Courtesy: Freshie … Celebrating the Montreal Canadiens who played tonight in their playoff championship on the road to the Stanley Cup finals, and mourning the loosing club of this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs… What a disaster !
Spring has finally come to Montreal. And people are loving it. For the past few days, it has been warm enough to go out in shirtsleeves at night. But I carried a hoodie just in case.
It has been a wonderful and warm couple of days. All the rain they said would fall, did not materialize at all. Skies remained blue through the week and into tonight.
Synchronicity – Coincidence – Is it ODD or is it GOD …
Not long ago, I told a story about how the universe is alive and is listening to what we say and watching what we do. And the universe has a funny way of letting us know that it is present in our lives, even if we don’t subscribe to that kind of thought.
I noticed that we have been missing certain people in the meetings. And one particular young lady came to my mind the other night, quite surprisingly. Yes, I hadn’t seen her in a while, I sent that thought out on a Tuesday evening, and the universe responded Thursday night.
I got to St. Matthias early and was sitting out front, and my young lady waltzed up the street to the church. Funny, this is another example of universal consciousness being alive and well.
Yeah, she decided to come to the meeting on her own.
I asked the universe to send her to us.
And she showed up.
Is that ODD or is that GOD ???
Tonight we sat a full house. The topic … “That Spiritual Angle.”
Spend enough time in a room, and we begin to find our spiritual angle. The one that works for us. And I think, among all the meetings I go to on a weekly basis, the Friday night meeting, is the place where our young people, and older people as well, have been actively cultivating their own spiritual angle.
God, Higher Power, Spirit, whatever you call it, has been a constant subject in our meeting for more than a year. That conversation arises from the frequency that As Bill Sees It, deals those topics out. There is a lot of God in that little book.
I’ve learned a lot about the spiritual angle from my friends. In fact, I have come to need it and rely on it and also come to respect what that means to my friends, and how they see the world. We think we must know everything when it comes to God, and some don’t want to know anything about God, but on Friday, we all meet in the middle to discuss it and in that discussion we have evolved.
There is more than one way to skin the proverbial sobriety cat.
Belief and Faith is individual to each of us.
Everybody respects where each of us are on the time line. And nobody sits there and preaches one way or another, like they have the definitive answer. That would be presumptuous and arrogant to say the least.
Knowing God from many directions is very useful in working with others.
It was a full night of friendship and fellowship. The house was packed. And we celebrated three of our number in their Second sober anniversaries. Two is a big deal. The chip is silver and oval in shape and style, rather than the bronze medallion.
When you get your Two, you keep it close, because when you get to Ten, that silver chip, gets dipped in Gold and you get it engraved for your tenth anniversary.
Kind of tradition in Montreal.
Everyone is important in every meeting. But the most important person in any meeting is the newcomer. Celebrations in our group are festive and meaningful, because of the population. Chips are important to our young people, because they see us, and each other celebrate time, and that gives them hope that the gift is there for them as well.
When I began to attend this meeting, it was a small meeting with no more than twenty five people in the back hall around a smaller table setting. I watched two particular people come and and claim a chair for themselves.
Over the last two years our little meeting blossomed into what it is today. We are in the main hall with double the head count, so many heads in that count that we split the group up for sharing so that everyone has a chance to speak.
Tonight, three very important members of our group took their two year cakes.
My recommendation is that you find a meeting to call home, and STAY in that group for as long as it takes. For as long as it takes, will give you the opportunity to watch your fellows get sober. Watching light come to ones eyes and the shadow depart is a blessing. And you too will see what others are experiencing, and you will have those moments too.
I’ve watched my friends come, stay, and get sober, and tonight they hit the Two mark.
We are all so proud of them. Because we are family. That is why those who come, come, and stay, because of that welcome and love freely given.
A good night was had by all.
On my transit back, I saw advertisements on our Metro TV. In many stations, there are flat screen tv’s that show arrival times, weather, news briefs and assorted others media sorts.
Our Glenn Site Hospital that I told you all about some time ago, opens officially on April the 26th. The first of the many hospitals that are moving to the Glenn, is the Royal Victoria, just a stones throw from home. They will commandeer 40 ambulances for a two days, transporting every patient in the Royal Vic to the new Glenn site.
That is going to be One Huge Project …
The Children’s Hospital, just up the street from home moves on May 26th, one month after the Royal Vic transfer. They will also follow the ambulance protocol. Then the old building will be demolished and a new public park will be built on that site.
In a couple of years, there will be plenty of green space, just up the block.
It was a great week. Spring is here, and people could not be happier.
More to come, stay tuned …
Today was the best day we have had, in recent memory. We hit teen double digits today, the breeze was light, and the skies were blue. Still, I layered and wore my jacket.
Last night I spent the evening with my friend from California. I was telling some friends earlier that I ate better this week, than I have in months. Going out to dinner is rare for us, so eating out three times this week was a treat, but a drain on my wallet.
Tuesday night we had dinner at the hotel, a little steep for an Angus burger. Wednesday we hit up Rueben’s Deli for some delicious Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, phenomenal. Last night we hit up Baton Rouge in the hotel complex, you either are a Rib person or a Prime Rib person. We haven’t been to this particular restaurant in years. So we feasted on chicken tenders to start and I had a whopping 12 oz cut of Prime Rib. Fantabulous !!!
I got home close to 1 a.m.
I finished reading “Eyrie” by Tim Winton. It was a good read. I enjoyed reading something written by someone from a different continent, and entirely different way of seeing the world. It was a great story. It was all about loss, austerity, how people come together and work it all out, and just how life is very funny.
The main character, Tom, was a high end spokesperson for an organization, who took a hit and lost his job, ended a relationship, and is, in many ways broken. Coming from money into almost poverty is a common story across the board. He finds a woman living in the same building and on the same floor as he, who he knew as a young person. Coincidence or Providence ?
She has a grandson, she is caring for while his mother does a stint in prison.
Shit happens. They team up and have a go.
The father of the boy is a meth head, and has nothing to do with his son. But grandma gets his things from him, carrying Tom in tow as protection and jealousy, and procures the car as well, that was her daughters. The ex father cooks up a plan to extort money from grandma because she parades our Tom, in front of him and he thinks that she has money or access to money … and they want that money, for no good reason.
They eventually fail at this endeavor.
The story is slow moving from the first word almost halfway through the book, when Winton then cranks up the story and things get heated. Here I am getting all excited for a wham bam thank you mam crescendo to earth shattering conclusion, and what I got was a soap bubble popping.
Very underwhelming. Boooo !!!
Tuesday night we went by Indigo before dinner and I picked up two other book written by Tim Winton, “Cloudstreet” and “Breath.” There is plenty more to read.
I opted to turn next to the next book in the Kathy Reichs/Temperance Brennan series, “Break no Bones.”
There are three other new books by my bedside to dive into for the next little while.
I was out early for tonight’s event. I took the tunnel outbound and made a stop at the Five Season’s grocery store on the way and I noticed that “Little Mount Greene” is half the size it was last week. Little Mount Greene is what we call the mountain of snow that has been piled up all winter, just off Greene on the way to the church.
Imagine a snow pile that is roughly, 50 feet long, end to end, about 7 feet tall at it highest peak, and is about four feet deep from sidewalk to the parking lot behind it.
Today the pile is about three feet tall, and a dozen feet long now, and about three feet in depth to the lot behind it. It is melting ever so slowly. The church lawn is almost bare, save a few spots near the church building where snow still sits.
Tonight’s read: Feminine Victory.
The first portion of Experience, Strength and Hope is the stories from the First Edition of the Big Book. Back in the thirties, alcoholism was a mans problem. Women were long suffering housewives, trying to keep a home, maybe working, and caring for children, meanwhile suffering the ravages of alcoholism that is taking a toll on their husbands.
Alcoholism was not the purview of the female gender.
That all changes, when early on, the first women in the program appeared at meetings, and found their seats and their voices. Early A.A. was not kind. The norm, white, middle class or poor blue collar workers were the bread and butter of early meetings.
In several documentaries, meetings had to deal with racial issues, whether to allow black men into white meetings, they also had issues with other folks who showed up plastered. Women were another issue for those men of old. In some meetings, alcohol was served. And we all know how that one ended.
Suffice to say, we have learned from our progenitors.
The Traditions guarantee “anyone” a seat in any room, “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” Had this tradition existed before, well before, it was written, would have solved many of the problems facing the early groups at that time.
That did not solve all of A.A.’s problem. There are those who are not so accepting of “other” than we would like. But A.A. is constantly evolving.
Out story tonight was written by one of the first women to add her voice to the collection of stories in the book. Meaning she lived during the time just prior to the writing and codification and printing of the first edition. Women were just as equal to the men when it came to the disease of alcoholism. On the main, the story is the same. The insidiousness of alcohol, the slow descent into hell, and the issues of selfishness, self pity and resentments are the same.
Through the Four editions of the Big Book, the spectrum of writers expands. Although the first 164 pages of the book remain the same, there are those who say that a Fifth edition should be printed, to reflect today’s age, wisdom, and should be written in 21st century language.
It was a good night. Everybody is alive and well.
I was the last one out of the church, everybody had walked on. And I put a little Xanadu on the tunes, and started walking home. It was so nice outside this evening that I opted to walk outside instead of taking the tunnel, the long way home.
It was a very pleasant walk.
The week begins tomorrow and it will be the warmest it has been since last fall.
More to come, stay tuned …
The week began with positives yesterday, and continued through tonight. It will be an up/down mix hovering above and below zero for the rest of the week.
I can say that the snow pack that has been covering everything that stands still, is melting. It will be some time, yet, before all the snow has melted away. But I think that sub zero cold is finished.
Last night, we had dinner as usual, and after dinner I went into the bathroom to brush, and one of my teeth snapped in half. It was a good thing that it snapped where it did, because I haven’t had any problems with nerves or pain. This morning, I called my trusty dentist, who was dismissed from the clinic at the General, at her office across town. I see her tomorrow afternoon to extract what is left of the broken tooth.
I HATE the dentist. With a Passion …
Sunday, we were supposed to install new blinds in the living room. That did not happen, because we were not pleased with what Home Depot was selling. We have West facing windows that span the entire west wall of the living room and the bedroom. Currently there are no blinds in the living room, so we are getting sun, all day, well into evening.
The new HD tv is on its way. We had to rearrange our schedule to make sure someone was here if it came, alas, it did not. I did get a pick up slip in the mail, someone sent something that needs a signature. Something to do on the way home tomorrow after the dentist.
I departed on time and made my transit without any problems. My new Skets came in the mail yesterday. They were a big hit at the meeting. Well, after the meeting, because we can’t wear shoes upstairs in the bell tower, we have to wear cozy knitted booties, because of wet/snow/water.
Joe and Charlie took us through the second part of There is a Solution. In that reading, there are several asterisks at the bottom of several pages. They do not appear in the first editions, but they do, in subsequent editions. The asterisk calls ones attention to Appendix II – page 567 in the back of the Big Book … Spiritual Experience.
Twice during the read of There is a solution, you are asked to see, Appendix II, and a third time, you are asked … “Please, see Appendix II.”
The reading at the back of the book talks about change. It is known that Bill talked a lot. And when he talks, he likes to use analogies and stories that we will identify with. If Bill really wanted to make a point, he often repeated himself, over and over. Not only does he repeat himself, each time he does repeat himself, he uses a word, similar to the one he originally used, or the same type of word, to get a point across.
Most of what we heard tonight, centered upon the Spiritual Experience reading. Several times Bill speaks about change … you find “personality change, spectacular upheavals, sudden revolutionary changes, immediate and overwhelming God consciousness, transformations …”
He continually repeats the theme of change over several words. That is what is supposed to happen when we begin to get and continue to stay sober. Change.
In the back of the book, there are stories. In some of those stories, the spectacular upheavals and immediate changes take place for some, the so-called, “Lightening Strike” changes. The folks who came, came to, then came to believe, they changed and their lives changed in ways they could not imagine.
Other of us, took the more gradual, garden variety path. Many of us have been on this path in the long haul. Learning, listening, reading and working, change comes gradually over time. I am all for the long haul method. You often hear some of the old timers say:
Stick around until the miracle happens.
I heard that often, the first time I was getting sober. I did stick around for that period of time, and yes, miracles did happen. I stayed sober, but more importantly, I lived …
And I continue living …
Most of my friends, who are sober today, carry with them memories of spiritual experiences that have changed their lives, and for some, was the impetus to come back again. Some of my friends who did not stay, went back out and returned, were great teachers for me.
I also want to see God move for my friends, which is why I keep coming back. I decided that right now, this is where I should be. And spending inordinate amounts of time with my friends, will guarantee that if I stick around long enough, we will change. I want to watch my friends get sober. Because I see them change and I see God move for them, and they have spiritual experiences, which proves, that God does exist. For me at least. That may not be the same for you.
I’ve got plenty of time to be able to say quite confidently, God does move in our halls.
The other notable thought that came from the tape tonight was that when Joe got sober, he met Charlie. And being no so happy with himself, thought that he wanted to be someone else when he got sober, so he endeavored to be like and to become, Charlie …
How many of us are not happy with who we are and we want to be someone else?
When I got sober this last time, I was an empty shell. What I saw, and what I heard began to make sense to me, and from many people, I took things that I thought would be good for me. so you could say that in the last thirteen years, I’ve met many people, and today I am an amalgamation of all those people, in one way or another.
I got to create the man I am today, based on the example of the many I have come to know, over the years. I carried forwards, values from my family that I honor today, they have become my values, like love, family, honor, respect, dignity and so on. I’ve collected thoughts, sayings and practices from my friends that I practice myself today.
I’m not comfortable just sitting in a room collecting dust. I want to be In It to Win It.
Thankfully, all my guys are also In It to Win It. My sponsor makes that possible.
Change is possible, if only you give it a chance …
More to come, stay tuned …