July 3rd 2006

copyright© don oddy

~ Hot Days and Arts of Living ~ hot dates are just for today

On the hottest days of the year, we find ourselves developing our best Arts of survival. Sometimes when we overheat, we find the best and worst of our talents for living come out in the moment of now.

These last two days, the warmest of the year, impacting more so on the National Psyche than in other years. So many experiences coming together as we face challenges. A world cup, with England striving in the run up to the final, would they win? Much hope and hot weather, much celebration in advance and where has hope gone? Down the pan as usual as our England players do their best and worst in just over two hours. Why we put so much hope into a game is really beyond me, maybe some sort for of gladiatorial thing we get hyped to feel as the media make use our emotions to win and be top dog.

And for Wimbledon and our National treasure, Tim Henman is knocked out and we all who might enjoy tennis enjoy it less for his beating. And its hot weather and we sweat more than our share of worries over our sporting heroes.

And the Art of cool as we bake away and temperatures in the UK are as high as any high summer and today is the next hottest day of the year and we brace ourselves.

And my mood? It is up and content. I went out and had fun all day yesterday. Two elements of living for me. With help for a friend and a day out at the Arts. A day out where looking at Art and the work of Artists inspires to make my mind imagine all manner of human connections.

And of course more in the helping department, seeing to my sisters cat as she is away and making sure Tiger cat is fed and well. And a fellowship early morning meeting.

Odd really that the day starts with serenity, accepting the day as is, what I cannot change, making choices on the things I can change and using my wisdom to make the difference obvious. And a fellowship meeting which was really good in the morning to ensure some right sized thinking and feeling. Our fellowship topic turned out to be, how to develop and maintain our spiritual connection. It sounds grandiose and I guess if we were all learners at living life a day at a time we might be talking much in the imagination and little in reality.

Yet in our meeting, the fellows can claim many years of day at a time living. And talking of spiritual development is key to making life worthwhile. We open in humility that our lives have been turned around at the beginning our sobriety, when we are still mad with addiction, through to day to day connection with our feelings and good conscience.

Some believe in God and their conscience, I believe firmly in our good conscience and connection to powers greater than just me require more than just one set of thinking, mine and another human, to my problems today.

In essence as I listened it struck me for years I had been absent minded and forgetful to just to basic self care, that my troubles in compulsive disorder simply stemmed from a lack of esteem and fear of myself, that in real terms I hated myself and my life as it had little purpose and was worthless to me and anyone. How sad we can be, reduced to such ignominy. Where we can die in a state of complete madness and frustration with living and have lost all hope, the end where we hit a rock bottom. And that there are more rock bottoms to come for some of us.

In my case it took my lack of self care to bring me to a place of acceptance about me. That my living was neither better or worse than any other if I lived it as it is, for real, poor or poorer for my experiences in material terms, and richer than I could imagine if I just learned to stay alive and put some time into living again. That wisdom was a hard learned fact, or belief when I started. That we have shit and good and bad and wonderful experiences everyday as long as we can keep seeing the real of living. And seeing art does this for me today, now I am in remission from depressive episodes.

For me as I listen in the fellowship meeting what I hear most in my mind, is with self maintenance of my own three life threatening conditions, I keep my body as well as I can. I keep my physical as best it can be and feelings and thinking can be understood. As physical and emotional is understood day by day, to the healthy or less than healthy, I can understand my spiritual connection a day at a time.

I realise we all have the same connection to nature and good conscience when we work out living daily. We don’t have superior capacity, we can just make our connections good as we can develop, by looking after our basic living. One thing follows another, physical to emotional to spiritual. They impact and improve with use, we get good at excellence. As Aristotle said, excellence is merely good habits. And my habits, habitual self care in the basics makes living much easier.

A day at a time, we improve our connection and wisdom. We are equal in this respect, and our personal wisdom works best when we use it every day in the simplest of ways. We just make our day work with simple process, acceptance, choices and wisdom.

And the day so set, with just for today, enough to understand to listen and ask and make choices where I can, I had the very best of days.

No preconceptions dribbling through with worry. I had opportunity to experience my surroundings and people and everything worked well. Sounds very elementary and nothing too sophisticated.

Well all I know it takes courage to let the day roll out as it is. To have hope for a day is more courageous than trying to bend the day to my will.

And as for those who might will this day to their ends, I learned with the best of will we don’t win world cups, with the best of determined endeavour we don’t take pride in national heroes for they will inevitably fail one day and cause much grief. That we can help a friend with a project and make it work for them, that others who befriend with their needs can be helped sometimes better by not choosing to do their work for them, just help them determine to do their work. And that when we learn these choices in acceptance of a day of promise, we work to no will or self willed bigness or national pride. We just plainly work with what we have, and make a very excellent experience.

And as to my worries of exploited time and compromises, I learn simply to let others do what they must to make their living work. And I need keep myself to the basics of physical, emotional and spiritual well being, using courage and making my wisdom daily work for me.

I guess in some ways to be right sized. Make my mistakes as I go, laugh at my simplicity of living and move along with little clutter or baggage, just the wonder of a hot day and excellent times in pursuit of Art. Art of life, with Artists impressions of life, in good company and just for the day. What an excellent and completely hot day and date for me.

So from fellowship and friendship. A morning meeting to remind me of my right size. My remembering to keep my self care on track, and open my eyes to simple moments and broad and deep connections to a world which so easily can overwhelm anyone and everyone. We might do well to recollect, our sporting heroes did their best, that we may judge them with understanding and not criticism, that we are no more able to do what they do, than they can themselves.

Forget reflected glory, it is not ours. Forget Nationalistic Jingoism, for it smacks of superior attitudes we need not accept. We need equality and diversity, not prejudice and bigotry. We need learn from our collective disappointment where it will lead. For we had and have hot days, where we flourish in the simple things of life, which give most pleasure when we take care of ourselves, and we are driven mad when we will ourselves and things different. What a gift a day can be! Just one at a time, please…

So for us simple equal, and forever a day at a time folk, everyday is potentially a hot day and date, where we experience it with self care, physical, emotional and spiritual, where we keep it right sized, where we let go our will and open choices to their potential and not our selfish whim, we let art be our guide and accept what we get. Where we develop wisdom, and find our actions in good conscience better for their making. Just a day at a time!

Copyright © Don Oddy

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