Bill W. …
This evening we set out for Victoria Hall and the screening of the Bill W. documentary. A number of folks already saw the film when it came to theatres a few months ago up on Parc. It was considerably more expensive at a theatre than it did tonight. Members paid $2 a head for the showing and got free coffee and a muffin before the show.
We heard from our Public Information workers here in our area, which is Area 87 in Quebec. You might ask what public information does, it works to make sure that “when ever anyone anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. to always be there and for that we are responsible.”
We need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of Press, Radio, TV, and Film. Public Information is the group that handles dissemination of program materials to the public. Because we as members, if we are to do this work, of helping folks get and stay sober, we must always be ready to reach out a hand to the suffering alcoholic. For every member in A.A. there are 25 suffering alcoholics in our city. Exponentially there are hundreds of thousands of people in Quebec, 1/10th of those are in the program, on both the French and English sides.
There were hundreds of people at tonight’s screening. A great time was had in fellowship. It seemed that many of the folks present tonight were from our downtown meetings. Some from the West Island, and some, I had never seen before. The balcony was full of folks, as was the main floor.
Bill was not a saint. But he was just a man, who held the world on his shoulders in creating the fellowship and getting words to paper and into print. It was hard going in those early days. But when A.A. Came of Age in St. Louis, Bill handed over the fellowship to the members. But because of the man he was, a normal life was never close. He had his issues and problems. He suffered from depression and was close to many women in his life, including Lois his wife of more than fifty years.
The film documented the formation of A.A. out of the suffering of a handful of men who came together after their “spiritual experiences” to form the beginnings of A.A. We saw how the book came together, how the Steps and How it works came to be and finally the traditions, through the vehicle of the well known publication “The Grapevine” our meeting in print.
Bill used the Grapevine in its infancy to write his pieces on what he was thinking while he was writing the book Alcoholics Anonymous. The Steps keep us in line. Where as the Traditions keep the groups in line. Bill, working from the Oxford Group steps which were few, sat on his bed one night and wrote out the steps on a steno pad, coming up with the round number of 12. A providential number in Christian and sacred texts of other religions.
A.A. has changed the face of alcoholism and is found in hundreds of countries around the world and has been translated into many, many languages. Who knew that this little movement would save millions of people from a fate worse than death, the disease of alcoholism, the suffering Body, Mind and Spirit.
Some call Bill a genius, and he was just that. Many of us would not be here if not for the tireless work of those who came before us.
Lots of gratitude tonight.
Where do we aim what we thirst for ???
This question plagues the suffering alcoholic. Because we all thirst, for one thing or another. A drink, A drug, An addiction. This question is not lost on me, once we get over the desire and thirst for a drink, we eventually will have an experience that tells us that there is a God, one way or another.
The most important part of the steps is: God as we understood Him.
This was the inclusive sentence that would help us all come and come to.
Thirst was a theme that I wrote about on my tenth anniversary, so much that my Tattoo in Hebrew, on my arms speaks “I Thirst…” Mother Teresa spoke of Thirst, the thirst of Jesus for our love and prayers. And the program speaks about our thirst – once we come to the end of our alcoholic thirst, we set our eyes upon something spiritual to maintain our sobriety for months, years, decades and so on.
Where do you aim what you thirst for?