Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What 8 months sober felt like

I found this in my journals today- I wrote it when I was 8 months sober. I have 3 years and four months now, but I feel largely the same way. Perhaps even more so.

How odd that in my sobriety, these elastic 8 months of crushing bliss I have lost the language to articulate the depth of my regard. My regard (period.) To regard means to have a point a view, to have a point of view means to have a place where one stands from which to view. And to commit to standing in a place long enough to regard (with appreciation and focus) a person, place or thing requires a tenacious serenity that has rendered me speechless. I have discovered that all my years of reading dictionaries left me with none but a vocabulary for chaos, angst. I find I have no such arsenal for intimacy and sincerity. And to have a point of view from a solid place means to see with eyes that are not looking for a certain outcome. Eyes which simply take in what is, which do not constantly scan for what is not. Eyes which are not distorted by renderings of superficial nourishment that the soul does not ultimately require. These things are things of the ego, that cagey old wolf that forever lurks on the edge of serenity. That shapeshifting old bastard, so handy with the smoke and mirrors wants all good things of the spirit to meet a fatal end. I would be foolish to think I have defeated him. I will step to this creature every day for the rest of my life; I will wake up with the hot stink of his grinning mouth close to my face- on a good day. On a bad day, it will smell like the most fragrant and attainable thing, and I may weaken with desire. I know my cunning enemy because it is what provokes me into any thoughtless action. I will know my enemy after the fact, when I have not thought my actions through and reacted reacted reacted like a godless puppet, an impulsive animal, a spineless anemone shrinking in the wrong direction. I will know my enemy when I taste regret for my thoughtless actions and even still when I react to that regret- react, distract, regret, etc. I know that life. I had that life. It is the life without god. And now the armor with which I suit up every day is not to protect the weak, philandering ego, the commitment phobe, the hater, the fiend, the monger, the opportunist, the narcissist.It is for the silent, constant vigil for which I have been preparing my entire life, my first true act of rebellion, my first REAL attempt at living gracefully. I had a plethora of words for disappointment, heartache, and all rest of it because words justified it all, or so I thought. Words made it all worth while. Words made an entire life material for the greater good of art; it could all be shaped into an arc of trancsendence, even as I was plummeting to a certain end.

I was once told, when I was young, that a writer at 20 is 20, but a writer at 40 is a writer. I didn't understand it at the time; I was 20. But the proof is always embedded firmly in the pudding. LIfe gives birth to itself as it goes. You either show up for it, or you don't.

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