Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Prayer and Meditation. A Wordpress Production

A.B.S.I.

Friday … Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

tumblr_lndtyet7pF1qhlja3o1_500It is February. It is Cold. There is snow all over the place. We are sitting at (-22c/-30 w.c.) at this hour.

The truth is, people are tired of the cold and the darkness. And that seasonal funky depression is setting in across the land. We could use a little warmth and sunshine right about now. But the other truth is that Winter has set in deeply, and we really don’t know when it is going to end.

If those pesky rats told us six more weeks of Winter, that means no relief until at least the end of March. And if history is our guide, April or May is the closest we will get to Spring like weather.

My guys are all in the mix, as well not to mention, a great number of folks who hit the Friday meeting.

It has been a busy last couple of days. And very successful too.

Friday is as Friday does. I had nothing special to do. I met with some folks over the afternoon, and did some shopping for the day. The push for Valentines Dollars was in high gear today. This, the one day we get to show our love for our significant others, by the giving of cards, chocolate and flowers.

We do cards here. So I left uber early to sort that out. When I got to the pharmacy to do that, there were crowds of people in the store. There were flower sellers in the mall proper. People were greedily grabbing every possible little thing that was on sale. It was card and chocolate madness.

Thankfully, I am pretty good at cards. It did not take me long to find the one that I was going to buy, and get in line with everyone else to pay. American Greetings and all those other card makers are making a killing tonight. I get to the register and she swipes the card … $11.00 dollars please !!!

Eleven dollars, are you shitting me ?

On the way home, I had to get some stuff for dinner. I walk into Provigo and there are flowers all over the place, carefully placed in the “Impulse Purchase Area” That wide swath that exists directly behind the Express Check out. On the Impulse Purchase rack are tons of chocolates in pretty boxes.

So $11.00 dollars for a card, chocolate probably runs between $10.00 and $25.00 and flowers will run you probably $20.00 … You aren’t getting out of this store for close to $40 or $50 bucks.

I’m sorry, but I’m not spending that kind of cash.

Last night we got a tweet that the water main break at my Laurier Station had been fixed and that all the buses that had been redirected to other places, have returned to their original locations today.

Which was really good news, because it was/is frigid outside and having to walk blocks to find a bus was/would be a challenge.

We sat a good crowd. Like I said people are frazzled. And the topic was:

Walking Towards Serenity.

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

When we are frazzled and at our wits end, and we are awash in emotion, and sometimes they aren’t that good, and we believe we are at the end of our ropes, hang on. This too shall pass. Keep going. Take another step forwards. Do the Next Right Thing.

The reading talks about that moment of doubt, that I can’t go on, I can’t do it, I don’t have the strength.

This is that moment when taking another step forwards will pay off. We take that step, we make that call, we get ourselves to that next meeting. And tonight, we heard folks talk about not wanting to get out of bed and weather the cold to come out, but they came, nonetheless.

And it was a good thing they did, because everybody said the same things, in their own words.

There have been many instances in my life where the chips were down, and things seemed bleak, and I was not sure that I could make it another step or another day. Trials and tribulations will do that to us.

When I got sick, the began getting sober, knowing that I was going to die, within months, I wanted to drown my sorrows and what was left of my mortality with booze. Todd had other plans for me.

And a good thing too.

While I was happy, sitting at home, counting the days until I was dead, I had a job, and that job saved my life. I was pushed to deal with reality with whatever strength I had. But I had the aid of people who knew my plight. I strung days together. Then I strung weeks together. Then I strung months together. And finally, I got to the point, that I was still alive, and began to string together years.

Twenty years later, all that work and taking one day at a time, I am still here.

I did that walk. I learned to get out of my misery and walk towards the living light.

Facing ones mortality is a very tough deal. Many people who are sick with terminal illness and those who are fighting every day to live from various issues like Cancer, AIDS, and every other assorted sickness, time is not our friend. And we either give in and die, or we stand up and we fight to live.

People have resiliency.

I’ve seen people rise from sickness and from their deathbeds and walk again.

Life does not all of a sudden get rosy and happy when we get sober. And for some, it seems that life throws at them, everything but the kitchen sink. And it is our challenge to walk with them and carry them through the tough times, always encouraging them that nothing lasts forever.

It will get better and that This Too Shall Pass.

It might be frigid outside and in many places there is so much snow that cities are closed up and schools are shut down and mother nature keeps throwing snow, snow and More Snow at us.

And it is cold.

We can’t all get on a plane and head south. We just have to soldier through it, until it is over.

We are / You are not alone.

There is hope. Come, Show up, Make that call. Don’t give up or give in.

Life may suck right now, but it will get better.

Everything’s gonna be alright.

More to come, stay tuned …


Over the River and Through the Woods…

tumblr_me70e8djqB1qas1mto7_500We are sitting at a cold (-12c/-17c w.c.) It has been cold all night. On the way out, it was snowing, Big, Wet, flakes falling from the sky, it was beautiful. A real Hallmark kind of night.

Early this morning I woke up around 10, got something to drink, and crawled back into bed, having set my alarm clock for 5. I had nothing to do today, but I did. Somewhere I had filed an appointment with one of my guys for 1 o’clock. Damn … I reset my alarm clock and slept for a couple hours.

That did not last very long. I got up and dressed for a trip to the store to do my shopping for the day/weekend/knowing probably that I will need to go out on Saturday again. I unpacked and waited for my friend to arrive.

When he departed, I had some lunch and farted around.

We all have an internet routine, well, at least I do. You know, the cycle of Email, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Blogs I read, You Tube so forth and so on. And once I finish my cycle – I am done. At least for a few hours. Once I finish everything I want to do, and there is nothing else to do, having covered all the bases, I am on free time. I don’t usually want to sit here and stare at the screen, because that drives me bat shit crazy … which usually ends up with a nap at whatever time that cycle comes to an end.

The other night there was a massive pipe burst up on the route I travel to the Friday meeting. An entire stretch of St. Joseph is closed, which means ALL the buses that feed the Laurier station, are terminating away – blocks away – from the station. That all but shut down a massive amount of traffic, and people have to walk a ways to find their bus.

With that in mind, I left uber early, not knowing what was going to happen. There are two ways to get to the Friday meeting. One is up Parc to Laurier on the 80 bus. I never usually take that bus North because I always miss my stop for some reason. So I choose the longer route, Green to Orange, and Laurier and the 51 bus, that is a direct route to the church.

I arrived at Laurier, and followed people away from the station to where the supposed stop was, Up the block were signs for some of the buses, but no sign for the one I wanted. Not seeing a sign, I decided to keep walking up St. Joseph to the first real “Stop” for the 51 bus, where there was a shelter, and I waited, the bus arrived shortly after I got to that stop, and I took it the rest of the way.

Because of the Bus Snafu… People were coming in, in shifts. A lot of people come in on that route. We sat a full crowd and we read from A.B.S.I. Courage and Prudence.

“Prudence is a workable middle ground, a channel of clear sailing between the obstacles of fear on the one side and of recklessness on the other. Prudence in practice creates a definite climate, the only climate in which harmony, effectiveness, and consistent spiritual progress can be achieved.”

“Prudence is rational concern without worry.”

How often do we use the word prudence? What does it mean ?

1. The quality or fact of being prudent, or wise in practical affairs, as by providing for the future.
2. Caution with regard to practical matters; discretion.
3. Regard for one’s own interests.
4. Provident care in the management of resources; economy; frugality.
 .
.
I waited to speak, not knowing whether I would speak, because today’s meditation said that it might be better that I keep quiet and listen more …
.
.
I waited for someone to say something that resonated with me, finally I did get something to work with.
.
.
God has been part of my life from the very beginning. People worked very hard, throughout my life to keep me on the spiritual beam. How many teen agers do you know, who stay on the beam entirely?
.
.
I was on and off for a long time. I hit a good long stretch through seminary, then I hit a very long stretch of taking my will back, and spitting in God’s face.
.
.
Every time I stepped off the beam, historically, landed me in some certain jackpot. Always …
.
.
The run up to my last drink, the first time, I chose to step off the beam and take my own life. Well, at least try to take my own life. I failed.
.
.
Once you face your own mortality, what other fear could take you down, I ask you?
.
.
I got back on the beam and I lived through some very dark times. I even stayed sober. But that tedious sobriety hung on my respect for my disease, I had none. The insidiousness wove its way into my brain and I was off and running. Prudence is not one of my strong suits. Well, wasn’t then.
.
.
I picked up and was off on the adventure that almost killed me.
.
.
I could have ended my slip sooner than it did. But my flagrant disregard for gratitude that I was still alive eluded me. I went to “my” bitter end. And at that point, it was prudent to do one thing, pray …
.
.
The rest they say is history.
.
.
I kept on that beam. I stayed in the rooms, and close to people to help me along the way. I’ve had a long time to practice, prudence…
.
.
It was a good night.
.
.
I decided to forgo the route deviation on the 51 bus going home. I did not feel like finding my way from the terminus (where ever it was) to get to Laurier. Instead, I walked the extra two blocks to Parc and took the direct route, the 80 Bus to Place Des Arts, which is on the Green line, and three stops to home. It bypasses the entire trek on the Orange line and I arrived home about the same time had I taken the other route.
.
.
So it was a kind of Over the River and Through the Woods kind of night.
.
.
More to come, stay tuned …