wayfaring stranger

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image credit… sanjay kothari

I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through, this world alone
There’s no sickness, toil nor danger
In that bright land, to which I go
I’m going there to see my mother/father
I’m going there no more to roam
I’m only going over Jordan
I’m only going over home

I know dark clouds will gather o’er me
I know my way is rough and steep
Yet beautiful fields lie just before me
Where God’s redeemed, their vigils keep
I’m going there to see my mother
She said she’d meet me when I come
I’m just a going over Jordan
I’m just a going over home

I want to wear a crown of Glory
When I get home to that good land
I want to shout Salvation’s story
In concert with the Blood-Washed Band

I’m going there to meet my Saviour
To sing his praise forever more
I’m just a going over Jordan
I’m just a going over home

i woke up early, fluffed the house with a 9am showing in mind, and headed out the door at 6:45 am to meet some afr board members, my co-host  and ivette torres from samhsa for breakfast. the day unfolded calmly and beautifully, but somehow i think the conversation and the meeting of intention at that breakfast changed me. it changed me in a way that is not drastic, but it opened a new corridor to strategic thinking that i have forgotten.
i know that nothing earth shattering took place, but i do believe that some metaphoric lock has been loosened. i felt it and i am quieted.  i have worked with afr for a while because of a few reasons. firstly, i believe in recovery as a positive aspect of life. i believe that addiction is far more rampant than we like to think about or discuss and afr challenges that societal norm.
maybe i have also come to understand that i enjoy advocating for an underdog, and recovery seems to fit that bill perfectly. so when i join direction with afr, i am rewarded with a sense of pushing for what i deem “right”. in no way am i intimating that my opinion and my feelings about this are “the truth”, but i share my personal experience around all this. so whatever part of me that is soothed by fighting for what is right gets a big stroke especially on a day like today.
the breakfast showed me a new game board, just like going up a level on any video game. i haven’t started to play in this new level, but finding out about it was a big spiritual hug.
the fellow trudgers that shared their views on recovery today were simple and lovely. a 21 year old man shared his story of getting clean from heroin by pulling a geographical with his future wife. they left their lives, dried out and cleaned up, got jobs, got married, and have gone back to school. he has 5 years of clean time and his direct approach and his tendency towards helping others is hypnotic.
a woman shared about living with depression since her teens, and struggling with substance use, then discovered therapy and anti-depressants and her life has turned around. she has a purpose and a direction which is quite the antithesis of living with depression.
and the mother of a cocaine addict who has 2 years of recovery spoke about all the things she never realized (or had wanted to)  about addiction and all the tasks that have appeared for her life as she has walked through this recovery journey with her family. she has become an advocate and a mentor for other parents and in turn is healing more of herself.
another speaker was in department of corrections for 18 years. he went to a therapeutic community in lieu of serving out the other 18 years of his sentence. through all this, he reported finding a life when he never realized there might even be a different one available. the particular man has become a personal icon of mine. there is a genuine aura of love and healing when in his presence and as he teared up today talking about the sentencing judges remarks about never having to see him again, i again realized that i have so much to understand and learn.
we had the event at the park adjacent to some very well-known therapeutic communities for both men, women, and pregnant women. with those tc’s, there were automatically 200 or so attendees. i believe we hit 500, but i didn’t count. at the close of the rally, i sat and wondered if these glimpses and stories of hope, wonder, and recovery by people outside their existence would have an affect on any of them. i don’t see how it couldn’t. at least for one or two.
i saw a recent client of mine who has continued to struggle with meth who has been sentenced to tc. he saw me, recognized me, and decided not to acknowledge it. i understand this completely. i also believe that he may very well be one of those people who needs mental health treatment before recovery of any sort can truly happen. my experience of him is that he has no concept of self-comfort. and without that, how can one ever find peace? i empathize with a struggle to comprehend self-soothing on a very core level.
i am not sure how my interest in afr will evolve. i have volunteered to chair the rally committee for next year. i have a couple of other ideas, but then i always do. i look forward to doing the work. i am anticipating something wonderful.
until then, i am very happy to savor the blessings i have today. i don’t remember feeling as carefree as i have this summer. when i finally let go of trying to submerge how i feel, i have been less overrun with those emotions.

keith haring’s universe

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i happened to catch this documentary on logo last weekend. parts of it have defnitely made an impression on me. he certainly followed his instinct and his passion.. in more ways than one. he did capture the hearts of a global generation with his obvious simple expression style becoming so very beautifully understood.

2011 marks the 30th anniversary of HIV and there are many projects that will come forward to commemmorate this. This will become a part of mine, I think. I’ll call it “Remember With Love”