Sitting in bed, a quiet ringing in my ears, a good nights sleep with my newly adjusted breathing device. Outside it’s quiet, still, overcast with a silvery grey light. Muy Emily’s daughter and grandchildren, mokopuna, are due for a visit and so I had better get my shit together and get up, shower and eat. I have read the news from round the world, NYTimes, NZHerald, BBC, LATimes, AP, etc, etc,. Scoured FaceBook briefly, deleted the 43 emails I don’t need. Sitting here I wonder. I wonder at how I feel. I feel really good. That’s he rub. I do. I know. My friends tell me. Bugger :) Yesterday, when we returned home from Wellington, I turned on the computer and there was a SKYPE call from my friend Dan H. in LA, with him was Marie and her friend. Awesome as I have not spoken to Marie for close on 10 years. We go back to 1990. Marie has been one of my core Al-Anon friends over the years. These are the friends who helped me change my life when I first attended Al-Anon in 1990 at Cafe Casino in Santa Monica. Everything changed with that first meeting. Finally! I accepted responsibility for my life. Finally :)
Bloody cold sitting here in my Garage Studio, “too cold”, my hands are telling me it’s time to go sit beside the fire. I listen to my hands these days :) the barometers of my body. Ciao!
Back in the studio, heater now on, dog by my side :) wearing gloves with no fingers as an experiment in writing. A bit bulky but doable, hard to see round the woolen bulk but, as they say, practice makes . . . :)
This week has been auspicious/conspicious? for the phone calls made and received from America. David and David, Dan and Marie, Joe and now from Brian, in Sydney. For years I have struggled with the concept of connectivity. Bitching quietly to myself because no one contacted me! Yeah Right! Today I accept it as part of my responsibility. Yes, I would love others to keep in touch but everyone has there own path, their own priorities, their own life even. It is up to me to invest in my friends. There are always going to be those who fall away, that’s the nature of the human condition. Fear and much more. I am not afraid of death. If anything, I am afraid of not finishing what I started. In the creative sense. My life simply finishes when it does. But even then, that is putting myself under pressure I don’t need. “It is what it is” I am want to say. Life is lived as we experience it, not as we see it. Quite a difference I believe. I have lived much of my life with rose tinted glasses and it was two particular dates that began the change. To strip away the fantasy. I could add a third I guess, my birth date? Anyhow, the other two were age 40 and age 47. 40 was the day a voice said to me “Richard, you need to change direction, or you are dead”. At age 47, the voice told me “Richard get to an Al-Anon Meeting!” My reaction to the first voice was to sign up for a course in meditation which continued for 4 years and laid the path for my move to New York. I have continued to embrace meditation, much less today than then. Still my body and mind for at least 30 minutes. It’s a challenge I am endeavoring to embrace. Not doing too well I may add :) The second voice has continued me on a path for close on 22 years and has changed my life and attitude in ways I never thought possible. Al-Anon Family Groups. The sister/brother fellowship of AA, Alcoholics Anonymous. Today, the fellowship is my family of choice. The phone calls this week, friends from the fellowship. In 1990, newly an Angelino, living right on Venice Beach, starting a new Company, breaking with Hollywood. That is when the voice came to me. I went to my first meeting at Cafe Casino in Santa Monica, 7:30 am. Wednesday 2nd November 1990. 6 women, one old guy. The very same day I started my new company in Venice. Challenging. Both!
Me and my terror, sitting at a table, sipping coffee, hearing what I had wanted all my life. A spiritual rather than religious connection, the God of my understanding, not of someone else’s. I heard the concept, “One Day At A Time” ODAT! What a relief. I did not have to focus on the days or years or decades ahead but to practice being in the moment, mindfulness as described in Buddhist teaching. What a relief! I became a committed member of the fellowship. Some people refer to it as a cult. SO? What if it is? Isn’t the Church of Rome similar?
Wikipedia . . .The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices. The word was first used in the early 17th century denoting homage paid to a divinity and derived from the French culte or Latin cultus, ‘worship’, from cult-, ‘inhabited, cultivated, worshipped,’ from the verb colere, ‘care, cultivation’.
Mmmmmm! Maybe it’s not a Cult in these terms. It is certainly a fellowship of shared experience. There are no abnormal or bizarre practices in my experience. Simply a group of people around the World whose lives are/were affected by someone else’s drinking. Simple really. A simple program for complex people. Learning to “Keep It Simple”. One Day At A Time. And so here I am, 22 years later, continuing to practice the principles I have learned over time. It has not always been easy and it has not always been clear. Today, with MND, it serves me well. To focus on what’s important in my life, not yours :)
And here I am. The heater is amazing, all of a sudden I am warm. The floor of the Studio is concrete. Possibly not a great idea when I had it built. I do love concrete floors, gives me a wharehouse, loft, sort of atmosphere.
An Email from Dan M. “You are a Prophet” he said “and I am a Poet”
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης (profétés) meaning “advocate”, is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and to speak for them, serving as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy.
I told him I would rather be a poet, so here we are, both Poets.
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet’s work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary greatly in different cultures and time periods. Throughout each civilization and language, poets have used various styles that have changed through the course of literary history, resulting in a history of poets as diverse as the literature they have produced.
Lunch is over, time to curl up in a comfortable chair, in front of a roaring fire and relax. Watch a documentary on Bluegrass Music. Loved it.
Friday 4 May
Another day, ,or should I say night on the breathing device, a good nights sleep, plenty of fun dreams and woke to muy lovely Emily as she brought me a cup of tea :) and left for work. As I sat in bed I remembered I could write with a pen, well I can sort of, but now the hard part. Translating the squiggles I made on paper and into the computer. Here goes.
Dear God, I guess I am trying too hard to find a voice or was it choice :) that I forget you. Keep it Simple. Dear God works for me and that is fine, amen R. x x x
A good nights sleep, woken a couple of times . . . Oops, that is writing from the Hospital a couple of days ago.
Take 2 . . .
Looking at myself I see how it is my judgement that keeps me isolated. I am a communicator. So – communicate :) I need to take responsibility for myself, it is my attitudes that either do or don’t work. It’s not them, it’s me. Amen. R x
I love sitting in bed, propped by pillows, looking out the window. Often I sit propped with my vipap machine so I don’t have to struggle with my breathing. And now a few hours later, coffee and toast and many supplemental vitamins. The sun has come from behind and burnt off the cloud mass, I am going to fiddle at the keyboard and then go sit in the sun and meditate, dream and read. All or some or more. Many phone calls with friends this week. Yesterday was grandchildren day and a great lunch. All of us sitting together. Love it. Frank Sinatra croons behind me. Bills need paying in front of me. Just a small one. The exchange rate on my America dollars is helping me today. Finally. A high kiwi dollar kills my finances. I listed my car on Trade Me yesterday, hopefully priced for a quick sale. Time for a Mobility Scooter. I have done my research. An American company. Waiting on brochures and a price list. Can’t wait. Then it’s back to exploring my environment, as far as the scooter will go. I can get an option that will give me over 12KPH, wow! Speed King. I can see myself loaded with camera gear, slowly navigating country lanes while Fonterra Milk Tankers bear down on me. Tough! Time to take my power back. Maybe a flag on an antennae? Maybe. No highway travel though, no going over the Hill to Wellington. But I do look forward to the freedom to get out and about. Maybe my photographic collecting days are not totally over. Just a shift in style and subject matter. The ability to visit others in the village. Maybe :) But for now, sit in the sun in the garden and relax. The best medicine. Amen xxx