? --grin!) write out a Gratitude List:

I AM GRATEFUL FOR

SOBRIETY  Mine and others, for my STAYING sober is dependent on others. It is definitely "we" who do this together. It is number ONE on my list, as you can see.

GOD  Well, of course, God's Will is primary in my life, but without sobriety, I can just throw God and all His Creation out the window.

LIFE  An do you know, I read in the Big Book, "We absolutely Insist on enjoying life." p. 132.  And Peeps, I DO that, maybe too much. But I try to know through it all, that it is God being GoooD to me. Do not ask me why?

FAMILY  When it comes down to the wire, when the race is nearing the finish line, it is usually a family member who will show their love the most and that has been proven in my family as well as a blogger in Texas--I sometimes forget the importance, the naturalness of family love.

PEEPS  There is NO WAY ON EARTH that I can give proper expression to my Gratitude for you Peeps, both far and near.  Some I have had GREAT pleasure in visiting--spending quality time of days together. Others I "meet" daily either in reading, commenting, or posting mine for you (and me). Some I email now and then--special friends! And at least one I enjoy hearing in voice calls--and with no doubt in my mind, I LOVE YOU ALL!

MUSIC  Listening to music is not my relaxation. Playing it is. The violin is my other self. Classical. And anything else. My "favorite changes daily, sometimes hourly, ranging from symphonies to standards, old and new.

MEDICINE  Thank God for dedicated doctors helping people always. Also for Cyberknife, and for TRELSTAR, a hormone injection. These have kept me cancer free (prostate) for nearly three years now.

NATURE  Maybe it is age, but I have found it so lovely to "smell the roses", literally, and actually smell everything else. And touch, and listen, and see--I'm just loving it, Peeps!

ANIMALS  A new-found interest has led me to a love I had never known, for animals--right Lucky?  He is the German Shepherd living with us now, or are we living with HIM? Hmmmm?

AA  Without AA none of the above--NONE--would be or could be possible. And, although it is certainly NOT a function of the (very spiritual) AA program, AA DID bring me back to......

CHURCH  (My opinion): This is no longer to me a simple building. It is a community of people, world-wide, extending beyond the next life into eternity.  I get to play violin occasionally at mass or other functions. And I get to sing in the choir, having only ONE month ago found that I COULD sing. My audition for the choir:

Music Director: Can you sing in tune? Yes. Can you read music? Yes.
Be here next Wednesday evening at 1830 hours for rehearsal. (I will blog about this encounter soon--it is worthy.)

My Peeps, I wish you PEACE!
My Peeps, I LOVE you all!
My Peeps, let us be SOBERLY "a part of" rather than "apart from" TODAY!


Ans. So they won't fall down!