program development

a pair of wings with a ball and chain

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image credit… wayfair.com
O Tell Me The Truth About Love by W H Auden

Some say love’s a little boy, 
And some say it’s a bird, 
Some say it makes the world go around,
Some say that’s absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door, 
Who looked as if he knew, 
His wife got very cross indeed, 
And said it wouldn’t do.

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas.
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell? 
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is?
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love. 
Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes, 
It’s quite a common topic on 
The Transatlantic boats;
I’ve found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides, 
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway guides.
Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation 
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its singing at parties a riot? 
Does it only like Classical stuff? 
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet? 
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
It wasn’t over there; 
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton’s bracing air
I don’t know what the blackbird sang, 
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn’t in the chicken-run, 
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing? 
Does it spend all its time at the races,
or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money? 
Does it think Patriotism enough?
re its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.
When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I’m picking my nose? 
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather? 
Will its greeting be courteous or rough? 
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.
there is something i am learning about myself and my nature that seems new. funny, because i am sure it has been the same all along- i suspect i am just waking to it. in the beginning stages of taking an idea and running it up a flagpole and letting the winds of processing stretch it into a life size float. this part of the creative process is the intoxicating part for me. 
unsure as to whether to be validated or not, i feel vindicated to understand finally that it is the kinetics involved in ideas which propel me forward. i get high on ideas. gosh- i feel a little naked admitting this. it’s almost as if i feel a little ashamed because i find enjoyment. hmm- gotta find a way to let that bit go. 
i have been told that i am driving the bus on this new idea. i might as well have been given a pair of wings and a ball and chaing at the same time. it’s so dizzying and quite daunting. none the less, i am in my cups these days. spinning ideas on creating a vision, a mission, core values, developing and implementing a volunteer workforce, educating, training, and funding all have me believing i might be on a tilt-a-whirl. it’s certainly an amusement ride. 
thank you, thank you, thank you universe for opening my world to this opportunity. i have to admit here that some of my judgement will be clouded by my own desires and prejudices. i am swimming a resentment now that i perhaps clouding my judgement somewhat. i am willing to let it go, but i haven’t been willing enough to forget it. i pledge to make an effort to get to that place. 
the name of our new venture is slated to be named.
“Back To Life”. 
Peer Recovery Services 
What We Teach We Learn
the logo ideas are being bandied about and the next brainstorming event should happen this month. i am scheduling an impromptu thank you lunch for all the volunteers that have participated since the onset. and we will hopefully will start to work on our mission statement.
i don’t think i know more than anyone nor do i feel more special. i believe that the ideals of recovery and inclusion that i spout so often about here have been carved into the landscape well before i was aware they existed. i embrace those ideals however, and i work to live by them. and something tells me i will post more about the project as it rolls out.
Recovery Premise 1: All individuals are unique and have specific needs, goals, health attitudes and behaviors, and expectations for recovery.
Recovery Premise 2: Persons in recovery with mental illness, alcohol or drug addiction, or both, share some similarities, however, management of their own lives and mastery of their own futures will require different pathways at times.
Recovery Premise 3: All persons shall be offered equal access to treatment and have the opportunity to participate in their recovery process.


soul mining with an uncertain smile

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image credit…. ddmag

Peeling the skin back from my eyes, I felt surprised
that the time on the clock was the time I usually retired
to the place where I cleared my head of you;
but just for today, i think I’ll lie here and dream of you.
I’ve got you under my skin where the rain can’t get in,
but if the sweat pours out, just shout I’ll try to SWIM AND pull you out.
A howling wind blows the litter as the rain flows,
As street lamps pour orange coloured shapes through your window,
a broken soul stares from a pair of watering eyes,
uncertain emotions force in an uncertain smile…
.. matt johnson(the the)

i find myself entering a familiar yet precarious chapter in my life. my nature is very much geared towards program and process development. in my early 20’s, i found passion (and pain) in the collaborative creation and formation of an after-hours club in chicago. i certainly say collaborative here because i fully believe that nothing that is done is done alone and in no way did i participate in any of these things alone. the club became quite popular in chicago and lasted about 10 years, although my life and my nature didn’t allow me to be involved that long at all. disease, death (it was the 1980’s) and drug addiction kept me tied to a post like a sad and lonely pit bull, barking at almost every one who tried to get near.


i then found myself in colorado without much direction and consuming a lotta liquor. my uncle asked me to help him with a travel agency he started with his college roommate.  i knew absolutely nothing about travel (which was so like my uncle) but i took the gig and helped steer it from a 250,000 a year venue to an enterprise ringing in 17M annually.  my desire to continue and my instability due to alcohol consumption, the trauma and fatigue in 12 years of waiting ot die of aids, i let go of that project with no takeaway

the next offering to my appetite for creativity was a gay men’s meth treatment program during my 3rd year in recovery. i researched for a curriculum, advocated in hiv circles for grant approval, networked with recovery communities  to build some capacity and delivered. i realized once the program had launched that the MH needs  of the implementation were above my skill set. after discussing my concerns in-house, found my trust breached and i shut down from the onslaught of shame-based trauma triggers. 

i have embarked on the quiet development of a meth treatment program in a suburb. it is going smoothly, albeit a more quiet kick-off than i am accustomed. but it is having some impact on a few individuals. and it is having some calming effect on my obsession with creating. 

and now i stand before an opportunity that meets all the criteria. and in the back of my mind, i circle around disappointment and loss. let down. betrayal. disposal. failure. and as i write all of this down, it occurs to me that all these years and these events had led me to believe that actions (either mine or that of others’) had led me here, but i am now getting the sense that it is my own nature that is at the core of my situations. it is the palpable and ironic reality that what excites me just might hurt me as well. it might be that if i find myself in sweet spots in my life which include engaging in my passion that it might also be concluded that the likelihood of the other side of passion being involved is very high.  hopefully  i have begun to move beyond some intelligence and intuition towards a semblance of wisdom.

Wisdom is the judicious application of knowledge. It is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgments and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one’s emotional reactions (the “passions“) so that universal principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one’s actions. Wisdom is also the comprehension of what is true coupled with optimum judgment as to action

i have been swimming in 80’s reflection these last months. matt johnson and the the are a shining beacon from those days. their sound was a jazz/rock/electronica crossover to say the least, with  lyrics that  feel like poetry, and i love them sitll. as i write i sit here on this snowy snowy sunday morning doing some soul mining with an uncertain smile- but certainly a smile none-the-less.