Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Parliament Hill Ottawa. A Wordpress Production

The 365 Day Project

Sunday Sundries Pgs. 18-19 of 365

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Courtesy: Blamboyz

Warning Will Robinson Warning !!! Snow Squalls coming overnight. And it is going to bet cold once again. Just to reinforce that Winter is far from over.

It has been a quiet weekend. Not a whole lot of anything going on.

I departed early to make some stops along the way. I trained a newbie on coffee and set up. When we arrived the hall was strewn with tables and chairs all over the place. We had to break down their set up, in order to put together our set up. With two of us, it was a short order.

We sat a small group tonight. Lots of people were watching football and could not be bothered to come to the meeting, which is why I chaired. I got a text just as I was leaving asking me to fill in for a friend.

We finished Fear or Fear. And we went around and did not fill the entire time slot. We broke down the room and once again, I walked home alone, so I took the tunnel and had to stop at Pharmaprix to pick up my pills and do some shopping.

That was it for the weekend.

More to come, stay tuned…

Page 12 of 365 … The Stoop Edition

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It was a balmy night tonight. Piles of snow are slowly melting, it seems we are on a warming trend. But by the end of the week, they say snow or flurries.

Spring is only 67 days away… March 20, 2014.

Shall we begin the count to the end of winter, or towards the beginning of Spring? Or is Mother Nature going to throw us another curve ball like she did last year, with a bang of snow and cold to cap off a long Winter?

I’ve not been feeling 100% as of late, and I slept a good stretch into this afternoon. Nothing is better for me than a good night’s sleep. I was up and ready to go early because I needed to hit the Dollar Store for some candles for my Tuesday meeting. Mischief managed !!!

Arriving earlier than I intended meant that set up was done with a lot of time before folks started to arrive. We sat a full room (plus) …

We welcomed back friends who traveled far away for the holidays which was very nice. I was so proud of our girls who weathered the holidays and came back to us sober.

It was a “getting to know you again” meeting tonight. People are back from their holiday adventures and they all came for the meeting. All bright and shining faces.

We read through “The Missing Link, and Fear of Fear” It is so good to hear everybody share on a multitude of things that popped up in the reading.

I listened to all the voices, the good orderly direction and the group of drunks. Talking about a Power that is greater than ourselves.

Imagine … pondering the idea that there is something greater than ourselves. It is so much bigger than us, that it would take a lifetime to wrap ones head around it.

God as WE understood him.

Not God as I understand him.

What do we collectively see, feel, experience, share? That word, God, the make or break word in the book that either sends you back out (not wanting anything to do with God) or you find a seat, breathe, and sink into the group of people there, looking for something to make their lives better.

With variants of time and experience in the room on any given night, there is a thread of want. To find something that is greater than ourselves. It doesn’t come overnight. But gradually.

It was spoken about the evolution of how some “came to” and how, over time we find IT. Well, it finds us. God is not lost. But seems to have been lost in the funk of alcoholism. Over time, as we commit to showing up, and we listen with open hearts and minds (Hopefully) we begin to sense the power in the room, in other people, and over time, then it comes to us.

For every person in the room, there is a spiritual thread/path. No two paths are the same. I come to the rooms, to find it, to share it, to learn how others found it. If you stick and stay long enough, You can watch God move amongst the people. I’ve had that experience a number of times.

In the story “Fear of Fear” the writer of the story is attending meetings for her husband because he is surely one of us, but she isn’t. And she takes a moment and goes out to the stoop of the hall outside for some air, where she invariably comes to meet a kind woman who greets her and listens to her words, and truth is spoken … Our woman realizes that indeed she is one of us.

When I arrived the second time, at my second First Meeting, it was a gay meeting, and I sat there, out of sight and mind. Kind of oblivious to the people in the room, and they were oblivious to me. It was all kind of a blur.

I went outside after the meeting for some air. This was a club room, so another meeting would be starting in a while. I spent a good amount of time sitting on that stoop in the days and weeks to come. Soon a couple showed up, a woman and her significant other. They greeted me and asked me if I was waiting for the meeting, which I replied yes …

I got that hug. And someone who connected with me.

To this day, those two people are still in my life. A handful of folks from the SOBE room are still in my life, via facebook. We spent a great deal of time sitting on that stoop to welcome folks in.

That “meeting before the meeting” and invariably “the meeting after/or better yet the meal after the meeting” was such a blessing. We ate out probably every night those first few weeks I was getting sober.

With Lincoln Road just up the block from where we were, places to eat were plentiful. We don’t do that so much here, you really have to work at finding something that is open post meeting in the core, which means whomever joins you, you’re going to have to travel to find food.

Montreal is too spread out and it is far easier to find a coffee shop rather than a sit down restaurant to dine at.

The New Year has begun with some great energy. I just hope our folks carry it through. One day at a time …

Today is day 12 of 365. Stick to your plan. You can do it.

More to come, stay tuned …

Page 11 of 365 … The Snarfle Edition

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Courtesy: Iheefz (Chicago Photography)

I am snarfling, sniffling, sneezing and feeling all kinds of woozy !

All they have been talking about on the news is flu. And I don’t recall being near anyone who was sniffling. I went to bed last night medicated and I slept most of today away.

It is miserable and raining today. The iced over snow is melting, but I’d rather it snow than rain. But we are on a warming trend here after days and days of bitter cold. I heard something mentioned on tv that Spring was only some 70 days away ???

I kind of like this sleeve, I wish I could see more of it, it looks very whimsical and fun. Not that I am in the market for a sleeve, just yet, I would have to really sit down and draw one up. Then find the money to fund it.

Today’s topic is The 100% Step …

We are amid the month of January and we are still focusing on Step one this month. We revisit this step every day of our lives, it is the only step that we must do 100%. That admission is total and honest.

I skipped the meeting last night, because I wasn’t feeling up to traveling and doing set up, It was just not moving me. So instead I napped during the evening.

Hopefully we will be back to writing something more substantial tomorrow.

More to come, stay tuned …

Page 10 of 365 … I’m a SK8ERBOY


Today’s post is brought to you by SK8ERBOY …

Guess what came in the mail today, all the way from Germany?

Well, not today, I got the drop notice in my letterbox yesterday.

After all that farting around to get my name on the drop sheet downstairs, they did not even attempt a drop.

We have these post offices in pharmacies located all around the city. We also have dedicated post offices for mail (out) only. But if you visit any major pharmacy here, they usually will have a mail/drop facility.

It is easier to drop at a drop location than to carry around packages to individual homes or apartment blocks. So you get a drop slip with the location of your drop which you then have to go pick up.


These have been on my “want” list for some time, and I just never got around the putting in an order mainly because of the currency (the Euro) and the foreign website (which is in English, but the store is in German).

Thanks to Google Translate, it made the whole purchase worth it.

I don’t think I’ve paid so  much for six pairs of sox in my life, you would have thought that I’d go for some exotic underwear that would cost just as much, but we don’t do exotic underwear here.

My collection of exotics just grew by six. You see it on Tumblr. You put it into Google, and you come out with a website or Ebay store. Every exotic shoe/sock purchase I’ve made originated on Tumblr.

The weather is a bit iffy today. Flurry snow is falling, and they say freezing rain is going to follow, which will only complicate the icy conditions on the roads and sidewalks.

I think I am coming down with a cold. I’ve got that I want to sleep and achey feeling going on, so I may nap this afternoon.

I did some safari on the way home from the post office but I didn’t get anything for lunch, but I have frozen chicken in the freezer I could bake up, but I am not hot and bothered about it just yet.

I think that’s all for right now.

More to come, I am sure …

Page 7 of 365 … Turning Points / First Things First


It is another bitter night out there tonight. People who don’t know what real cold is, are being fired in the furnace of


We are sitting at (-15c/-26c w.c.). It is also quite blustery out there, which makes the cold even worse. Everything is iced over, but there is grit in certain places but not over most. All my friends (all points South) are feeling the cold, with ice, no power, frozen/bursting pipes and things aren’t getting better.

We can’t change the weather. It is Winter in Canada. We should expect this. I am getting tired of listening to people caterwauling over the cold.

Oh it’s cold, Oh there’s ice, Oh there is snow all over the place.

Alright Already !!!

Today’s theme is Turning Points, as in, “we stood at the turning point, we asked His protection and care with complete abandon …”

Today’s reading came from Living Sober and First Things First.

People are pissing and moaning about attendance. Oh, let’s put candles out, and let’s change the lamp and turn the overhead lights off. Yeah, that is going to attract folks to come to “THE LOCATION.”

Since we moved, if you can’t get here, you don’t come here. Not that it is so damned difficult to find the place, we are on a major train line and one bus line so getting here should not be a problem. People have made their winter choices as to where they are going right now, and we just have to deal with that for now. No amount of pretty will get people in the door.

UGH !!! God give me strength…

Slippers, and newbies, and old timers, Oh My !!!

A young man came in, he was distraught. Another friend o.d.’d and died in recent days, and it seems like all his friends are o.d.’ing or are dead. yet he is still alive, and we celebrated his 1 year tonight. The chair had a token for him and he was grateful to mark the occasion and so were we.

It is very sad. We are loosing young people to addiction and alcoholism.

How do you follow that story? Compassion.

It was a good thing that in the beginning I was surrounded by the slogans. At Five o’clock shadows we spoke about them often. I heard them, I saw them and I listened to them being spoken about.

Whatever tool it took to stay sober, I used it. First things First was one of those slogans I learned right away. I had aftercare therapy for a year, I had meetings two and three a day in the first year. They said find a home group, I did. I joined that group and rooted.

I kept a specific schedule and I maintained that schedule all these years later. Build your life around your meetings, not your meetings around your life. If you don’t have sobriety, you can’t have anything else.

I did what I was told. I was led around by sober friends and sponsors. I became part of very early on. I was never alone on any given day.

Now, today, there is a rhyme and reason to life. There is a divine order that I follow. Over the years, one learns about all these things and hopefully over time, you can work them into your life practice and in turn these practices make your life fuller.

Those things are meetings, service, prayer, meditation, steps, books…

I have plenty of literature to read. Plenty of meetings to go to. I do tons of service in any given week. I pray every day, and I take time to meditate, and spend time listening for that still small voice.

My day has a rhythm. And I’ve learned how to manage it.

Things like “Please” and “Thank You.” “gratitude in action”

The Sacred Three … A roof over your head, food in the fridge and a warm bed to sleep in… That’s all that matters, very simply. If you have these things, you are far better off than some.

Some days suffering slaps you in the face, and all you can do is be silent. Because that is when no words are necessary until they are necessary.

Sometimes just sitting with someone and acknowledging their presence is all that matters. Sometimes shit happens. And then we get to ask why?

Then we get to But for the Grace of God, that could be us …

Pray for our young person. He is hurting but he came and for an hour, he was not alone. And that was a good thing.

Yeah, it’s cold. Get over it. I’ve heard enough. Weather is a fact of life, that we cannot control, therefore, all the complaining in the world is not gonna make it warm, right now.

Everybody is suffering this cold. All we can do is make the best of it.

One day at a time.

More to come, stay tuned …

Page 6 of 365 … Surrender Dorothy !!!

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Courtesy: RawrDaniel

It is a wee bit cold this evening. More windy than cold. I listened to the wind blow through all afternoon at quite a good clip. But it has died down tonight.

Since I had nothing to do today, and I can only spend so much time staring at this monitor, before going insane, I slept in today. I had to go down to log my delivery option on the delivery page in the vestibule.

The Post delivery comes to drop, and the management has a sign up sheet where we can choose delivery options for our packages. Either upstairs to us directly or to the office downstairs for pick up later.

Hubby came home around 3 and I was up for a bit. I still had to make a safari foray to get my milk and cookies and my fruit before it got too late, because we usually take a power nap for a few evening hours.

Today’s theme is SURRENDER.

Only when we have totally surrendered can we make a start at getting better. This is also translated in the slogan … Turn it over !

This is not only a drink slogan, it is a life slogan. Many of the words and phrases we use on a daily basis can be utilized in every day life.

First: We are powerless over people, places and things.

Second: How much control do we really have over the grand scheme of things?

Third: Time is in God’s purview, not ours.

We can take the next right action, and even at that, we act, and hopefully the result we want occurs. Sometimes it doesn’t. And that outcome is out of our control. We get to turn it over …

When I arrived at the jumping off point, my last drink, I knew I was finished. The end was coming, I knew it. I had begun the surrender process days before I hit the end.

I was already triangulating with God to make this all work in my favor.

I had faith in my surrender. I had faith in God. That this would end in a good light and not in disaster. I put my life in the hands of something that was bigger than me. I remembered how to do that. I had done it once before.

If you can’t handle what you are going through, maybe you need to turn it over, to something bigger than you. it is not failure to admit you need some help. It is only human. We can’t do everything by ourselves.

We’d be supermen/women if we were.

What do you need to surrender today? and How are you going about it?

This is day six of three hundred and sixty five.

Stick to your plan, you can do it. One day at a time.

More to come, stay tuned …

Page 4 of 365 … Begin where you are

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Courtesy: Oriental Tiger

It is the fourth day of the first month of the new year. It is markedly milder tonight than it has been in as many days.

Did you make resolutions? And if you did, are they attainable?

Some folks make resolutions that are so overblown that attaining them is impossible. And others make them and fail to put enough energy into working towards them, therefore resolutions turn into failures.

One true fact to consider is this … One begun, better finish.

I’ve learned a few lessons over the years about finishing or the attempt to get there at least.

One day, long ago, in a city far far away, information was given to me. Woefully unprepared as I was to receive it, it came nonetheless.

I had two problems.

One I was going to die, and two I had a drinking problem.

For many focusing one’s attention to living is usually unspoken. We are all alive, and we are going to live a long time, so we usually don’t pay a second thought to our lives (read:Mortality).

But the fact remains, we are all going to die. One Day !

The first thing I had to learn was to put one foot in front of the other and walk forwards, no matter how fearful I was. It was good that there was one man there to point me in the right direction and kept me focused on living (by working) and not focusing on dying.

Getting sober is the same route. In Month one of the year, we focus on Step One. Having attacked this problem twice in my life, learning to live one day at a time, and to stay in my day was tough.

I wanted things on my time, and in my expectations.

I learned that time is in God’s purview.

Time is not ours to dictate, no matter how much money we have or how many things we have collected in our lives. It just doesn’t work that way.

In the book it says … “Half measures availed us nothing…”

If you’ve made a decision to do something, whatever that may be, plan your attack, and make sure you keep the energy flowing in the long term, so that whatever you are attacking, you will be victorious.

We usually start out with gusto and keep it going for a few days, or maybe for a few weeks, then things begin to ebb and sooner than later the energy drops off and we stop.

It’s a good thing that I have checks and balances to keep me on the path. I have a book to refer to and people to talk to when I feel like I am standing still or I am not sure where it is I am supposed to go next.

It has been more than twenty years since doctors told me I was going to die, and I am still here. My days are book-ended by pills. I worship the medicine cabinet several times a day.

With the way technology works today, if I skimp on my program my doctor can tell from a simple test I call the “Half Measures Test.”

It is a nice little tool doctors have to see if I am really taking my pills on a daily basis. There is no sneaking around this responsibility.

Every day I take my pills, if I don’t, I am only hastening my death.

It took a very long time for me to reach equilibrium. In the beginning my numbers were not very good, and it took a long time to work them into where they are today. I had to decide I would go to any length to stay alive. And let me tell you that trying to work on living, while the specter of death hangs over your head is quite the challenge.

Getting sober carries the same warning. For us, to drink is to die. Having failed once at this work made life a challenge. “Coming to” the second time was a decision I made because I was surely going to die had I continued drinking.

This is the first month of the year. And we focus the entire month on step One. When most people come to the point of surrender, we have thought to ourselves, I’m done, I can’t do this, someone please help me …

There you have steps one, two and three …

or maybe you say sooner or later … I can’t, He can, so I will let Him.

Another route through One, Two and Three.

My prayers are on my computer. So that I see them every day. They are a reminder of what I need to do every day. There is no reminder in my bathroom, the cabinet is there, is it my choice whether I am going to open it or not.

Now you might think that that decision is easy? It isn’t.

You don’t know how sick I get sometimes about taking handfuls of pills every morning and every night. But that Half Measures Test is right there spurring me on.

In life, you have two decisions. You either want to live or you want to die.

And if you decide that you want to live, then you have also decided that whatever energy you have within you, you ARE going to point all that energy in the direction that will keep you breathing.

One Great Lesson I learned long ago is this … Negative Energy is the strongest kind of energy you have within you.

When you take toxic negative energy out of your head and heart, and you point that energy inwards, that is like taking a GIANT BOOSTER shot.

We all have shit going on in our lives, nobody is free from pain, sorrow and negative energy. But if I can teach you how to harness that energy and to use it to help you instead of tearing you down day after day, I have given you One Great Gift.

The New Year has begun. And for what it’s worth, whatever decisions you made over the new year, now is the time to get started.

Once begun, better finish…

You made a decision.
You know what you want to do.
How are you going to achieve it?
And where will you get the store of energy to do it?

From Within. Every day, One Day at a Time. For as long as it takes.

Plan ahead. Know your limits. Tomorrow is not here. All you have is today. And today is almost over. So we begin again in the morning.

Failure is NOT an option.

You can do it. Believe in yourself and your abilities.

That is all for tonight.

More to come, stay tuned …


Page 3 of 365 … Our Father

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It is day Three of Three Hundred and Sixty Five.

It was another bitter day in the neighborhood. We are sitting at (-23c / -34c) tonight. But even the cold did not dissuade folks from traveling to the meeting tonight.

It was a quiet day today. The end of the week doesn’t really mean anything except that it is Friday and another week has passed. It seems that I don’t have all the information I need to write fully, meaning, I wrote something the other night and within minutes of me posting that set of words, hubby gave me some information that I was not privy to just a few hours prior.

Hopefully this new information won’t harm our upwards battle to become financially free and that money won’t be “that much” of a worry like it had been in 2013.

Tonight, it looks like, according to Environment Canada, our last night of bone chilling cold. Things warm up, if they can warm up in Winter, warmer than it has been as of late. Everyone around from West to East, and all points North and South are in the grip of winter blizzards and snow, and here in the valley, we seem to be coasting through without any real accumulations.

I was prepared to leave early and so I did. Both transits were quick and easy. And I arrived to find two of my favorite people setting up the meeting. It seems that changes have been voted on that I did not participate in at the last business meeting.

We moved the space in the hall again.

There are three dedicated spaces to meet. In the back of the hall are tables and chairs we used to use when the meeting was smaller, the meeting grew, and we outgrew that room, and we moved to the next larger space, moving tables and chairs into it to populate. And since, the meeting has tripled in size over the last ten months.

The thinking is, that if more than forty people show up, the meeting will split in two and we will run two meetings instead of one, to give everybody a chance to share at the space.

Because when you seat more than forty people, an hour isn’t enough time to get everybody in. So if you split up the group, there is more opportunity to get in under the wire.

That was a lot of words …

The A.B.S.I. reading dealt with the “sect” issue as in the preamble, which we read at the beginning of every meeting.

… A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics. organization or institution, does not wish to engage in any controversy neither endorses or opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.

I neither cared for the reading tonight, as did others in the room. I took it in another direction by relating a sober story. The reading speaks of religion, as in A.A. had reunited people with their respective religions…

At our meeting, God is a term that is tossed from one side to another and elicits a number of reactions, from revulsion, anger, to respect and adoration. Some of our folks cannot stomach the word but they are sober despite that. The knee jerk reaction that some sober people, long term or short term have to an institutional God of maybe their family or upbringing is really an issue.

Everybody has their gripe with God. And everybody has baggage that they bring to the table, and for most part, that baggage has to do with God, but in the book Bill conquers that problem with …

“God of our understanding.”

So God got tossed all over the place tonight. And a friend spoke very resolutely, “I am so sick of all this God shit …” Because it seems that inevitably, God comes up more than we like to admit. because A.B.S.I. deals with assorted writings of ALL the literature on any given day.

And it becomes tiresome after while.

With all that said, I wanted to share this story with you from someone I heard speak tonight. He is a friend, he’s got some time, and he had a “moment” over the past few days.

Where religion rises in discussion, prayer usually follows. And our guy mentioned the Our Father. A prayer that has been added to the litany of prayers alcoholics recite at meetings. In the beginning, that prayer was not part of the movement. However Christian the slant of the program was. One of Bill’s counselors was a Catholic priest.

Our guy used to balk every time he heard the Our Father, because of the old baggage that was associated with that prayer, coming from his family of origin and the Catholic faith he was raised in and then became estranged for a number of reasons. Life happened. And sometimes church does not concur with certain life situations, thereby alienating people by the droves.

The other night our guy was in company of others in the program and he overheard someone reciting the prayer with a sponsee on the phone, and instead of recoiling as he once did, he “sank into the words.”

Our Father, Who art in HeavenHallowed be thy name
thy kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses as
we forgive those who trespass against us

And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the Kingdom
and the Power and the Glory
forever and ever Amen…

Something that every alcoholic needs when he/she enters a room and a community of people is HOPE. And for a long time, our guy could not see hope, better yet, find it as it stood in front of him. And for some reason, as he sat there listening to this recitation, he heard the word HOPE rise and enter his consciousness and his heart.

The prayer is a simple prayer that has been recited for eons. And that was the take away from tonight’s discussion. In the rooms, the one thing we need to recover from a disease that is mental, physical and spiritual, the answer is HOPE. We should endeavor every day to share hope with every person who crosses our doorways.

Listening to this story being related was a gift.

It was a tough New Years again. I worried for our newbies, one in particular, who seemed so together, but when push came to shove he drank again, but he was present and sober tonight. He came back. And he was courageous. We are all so proud of him.

It is the New Year, no better time than the present to try, tray again …

Alcoholism knows no barrier. No class, No creed, No religion, No orientation – it is an equal opportunity disease. And the way we do it is one day at a time, together, unified by a primary purpose, to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …