Saturday, May 30, 2009


Several people have blogged or commented recently about having a GPS in their car.

My own experience is that we got a car with a GPS in it about 2 years ago. It was my wife's car but in the course of several trips, we found it useful - so, I bought one for my truck (and to use in rental cars) before a long trip to an address I didn't know. I also activated the Navigator option on my Blackberry.

These devices have fundamentally changed how we travel. Very seldom do we ask for directions anymore. Very seldom do we use Google, Mapquest or other services to print out maps in advance. No longer do we assume the stressful roles of pilot and navigator when seeking out a new place. Generally, we just plug in the address and follow directions.

They are not perfect tools (yet):
  • sometimes they can't find the address - but, between the 3 devices and some finesse and logic, we can generally get close enough
  • occasionally they take you on weird detours (like take an off ramp to just get right back on the same highway) - but, if you use them as a guidance tool and have a little sense of adventure and fun, it's just part of the trip and you realize you don't have to take every turn they recommend
  • sometimes I'd prefer another route - but, these are tools, not task drivers so I detour when I want and resume guidance when it's useful
  • occasionally, these devices just seem to be flat lost; probably errant data in the map database or a software glitch - but, as compared to how much time we've spent lost in the past, the over-all time savings are incredible
As I was going to the airport last night, I was musing about what a great metaphor this is for my growing relationship with my Higher Power:
  • I have the distinct feeling in my life today that I am guided - that my next turn is clearly indicated but that I don't know what the over-all route is (or even what's at the "destination"). My responsibility is to follow directions and make an effort.
  • Sometimes, I can take a detour - there will be consequences (great or small, good or bad) but that doesn't mean that I'm damned to never returning to the route or guidance that is available to me.
  • Sometimes I'm still lost, but I think it's likely that the fault as to why I wind up where I am is a consequence of my not following direction than it not being available to me.
  • As the same roads get more familiar, I need the guidance less and less but there is always some road that will be new in the future where I will again have to trust those turn-by-turn directions.
  • If I do take a detour or turn in the opposite direction, there are always directions to get back to the path that I was headed on...
I have a feeling that I could go on forever with this but it's really time to move on...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A small thing...

I truly get that, in my life today, the only "big things" that exist are things like "love", "humility", "God", "relationships" - those things that I used to ignore completely or that had little or no meaning or value to me.

The rest of it - house, job, tools, toys, money - are all small things. Probably the smallest of things in my life today (when I am truly recovered and living the spirit-led life that I aspire to) are my judgments (opinions) of myself and other people. Don't get me wrong - I'm clear that I'm not a saint and you probably aren't either - but, most days, I'm willing to give you (and me) the benefit of the doubt that you're doing the very best that you can do and that you are (and I am) willing to grow along spiritual lines. Those that I meet that are not on some sort of spiritual path of growth don't deserve my judgments - in fact, they don't even warrant my consideration at all. They are on their own path and God is in charge of that - not me.

In one of the blogs I read this morning, I was reminded of that part of everyone's share in AA that I still listen most carefully for: do they say that they are going to share
"what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now"
...or, do they say they are going to share...
"...what I was (we were) like, what happened, and what I am (we are) like now"
Again, this is a really small thing to me but I still find it an interesting distinction and may, if someone says it deliberately or mindfully, indicate whether they've signed up for this program in the same way that I have. Perhaps their choice of words could indicate, as Mary posted the other day, whether someone is in Recovery from Alcoholism.

For example, I could share (and have shared) at a meeting that:
  • I was born in a small town in eastern Colorado into a family that was more a business than a family - that I started drinking in high school and had this weird life where it always seemed like I was getting somewhere and then would fail at the last minute
  • I stopped drinking
  • I've had this weird life after drinking where it seems like I get a lot of stuff and relationships and then my life changes (I lose stuff and relationships) but that I don't drink - no matter what
...or, I can relate the same story (life) by saying:
  • I was born into a world where I constantly felt odd and off balance - like my people had dropped me on this planet where I just didn't fit in - I found that, when I drank, I could "fit in" but it seemed like this only worked sometimes and that, in general, I just felt worse and worse around my life
  • I had an experience where there were 2 undeniable facts about my life and my drinking:
    1. I (and everyone else) would be better if I were not alive
    2. maybe it was true (as I'd maintained for decades!) that drinking was not "the problem" in my life - but - what was equally and undeniably also true was that drinking was not part of "the solution" to the problems in my life
  • Through joining AA, finding and working with an excellent sponsor, working the steps, being available for AA service - I've been changed as to who I am in my world today and today I live a life that's beyond my wildest dreams. Most days, I can't think of anyone on the planet that I would rather be than me.
Again, same story but one reflects what "it" was like++, the other reflects what "I" was like++.

Unless I sponsor you and hear you share or you make the mistake of asking me, I would never point out the difference. It's just a game I play in my head at meetings sometimes.

It truly is the smallest of things...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I just realized that I never posted this article on Monday. I started it and then realized that I didn't know how to easily upload images from my Blackberry to my computer. I still don't know how to do that but finally have images and just realized that I never published an article - anyway, not that it makes one bit of difference...

I made it through the Bolder Boulder today. Several times during the "race" (it's really just 10k of a continuous party - Elvis, belly dancers, bands, tons of citizens cheering, no one cares if you're walking, running, or crawling. ...or, if you finish or not... I was just one of about 50,000 participants in an annual spectacle. I was in a crowd and completely alone.

I don't know exactly why alone-ness was so much on my mind but it reminded me how quickly, even today, I can feel completely alone. I have a home group in AA - it's a great group. We typically have over 100 people at our biggest meeting. There are probably 50 that really know me intimately for a matter of several years. I truly love these people. I know they love me and would do anything short of drinking to make me happy.

Yet, if I miss my meeting for more than a couple of weeks, I walk in the door and I feel completely alone. Lonely. I don't know any of those folks really and I figure I could (should?) just walk back out the door.

My wife had a sponsor who used to explain that he would usually go to at least 3-4 meetings a week. Sometimes, he would get really busy and miss a week - sometimes 2. Afer he was away from meetings for a couple of weeks, he'd feel restless - maybe even his family would suggest that he might want to go to a meeting. Since he worked in the travel business, sometimes he'd get really tied up and have to miss meetings for 3-4 weeks and he'd really miss the people he would hang with around AA. Then, sometimes when he went 4-5 weeks between meetings, he discovered he didn't need meetings...

...I think he just got used to being alone...

I look at my own alone-ness as a nice place to visit but I just can't indulge it without reverting back to those character defects that represent my spiritual malady.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Family stuff...

Families are funny things. Family traditions are even weird sometimes. There is nothing particularly cool or wonderful or anything about the family in my house tonight...

...except, I'm not blood related to any of them (except by declaration and commitment...)...

...and, I love them enough to go walk another Bolder Boulder...

This is the 3rd consecutive year of a tradition where some of the g'kids (+parents) come in from Seattle and several of us run (I walk, crawl, whimper, whine, gripe - you know, great style points...) with 50,000 of our closest buds. Think 10k of a constant party. I can't tell you how this is not like my stuff... I've even had an intention to get in shape so I can better participate sometimes - but I seem to get over that...

I'm 56 years old and have nothing going for me physically at this point except really great genetics. I don't deserve the ability to participate in this with my family but it's yet more evidence of God's grace that I can do this. Thank you mom & dad & God.

Again, I'm a huge fan of grace...

Anyway, I wish you all a happy Memorial Day.

If you are active or past military service, thank you for your service.

If you have had family who have been killed in duty, I will say a prayer for your comfort tomorrow. Small (or no) consolation, I know, but I stand in awe of your character, courage and strength.

I'm still a huge fan of God's grace...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

4th step...

I went to a meeting on the 4th step last night. As we read page 64 from the Big Book, one more time I was reminded why I would always fail in any commercial enterprise that requires an honest inventory. You need only look in my garage to understand how much I lie to myself about values: I have parts to cars I haven't owned for 30 years; paint that's more than 25 years old for walls that haven't been that color in 15 years; broken things that I've been intending to "fix" for over 20 years that I don't have any real use for (broken or fixed); most of what I'm storing is not worth the rent for the space it fills in my house - space that would be much better served by organizing the clutter in the rest of my house (but that's a whole other article).

I'm the same way with my "old ideas": I hang onto stuff that's never - in 56+ years NEVER - worked and has only caused me and those I love pain and suffering. Yet, I hang onto these old ideas.

At about 5 years of sobriety, I had gone as far as I could on the fellowship, slogans and "faking it" in AA. I was watching myself one day do exactly the same behavior with the same out of control mind as I was using 15 years previously - drunk and sober, same activity, same feelings, same result.

I had been afraid this might happen - that AA would not work for me - that I was one of those who was "... constitutionally incapable of being honest with ..." myself. Here I was, dying in AA.

Ironically (it seems now), I was shown for the first time how to work the steps out of the AA Big Book by an Al-Anon that I turned to to help me with what I presumed were my "issues" leading to this raging insanity. After working with her for a few months, I became willing, for the first time, to ask someone in AA for help.

Thus it was that I was 5 years sober before I had a sponsor with the wisdom and experience to help me to get down to "causes and conditions" and do a "fearless and thorough moral inventory".

I'm sure, over some time, I will get a chance to write more about that process and my experiences finding the "clear directions" (they didn't seem clear and they didn't sound like directions to my sick mind) in the Big Book about the technology to accomplish a 4th step inventory.

For now, I just want to say how grateful I am that my life has been transformed, in part, through that process. All that I have today of value can be related back to that part of the process - including the several subsequent opportunities that I've had to do additional inventories.

After I shared, a person who I consider a giant in our AA community came up to me and asked me for help getting down to "causes and conditions" about something in his life.

Something about the "circle of life" goes here but, again, I think this article is long enough for today...

Thank you god...

Spritual malady...

I was looking at Scott W's blog this morning where he had the quote from page 64 of the Big Book about " When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically". I usually explain to people several times a week that, as I understand and experience it, there are 3 components to the disease of alcoholism:
  1. A physical component (understood metaphorically
    as an allergy - "phenomenon of craving" that happens when I drink alcohol)
  2. A mental component (the Big Book describes this in one place as a "peculiar mental twist" - I can't improve on that language)
  3. A spiritual malady
My idea (this is where it gets some level of disagreement with others in AA - I don't stress over it a bit) is that the only thing we do in the program of AA is to straighten out (somewhat) spiritually. We are not cured. As said on page 85, we have "...a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition".

So, I have fully recovered from my alcoholism, not through trying harder, not through anything other than dealing with my spiritual malady. Today, I think that's it...

My efforts focused on improving my self control and discipline usually result in more sufferings from the delusion that I can "...wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if (I) only manage well?" (p. 61).

When, instead, I turn my thoughts and focus toward living a spirit-led life, I've been given a life beyond my wildest dreams. least, that's the way that it's seemed to work for me so far...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Enduring lectures...

I am blessed with a couple of people in my life who love to lecture me occasionally about my inadequacies - how what I do is not enough or that I'm thinking wrong or that I don't treat my boogers right or that I'm doing it the wrong way or that I have so much to be ashamed of or that ...

Through the years as I've worked the 12 steps and had several experiences of deeper spiritual awareness, I've had multiple sponsors and guides advise me to shed these relationships - to move on past them and grow relationships that are more nurturing and supportive of me in my life. I must say, I've been and still am severely tempted by that approach but there's something in me that keeps me engaged in these relationships.

I think, in their own imperfect ways, these people love me and I know for a fact that, given the view of the same scene in our lives, what I would see as criticism and harmful, they view as loving and honest.

I stay in these relationships today not because I ever expect them to change how they talk to me (although that would be most welcome any day...), but because I love them and care about them and am committed to the relationship. I feel some level of responsibility and commitment that, for today, prohibits me from leaving.

I sometimes envy the folks I see in our wonderful program who seem to embrace and release relationships like so much jewelry. They adorn their world with supportive and up-beat folks and discard those who criticize or become burdensome. It sometimes seems like that would be a much better world than the one I have.

But, it would not be my world. I seem to need the folks who are in my life. And, often, after enduring yet another lecture or unfair criticism or accusation, I realize that I'm somehow the better for it - that these people really do bless my life in a special way.

I think I bless their lives too... least, I hope so...

Thursday, May 21, 2009


My sponsor used to tell me that if I worked really, really hard on my character defects, that I could get really, really good at them. I noticed that the June Grapevine issue is on "Balance". I have a similar story there - my achievement of balance.

Over the years, I've tried and talked about achieving balance or improved balance in my life. Seems like when I do, I'm spitting in the wind in that I immediately see some part of my life or another (sometimes ALL of my life) go completely out of whack.

So, my advice to my sponsees when they ask about achieving the balance that they perceive in my life and want is that they stop focusing on it - that they give themselves wholly to "what is next" and that, over time, they will discover that "God is doing for them what they could not do for themselves..." At least that is my experience.

Don't get me wrong - I'm sure the Grapevine has a fine collection of articles and I hope to learn some tools and tips from others' experiences. But for me, if I focus on balance, I will invariably screw something up. Like, when I've focused on establishing boundaries in relationships, I've built walls and isolation that takes me years to tear down. When I focus on being honest, I'm dealt a moral dilemma that seems to be life and death. When I focus on humility, what I get is a social situation where my ineptitude leaves me in complete despair (humiliation)...

...maybe my efforts at controlling how my life should look stops with the 3rd step...?

...just a thought...

As I get further down this road, it truly seems to be one surrender opportunity after another...

...and, how others might see that is balance....

...I guess...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rule 62...

Rule 62 comes from the story of a super-promoter in the book AA Comes of Age pp. 103-104. Briefly, against advice, the promoter created a great AA organization, of which he was the captain. They had 61 rules that were to guide them in their enterprise.

When, the organization collapsed, he created rule 62:
"Don't take yourself to damned seriously."
I fail to remember this guiding principle all to often in my life. As is also often said, "I may not be much but I'm all I think about..."

One of the things I hate most about being sick (do allergies qualify me as sick?) is that I'm forced more into self (awareness and care) than what is healthy for me. I get sick and then I get really sick.

I normally meet with a sponsee at 6 am on Wednesday but he was late - he's had a problem showing up lately so I wasn't totally surprised and quickly moved on past him in my plans for the day. When he finally called and said he was on his way, it was no big deal.

...except, it was...

For a wonderful 45 minutes, we were able to look at his fears, his problems and his solution and it completely turned my head around.

Now, I just need to move to what's next in terms of becoming useful - per the promise in many places in our Big Book (e.g., p. 49).

Thank you, God...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Feeling mushy...

It has way more to do with my allergies and dealing with constant sneezing and hacking with them (I'm SO tired of explaining that it's NOT the flu - ANY kind of flu...) than any sort of great spiritual experience or growth but I find that I really hate that feeling that I used to work so hard to perpetuate. Sort of numb to the world. Sort of groggy. I'm sick of people assuming I just got up when I answer the phone or looking at me like I'm trying to kill them when I sneeze. It's just allergies!!!

But, it's my experience and I suppose it is about spiritual growth so I guess I'd best learn the lesson(s) that are in front of me.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that, in my heart of hearts, I still pretty much presume that I'm going live healthy (body & mind) forever. Apart from my own little infirmity now, I have a sponsee in the ER this morning with a blood clot in his leg, another sponsee who witnessed a fatal car accident yesterday, a sister-in-law transitioning to late-stage COPD, an aunt who died after a 15-year run with Alzheimer's - it's not like I don't have immediate, glaring examples of how thin my lie (living healthy forever) is.

I'm reminded of a corporate sensitivity training a few years ago where I learned that those who are chronically disabled often refer to the rest of us as "temporarily-abled" in that, statistically, it's likely most of us will need some level of accommodation for handicap for some part of our lives before they plant the grass over our remains/ashes.

It's just allergies!!!

But, I'm reminded I'm among the large set of folks who don't have health insurance today. If I were in my sponsee's position this morning, I suppose I might die before it could be ascertained that they could admit me by bankrupting us and taking our house equty. Or, whatever...

It's just allergies!!!!!!

Anyway, I think the principle of the moment is about gratitude that I can learn something, even with a mushy head. That I am responsible for looking for an opportunity to contribute in my life today. I am responsible for mainting the cadaver the God has entrusted me with but that my over-all health and well being is not going to be an outcome that I get to totally control.

And, today I'm just fine...

Monday, May 18, 2009


If you'd asked me 3 weeks ago, I would have told you all about how I was finally (after 56 years) outgrowing my allergies.

I normally sleep well. I am a championship sleeper. I can sleep the whole night through most anything. I love to sleep. Sleep is one of the things I do best and enjoy the most.

Last night, I was reminded that my allergies are not gone. Usually, about the time I start working outside in the spring, we have some killer lilacs that just hate me. I hear them chuckling out there in the yard now as they carefully lob their deadly pollen at me.

My wife bought some new allergy herbs last week. I'd been taking them the past few nights and all seemed well until last night when, at 3am, I woke with the sinus headache and blocked sinuses that reminded me "...while your allergies may not be the same as they were a few years ago, ya still got'em". After getting worse and worse for about an hour, I got up at 4 and took another batch and got another hour sleep before the alarm rang.

I love Silkworth's theory of the phenomenon of craving being like an allergy for the alcoholic. A medical guy I sponsored a few years ago said the definition of allergy was an "abnormal reaction". I understand that metaphor of craving real well from my experience. Another medical guy with heavy credentials "in addictions" told me that the whole allergy/phenomenon of craving thing is not what really happens medically. Makes no difference to me - I can easily relate my experience to what Silkworth describes and it is an abnormal reaction - something the high-powered medical guy could not relate to since he'd not had the experience. Interestingly, he couldn't relate to his daughter either, with her 10+ years sober in AA, and the whole thing just made him mad. In his opinion, AA was just wrong... The message to his daughter was that she should get out of AA since it was so wrong. Imagine...

Intersting as well that Silkworth had the forethought to describe our experience as a theory. In the Big Book we state: "The doctor's theory that we have an allergy to alcohol interests us. As laymen, our opinion as to its soundness may, of course, mean little." We (I) don't take a position on the theory - I just say that it adequately describes what happens when I take a drink that seems different when someone else takes a drink. lilacs...

My wife loves lilacs - they're pretty this time of year and they have a nice fragrence. I like them too. I just can't sleep when they attack me. She gets by fine. If she had her way, we'd strip the lilac bushes and put their blooms all over the house. She has done this in the past - when she wasn't particularly sensitive toward my feelings or needs.

Anyway, I'm grateful that I can live without booze today - that's true by God's grace. I'm grateful that lilacs only torment me for about another 3 weeks. That's true by God's grace.

Until then, I'm grateful for the reminder.

That's God's grace...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Life is funny...

(from today's funnies...)
C. Dickens' broken watch - it only kept the worst of times...

Today I face a familiar and awful problem. I have committed to accomplishing far more this week (this month, this summer, this year, this lifetime, this day, this moment, this ...) than I can possibly do. Even with God's help...

As many times as I've thought I've surrendered this defect (or, actually the whole system of defects that set up the familiar behavior), I'm sickened to get back to this feeling one more time. I am completely overwhelmed and I have no one but myself to blame for setting it up this way. Every one of the expectations that I have of myself (it really doesn't matter as much these days what others think of my activities), I know I will fall short. It all will not get done in the time frame that I said it would. To myself and out loud...

I guess there's just one more lesson of surrender here for me today.

I will do what I can and call it perfect...

Thank God I'm not so perfect that I can't learn something tomorrow...


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Follow protocol ... ?

I've noodled about this for about a week and it finally occurred to me that I might put it out there on the blogosphere as a question.

Earlier in the week, I was reflecting some on our principle of anonymity, how we do that, why we do that, endorsements (explicit or implied), affiliation - all that junk around principles in AA that I seem to be so inclined to reflect on at this point in my life.

It occurred to me that maybe the whole "follow" thing that we do in online AA where we publicly state who we follow and (perhaps) publicly follow or note (perhaps) others who follow us deserves some reflection. This is the normal way to build traffic in the web world and has become the really big thing on all forms of social networking on the web (e.g., myspace, facebook, twitter, various blogspaces, etc.).

For a week, I took down the gadget that states who I follow. I noticed that, when I did that, some of the folks who follow my posts stopped showing up and my traffic dropped slightly. While interesting, it's probably not really significant in that the traffic to my blog is still pretty small (my blog is pretty new and I don't get that the world will ever beat a path to my door to hear my utterances - online or any other place ;-) ).

I put that gadget back up today. At face value, my thinking is that I provide these references as a way for folks to see who else I follow much the same way as I discuss with folks at a meeting what other meetings I attend. Clearly, my intention is not really to endorse all that is said at that meeting but to point to some other place I go to support my program. Sometimes I will even say something to the effect: "...that meeting has been running off track and could really use some support to get back to a basic AA message...". Truth is, the community of folks I currently read blogs from every day was found looking through others' follow lists so these lists have been useful .

Lots of folks in the blogosphere have had a lot more time to think about all this than I have and I was just wondering if anyone else has asked these sorts of questions of themselves before they start following another blog (and provide a link from their blog area to others):
  1. Do you think about whether a particular blogger is consistent with their AA message when you decide to add them to your follow list?
  2. Do you intend your list of folks who follow to "support a message" or provide entertainment? Both? Neither?
  3. It seems most of us share "in a general way" on our blogs - do you also keep a private, personal journal? If you do, do you do that online?
As a student of AA's steps, tradition, concepts, and warranties, I think I know how all this stuff should work - what's right for me. Then, a simple little thing like this idea of "following" and the question of how can this best serve the purposes of the higher power I'm in service to and everything becomes a question again...

...and isn't that wonderful...?

Turning point(s)...

I seem to be at a place with this blog that I recognize from watching several other regular bloggers go through the same thing. I find it harder to create time in my busy life to write these blog articles. I question my purpose in this blog. I wonder if I'm committed enough to doing this that it's worthwhile to me or, more importantly, others.

For today, I think that it is worthwhile. It's a new behavior for me and it does seem to serve a purpose.

I'm one of those who's always seen the utility of keeping a personal journal. If' I'm honest, I think I can count at least 10 times in the past 25 years (probably twice that in the previous 25 years) when I've seen the utility of a journal. I was inspired to start out, set up the time, materials and motivators to do a journal, and then successfully kept it for, at best, 3 days in a row before giving up one more time.

So, getting almost 60 entries written in almost as many days seems to be a new milestone, a new personal best for me. Perhaps even miraculous... (...okay, trying hard to not get to sappy here...)

This blog has served at least some of what I had hoped a journal would do for me in terms of cataloging at least the more public of my reflections on my life. It's also, as many of you have discovered long before me and blogged about many times, a great way to do this part of the journey in a more social setting - I really enjoy reading others' blog articles much more than I enjoy writing my own contributions(?) and have come to truly appreciate many people who I may never actually meet.

All that said, I don't know if this will continue as a daily activity for me - it might, I would like it to continue much as it has been the past several weeks. I have dozens of article ideas on a list, but, I'm being nudged in other directions at the same time.

I will continue to do my principle AA work on the web (@ as I have a minimum of a year's commitment to do that. These articles on this blog (more reflections on reflections) may be a luxury that I will probably question every few months. Seems like my life is changing course slightly and I just need to ask God where I will be useful to his purposes...

I'll continue to let you know...


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Being punitive...

I've been sort of noodling about a situation that's fairly common in AA (and life in general). There's the sort of person who, when the argument is over and you admit that you're wrong, they just can't get over it - it's like not enough for you to admit that they're "right", you have to get it real clear that you're "wrong".

And then, they need to really make sure that every one else knows that you're wrong too.

In fact, perhaps you don't even get to resolve the argument - they simply set up and enemy camp and collude with the other people in that camp that you're wrong. They seem to take a particular delight in that - go way out of their way to assure each other how wrong you are. Wrong-wrong-wrong - you're so very wrong...

So I'm not talking about disagreements - they will happen.

I'm not talking about gossip - that happens and may be a part of what I'm talking about but it's more than that...

It's not just being rude - ok, it is rude behavior...

...but, I was seriously in question as to why this behavior was rude or wrong...

Finally, it just occurred to me - the action that folks are taking about rubbing your (my) face into how wrong you (I) am - they are punitive.

...had never occurred to me that what we have here is a warranty 5 situation (AA's warranties are contained in our 12th Concept) and the action is "personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy". Bill's essay on this in the AA Twelve Concepts for World Service (pp. 69-74) is most instructive.

Finally, I understand why this bothers me and why I don't get to argue my way out of this. I know in our Big Book that I've "ceased fighting anything or anyone - even alcohol" (p. 84).

I love this deal...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


OK - I know this is going to come across as "preachy" but maybe I really intend it that way...

I stumbled across this quote recently on Trinker's blog:
The absence of profanity offends no one.
I remember having multiple conversations, multiple times in early sobriety where we were so proud that AA was the one place where you could use the terms "god" and "f---" in the same sentence and totally be cool. A share at the meetings I attended then was generally not "complete" without some artful, down home cussing.

That was true then and it's true now - except in my home group. Or most other meetings I choose to attend now.

What changed? Nothing. Everything. me.

Please-please-please don't misunderstand me (probably should be a song to that effect entered here...), I really don't much care that you encourage swearing at your meeting(s) or that you spice up your share or your blog or any other part of your life with a string of profanity. Truth is that I still cut loose with my sailor's imitation on the job or under the covers, but not as much as I used to and the trend seems to be generally that I cuss less.

Why this trend? I'm really not sure I can tell you with certainly. The things that have occurred to me (as brought up by others or as discovered on my own are):
  • if my profanity offends or could offend anyone, it is a deliberate act of separation on my part
  • my use of profanity is probably a mask for rage, anger, hate or some other secondary emotion. It might be more honest to express something about the primary emotion (e.g. - sadness, fear, physical or emotional pain) instead.
  • there might be other words than profanity that I could choose to express the same thing if I'm not too lazy to utilize them
  • when I hang around people that don't cuss, I generally don't cuss or cuss less than I do when around folks who do...
Again, I really don't know for sure if these are the drivers for this trend in me or not. It's just a general observation now that I cuss less and I seem to be OK with that.

I've also noticed that it affects my blogging habits. It's funny to me that, in the world of the web where I can certainly choose any words that I want to, even in this post I don't say s--- or f---.

What's THAT about?

We had a self-diagnosed curmudgeon join my home group about 12 years ago. He was the first one I'd seen "take on" a cuss-er at an AA meeting. He'd listen to a few "slips of the tongue" and then would interrupt the share and, respectfully, request that the person watch their language. Often the person would defend their "right to say anything they want at an AA meeting". Usually there were several in the meeting that would support this perspective. Chuck would then escalate the argument and sometimes yell "...yes, and I have the right to not listen to your language..." and storm out of the meeting.

He moved away a few years ago but I think AA in our community was permanently improved by his participation.

Ain't life interesting....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Please pray for Tom...

I was just getting to sleep last night when we got a night watch call. I spent about an hour on the phone in a classic "I think I'm done with drinking" discussion. Tom had been diagnosed with a mental illness but had lost families, girlfriends, cars, DUI, the usual story.

We talked. We laughed. We cried. We prayed. He promised to show up at a meeting at 7am this morning. He didn't know I have "spies" looking for him there and I've not heard the follow-up but I get that he was a real candidate and, for an hour last night, was willing.

Let's just nudge God's grace his direction and see if we have another one we can help...

Thanx - I knew you'd help...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Just like real life...?

In the brief time I've been blogging (I've got another ~30 days to say that and then I'll pretend I know what I'm doing...), I've been struck with the parallels between the blogging community and the face community in AA.

I just wrote an article in my other blog about the 4th Tradition in AA and have spent some time reflecting on autonomy in both of my AA worlds (I don't integrate my online and face AA experience for reasons explained in an article on my anonymity on the web). I'm convinced today these AA communities (face/blog) are more similar than they are different.

I seek out and prefer to participate in AA meetings that try to understand and follow AA steps, traditions and concepts in our 3 legacies of recovery, unity, and service. I also attend a lot of other meetings - some simply special purpose meetings, some AA meetings that may have lost their way, an some AA groups in full rebellion for one reason or another.

I find much the same on the web. I've quickly found a few (about 10) folks who blog with a similar style and intent as what I do. I've come to care about many of these folks, whom I may never meet, with similar regard (love?) as I do for those I hug at my home group every Saturday night.

I've also read dozens of blog sites from members in AA that I may never need to go back to.

I've also read several blog sites that I didn't like, then found others that I liked who followed the ones I didn't like and then, when I gave them another chance, they were just fine...

It seems it's all about openness and willingness - in the face world and the blog world. There's a whole other world in AA that I don't participate in - and that's fine... Neither they or I care about or need my opinions about what they do...

I get that amongst my blogging community, people get lost in their character defects, get sick, recover, get sicker, miracles happen - and it's shared with an intimacy that is inspiring and helpful to me as another bozo on the buss...

I love my life in AA - both here and in my face world...


Sunday, May 10, 2009


I'm fairly new to this blogging thing. (I've decided I'm going to stop saying that after 90 days - while I'm years behind some who are publishing daily articles online, I've eventually got to stop using that as an excuse...) Sometimes, while I'm reading others' blogs, during a meditation time, in the middle of talking with my sponsor or a sponsee, or other random times during the day - a word just pops into my head.

That's really all I can say happened to select the title for this article: sanctimonious. No, I'm not talking about you (sing it Carly - "'re so vain...!!!"). This one is about me. Being arrogant or sanctimonious (I looked it up - it's not a compliment) is something I've been accused of and have in fact been most of my life.

This isn't "true confession time" or anything like that - it's just a word that came up and we're going with it.

Over 20 years ago, an incident back in my 1st year of college came up in a 4th step that I wrote. The incident was one of those in my past that I wish I could obliterate from my memory. I was stone cold sober at that time (I was most of that year, in fact) - that makes it just that much worse. I was a theater major that semester (I was a pre-law major the next semester and an engineer the semester after that...). I was working on the stage on a production of Peter Pan and a girl (Andrea?), the most stone-cold fox in the department, walked up to me and just said "...Ed, you are just one big ego trip..." and turned away and walked off.

I was clueless what to do with that but was mortified so I took it on as a badge of honor and repeated that scene to everyone on the set - I still remember the confused looks and reactions that people gave me - sort of like " poor, pathetic, freak...". Frankly, to this day I still don't know exactly what she meant or why she was telling me that.

Yet, that incident froze in one vision the whole mess of my life and the true depth of the spiritual malady I'm recovering from to this day:
  1. I was desperately confused and afraid
  2. to say that I was socially inept is a huge understatement
  3. because of this fear (for my very existence), I desperately needed your approval
  4. the only 2 roles I could generally play to my advantage were victim and a sort of pseudo-humble
  5. mix the previous together, you can probably get a vision of me acting out, showing off, ducking responsibility, quitting
Gawd I still wish I could get past the memory of that scene.

Yet, as the promise is in our Big Book, I do "... not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it..." because, as I relate to some of the folks I sponsor, I can relate to the nature and depth of their problems. The ugly scene in my head still seems to be useful to others.

Today, I hope I can grow past that vision of the desperate egotist I know I am. I pray God it's possible...


Happy Mother's Day to all who have birthed, loved, nurtured or helped a child of God to grow. In my less-than-humble opinion, Motherhood is a sacred position that has way more to do with one's character than it does with the biology of procreation so I find it hard to generally accept this special day sometimes. Many who we ought to be supporting and celebrating are left out while many who only used procreation as a way of developing their (for lack of a better word) character defects relish in the limelight.

Oh well, I suppose this is the way with any holiday of the sort...

My own relationship with my mother (now 87 years young), is a gift of the program of AA. I was about 2 years dry and was "stuck" in my program and life so I sought outside help with a psychiatrist. I am of the opinion that outside help is generally (often?) useful but I realize now that I was avoiding an eventual passage through AA's 12 steps - not avoiding as in completing a term paper but avoiding as in I was sure I was going to die if I did what I presumed the steps in AA would have me do. After nearly 2 years of therapy (he was very "old school" and didn't use drugs), we had a "breakthrough" where I realized 2 facts that I'd never faced up to:
  1. my parents had done the absolute best that they could too raise and nurture me - a surprisingly good job given the childhood and parenting that they'd had
  2. it was a pretty poor job given any of the most generous of standards I could offer
I felt free and, for the 1st time in my life, a huge burden I didn't realize I was carrying was relieved. I invited my parents into my life in a new way and I talked about the "miracle of AA" (+ a little therapy I would allow). While that was, in fact, great relief, I had no idea that I was just getting started.

I was over 5 years sober (dry) when the wheels came off completely and I was forced to really get honest and seek help inside the program of AA. It's a long story but, for the purposes of this article, at about 7 years sober I made amends to my mother and father.

Through a 4th and 5th step as a consequence of excellent sponsorship and great support in an AA community to really do the work I needed to do, I realized the most dysfunctional element in our little family had been me. Really, a me I hardly remember today, but who, for 33 years, was constantly confused (regardless how much guidance was offered me), afraid, and isolated. The only way I knew to test anyone's love was to create problems of situations that I know my parents never desired in their lives.

As, again under the guidance of excellent sponsorship, I made those amends (including financial!!!), I was completely unprepared for the result. For the first time, I had unconditional love for them as they were.

My dad died a few years after that (thank God we were "complete") and, though I wouldn't wish another day - another breath - of the physical life he was reduced to, I miss him and remember him every day. As a widow, I've watched my mom bloom and flower into the happiest I've ever seen her.

I love it when Pam blogs about her Mama - it could be a transcription from some of our conversations. Mom hides information from me to "punish" us, she is independent until she gets scared and then she can't get my help fast enough, she is manipulative, dishonest, indirect, and generally negative.

Our plan today is to plant some iris, go to brunch in Estes Park, play a round of miniature golf and hang out for most of the day. I know for a fact there will be a constant stream of negativity cast on herself, me and anyone else that some could stick on (waitress, staff, clerks).

...and, I love her so much I could burst...

Her biggest problem in her life (she'll probably tell you as soon as you meet her), is that her son doesn't come to visit often enough.

Isn't that grand?

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Our cherry blossoms have about all blown off our tree. This is good news for me in that it means that we're entering the season where, most years, I can afford to buy those wonderful, lovely cherries as they are on sale for a few brief weeks.

A few years ago, my favorite ice cream shifted from butter pecan to cherry vanilla. This should not have been a surprise to anyone who knows me as about 20 years ago, I fell in love with all things cherry.

Cherry pie, cherry cobbler, cherry cider, cherry smoothies. I've been known to drive 25+ miles out of my way to get a good cherry smoothie - maybe even a mediocre cherry smoothie in a pinch.

I sort of remember how this all happened for me - I have always enjoyed cherry flavor. Then, I became convinced cherries had some good health benefits for me. Back then (unlike now), cherries were in abundant supply and through their season, you could find them for a buck a pound or less in the local Safeway.

I like cherry vanilla ice cream (eat it by the gallon) every chance I get....

I'm not of the school that talks a lot about "alcoholic behavior" but, my passion for cherries has often been called "alcoholic" by well meaning friends in the program. I don't get stopped for "cherry driving", it's not kept me from showing up at any social events that I can think of, but I admit, sometimes I will obsess a bit over getting a cherry smoothie.

I think I just like cherries - a lot...

The real point of this article is to suggest that when I lump my human-ness in with my disease, I may not be serving either very well. As I understand the disease of alcoholism as explained by the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous, there are three components to my disease:
  1. something like a physical alergy - when I drink alcohol, there's a phenomenon of craving that develops in me that's different from when a temperate drinker drinks
  2. a mental component that the Big Book in one place calls a "peculiar mental twist" (p. 33 - I love that language!) where regardless of the problems my drinking has caused me, will not successfully motivate me to avoid a drink that could be injurious
  3. a spiritual malady that has me at odds with my world as God created it
Something different happens for me around cherries. Do I act a little crazy around them sometimes? Yep. Do I sometimes create a story about why I can't have all the cherries I want today? Could the need for that story be explained by the character defects I've discovered in working the program of AA? Yep.

But, I don't think my thinking or behavior around cherries is completely explained by my disease.

I think I just really, really, really, really like cherries...

I could quit any time I wanted to... ;-)

....mmmm, cherries....

Friday, May 8, 2009


I find that I can go out my front door on any given morning and either be mired in self or be braced with awe and amazement of God's creation.

Same door, same vista, roughly the same weather - just my head in 2 different spaces.

I am struck by how seldom I truly appreciate this sense of awe (and gratitude?) for the grandeur of all that is in God's creation. I diminish the expression of my life by presuming how I experience life today will be how I will always be - how I will always experience it - that my health will always be about the same, my mental and physical experience of my life will always be available to me, that life will just sort of motor on at the same temperature...

One of the 2 chronic slippers that I sponsor (this one figured out yesterday that he's only been drunk about 6 months of the past 8 years - but, his consequences seem to be getting much much more costly to him) helped me move some heavy stuff yesterday. He needed the money, I needed the help, and it gave us some time in the truck together to work through some of his writing and step work.

As he read some of what he wrote, he was crying, I was crying - it was not a great example of a safe or sober highway moment - but we understood the despair of the disease and how we destroy that what we love as a consequence of what we do in the course of yielding to the disease of alcoholism.

By the end of our day in the mountains together, I was again amazed at the intimacy we share in AA - it's still hard for me to believe that the only qualification I have for this sort of relationship is that I drank myself to the edge of oblivion and then was saved by the grace of God as experienced in the program of AA.


Thursday, May 7, 2009


My sponsor has a way occasionally of slipping a new word into conversation - yesterday it was "I was thinking about our spirit led life in AA as if I were a pilgrim". has pilgrim defined as:
  1. a person who journeys, esp. a long distance, to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion: pilgrims to the Holy Land.
  2. a traveler or wanderer, esp. in a foreign place.
  3. an original settler in a region.
  4. (initial capital letter) one of the band of Puritans who founded the colony of Plymouth, Mass., in 1620.
  5. a newcomer to a region or place, esp. to the western U.S.

A part of the context of the conversation yesterday was a broad-ranging discussion of the US economy, the disparity between the wealthy and poor, and recent political and cultural changes we've observed that give us some hope.

We talked about our experience of the "spirit led life" in this context and then he said "...I was thinking about our spirit led life in AA as if I were a pilgrim..."

So many of the aha moments I've experienced in sobriety have happened just like that. Suddenly, I see the same components that comprise the drama of my ordinary life in a new and radically different light and it sort of makes sense.

I am a wanderer in this place. A friend of ours used to say (often!) about his AA walk that "...I'm not a human being trying to achieve a spiritual experience, I'm a spiritual being trying to live in a human experience..." The prospect that I'm on a different road, even from some of my fellow travelers in AA, is a good thing. It's a blessing. I get to be the stranger in a strange land.

What a privilege...

Thank you...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I wrote an article yesterday where I was whining (my word) about being publicly and privately betrayed and attacked as a part of my participation in AA service. A couple of folks commented about how rotation is a way to deal with the sort of burnout and questions that I struggle with. Rotation is a great thing and solves many of the problems or resolves some of the questions I raised.

Among the many lessons I've learned as a part of traveling this path is that there's a difference between "rotating out" and "rotating on" in my AA service path. As I've reflected on the current situation I find myself in, it might be instructive that I'd privately told my sponsor and sponsees a year and a half ago that I was done with this phase of General Service and that I was instead going to participate in Intergroup, my home group and sponsorship/workshop activities instead.

Then, I was asked to co-chair a committee and (was it ego?), I said yes. I only know one way to commit to something and so we were off to the races.

Some of the reasons I accepted this opportunity were:
  1. I've seen trusted servants who "rotated out" of service who drank and/or died of our disease
  2. I felt I had some unique experience to offer the person appointed as chair
  3. in consultation with my sponsor, we agreed it was "next" for me
As it has developed, this particular committee that I'm participating in has provided an immense growth opportunity in learning how my character defects and attachments are still present and active in my life. As I suggested yesterday, it seems like the crucible of AA service has worked in roughly the same way since the times of Bill and Bob - we seem to attack whoever we put in positions of trust and leadership.

I will be so very glad when this service opportunity is over in September. September will be a big month for me for rotation as not only will this gig be over, but I will rotate off the board for a conference that I've been involved with for 16 years (been on the board for 4 years). It has been good service for me but the board has wanted to take the conference in another direction so it's clear that I'm done there.

Anyway, I thank God for our principle of rotating leadership. I'm grateful that others rotated before me to give me these opportunities to serve and I'm grateful that I only have to survive in these positions for another few short months to be able to move on to something else where I can be useful.

It is still a puzzle to me why some members have gotten so personal in their accusations and challenges to me and why some members are so resistant to anything that disrupts their ways of understanding the world (e.g. fear and uncertainty). I do understand that may be more about their problems and challenges than mine.

But, as comfortable as it is for me to write this blog and share myself with all who participate in this sphere, I also understand why it was necessary for me to sit in that crucible of AA service for a while to grow in the ways I've grown. I think I will be improved as a consequence of that...

Did I just answer my own questions?


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sailing along...

Most of my life these days I seem to be able to sail along without having much stress or being sucked into the drama that seems always there (if I notice it). It's not a particularly new skill but it's been a real gift recently in that there has personal betrayals and attacks in my AA service life (I wrote some about that the last month or 2). I hate it that this program that I love is populated by some people who seem to just have some issues with me that they need to work out in public. Oh well...

I've spent some time in the past few months looking into AA history and realize this is nothing new. As loved and venerated as Bill Wilson was in our fellowship, in his own time he was demonized, castigated, sued and publicly chastised and accused of all manner of bad doings and nefarious motives.

A few things (questions, really) come to mind:
  1. Do we always treat our leaders this way in AA? other organizations?
  2. Are my directions wholly pure and untainted plans and motives? (no, but...)
  3. Why would anyone ever want to be a leader? Why do I volunteer to be a leader?
  4. What is it in me that tolerates this from those that I profess to love?
  5. Why don't I just quit?
  6. How can I be effective if the proposals I make are attacked in the process of attacking me?
  7. How can I not take it personally when people accuse me of not telling the truth, of obfuscating the truth, or promoting personal agendas over the good of AA?
For now, I just am drifting along and trying to contribute where I can. I think I do it because I love AA and I think what I'm standing for is the next right thing to do.

Frankly, I do it because I think I'm being of service to AA and the drunk that needs AA's hand to be there and I believe my life depends on that.

I expect, however, more will be revealed...



(In the course of writing this, it occurred to me that some readers may not be familiar with AA's 6 Warranties. These Warranties, sometimes referred to as AA's "Bill of Rights" are contained in Concept 12 - Warranty 3 states: "that it (the General Service Conference of AA) place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others)

At a workshop the other day, someone mentioned the principle of "liberty" as being aligned with our 3rd warranty. This sort of surprised me - I don't think of terms like "liberty" or "democracy" as a part of AA (even though the founders certainly did...) so it came as a bit of a mind cramp for me.

I think I take the liberties offered in our program for granted - one of the many things that has come for me with longer term sobriety is I forget how comfortable those early meetings were for me. It had been a long time since I'd had someone really listen to what I'd said and understand me. Not my many problems or my drinking history or the consequences I was facing for living the life of the active alcoholic. They seemed to have "read my mail" and had way more understanding than I would have thought possible about how I ran my life and the pain that came as a consequence.

This understanding affected me at my very core.

Of course, that's not exactly the liberty expressed in warranty 3 - it expresses that there be no "dictators" in AA - that there should be no unqualified authority. This comes along with the "right of participation" that is expressed in another of the 12 Concepts.

What does that have to do with my sobriety today?

The way this outfit is set up, no one can tell me they're right and I'm wrong. I can't do that to others as well. As generous and patient as those folks were with me in early sobriety - listening to my aches and pains and problems and offering their experience and the suggestions - I can offer the same generosity to let folks run amok until their done or what they do is no longer my affair. As much as I'd love to tell them to "shut up and get with the program", what I get to do instead is offer my experience, if they want it. If no-one wants my experience (has not happened yet), I can bring it here and offer it to the blogosphere.

The promise of our Big Book and our program is that I can be useful somewhere today. That's true freedom.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Times square or my home group...

One of the many things I love about Times Square is that it allows me - even encourages me - to be an observer. Once you sort of get past the vendors hassling you for their tours, their tickets or their services (they didn't even seem to see me after a while), you can be alone amongst thousands of folks who are in the process of "being there".

For me, this has been both the good news and the problem of recovery.  One of my favorite places to isolate is in the middle of a crowd.  I prefer to lurk at the back of the room and watch what everyone else is doing.  On a good day, that affords me to see the pain of a newcomer and offer a friendly hand or a cup of coffee.  On a day when I'm not so well, it makes me feel alone and afraid in my own home group where dozens of people would do anything short of drink to help me.

While I would love to be a person about service at all times (I believe my life depends on it), my character defects and old ideas run deep. At any given moment, I am 2 thoughts from despair, self pity, and depression.

Still, it feels really good to observe; to offer a smile when someones eyes meet mine; to make an effort to be out of the way of traffic; and to be genuinely kind to strangers.

I have several things I've learned from this past week (so far) that I think I am ready to share:
  • I am not completely healed of alcoholism yet (though I had no strong desire to drink in NYC!!!)
  • the program of AA works for me - wherever I happen to be
  • the organization of AA, as we know it, may cease to exist in my lifetime
  • if the organization of AA does cease, it will be because AA members and groups never took the responsibility Bill and Bob offered us in out 12 Concepts and 12 Traditions
  • as long as God has a purpose for anything, it will continue to exist - against impossible odds, it will still survive (this includes the organization of AA)
  • as Bill suggested 50 years ago, it works better if "Special Meetings" don't call themselves AA meetings
  • AA members should make up their minds about our primary purpose and either live in accordance with it or create a program that meets their needs
  • I am one person on a very large planet populated with a lot of persons - sicker than some, with something to offer to others
  • there is beauty in all of creation - some of man's most creative efforts deserve similar respect and regard as the awe I feel in the mountains and nature
  • very little that I regard as "new" is truly new
  • there is a staggering amount of material wealth in the world and I will probably never again have much of it
  • talent and special gifts should be applauded and supported in all people
  • there is still nothing so beautiful as a new baby boy or girl
  • some people love me, some dispise me, very few even know or care that I exist
  • God is bigger than all of his creation
  • the world, as we knew it yesterday, does not exist any more and will never be again...
...seems endless but it's probably time to move on to something else...

I love you all...

Letting God...

I finished an article on Step 3 last night and have been thinking about the nature of the surrender that I started back then and the experience of my life today.

When it was suggested in our 12th step that we "...practice these principles in all our affairs...", I was sure that my life would be more limited than I could bear. Yet, as I wrote earlier this morning, what has unfolded instead is a peace and serenity that transcends most (all?) of the circumstances that life can throw at me. It seems unfamiliar, still, to be able to show up in my life and accept the opportunities that are provided to be useful as a gift of grace and to be "comfortable" as the opportunities for practicing principles are provided daily - it's incredible - a miracle(?!).

I'm reminded of the several jokes that I've heard who's common punchline is " can't get there from here...".



Sunday, May 3, 2009

Back in the saddle...?

(I got the attached image to an email subject "the real source of the swine flu" - sorry, I normally don't propagate such pictures and I also realize that we are now desperately trying to call it something other than the swine flu - but, I loved the picture... - I could have seen several of our kids/grandkids at this age trying to give the porker some tounge...)

MY plan last week had been to post at least daily as I wandered around Manhattan - doing meetings, hanging with some new people, visiting sites, etc. Didn't work out that way. I'm pretty sure no one cares (but me) but it was interesting to observe both my recovery and disease at work this past week.

A little bit of history: I saw something written that I can paraphrase that explains the curious feelings I have about being in New York City "...I was fully prepared to hate everything about New York but it just didn't work out that way..."

I love Times Square, MoMA, every little thing and big thing from Central Park to the Churches to Greenwich Village to the food to Brooklyn to Chinatown to the Subways to the people (most of them) to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue... I can't think of much that I don't like in the short times I'm there. I never again want to live there (I did briefly in a former life) but I would go way out of my way to visit or show up for something in the city.

New York is not special in this regard: I have a similar reaction to Las Vegas - seems like it would be so much more cool if I could just hate it but... What's really weird (and, I think, the purpose of this article) is that loving these urban experiences really has little to do with who and what I am - how I think of myself as a nature-loving mountain dude who's trying to learn to understand and use the principles of AA in the whole of my life.

...oh, maybe that's it...

I discovered that when the principles and values I hold as important guide me in what I do, I can have a great day anywhere on the planet. I can appreciate great AA talks or look for ways to be useful in AA meetings that seem to have gone adrift. When, instead, I yield to my ego and selfish priorities, I can be sitting in paradise and find nothing but fault as far as any horizon.

So, maybe that's part of this week's lesson - my plans are way less important than being available to learn and grow from whatever life presents me. To some extent, I was and am willing to learn. We'll be chatting more about that some - maybe...

BTW - I was suprised that in the time I was in the city (Sunday-Saturday last week), I saw probably less than 1 person in ~5,000 with a face mask on. I think that's about the same ratio I saw when I was there last ~6 years ago so. While some of the country is freaked about this flu, it's not a major concern there yet. I'm still wondering if it should be?


Friday, May 1, 2009

Life as one coincidence after another...

The photo is the Manhattan Bridge and Midtown from the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday night taken with my Blackberry.

I marvel that, in the spirit led life, you just sort of find yourself in these places with wonderful people and, just when it seems that life couldn't possibly get any better, it improves.

I don't know when (or, I suppose even if...) I will get caught up with my blogging activities and postings but I must say that, for now, it seems like I'm where I'm supposed to be. God is gracious and I still feel like I will eventually go back to the study of the principles that got me here, but I'm giving up for at least today any thought that I know for sure what my life is going to look like...

And that, for today, is just a miracle...