I need to be on the move, exercise my body, exercise my head. Emotional and Physical.
We humans go back and forth around spiritual, we have our beliefs, our faith and our courage. Indeed my fellowship of AA
helps me see what sort of progress I can achieve each day.
Of course we need every experience a human can have to understand spiritual. And its pretty easy really as experience comes
our way as we live, and there are no rules to growth.
It is every hard knock on our being, every loving moment, every natural part of physical and emotional experience.
As we move along in living, as we seek truth or truth plainly seeks us out, or as life offers, gives, takes away and
generally happens, truth with least filters and denials helps us keep our spiritual contact of now.
Our focus on now, this one moment in time never to repeat, as we move along we get wisdom and often confusion too as we make
sense of our living. As we imagine the past, as we consider the future so often we forget this present moment.
"If I can get through this tight bit of life, if I can just endure and endeavour a bit longer" So often teased and
persuaded to be gratified later, and not in the now. Heaven is no place to end up and wonder why we missed the purpose of
If we can describe a purpose to living, maybe its happiness, joy, sad reflections, our denials, our imagination, our beliefs,
if we can look back? What can we say about our impact in this world?
Nature and our world teaches, and we elaborate develop and make our living as we can. Sometimes we can see great rewards
spiritually in understanding the place we are now. Impacted and made so by experience.
We love and don’t hate. We hate and don’t love. We learn where balance is struck and can apply. Somewhere in the middle? Not
so as my experience has led me this way and that. I cannot live in hate and keep my spiritual progress. I cannot understand love
without hate and every gradient and hue in between.
Courage, faith and confidence help us understand our path in life. Fear, brave facing and ego can make us poorer students
when we forget all our complete nature of all manner of attributes in our emotions.
Spiritual learning comes from both these extremes and somewhere in between as we humans can move from one outlook to the
other in the blink of an eye.
All part of the spiritual of now, our minds can turn this way and that as we live life. If we live it we grow with it. If we
deny it, filter it, then life is less than we may find.
Let Life happen, be courageous in our fears, be confident when our ego is rising, be courageous when bravery requires, be
confident and know where ego’s drift.
Be human and let humanity rise above denials and filters each day presents. Find truth as truth is, not bent by human touch.
A tall order? I think so, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly we progress on this journey of life, a day at a time.
30th November 2006
One day at a time?
Can we keep going one day at a time, sometimes it collapses to just by the hour. In truth my week so far has been like the
Curate’s egg, good in parts. Sometimes we need to make a list of the good things we do and how we are doing…
Tonight tho’ it seems like I failed to help and take account of where someone is and what they are about. There was no time,
there was no opportunity, there was no way to help. That feels pretty awful. I want to deny I could not help, that the situation
could be better, but I don’t know what I may do. When someone feels so low, its as bad can be and when there seems no way out
there is always self destruction. I know the person feeling this way is not alone, but they are so low I don’t know if their
friend will be enough. I am powerless as things are and don’t quite know what to do but wait. Wait for what though, news of bad
news, news of no news, news things are better. I have no way to help or intervene. I resolve I must wait, there is nothing more
to do. I also know those who feel so low, they can ask for help from me and their friends so I am not alone in this feeling of
being powerless or being empowered to help. There is also implied a threat to hurt and harm, which I cannot undo from where I
As far as the week is concerned, I have been left feeling somewhat sidelined and made less than just normal size, an adjunct
to someone in their living. And this feels very unhelpful too. And there have been one or two using y time to help themselves
and take more than I want to give, one way connections drain and do not sustain, especially when there is no listening to what I
may say or how I am. Its ok to some extent and then I realise its just always going to be like this.
In my own world I am right sized, just ordinary like anyone else. Like anyone else merely human and can do just human things.
I can be compassionate, passionate, surviving just about getting by and then some happiness turns up unexpected with some better
understanding of human doings. That we all are doing our best, and sometimes the best thing we do is wait a while. Maybe that is
the next best thing.
To bide ones time? Resist the pen and tongue and wait a while..
Biding one’s time is not easy, to not write, to not call, to not do anything, because nothing will ever make the difference,
and that is powerful learning about powerlessness over people, places and things. Yet the inside me, I still feel there must be
something I am missing. Like a dog with a bone, chewing and guarding my feelings and my notions, wondering if, and realise its
not happening as nature may intend. Certainly I realise now I cannot expect nature and providence to fix something which cannot
be fixed. People are where they are, they are meant to get there and get out of whatever it may be, sometimes with support and
sometimes by their own devices.
Was a great meeting and it was a real catalyst to understanding the party which is over and the party just beginning. My new
party, in sobriety, its not so smooth, it has bigger bumps, it can be joyful and it can be sad. Its just tonight tho’, I wish
sometimes for silence rather than talk, and where it may lead. Leading nowhere no doubt. I have reasons to be happy, I am one
day along on my path, resolved to find some occupation and live with what I may do, and what I am not able to do. Incapacity, it
somehow seems a bit stretchy and bit elastic, as one thing or other may pack up, another sense or capacity comes to the
Newcomers to our fellowship
That bewildered and frightening moment of walking into a fellowship meeting where we see and hear what alcoholics are doing
with their lives. The fear churns as much as any rattles and shakes we may have. We feel sick, we feel horrid and there because
we are worried or have been pushed through the doors to these mad people who seem to profess they are getting their sanity back
just one day at a time. Its as bad can be, that first meeting where we see normal people doing normal things like talk about
where they were, where they are now and where they may go tonight and tomorrow. The fear is palpable as we sit with mad people
made sane just one day at a time.
I felt the panic
I did, I felt their panic as they sat there and listened and laughed at ghastly recollections and horrid drunken tales, our
experiences. And as they felt the ease with which we talk of our monumental screw ups, they seem to relax a little and only fear
they may have, to try drink their tea without spilling it!
I felt their movement to relax a little as it seemed anything they may have done, its been done before by someone else. That
their experiences so fresh are no different to ours. That it’s a safe place to share cock ups and dismay and sadness as much as
hope for sober days and happier times without a drink.
Without a drink
My God its clocking up, the days for me. I am learning to live my life all over again with new tools and new outlooks and new
ways to make life work. I have fellowship in abundance all around me and I go as I may and get there on the bike because walking
just plain hurts too much…
A little help from my friends
And with a little help from my friends it works just for a day. Like some kind of magic, I keep faith and stay sober, knowing
no amount of drink will ever be enough to make me drunk enough, and one drink will never quell a thirst once alerted. One drink
is one too many for me these days. I am not tempted, for I know there is no point. And quite certain it will kill my quest to
live again, free and unhindered rather than fettered to a substance, thing or being.
My fellowship are there for me
And tonight I know this without doubt, some meetings just make me feel like I belong at last. Is it any wonder I go daily? I
just know what its about these days, helping each other, no pay expected, no conditions set, just plain there to help as best
one can. Maybe this is why I feel so concerned tonight because I cannot help as I might wish. Someone has a well so deep I don’t
know how to help them from where I am. And I know its not me who can. Its really their friend who may if they can open up, talk
and let out the troubles. And I don’t know what their real situations is either. I have to wait, or make things worse than they
are I can only speculate.
So in a week
From happy as a sand boy in some respects, to sadness and feeling used by some not so strong in their ways. And a supporter
and relied upon in other ways not so noble, as the premise of the help is really a come on and help me and maybe this might lead
somewhere. Some guile and manipulation, just plain old using, seems transparent to me, future and distant possibilities leaving
the door open in their eyes to more. I see the truth even if they don’t themselves. There is no door or future as nature and
providence don’t play to this tune.
Isolation and Panic
People do get scared and panic. They fear the lonely slog of days to come, where self reliance and nothing but their resolve
and endeavour can make it work. And some endeavours are not helped by fellowship when we need learn new ways and rules of
living. We need to have fellowship to sustain the endeavour, we cannot do the endeavour for another…
And that fear that cripples can creep in and freeze and torture as we make our way. It was never worldly endeavour that made
for fear in me, it was the horrors of loneliness and abject isolation which made for my dark desolate nightmares that spread
into days weeks and months. And then to years as my final ruination came about. Ruined in every element that counts for us. And
of course that rock bottom was merely a taste of things to come.
How am I feeling right now
Now I have written it, I will read it through. Old times and nightmares gone, some new ones around, at the same time its
always this way. And yet there is joy about too, as glimpses come to new and better times.
Keeping our heads above water
Sometimes when we feel we are drowning in sorrow, something absurd and comforting happens. For me tonight it was sharing my
truth which led to understanding of others that I am just like them, broken and rebuilding just with care and one day at a time.
From hell to today, the difference is remarkable.
Along the way I learn humanity and feel the seep to good for myself and others. Courage and fortitude. I feel the human touch
and love from my fellows tonight, for sharing simple truth and no denials, no ego there today and none tonight, just human and
right sized with human capacity to live and help as I may. I am humbled by friendship I never understood till now. Now I know, I
know the difference.
I wish it were so for so many more… those journeys yet to start and those almost done as time takes its toll on we humans so
frail with strengths so deep. A clutter of spiritual dichotomies, living in the ever present, present moment of now!
Rest and hold to truth, for the truth will set us free.
November 30th 2005
Men Of Peace
If we are asked we are all men and women of peace. We fight against injustice, we argue against prejudice. Even we are as
prejudiced as those we might accuse. Somewhere, somehow bias slips into our belief and faith, so we believe our cause is just
and right. After all, in our own eyes we seek the best we can for our community and ourselves. An Englishman abroad, a man of
peace travels to Iraq to be peaceful. And he finds he is captured and held hostage. And he is there before the world, an old man
of peace, someone of strong views, someone who cares with passion about peace. And he is lost, worse he is seen as a spy, as
someone who is an asset to trade in the madness of Iraq. The media and news splash the image of this man of peace across the
world, for all to see. And this man of peace may wonder why he is held hostage, why his personal mission has gone so badly wrong
and why he has misjudged the personal risk of his crusade.
Common sense would suggest it is not in his interest, yet we may commend him for his bravery. At best his attempt may seem
naive, yet we are still uncertain what his mission might have been. Being an Englishman, I see typically English behaviour at
work in this catastrophe. Typically we fight causes we might do well to understand before we proceed and dig deep into our
conscience before we interfere further where we have no business. There is something in us, which makes us believe we might do
better, might make good and might make a difference. We might do better to let well alone, another country we do not understand
and are badly equipped to deal with. Like a missionary embarking on a crusade, the outcomes most often end in calamity and smack
of Empire, Imperialism and an attitude of mind best humbled in reflection. As a journey begun as a quest, a mission of right
over wrong, we fail to understand the elements we might face. Bravery is never the issue, intent is for the common good, but the
action is not ours and we have most likely no business being involved as we may believe. And other men of peace pay as hard a
price, when better able and equipped, to know the rightness of their case, their belief and commitment to the fundamentals of
And we applaud them, revere them and stand in awe of them. And we knew as we heard them, their rightness and their fortitude
would cost them the ultimate price of life itself. Our modern day heroes, stand tall in our minds, our feelings quite in keeping
to revere and admire, their struggle, their dedication and their stand for all men. And as we see some stand tall in our minds
eye, we may forget for every man who ever found a voice, that thousands and millions paid an equal and terrible cost.. When we
hear of one man held hostage to war, we might do well to remember a whole nation is
held to ransom as in Iraq. Hostages to fortune and misdeeds for centuries, will not be put to rights in a handful of years. As
we might question the sanity of one man, for his bravado and rightness of cause, we may do well to reflect that governments are
no better and might question their own sanity and rightness of action. To put right wrongs of decades is surely the folly of
right over wrong...
November 30th 2004
Friends come in all shapes and sizes. And they have so many different ways of looking at the world. I realise more that as
times goes by, the company I keep helps me see the world with different eyes. As seen by me, and seen by them, ever present are
the subtle changes in outlook.
Often my world as I see it, its limited until, with exasperation sometimes, a whole new view opens and enables me to
comprehend everything in a new light.
I realise the eyes I have are decades old, seeing so much and filtering the world to my view. So happily as I listen and see
events from fresh perspectives I get enrichment beyond my wildest dreams. So broadened , outlook shifts and moves, we break the
taint of prejudice and greet diversity with respect.
And so very Zen in times like these,
" the usefulness of any vessel,
is in its emptiness "
Now I get it! Again and again....