It has been three years since I have done any significant amount of writing. On my last trip to India (I was in India from Mid-May 2008 into early September 2008) I wrote seventy eight FWIW (For What It’s Worth) writings. Traditionally I do not get the ‘call to write’ when I am outside of India.
But something happened today that I want to share.
It is a spiritual truth of the universe that if one of us can achieve a degree of spiritual enlightenment then all of us can achieve it. This is not so in the physical world. There are physical things that only a few talented athletes can achieve.
Today I ‘got it right’. And because I got it right today, all of you reading along here can get it right in your world, well at least occasionally as I did today. My ‘getting it right’ can empower you to ‘get it right’ as you empower me.
There are two distinct groups of readers here. One group consists of those of us ‘in recovery’. The other group are what those of us traveling the road of recovery call the ‘normies’. So you ‘normies’ may want to tune out here because what I write will seem to you so obvious (so normal) as to be boring. As if “Cap, that is how you should act.”
In Chicago, in the early 1940’s, the following story is famous within the rooms of A.A. The Chicago Central Office received a telephone inquiry for assistance. A man said he was in a skid row hotel down in Chicago’s Loop Area and asked if someone could come out and discuss with him what this new A.A. business was all about.
Two volunteers went to the address and found the room where the man had said he would be. The door to the room was ajar and the two men entered. On the bed was a derelict who had passed out and was absolutely comatose. After gently shaking the man the two volunteers decided that, since they had ventured there, and since the man on the bed was totally oblivious to this world, they would tell one another their personal stories of recovery. This they did. The man on the bed made absolutely no movement and the two volunteers left.
Several years later one of the two volunteers was at an A.A. meeting. After the meeting a man came up to him and effusively thanked him for helping him to find sobriety. The one member said, “Excuse me, I am sorry but I do not recall ever having met you Sir.” The newcomer said to him. “Several years ago you and another man came to a hotel room down in the Loop and told each other your stories. I was so moved by your visit that I too sought out A.A. and am so happy to be sober. Again, thank you Sir.”
The member replied, “Yes, I remember that visit.. I also remember that you were totally comatose. We tried to awaken you with no success. During our sharing with one another you never so much as moved a muscle. There is no way that you could have heard a word we said Sir.”
The newcomer replied, “Sir, I was not the man on the bed. Sir, I was under the bed listening to you!”
This is germane here. I have absolutely no idea who is reading along here with me and who is getting anything out of my thoughts. Bonnie Tyler, in the mid-1980’s, had her one hit song, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. In her song, she made mention of ‘Bright Eyes’. So in memory of Judy Marron, without whom I might never have entered the world of recovery, I have named you, the reader I do not know and the reader I may never meet, “Bright Eyes”..
So turn around “Bright Eyes” here we go.
I am busy getting ready to travel to the other side of the world. I am in the midst of projects at my home here. So today I was out in my back yard working on the back fence. I was actually in my back neighbors yard working on my fence. It was in the high 80’s and the sun was beating down on me. I had a ladder and my childhood high chair rigged up so I could gingerly climb the ladder and step down onto the high chair to get across the fence to get to the other side. Now this is foolish risking physical injury which could jeopardize my trip but you gets what you gets with me.
So, hot and sweaty, I decided I needed a break to cool off and drink liquids so I came around to the front of my house. In the driveway was the pickup truck of a friend of the 9th brilliance. A close member of my innermost circle of friends. No sign of him but I found him inside ( he has a key to my home) wondering where I was.
And so we began to talk. Every fiber of my being screamed (silently) to me “Captain we have a ton of things to do so get on with the getting on.” And I did NOT get on with the getting on.
The victory today was that I STOPPED my being a human-doing and I became me being a human-being.. I sensed that he really needed to talk and that he really needed me to be present and as it turned out this was accurate.
We two got into re-reading and discussing the first one hundred and fifty some pages of FWIW dating back to December 1990. Those early writings of ‘For What It’s Worth’ had moved him to resume writing and to then actually finish his Master’s Thesis on which he had been stalled for some time. I shed a few tears for ‘bright eyes’ (an unnamed soul to whom I was writing) and we discussed getting these early writings onto the internet. I want to publish them and he said the internet is how it is done now.
THEN we two got into some serious step work. As he did the work I sat quietly with him and ate a nice lunch. No rush. I was totally present with him. The ‘doing’ was waiting while I was ‘being’.
And it felt so good. When we were finished, we were totally finished. I called my sponsor in San Francisco but I think he is out of the country. I wanted the two of them to connect.
Danny, thank you for the gift you were to me today. Our time together was one of those rare unscripted moments that we human beings can only seem to grasp and hold onto so seldom. You came first and you came foremost. You allowed me to be and not be doing. At least for a few hours.
The doing resumed with a one hundred foot electrical drop cord out in the dark of an August summer night as the ‘Dream Cruise’ took place on Woodward Avenue in earshot of ‘Little House’ here.
SMILES .. CAP
- AUG 17, 11 .. PLANNING THE 2011-12 INDIA TRIP
- MOTEL 6 BELMONT, CA .. AUG 27/11