Tuesday, December 24, 2013


you are beautiful

all of your flawed furious unstoppable selves
all of your self doubt and self loathing and fears are groundless

you are floating in a medium of unspeakable beauty
unfathomable consciousness

our connections to each other 
are no less than the gossamer threads of angels light
allowing us to be
and be loved 
as we are
we are loved and love
who we are now

all of our pain and sorrow
all of our aloneness and fear of failure
and all of our fury 

shed like a sad skin
peeled like an orange
to reveal our inner beauty

and all the while 
as you are revealing your inner layer 
you are leaving behind the scent of your beauty 
your fragrant inner life force

instantly recognizable
and you are home 
right where you are 
you belong
wherever you are

this is what makes us beautiful
this is it
not the outer shell that fools worship and discard
but the soft and shaky real you
you are all beautiful

Saturday, December 14, 2013

call to action

This year the months have been articulated in degrees of loss. There is no sweet way to say it. No words to use like sticky syrup to make it more palatable. And yet it is how I deal - With words on a page, as though the motions of laying it out in verse or paragraph or simple line will give me enough altitude to see the big picture. And for a moment or a slice of time it does and we cope and we reenter the daily dance with life.
And then we lose another one. 
It seems as though 
the wind shifts or stops
and there is another one, another child put down with a needle or pharmaceuticals or that seductive liar alcohol,
and we lose. 

We cannot win by not engaging
there is only one end to the story.
it is a war we are losing 
or have lost 
this one with drugs
the war that no one wants to look at because we are giving our children away feeding them to this monstrous maw of addiction and we don’t even begin to know how to deal with it because we refuse to look. 

I am looking at you monster. I am looking. 
Here is the thing:
people need to be loved and included and embraced and to belong.
they need to be fed and held and nurtured and told they are enough and treated with respect and 
supported when they cannot stand and told stories 
and offered hope and beauty.
This is what we are here for and we are failing as a culture, we are failing. We are failing to provide the spaces for this to happen in our communities. Once our children are out of school where do they go? 
There is a vacuum happening here and that is where we lose each other. 

I am not blaming parents. I am a parent and have many and multitudinous flaws.
I am also an addict who has lived drug and alcohol free for nearly thirty years. I have first and second and third hand experience with what we call addiction. We nearly lost one beloved daughter from drugs and watched helplessly as other children dabble with mind fucking chemicals. But not silently. Nope. Not gonna happen. Not going to be silent. Not gonna play nice.

I am blaming a culture of exclusion and competition which pits us against each other and a culture in which numbness is necessary in order to ‘function’. where anesthesia is a daily ritual whereby we create enough numbness so that the life we lead becomes endurable; a life wherein we are continuously unwittingly subjugated to corporate greed and indifference and we would rather become unconscious than muster the will to dis engage. we tell each other to “find our bliss” but make it damn near impossible to do so.

I am going to tell you that you do not need beer to be manly, That you do not need champagne to be sexy. You do not need valium to board a plane. You do not need diet pills to make you thin and pills to make you more awake to study. You do not need ecstasy for good sex, and you do not need heroin for anything at all. Please understand: I am not talking about drugs used for medicine. I am talking about casual and "recreational" use of drugs and drugs that hurt people every single time stealing our lives even as we breathe and blink. 

You do not have to clink glasses to celebrate anything. If you feel a need to numb yourselves to celebrate then what are you really celebrating? numbness? 
Use you brain and another way to celebrate. Try it out and you will find that there are so many other ways. For many people, quiet people, introverts and ambiverts and even extroverts, awareness and peace are the best ways to celebrate. Write a story, a poem, a line of code, a recipe, a song, a sermon, a list, a new name for a color or constellation. Take a walk, take a class, tell a friend, volunteer on a help line, join habitat for humanity, go to church or a meeting in a church basement- 
Feel it all, that is the best way to celebrate your humanity- in full awareness of your marvelous faculties. 

I am aware that this is the road less chosen. I am well aware. I am not talking about abstinence, for that is denial. I am talking about living your life in full sail. Fully sentient. 

After the last week I will not be silent. Our community lost two more boys to chemical murder in the last week alone. Two more decimated families. Two more lives brutally denied. siblings who will walk around like amputees and parents who will forever each day waken to the loss of a child: inconsolable. 

And other human beings profit from this. There is no doubt about it. Alcohol and drugs are big business. As big as banks and governments and guns. Think about it. This is the monster in our midst. The dealer on the corner is an expendable zombie foot soldier. The generals live in mansions and are driven around in armored cars.  

Think about it .. take a step back and think about it. It will be one of us, someday, who has an answer. Maybe we already have an answer and just need each one to take one action. 

I believe that the answers lie in building community. That safe community is what is saving people right now in meetings and rehabs and jails and parlors all over the world. It works and it can work for anyone who wants it. There are meetings for every kind of addict from food to sex to pot to heroin - and meetings for the people who love them. There are meetings for anyone who would avail themselves and the words and love and hope and stories that you hear there are what bind us to each other. and that is building community. 

This is my action. My call to arms. Do one thing today to be a sentient lucid responsible human being, and do it without your drug of choice. 

Rest in peace Rory. Rest in peace Michael. Rest in peace Jesse.