2012

deep breaths

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image credit.. ddmag.tumblr

as i consider the events of 2012, i find that my reactions to my life had more impact than the events themselves. this is not surprising- but does continue to humble me.

i wrote a poem when i was 16 years old titled “i am an ocean”.. it’s basic (truly) premise was that we are infinite- and mostly about ebb and flow. i am not sure i can find a copy of that poem anywhere now- i lost track of most of my life and belongings during my meth daze.

but this small poem set the stage for my identity in a couple of ways. i understood on some level the power and the metaphor of the tide- and for someone with a bi-polar tendency this hints of some insight. it also proved to lead to denial. but that’s a story mostly told. writing that poem also revealed to me that i had something to say about life that was beneath the surface. the act of blogging these last few years has allowed me to acknowledge that part of self and to nurture it a bit.

as i look back on this year, i remember my best friends’ mother’s funeral in chicago- so bittersweet. i connected with so many old friends i hadn’t seen in decades, but also had to witness as my bestie flopped like a trapped kite in a tree on a windy day. i couldn’t even hold him and make the hurt go away.

i remember taking a board  position for a local recovery organization and spending most of my free time in the spring and summer planning a rally for september. i slowly came to realize that my hopes for the not-for-profit did not match the other board members’ vision. once my commitment for the september event was over, i pulled away from any connection to it. the response to my letter of resignation seemed so canned and unauthentic that i felt vindicated for my decision. but i realize that i have so much work to do around boundaries for myself.

at the very same time, i asked to transfer positions at my workplace. it was rash and it was swift. the change took place in november and my heart has become engaged like i never would have imagined. on a daily basis  now i encounter people in varied stages of change and am in the process of developing a relationship with 50 or so new people searching for recovery of some sort.

in july, i met with a local probation district in a suburb and talked to them about a meth recovery program that was to start in their town. this was in response to assisting some friends who own an agency and have been struggling with their dui program as their only revenue stream. we have had 6 clients in the meth program thus far. i have felt good about it.

my sponsor of 7 years passed in september which most likely influenced my major decisions about making change. i am pretty sure that walking through conflict, sadness, differences of opinion, even discomfort are not my strong suit. i miss him and i miss his friendship.

my december was the busiest i have had for catering parties and i am pretty pooped as i post this. i realize that there is work to be done. that i have more to do, more inventory to take, more fun to find, and more relaxation to make happen.

i am still aware that i am living on bonus time. that gives me an edge i think. i don’t mess too much with disappointment and regret, because expectation is not really an option.

of all the things i can think of that brought a real and true smile to my face, it is the genius of nicolas jaar. i have listened to so many of his musical cut-ups and found delight, release, and inspiration. and i continue to do just that. maybe you can play this in the background and see if you can find my meaning here. happy new year. all the best. to everyone.

raise your glass

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image credit…ddmag.tumblr.com

There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America – there’s the United States of America.

Barack Obama


image credit….pete souza

Excerpts from President-elect Barack Obama’s acceptance speech:
Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.
It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are one American family, and we will rise and fall as one nation.
Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.
I want to thank every American who participated in this election. whether you voted fo the very first time, or waited in line for a very long time – by the way, we have to fix that – whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign. You made your voice heard, and you made a difference.
To Michelle: Let me say this publicly. I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder of watching the rest of America fall in love with you too as our nation’s First Lady.
To Sasha and Malia: I’m really proud of you guys. But I will say for now, one dog’s probably enough.
To my campaign staff, thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way, and I will always be grateful for everything you’ve done and all the incredible work you’ve put in.
Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy, and messy, and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us have deeply-held beliefs. and when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs up passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments that we have are marks of our liberty.
We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant daughter who studies in our school and pledges to our flag.
Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you. And you’ve made me a better president. With your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do.
Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weerks and months I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet challenges we can only solve together.
Tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I’ve never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. … 
I believe we can seize this future, because we are not as divided as our politics suggests, We are not as cynical as the pundits believe, We are greater than the sum of our ambitions. We are more than a collection of red and blue states. We are the United States of America. And with your help, and God’s grace, we will continue our journey forward, and remind the world why we live in the greatest nation on earth.
God Bless America. God Bless these United States.



Right, right, turn off the lights

We’re gonna lose our minds tonight

What’s the deal, yo?

I love when it’s all too much

5 a.m. turn the radio up

Where’s the rock ‘n roll?

Party crasher, penny snatcher

Call me up if you’re a gangsta

Don’t be fancy, just get dancy

Why so serious?

So raise your glass if you are wrong

In all the right ways, all my underdogs

We will never be, never be anything but loud

And nitty gritty, dirty little freaks

Won’t you come on and come on and

Raise your glass!

Just come on and come on and

Raise your glass!

Slam, slam, oh hot damn

What part of a party don’t you understand?

Wish you’d just freak out

(Freak out already)

Can’t stop, coming in hot

I should be locked up right on the spot

It’s so on right now

(It’s so fucking on right now)

Party crasher, penny snatcher

Call me up if you’re a gangsta

Don’t be fancy, just get dancy

Why so serious?…Pink

this post was inspired by my friend julien arbor. she posted the “pink” version of this song on the “punks for obama” page on fb. i honestly felt like celebrating and when i heard that song i knew it held some of the joie du vivre that i was feeling.

there are so many really disturbing things i noticed about the party system this time- mostly the divisive nature of the campaigns. the obama legacy will no doubt include the amazing strides his camp has made to bring the different sub-populations together. as a nation, i am not sure we can afford just what the divisive nature will cost us.