Reports from the Bunker

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Step Two: Almost

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I think before I can embrace step two, I need to take stock of what it is that I believe. It is hard to express this in any sort of concise set of words. I started as a Catholic but as an intellect, artist and truth seeker I wandered the worlds religions, great and small alike. Some I tried to embrace, all of them, I studied throughly. After christianity, Bhuddism and Taoism came the closest to capturing and holding onto me. What truth did I discover on this journey of spiritual sampling? I came to believe that no one religion has the proper name or accurate picture of God, as wise people tell me often, whatever force created or manages the universe is far too great for us to truly comprehend in any expressible way. So then, faith, real religious experience is a feeling, an experience of sense so awesome and unique as to be inexpressible. All the bibles, sutras and sermons in the world have failed to express it. I would argue, some are designed to bring us the experience rather than describe it, to profit devotion which can beget faith. The one book that seems to have the facts right is the Tao Te Ching, which tells us that the moment you try to express the divine you have lost it.
In that vein, I am left to ponder how to give a name to a higher power or how to place my faith in something that has no name. I am not sure at this time if I am for any organized religion giving a name to God, though I consider returning to the Catholic church. I do not believe that any one of the world religions is right, but I am not convinced it makes them entirely wrong. For me, where I feel closest to faith, to the divine is during this simple act, in writing, poetry in particular and in acts of sex, touching another beautiful body, another soul.
The writing bit, I suppose makes me believe in the muses, in the seemingly magical power of words, even if they fail to capture the true essence of the divine they can be beautiful and moving just the same, and they are the vehicle by which all human knowledge, understanding and tradition are carried forward in time. Reading the words of poets like Rumi, I can almost smell the mixed air of salt and sand in the old muslim world. The stench of piss and absinthe in Rimbaud’s Paris and it stirs an indescribable feeling of being connected into some continuum. Perhaps this faith in words, in beauty and simple divinity is misplaced and has not served me well. If so, perhaps I should seek out a more traditional god figure. I don’t know, perhaps I am the one that has not served it well enough. I know that I will, because I must, ponder it from now until a resolution reveals itself. I think I need some resolution before I can pass beyond this (second) and the next step.

I think before I can embrace step two, I need to take stock of what it is that I believe. It is hard to express this in any sort of concise set of words. I started as a Catholic but as an intellect, artist and truth seeker I wandered the worlds religions, great and small alike. Some I tried to embrace, all of them, I studied throughly. After christianity, Bhuddism and Taoism came the closest to capturing and holding onto me. What truth did I discover on this journey of spiritual sampling? I came to believe that no one religion has the proper name or accurate picture of God, as wise people tell me often, whatever force created or manages the universe is far too great for us to truly comprehend in any expressible way. So then, faith, real religious experience is a feeling, an experience of sense so awesome and unique as to be inexpressible. All the bibles, sutras and sermons in the world have failed to express it. I would argue, some are designed to bring us the experience rather than describe it, to profit devotion which can beget faith. The one book that seems to have the facts right is the Tao Te Ching, which tells us that the moment you try to express the divine you have lost it.
In that vein, I am left to ponder how to give a name to a higher power or how to place my faith in something that has no name. I am not sure at this time if I am for any organized religion giving a name to God, though I consider returning to the Catholic church. I do not believe that any one of the world religions is right, but I am not convinced it makes them entirely wrong. For me, where I feel closest to faith, to the divine is during this simple act, in writing, poetry in particular and in acts of sex, touching another beautiful body, another soul.
The writing bit, I suppose makes me believe in the muses, in the seemingly magical power of words, even if they fail to capture the true essence of the divine they can be beautiful and moving just the same, and they are the vehicle by which all human knowledge, understanding and tradition are carried forward in time. Reading the words of poets like Rumi, I can almost smell the mixed air of salt and sand in the old muslim world. The stench of piss and absinthe in Rimbaud’s Paris and it stirs an indescribable feeling of being connected into some continuum. Perhaps this faith in words, in beauty and simple divinity is misplaced and has not served me well. If so, perhaps I should seek out a more traditional god figure. I don’t know, perhaps I am the one that has not served it well enough. I know that I will, because I must, ponder it from now until a resolution reveals itself. I think I need some resolution before I can pass beyond this (second) and the next step.

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Written by jamesjanus

July 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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love in the time of Restricted Airway Disease

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The Dr. at the little Urgent Care clinic apparently diagnosed me with Restrictive Airway Disease not to be confused with Restrictive Lung Disease (IPF) which is a death sentence. None-the-less it underscores my needs to quit smoking and get back into a good cardio routine, I had a serious bout with this the last time I spent a month out of the gym.

Of course, airways with restricted and spasming bronchial airways did little slow Kim and I down this weekend, I don’t know how many times we fucked, but it was many and magnificent. Sometimes it left me wheezing and panting pretty hard, but it was worth it!  We also got some amount accomplished on packing up and preparing for our move and spent some time both alone relaxing and with some friends of hers by a backyard fire. What is great about her friends is that many of them are in recovery also and we can be sober and swap stories.

Speaking of which, if I haven’t mentioned it, I am a friend of Bill’s, or at least I was. I ran into a couple of issues that forced my decision not to continue going:

  1. I just plum didn’t like the AA as I was finding it here. Not as warm, welcoming or sincere as the people in Durham.  I wasn’t under the impression any of them were actually working the program.
  2. The defects, this entire bit confuses me and troubles me. For starters, I don’t remember that much of my life. For another thing, I don’t share the common persons morality and things they see as moral character defects, I do not. Lust and sexuality are a big no-no for the christian God, who would see all humans stripped of their sexuality. Not so for my gods. Also, with exception to any of my family and friends that my addiction brought pain, that my distance and coldness caused stress, I do feel I need to make amends and remove the active addiction and flaws that caused that. However, for the most part, if I have deliberately committed offenses against someone, violence, theft, cruelty, I held at the time and still hold that they had it coming. I do believe that sometimes violence and cruelty are the answer, the just thing and my fundamental right.
  3. Even with my fundamentally different morality, I knew that I was misbehaving last year and the early part of this year. I had a romantic and sexual relationship with a married mother of two and did my best to lure her away from her husband.  I am not sure I am sorry for this, but I was very much aware on some level that it was wrong enough that I couldn’t reconcile it with the tenets of the steps in AA, not if I intended to continue the affair. I suppose amends to her husband would be in order, if the revelation wouldn’t cause more damage than could be amended.

Today, I am done misbehaving (in accordance with my own morality) and I have been thinking that, with a deserving partner and two young boys in my life, there would be great benefit to becoming the best me that I can possibly be right? So, in spite of the continued presence of the first two issues I have with AA; it seems that making a return to the fold might be a good idea.  So, I am putting serious consideration into starting to look around and finding decent meetings I can go to and digging back into the books and the steps. I wouldn’t have the same amount of time to dedicate to it as before, in terms of physically interacting with meetings and members, but that is alright. Perhaps I could get Kim to engage in some of it with me.

Well, my sick weazing ass must be getting back to work.

Written by jamesjanus

June 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Dreams and Nightmares

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Kim had a dream last night that I was taking pills and stumbling into cop cars, perhaps it was really a window into my past, the entire description of the event sounded plausibly like something that may have happened to me in my former life.  I had strange dreams last night too, one was horrifying and still lingers.  My biggest fear was realized in it.

I was at someone’s house, a man, older and we were meeting in person it seems for the first time. I do not recall what I was doing there; I know I was writing poetry again and there were piles and piles of dusty books in this library at the mans house. There was also an upright piano and some other instruments. He had to excuse himself for a while, to eat dinner or do something in another part of the house. He pointed to a wet bar on the far side of the room, indicating I should help myself to some refreshments.

Distractedly  I looked around the large library, examining book titles and the walls, taking it all in with awe and wonder. Without connecting the bottles to their contents, without even a thought that I mixing an alcoholic beverage, my hands reflexively poured a few ounces of some foreign Vodka into a tumbler, followed by a splash of tonic.  I sat in an old, leather high backed chair, and scooping up the book nearest to me, I sipped on my beverage while I thumbed through the pages. The drink was good, so I made another, and another. I was fingering the keys on the piano with my eyes closed when I felt the buzz come on and with it the light bulb. I was drinking alcohol, I was buzzed. The delicious beverage I had been pouring was Vodka and tonic. I stared into the mostly empty third glass, ‘Two years sober, and I just blew it without so much as a conscious thought toward it, without intention, OH god, I am gonna have to start my count over, all over at 1 day’ There was a moment of protest in my head, the disease telling me that maybe I could drink again, that I could handle being moderate, Yeah I thought to myself, maybe I can – I looked to a clock on the wall and slumped 15 minutes I have been here alone and already I have had three of these. I chuckled at myself, but I was crestfallen that I could wreck two years of sobriety on reflex, without intention.

The fear of that lingers as I am in fact approaching my two year mark. I suppose, as long as I stay a little scared and vigilante I will be alright, but what a fucked up dream.

Written by jamesjanus

June 16, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Posted in Addiction

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