Thursday, June 12, 2014

Waking Up Sober

There’s no hang over. The room isn’t twirling.I’m not asking myself what I did last night.  Not so much what I did, but what did I say that I might regret.  I’m not wanting to die. I’m not hating work and the human race and wanting to curl up in my bed and never come out.
Instead, the soft light of dawn comes through the window panes.  I step out of bed softly.  The way the light falls on the bed is beautiful. I’m happy.  I look forward to the day.
Crossing the living room I enter the bathroom where I have an old beat up tattered and torn copy of Around the Year with Emmett Fox. It’s pleasant to sit on the toilet and read today’s passage.  Metaphysics is science and art. We learn by doing. And there’s a quote from James, “be ye doers of the word."
I’m thankful to be sitting on the toilet and not on my knees beside it with my head down the hole, retching. Retching beyond retching, dry heaving, like soiled seizures, without the comfort of coma.
I sit down to meditate. I pray to my Higher Power.  At the advice of my spiritual friend, Willie, I’ve been praying to the Holy Spirit.  My sponsor, Bernie, called his Higher Power, Holy Spirit too.  I talk to Jesus sometimes still. Then there’s a pantheon of names of God that blindfolded men have used to describe the elephant.  God is infinite, finite, omnipotent, omniscient.   Holy of holies.  I go on in my head detailing all I think I know.
Recently I’ve been riding my Harley Electraglide motorcycle to work listening to Steven Bell. Two refrains from his music  play over  again in my echoing brain:”We’re not alone” and “It’s always been about love”.  We're not alone. It's always been about love.
As I’m sitting quietly considering my breathing, repeating Psalm 23,  I hear the little guy get up.
Gilbert, the cockapoo is my room mate.  I saw him laying stretched out on my bed when I woke up. Now he makes his way over to the couch where I’m sitting cross legged. He jumps up to sit beside me. I feel his paw on my knee.   “It’s always been about love”
I open my eyes. The little guys big brown eyes are looking at me expectantly. One paw on my knee. He's made his morning greeting. It's my move.  I hug him, roll him over and rub his tummy and chest.    He squirms with joy.
I go back to meditation.  A little while later he’s sitting beside me, again,  with his paw on my knee, big brown eyes boring through my closed eye lids.   I know I shouldn’t reward this ‘behaviour’.  I should focus on my meditation. I should listen carefully for God. I should be focusing on my ‘quiet time’.   "It's always been about love".
 I look the happy fellow in the eye turn him over on his back and rub his chest for a longer while.  Then I go back to meditating, thinking too that he came over when my mind was wandering, wondering about the external manifestation and synchronicity and flow.  I’d begun thinking ahead too, to my day, worrying about the myriad of details that could overwhelm me, the recent crisis of betrayals, mutiny, disruptions, equipment failures,  physical threats, world war, zombies, alien invasion.
He next appears with a ball.  I get up then. We're not alone.
Years ago I remember kicking my dog, Shinto, hung over, him greeting me with wagging tail and me pushing him away and then kicking him as I staggered to the washroom to be sick on a country morning.  I wish I could take back that shuffling kick.  After he came back and licked my foot worried he'd hurt me. Shinto was a saint sent to be with me through the end days and early days.
After him, still early days though I didn't think so, came Stuart, the white Scotty.  The drug dealers who threatened me ,wanting me to pass their marijuana dirty urines so they could get high paid government jobs. When I wouldn’t, they poisoned Stuart.  They sent me a “message”.   Cowards.  I didn't pass their urines dirty urines but years later you could hear my voice at the biker rally when Steppenwolf sang out, Goddam the Pusherman.  And we all sang along remembering friends and family the slime had killed.    
I put the coffee on.   I like that I’ve fine coffee, my own stove and coffee maker.  It’s mine. It’s not rented. I own this. I pay taxes.  I’m a contributing citizen.  I put on the kettle for the instant porridge. Once hunting with my friend Luke, he brought these little packets of delicious.  I don’t know if I had encountered them before, but they tasted so good on that trip in the woods with all that camaraderie and humour, I just love having them now for breakfast.
I started feeling irritation about this crisis at work that has been thrown at me.    Enough time in the day for that later.
I moved my mind instead to remembering the wonderful woman who stepped forward to assist. She makes me wonder about genetics and pedigree.  Her family overseas is royal blood.  She has that fundamental understanding of ethics and morality along with a joie de vivre, immense talent,  skill and training.  She's been a blessing.
Rather than thinking about the negatives I focus carefully on the positives.  It takes effort. It doesnt come naturally any more.
In passing, sipping my hot delicious coffee, of the the group I was with yesterday. I find myself dwelling more on  the one person who I think wrongly or rightly doesn’t like me.  Then thought I see the ridiculousness of my thinking.     I let this person go and conjure up the smiling wise faces of those compassionate understanding old souled people that I hung out with.
In my head  realize I'd began writing a poem for the negative one, about their emotional land mines, their judgementalness and insecurity but stopped myself. I thought about the soft spoken worker, that Brother Lawrence in our midst.  I could so easily be distracted by the drama queen desperate approval and miss Brother Lawrence.
I see myself about to campaign, to run  Napoleonic war, with the emotional maturity of  5 year old or at most a 13 year old girl. This person likes me, this person, that person doesn't. She loves me , she loves me not.   Here I'm Napoleon again and I’ve taken Germany and Italy, but I still have to assault Russia with my charm,  good grace and diplomacy.  I caught myself almost taking her bait. She's erected walls and moats and hurled down flickering eye lids of burning oil glances and I'd stood 'bewitched'.  Meanwhile Mother Mary, Magdalene and St. Theresa of Avilla are all glad to talk to me.  I just wasn't giving them my attention. Meanwhile Russia isn't all about me, either.  
I conjure up my personal Mother Mary. She’s always true and curious. I love her curiosity and good will.  I envy her too.  Still,I want to think her life was ‘easier’ than mine, ‘more privileged’, ‘richer’. I want to dismiss her radiance and goodness.  I want to make unfair comparisons. I want to chop off the heads of others to make myself taller. But I can’t. I think of her and it’s just ‘all about love’. “I like Steve Bell,” she told me once.  Agape is what C.S. Lewis called it.
After being sick I used to have coffee and run through my mind all my enemies.   I never even thought about ‘winning them over’. I just imagined hunting them down and doing abhorrent things with their exposed intestines.  Mostly I scowled.  I’d take a couple of cups of coffee and fifteen minutes or so to ‘compose myself’. Then I’d " force myself" to do what I had to do blaming everyone else for my ‘having’ to go to ‘work’ , "having to put up with idiots’, "having to be diplomatic’.  I wanted my personal army, my personal rocket launcher and I wanted to nuke all the silly little girls with their ‘wrecking balls’ and their insufferable prissy little begging boys.  I felt sore that I was born out of time, fully equipped for a western but deprived of a Mexican cantina, some easy wrench and an obvious bad guy.  I always wore the white hat in my own drama. I even wanted my own spaceship with lasers. I couldn't be satisfied with a sunny day in the summer when I wanted a spaceship with quantum generators and planet killers.
Today I tell myself I have to be nice to those not nice to me, if only to reduce the blow back. I think Karma isn’t some intellectual thing but rather a spiritual law. The golden rule, is just that. Be unto others as you would have them be unto you.  I’m still trying to be more forgiving.  We talked about my ex wives yesterday.  I can list my own faults ad infinitum today and even think about theirs. Mostly I remember their infinitely smooth skin, the sweet smell of their hot sweat and the warmth of their exquisite miraculous bodies. We were all so young, yesterday.
I hope I do better today.  Today is my new canvas.  It’s time to shower.  Dress.  It’s a new day.  The wreckage of the past is lying out there somewhere. I don't expect to encounter it today. Mostly it's all new.  Only I'm projecting the past onto the present. .  And I know, “We’re not alone’.
“It’s me against the world,” I used to think.  I was an angry Bruce Lee.  After a days war I could settle down for a drink.
Today I’m really happy with the peace.  Especially the peace of mind.  Nothing tastes better than a tall glass of sparkling spring water too.

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