people like us

lean into it

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the continuous flow of changes permeate most of my days. new procedures, new processes,  exiting colleagues, new caseload, new hours, new activities, and altered expectations are just a handful among the growing mind boggling amount of “one more things” that drape my days. it is both exhilarating and perplexing to walk-through.

i don’t know if i have what it takes to move through this all with success, but i am committed to seeing the development of a recovery support process in a health care setting as far as i am allowed. i encounter so many individuals who are drifting through their lives because they lack healthy connections and they have lost a sense of real purpose a long while ago. the drifting seems to have created a chasm in so many that almost impossible to traverse.

thus far, the recovery support efforts we have initiated seem to have offered some addressment to this situation. there is a connection that is created with peer support that can act as a triage for some of these drifters. in opposition to the overflow of listlessness that accompanies early recovery, a sense of connectedness and purpose can move in. in other words- people connect to other people living a similar path- it is definitely not pharmaceutical. it is a holistic treatment protocol that has worked for many persons in recovery at least since 1939.

it has begun to rain again which is quite unusual for colorado in august. it is a downpour and not just a drizzle.the light from the sky is gray- almost yellow. there is memory with this rain. it is not clear memory, more of a sensory deja-vu.

much of my usual routine on weekends involves movies. i have seen many many films and continue to do so. this weekend it is “chasing mavericks” and “trance”. i am in the middle of the former as i type and i just finished the latter. trance has a lovely soundtrack. it also presents a curious reminder about memory and behavior. what i remember and how i remember it have an immediate and distinct effect on how i live.

memory seems to be nothing more than stored information. repeatedly the knowledge is reinforced in me that this information is not always chronological, convenient, or complete. very often the images and sensory effects of memory are fragmented and pastiched like a burroughs and gyson cut-up. if language is a virus as laurie anderson reflected then perhaps memory is where it incubates.

needless to say this particular revelation has given me a fresh optic with which to replay the tracks of my life. getting sober gave me a very similar gift. when memory moves in like a wave, i have learned to sit with emotion till it rolls back out with the tide. now i am hoping that plucking memory from the depths will be an option and not a mandate. there were so many occurrences in my first 10 years that have shaped my emotional and relationship life.i used to use dopamine to distract the memory channel from broadcasting in my head. since the entrance of recovery,  a good portion of the over traumas have moved into view like an answer on an 8-ball and i have chosen to let the tracks play all the way through. there are samples of memory and experience that have yet to see light again. some odd  bits have surfaced, but i believe they may have been fractured by something. perhaps it is my emotions, my feelings, or my need to bury them.

the 6 rules posted here are ripped from “people like us”. it was my favorite film of 2012.

 “The six rules of life.
1. Don’t like something just because you think other people will like it, because they won’t. 
2. What you think is important isnt. What you think is unimportant is. 
3. Lean into it. 
4. Don’t shit where you eat. 
5. Most doors are closed so if you want them to open you need a cool knock. 
6. Don’t sleep with people who have more problems than you do.”

people like us

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image credit...collider.com

after reading a couple of reviews online, i had shied away from bothering to see this film. prior to that, there had been only anticipation on my part. but the review that soured me was from usa today and said something about mawkish cliches featuring unreal people yada yada.

those words and that sentiment are biting and offputting. for some reason- probably chris pine- i decided to see it anyway and boy-o-boy was i surprised. just like a really incredible birthday present surprise – one that really fits and looks good. i had no idea “people like us” would give such a sweet and endearing look at the frailties of modern american families. i didn’t find alex kurtzman’s sweet and tender film a bit mawkish- only the reviewer seems mawkish.

i got hooked pretty early on. any movie than jon favreau takes time to participate in,  usually works for me. the story seemed real- at least most of it. the connections and the disconnections between these two siblings is very familiar to my own story. i have two siblings that i have not connected with much at all. the very few encounters i have had with both have been rife with hurt and rivalry, fear and mistrust, anger and denial. this is my truth and i watched it being played out on the big screen so very adeptly.

michelle pfeiffer’s performance i think might be my favorite of hers to date. she was stellar. imperfect, quite flawed actually, and tough. elizabeth banks is so perky as a recovering alcoholic bartender who is adrift in her life. and of course i loved the 12 step bits. but chris pine really stole the show. he has a tendency to breathe life into his lines (and the story) in a way that seems so very fresh and organic. loved him in star trek, but this one made me a fan.

without a doubt, the young man’s role- the son, nephew, and grandson is perhaps the glue that binds it all. we find him in the throes of acting out his frustration, but his shenanigans (and more) are so very transparent and penetrable that i couldn’t resist believing that i wanted to help this kid somehow. and the characters in the film must have felt the same way. his behaviors never overshadowed his feelings which are at the heart of this film. i guess it is “people like us” that still connect to all the things that were f’d up in our childhood and our families.

if you haven’t seen it, i am not gonna give you the plot or the bits. suffice it to say that it seems to me that no matter what the “focus on the family” folks try to sell at the carnival, american family life is splintered and disparate in enormous ways. we have again become nomadic and gypsy-like, technology and commerce leading some of our choices, while libido and lust still  bring us to howl at the moon.

the loveliest thing i took away was hope in our spirit. our human ability to cope with things that are not easy to cope with. we lie, we cheat, we are greedy, we manipulate to get what we want, and yet we hope for the best and we can often find a way to make good of a very very difficult situation. of course i have no choice in the matter, but i am glad i am “people like us”

i have included the liz phair song written specifically for this movie as well as an interview with her about that process. all in all, a thoughtful and introspective time was delivered by this movie. i needed a look back and a look in. and i did it with some kind thoughts in my heart.