Don’t you know you can only sail to the north east end of the Mediterranean sea, then travel by land But what if we sailed in the other direction? Don’t you know if you sail out there your going to sail off the end of this sucker?
Columbus had to be an alcoholic, ” I believe the world is round, I do not believe that it’s flat,” then he made one of the most drunk statements the world has ever heard: ” I believe that we can get East by sailing West.” Now if that isn’t drunk thinking, I don’t know what is.
- Many of his mannerisms indicated he was alcoholic,
- When he left he didn’t know where he was going,
- when he got there, he didn’t know where he was,
- when he got back he didn’t even know where he had been,
- but what really made him a real alcoholic is a woman financed the whole trip for him.
- She did that twice.
Columbus followed a little formula, the world is always known, that if you want to change anything at all, there are certain things that have to take place. The first thing you have to do in order to change anything is to be willing to do so.
Circumstances are what make us willing.
Trying to find the new trade route to the East Indies, is what made him willing to change.
The second thing you have to do to change anything, is to believe you can do so. “I believe the world is round and not flat, and I believe you can get East by sailing West.” But his belief didn’t do him any good either cause he’s still standing on the shore of the ocean the day he expressed that belief.
Some days, weeks, months, years later, he did the third thing He made a decision. He said “by golly I’m gonna go find out that this thing is really round and not flat and can you really get East by sailing West,” but his decision didn’t do him any good either. Because he was still standing on the shore of the ocean the day he expressed that decision.
Some days, weeks, months, years later he did the next thing you have to do, he started taking action. The first thing he did he went to the king of Portugal to get the money, but the king was a very astute business man and said “there’s no way I’m not gonna let you have this money cause you’ll sail out there and sail right off the edge of this sucker and I’ll loose it all.”
That’s why Columbus ended up with the Queen of Spain.
Sweet talked her out of the money. On the promise that he would bring back gold, silk. spices and all the goodies of life. She gave him the money. He bought three ships, he put provision on those ships, he put crew members on all those ships And they began going East by sailing West.
Sailing West, day after day after day, now we don’t know for sure but we have a suspicion that on that first trip he hired a special sailor and put him on the bow of that lead ship at night with a lantern and he whispered in his ear said, “I believe this thing is round but if you see the edge of this damn thing, you holler so we can get turned around in time.”
Now after having sailing West for several days, he got results. They found land on the other side. Which was the result of the action that they had taken. Now we know that he thought that it was the East Indies, it wasn’t, it was the West Indies, but he’d proven himself that the world is not flat, it is round and you will not sail off the edge of it.
He turned right around and came back to Europe.
Went right back to the Queen of Spain, and she said to Columbus, “where are the gold, silk and spices you promised you would bring me?” And he said “sweet heart I’m sorry but I didn’t find any but he said, tell you what I’ll do, if you refinance me I’ll go back. Trust me honey please,” this time I’ll find it. And she refinanced him, and he got some more ships and more provisions, more crew members they begun sailing East by going West, but with one big difference, the second trip he didn’t hire that special sailor, put him on the lead ship by night, this time he went back on faith.
He went back on knowledge. The first time he went back on belief. you can’t start with faith, the only thing you can do is start with belief, make the decision, take the action, get the results, then you will have faith.
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I thought I’d start this post with this story. It comes from Joe and Charlie, speaking to the chapter in the Big Book called “We Agnostics.”
It was a beautiful day today. It is getting warmer by the day. It was also a great day because one of my best friends is here for 10 days for a work conference, all the way from California. It is our yearly get together. Along with a third friend who lives here, we make the three Musketeers.
What’s Behind the now “white door?”
The door I told you, the other day was blue, is now white. The space is a vacant cavern. When they built this store, they put in a glass wall that fronts the space. It extends all the way up to the Mezzanine floor above. That glass enclosure is now papered over.
I guess they don’t want to expose us to the transfer of the space to the new occupants. Yes, that is a true statement. New occupants are coming, and the signs say “SOON.”
I haven’t checked to see if they removed the outside signage yet, but I am sure that will take place very soon.
I went to the meeting, we had a good showing. The jobs are taken for the next month. I came home for a bit to write up the story above, actually I transcribed it word for word from the CD we are listening to weekly. It was just too good a story to let pass by and not note it here.
Then my friend from the states arrived at his hotel, down at Place des Arts and we went for dinner in the hotel, because it was too late to go find an open restaurant. Tomorrow we get a few more hours to go eat and hang out. Our third will be busy curling tomorrow night.
It is late,
More to come. Stay tuned …
This is the centuries old parish church in Outremont, where our Friday night meeting meets. It is part of today’s story, I just needed to right image to accompany this post.
There are 5 shopping days until Christmas.
Thanks to online merchandise, PayPal, and a little creativity, I am really good at finding places that will ship to Canada, because not all online shops in other countries will ship world wide. It may be Online, but what you want, may not be available, depending on where you are shopping from. I do my best to buy “in country” when ever possible.
It was another blur of a day. We have been triangulating get togethers with friends who are in town for a short time. Tomorrow they are all scattering across the country for Christmas, so today was an entire day of food, friends, and fellowship.
I had dinner with friends earlier this evening before heading out for the Friday Night Meeting.
Our local hangout “Dundees” on Crescent Street, not far from home, is my go to restaurant. That place has hosted scores of lunches and dinners with influential professors, academic advisers, friends, and family over the last 13 years. The place has changed up its menu and also changed up how they present food on the plate. It was really nice. As always the food is fantastic.
I wrote the remaining cards out for my friends last night.
How do you Card scores of friends you see all the time? It really isn’t possible, that would cost a pretty penny in the end. I picked the Friday meeting crew to card. But there are upwards of 50 people at that meeting on any given Friday.
So my method of carding is this: The first circle starts with folks that are close to me, the ones who I see at set up week in and week out, people I spend the most time with, those folks who I invest a little more umph into. The next circle is friends who I talk to regularly, those who are part of my sobriety, I can’t know everybody, there are just too many people. The third circle is people that are on the fringe, the folks people tend to ignore, the ones who come early, do all the work, and nobody notices them and they leave with not a word from anyone else.
This is called a little random act of kindness move.
After dinner a friend and I set out for the meeting across the Metro. We took another route so that we could stop for bagels at the premier bagel shop, St. Viateur bagels on the plateau. Because if you want bagels, you go to the ultimate source! On the way we were on a bus that turned out, not to be very reliable, it kept stopping and going, beside its regular stops. We were on a tight schedule, and at the end of the ride (when we got off the bus) we sat at a stop light for like 4 rotations.
We were like WTF???
We walked the rest of the way up Parc to the bagle shop, got bagels, then got back on a bus going back in the direction we just came from to get to the church. We squeaked in just under the wire.
The house was packed for the party afterwards. Two of three of my guys were in attendance, it was the last time we would be together in the same space until January. It was a good discussion.
After the meeting we broke bread together, and I did my run around the room.
I am kind to everyone in the room. I listen to people week in and week out, who comes, who doesn’t, who’s on the fringe, and their stories. Stay long enough and you will learn this magical ability.
I just don’t fold a blank card, sign it and toss it into an envelope.
Every card has a specific message, meant for that specific person. Which is why I chose the folks I did this year to card. Friends I want to know better, people who are the most important to me, personally. Everybody is important, but people and personalities sometimes do not allow direct contact.
Investing is an art. To know what to say, and how to say it.
And the payout, the looks on people’s faces, when you hand them a card, totally not expecting a random act of kindness, smiles, tears, hugs,
An investment into my friends, to let them know how much I appreciate them and what they mean to me, at a time, when people struggle the most and feel the most alone. And a dash of words, meant specifically for them. Words are power, put in the right order, from the heart, can change a life in ways, one cannot imagine. Kindness on the holiday can also mean someone gets through a holiday, that someone took the time to think of them specifically.
I love that.
It isn’t about me, its all about my friends. Because without them, I am just one man.
I got a great book from a friend for Christmas. I got to meet new friends, I hit a meeting with my guys, and on the train ride home, another one of my guys called from out of town. It was a full night of smiles, tears, kindness and love.
The Best kind of night.
A heart full of gratitude.