stage 2 sobriety

event of a thread

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Jetsyn greeting an old woman

In a large field Jetsyn came across a very beautiful girl, about fifteen years old. He went up to her , and she kindly invited him to her house, pointing, “It is over there. Wait for me at the door. I will come directly.”
Accordingly, Milarepa went to her home, pushed the door open with his staff, and went in. At once an ugly old woman with a handful of ashes rushed at him, shouting, “You miserable yogi-beggars! In the summer you all show up begging for milk and butter! In the winter you all come for grain! I’ll wager you wanted to sneak in to steal my daughter’s and daughter-in-law’s jewelry!”
Grumbling and trembling with rage, she was about to throw the ashes at Milarepa, when he said, “Wait a minute, Grandmother! Please listen to me!”
He then sang:

Grandmother, you are an angry woman,
Question your own thoughts and examine your mind.
Practice [the best of] the Buddha’s teaching.

When you were first sent here,
Did you dream you would become an old nanny-goat?
In the morning you get up from bed,
In the evening you go to sleep,
In between, you do the endless housework;
You are engrossed in these three things.
Grandmother, you are the unpaid maid.
Question your own thought and examine your mind. Then things may be different for you.
The head of the family is the most important one,
Income and earnings are the next most longed-for things,
Then sons and nephews are wanted most.
By these three you are bound.
Grandmother, for yourself you have no share.
Question your own thought and examine your mind [if you can, so far as you can].
Grandmother, you are burned up with fury.
Gossip about other women and their manners is what interests you;
To talk of widows and relatives is your delight.
Grandmother, are you so gentle when you gossip?
To lift you from a chair is like pulling out a peg;
With feeble legs you waddle like a thieving goose;
Earth and stone seem to shatter when you drop into a seat;
Senile and clumsy is your body, Grandmother, you have no choice but to obey.
Question your own thought and examine your mind. From that you may find out how you have changed.
Your skin is creased with wrinkles;
Your bones stand out sharply from your shrunken flesh;
You are deaf, dumb, imbecile, eccentric, and tottering;
You are thrice defonned.
Grandmother, your ugly face is wrapped in wrinkles.
Your food and drink are cold and foul,
Grandmother, you are now a wretch,
half woman and half bitch!
Now, with fear and grief at heart,
You watch the time of death draw nigh.
Grandmother, can you face death with confidence?
Upon hearing this profound, melodious song, the old woman was so moved that she regretted what she had done to the Jetsun, and could not help shedding tears. [139-39, passim, and slightly modified.]

the event of a thread from Paul Octavious on Vimeo.

tiny wisdom… moving forward

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“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.” -James Joyce
it has been another weekend of newness. i did not have any parties to work. i went to a 12 step conference/speaker meeting on friday evening. i injured my knee during cardio class about 4 weeks ago and let it continue to heal in lieu of heading to work on on saturday am. i bought some snacks and took them to the hospitality suite at the conference on saturday afternoon with every intention of staying for the dinner. 
however, there were was a sense of unease with me and i gave a friend a ride to a meeting she was speaking at that evening and opted to simply go home and chill. i had really been feeling exhausted all week long. 
sunday morning, a friend and i went to hear another friend sing with the choir at a local church. there was a baptism of a 12 year old boy which accented the experience. the church is 6 blocks away, quite small and quaint, and left a smile on my heart. i dropped my friend at her home with a plan of going to the closing speaker meeting of the conference. i got a call from my friend alex saying that he and his partner were in town from philadelphia. he was calling to ask if i could meet in 15 minutes for brunch. 
we were to meet at olivea  where they had a reservation. upon arrival it seemed we would have to wait at least 20 minutes, so we skated across the street to the avenue grill. we had eggs benedict, huevos rancheros, and a red and white burrito. a distinct and seductive waft of cumin repeatedly danced its way to my senses and left a smile in my mind. this brunch and get-together was a remarkable intervention with my standard weekend. 
as i consider the shift that is taking place in my life now, i seem to have shaken loose some very familiar unease. the availability and synchronicity of social activity is consistent and solid. i find myself in a rather new environment of enjoyment. it is certainly not familiar yet at the same time, i am loving it. whether it is anything more than just another stretch of life’s highway remains to be revealed. i will, however relish the pleasantness and be grateful. 
i write more about the present, as i have spent the last few posts surveying the errors. i continue to struggle with conflict and it continues to trouble my landscape. i excessively filled my time when an emotional challenge reared its head, and i made agreements i was not able to fulfill.  my intention is to leave room for these lessons and other troubles to materialize. it would be a preference to let go of my fear of others so that it can travel on to the next soul that needs its wisdom.
i want to give a nod to tiny buddha blog for the inspiration for today’s post. i am finding that moving forward brings with it a myriad of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. as much as i want to balk, i secretly long for new adventure. 
in keeping with the moving forward theme, i am continuing to explore my new romance with the new breed of electronica. these sounds and beats are magic provided by michael mayer of kompakt records at the boiler room berlin. 

01. Andrea Esu – E.S.U. Track
02. Kenny “Jammin” Jason with “Fast” Eddie Smith – Can U Dance
03. Ron Trent – Kids At Play
04. Barnt – Hark
05. Paris – A Shifting Drifting World (It’s A Fine Line Remix)
06. Coma – Gravity
07. Terranova feat. Tomas Høffding – Question Mark (KiNK Mix feat. Rachel Row)
08. Laurent Garnier – Communication From The Lab (Germ Mix)
09. Hot Chip – Boy From School (Erol Alkan’s Extended Re-Work)
10. Kölsch – Der Alte

vicious pink…. cccan’t you see

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How did it happen? If I have asked myself that question once, I have asked it a thousand times, and I still don’t have the answer. By now you are probably asking yourself, how did WHAT happen? How did a reasonably intelligent, hard working guy like myself get hooked on drugs? More specifically, that nasty bitch we lovingly, at first, call Mz. Tina….

Oh, it started innocently at first when I stop and think back on it. Out for the weekend at a club and a friend says, here try this, it’s great you’ll feel like a million dollars and we can party on ALL night!!! And the sex is going to just be Fabulous…with a recommendation like that, I thought, I’d be a fool to not try it. At least once, I said.

I tried it, just a small “line” at first I mean its not like I was one of those “druggies”, or one of those low life homeless guys…I had a job and a car and a house. I wasn’t like them. That could never happen. Guess what? I DID feel like a million bucks and sex WAS fabulous…even sex with people I would not normally even speak to let alone have sex with!!! It just made me incredibly horny and sexual and I just felt like every one was my friend…there wasn’t always a cute guy around who was my type but with Mz. Tina around, I didn’t care…I’d just “snort” them pretty and go ahead and do the deed anyway…yes the standards definitely got lowered a bit…at first it was just once every couple of weeks or so…I was only partying on the weekends, Friday night and Saturday night. I had to work on Monday so I stopped partying Sunday so I was good to go on Monday morning. By this time Id been doing Mz. Tina for about 6 months, but only “recreationally”, meaning on weekends. I told myself it was okay because it was only 2 days a week and I did have a job and a car and a house…and it WAS the weekend I deserved to have some fun…

I managed to always get to work on Monday and get thru the week in good shape…. I soon found myself daydreaming and wishing that Friday would hurry up and get here…hey I was ready to have some more fun again, as so often happens with Mz. Tina, the weekends began to start on Thursday and end on Sun night…I started to show up at work looking like the wrath of God has been thrown at me. BUT I was still at work on Monday so how bad good it be I told myself…and I did have fun, I think, hmmmmm parts of the weekend are awfully fuzzy. I just did not always remember the whole weekend…I knew that Id had fun and id made some new friends…now if I could just remember what his name was. Did he give me his phone number? Did I give him mine?

I wrote it on a scrap of paper somewhere. Ill find it later. He liked me, I could tell…but what the hell did he look like? Did we have sex? Was it fun? Better yet, was it safe…?

No time to worry about it now Id tell myself…I’ll be better next weekend…..

quoted and reposted from tweaker.org

i was scrolling through an fb page for the club i used to manage back in the 80’s and savoring many of the songs that the dj/vj’s posted. bands like skinny puppy, nitzer ebb, front 242, and even rights of the accused. but then all the way at the bottom was a band i had nearly forgotten about- vicious pink.

ccccan’t you see was such a complete anthem in my eyes. it had so much of that quintessential crossover sound of that decade. and it opened up a floodgate of feelings and memories when i heard it.

at the same time i noticed that a friend was celebrating his birthday at the same time, so i posted it to him with a short and sweet (hopefully) note of good wishes.

i got back a quiet message which was a bit of a surprise. it was about his new relationship and how they have been slamming T a coupla times a week. Also detailed was how that part felt like it was getting outa hand and going south quickly. he wrote about shaking so much he doesn’t get a good hit, and maybe it’s a good day to say “done with it”.  the note was finished with a tender bit about me being a safe place to drop a random note like this because i could understand after having been through what i’ve been through.

quite a birthday note eh? and it does lead me to consider where my life has led. he is correct- i do understand. i have honed my understanding to include never going back. it’s odd that i have about 3 or 4 really close friends (from those days) who all continue to engage in serious dance moves with getting high. for  this one it’s iv crystal, for one it’s iv crystal and crack, for the 3rd its crack. they maintain (something i could never do) but i wonder if they grow. i know i feel my life has really opened up since throwing down the sword and walking away from the battle. and i also know i cannot live my friends lives.

there are not so many people left who hold my history in their hearts. it’s important for me to love them, albeit from a distance. too close would be toxic. perhaps for each of us.

when i was in a gala chorus in the 90’s here in colorado, i remember an introduction by one of the gala organizers describing lgbt people as those who said “yes” to pleasure in ways that others were afraid to do. that has resonated with me all these years and still does. there is a lot to be found in the idea that denied inclusion, acceptance, and visible demonstration for so long might just lead to a determination of having pleasure after the coming out process.

that day held some quiet and remarkable reminders about my life, my friends, my culture, and my journey. i numbed out for a minute after the note, but felt empathy almost immediately. i felt allegiance for the trust that was given me. i cannot help really other than hold good thoughts for my friend and the situation. it continues to be a twisted web we weave and it’s remarkable the challenges we traverse in the name of love.

Why Does The Wind

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image credit.. sawako beerens at pinterest
And don’t leave the back door open
And look for a way out and then say maybe you love me but theres no way of knowing
Why does the wind blow through my house at night?
Why does the wind blow through my heart each time I look into your eyes?
Dont look for reasons
Dont tear your heart wondering why the light starts fading when the day is ending
Embrace the seasons and get to believing that it’s only something broken that seems worthwhile mending
Why does the wind blow through my house at night?
Why does the wind blow through my heart each time i look into your eyes?
Your heart is sore like mine was before
You look to the sky and no one cares why
Not even the wind so where to begin
And since we exist
And why not just
Why not just
And why not just kiss?

i recently realized (duh) that i am really involved with projects in my life that i believe in and that i care about. the very frustrating part of all these things is that they all seem to struggle with finances. the clinic that i work with full time has traditionally taken care of people with no resources and funding is always a struggle. additionally it’s a medical facility and medical pricing seems to be over the top to me.

i took a second job at a small counseling agency in englewood. they actually have two locations (one in westminster) and currently do mostly dui counseling. the dui arrests have increased in numbers, however the revenue stream for dui seems to be in a drought. the englewood office is in dire need of a facelift and there is but 1 dollar to get it done. and it has to be done. i will be kind and not post pics here.

i have taken the position of chair on the board for advocates for recovery in colorado. part of their charge has been to host a rally for recovery every september (national recovery month). i am also co-chairing the rally this year. i met with the other co-chair about the budget. it’s not an easy picture. there will be funds, but i am not sure where or when. their website has been reconstructed recently after the original webmaster had a meltdown. the site was back up in days (whew) but also really needs a directional overhaul. someone mentioned at a board retreat last year that they were looking at the afr website and they couldn’t discern what we do. i have to say  i whole-heartedly agree. and having a clear message may just be more important than buying 300 baseball game tickets to give to sponsors of the rally- this year’s cost has gone up dramatically.

it seems masochistic for me to be involved in all these projects that don’t have enough. i am not sure at all that i can solve all their issues. i hope they want me to continue to try. i hope even more that i can bring some lightness and laughter with me. that is what feels to be drained the most when i consider all this lack. it’s almost as if the lack is contagious. maybe i won’t have enough wisdom or stamina to be of help. maybe i am not the right person for this job. maybe i will. maybe i will might be the most frightening of all these. maybe i am just used to being afraid.

these are just questions on a sunday morning. the answers will come. i hope i can live up to my hopes with all these situations and organizations. i don’t wanna let anybody down. but just like these lyrics ask- “why does the wind blow through my house at night”, these worries and questions run through my head most times. “you look to the sky and no one cares” seems appropriate. why does it matter when we have no way of knowing. just do what you do and live your life. thoughtful advice.

in case you don’t remember tracey thorn she and her husband used to be everything but the girl. she still has that same hauntingly beautiful tone in her voice. this is from her 2010 album “love and its opposite”