Well, hail. I've had an overdose of harsh words running around in my head, and it got so noisy and poisonous in there that I took to my bed, that refuge of depression.
When I wasn't seeking the oblivion of sleep, I was outside in the yard, working among living, thriving beings, or finding respite from orneriness in AA meetings. I haven't been a happy camper inside my own soul. In that quiet place where I've found contentment through the years, a few words from a few unhappy people and a few sad situations wormed their way in and started putting down roots.
When I was newly sober 21 years ago in LA, I heard an AA speaker named Joe G from Venice Beach give his pitch one morning. I don't remember a thing he said except one: If you got a resentment against me, and you're thinking about me, you're giving me free rent in your head. Thank you!
Another man named Joe spoke in that same AA meeting hall one night. He said, "I'm an alcoholic. If I fall in a cesspool, I start hanging pictures." I married that man because of what he said.
While I've been lying in my bed, sleepless or sleeping, I've been licking my wounds and hanging pictures. A loved one with wounds of her own recently told me that I am a deeply troubled person. I immediately without passing Go became a deeply troubled person. Some of us give the most amazing amount to power to others.
There comes a time when you have made all the amends you can make, done your best to bring reconciliation and clean up your side of the street, prayed all the prayers you can pray, and things still are bad. Either you start hanging pictures and giving up that free rent, or you walk away. You have come to the end of the line where your power to change things is concerned.
I went to an enormously satisfying poetry reading last night, where I heard a lot of good work by some fine poets. Everyone was at the top of their game. I was glad to be part of the night, to be one among such people. There is no price for gifts like this. There’s no price for the soul-satisfying act of being who and what you are, and proud of it.
Today is Earth Day and Good Friday, a whole bunch of redemption packed into one little day. I won't notice the goodness of heaven and earth if I stay in the cesspool hanging pictures. So I'm out and about where there is plenty of love to share.
Here is a Flash Friday 55-word poem about a different sort of thing putting down roots in your mind. Go see the G-Man, the G-force behind this Friday madness. I call this piece “Obsession.”
When it should come to this,
that I should sit like stone,
not uttering a sound,
not twitching a thumb,
as the hours pass and think
only of your dark eyes,
I will know myself
a fool, unglued,
that it is time to don
the round red nose and play
for nickels on the corner.