aretha franklin

that’s life

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“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.” 
in what seems just a month or so, my world has shifted.i am facing a new direction although i have one foot facing one way and the other foot facing another. i can’t really explain the entirety of this shift, but it has girth. there certainly is a pattern-ish feel to it. i had roguishly made an effort to ask for something more in my world and was shot down numbly and almost robot-like. it felt impersonal and without connection. immediately,  i visited disappointment and then had a turn with let-down, but planned to move on through to “okay” -until something unexpected happened. the rhetoric and the technique used to deliver the shut-down left a familiar and very sour and stagnant stench that has attached itself to my mind (this is how ptsd can appear in my world). it is so very hard to see experience beyond that stink and have turned with the hopes of fresher air. 
and i find myself right now with each foot facing a different direction- quite a pickle- wanting to move forward but i have to make both feet turn in the same direction before i can move anywhere. now i am just stuck. part of me wants to make a change towards breathe-ability, while the other is really pissed that i have to make a change at all.
now this is not an unfamiliar place for me at all. it is very much my nature to instinctively hunker myself into a position which causes me to feel disadvantaged. i actually can feel the familiarity as a sightless person may understand braille- uber sensory. also aligned with my primal patterns is a tendency to cut my losses, vacate the premises, and try my damnedest to not look back. somehow i have always not only possessed this ability but i have been blessed enough to have had the where-with-all to begin again on several occasions. just like the song says- i have been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a king.

as i walk this turn on the spiral of my life, i find myself at least more aware of my path. the pull of my instinct is embedded and strong. this cellular memory has kept me alive and safe throughout all the fails of my past. it would be foolish to deny its integral aspect of my soul. a shift though, is my resistance to bang the integral drum by fleeing.
i am opting to work on keeping my heart open and creating space for something good (and decidedly different) to come into play. i have witnessed what i might consider signs that this may be a very good decision for me. these tickles of hope just may scratch this veneer that has protected me this half century, and it might bring a new option for my story.   i am also afraid- very afraid that i will have to endure the same feelings i always run from as they infiltrate my soul with the intensity of a tsunami. the emotional part of me swears that these feelings will destroy me. the more adult part knows very well that i have already survived – countless times.

i guess life is checking me and it’s time for me to consider my next move. maybe that move is not to move just yet. but let me catch up to my life instead of my life being ahead of me so often.

i included 2 musical selections today. one for my past and one for my future.

so damn happy

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image credit…Huub Onzia Derdeyn


Stage II™ Recovery
Stage I is about arresting the addiction or surviving the crisis. Stage II™ Recovery, which Earnie created in 1985, is about understanding the triggers and imprinting that left us vulnerable in the face of substitutes. Whether the process of trying those substitutes is called co-dependency, shame based living, adult child syndrome or any other label.
Stage II™ Recovery requires discipline, practice, and the ability to refuse to let the past rob you of your present. Choosing this new, healthy road isn’t as easy as it sounds. The assumption is that you know and recognize the difference between the past and the present. Often this is not the case at all. Not recognizing the difference between yesterday and today can mean less choice and freedom in your life.

Stage II™ Recovery answers will seldom be found in Stage I recovery groups. They have different focuses, and that’s okay. Keep in mind, one stage is not better than another. There can be no Stage II if Stage I has not been won. Recovery does not end with sobriety.

this is the intro description from  from earnie larsen’s site. i think it reflects some insight that is required to really understand ourselves. i am damn sure i did not possess that insight early in my sobriety. i am not sure am in touch with this afore described self-knowledge. i am still working on this.

but i am very aware that i have gained volumes of understanding how i operate in the world in the years with no substances. i have gained and lost faith and reunited with it again. i have remembered my frailties and stumbled painfully beside them. i have found strength i really had no idea i possessed. i have lost all sight of being able to stay connected on the earth. and i have forgiven myself, many others i know for not living up to my expectations. and i have raised the bar on what might be possible in my life. i have learned to share my joy and i have learned to say “enough” and “no thank you”. and i have started on the path of belief.

i have had an epiphany this weekend. i have realized that i learned to be taken advantage of, used, and joked about publicly was something i experienced before the 5th grade. it became something i have been recreating over and over and over infinitum. because i got loaded so often, it never occurred to me that there might be such a pattern in my life. the new twist is that this is a pattern- not an isolated incident. it is a one-two-three act play that has been handstitched onto the cover of of my story.

and even after i got sober, i hadn’t a clue that such a pattern could even exist in my psyche. but these last few years have revealed not only an existence, but a thriving terrarium holding my head and heart hostage for most of my life and stealing the nutrients that nourish a healthy journey.

but today i have finally been blessed with the grace of some self-knowledge around this. no doubt it is too ingrained a pattern to simply disappear. frankly it will probably continue to sprout with unwelcome like the dandelions and thistles that speckle my lawn.  but at least now i have the option of side-stepping this life long habit of turning punk. i thank the universe for the quietly thunderous tectonic plate shift that sobriety has unveiled. truly amazing. so damn happy.


aretha’s you send me …. a solstice lunar eclipse

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Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
Joseph Campbell

There are not many days like Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010. Take it from people who know – astronomers. There was maybe one day like this Tuesday in the past 2,000 years.
On Tuesday morning, astronomers say, there will be – or depending on when this is read, was – a total eclipse of the moon. And on the very same day, the winter solstice arrives.

The last time the two celestial events occurred within the same calendar day was long before any of our lifetimes. The year, according to Geoff Chester, public affairs officer at the U.S. Naval Observatory, was 1638. Although the solstice does not always occur on the same date each year, the date in 1638 was the same as Tuesday’s – Dec. 21.
Chester said he looked it up, because as the time of the two events drew nearer, people began to make inquiries of him. He said his research took him back to the year A.D. 1. eemed to be reasonably far back. He consulted “a number of well-respected sources.” And his finding, essentially was this: “It’s a comparatively rare event.” Although it does not appear to have any cosmic significance. read the rest of this story here

or visit NASA’s eclipse website here

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
T uesday, December 21, 2010

thinking of you….

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Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays. ~Søren Kierkegaard

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Soul singer Aretha Franklin is “recovering and her spirits are high” after surgery for an undisclosed health issue, according to U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

“She’s doing very well. She’s very prayerful. She’s a woman full of deep religious faith,” Jackson was quoted as telling the Detroit News after a private visit with Franklin at an undisclosed location in the city on Friday.

Franklin’s publicist, Tracey Jordan, confirmed on Saturday the Jackson visit. Neither said what was ailing the 68-year-old singer, who last month canceled all her appearances until May 2011.

Franklin said in a statement on Thursday that she had undergone “highly successful surgery” but no one has disclosed the nature of her illness….. reprinted from