Monday, June 21, 2010

Truly Ripe

One of the key lessons in AA is humility. Something miraculous happens. It happens often. I get to participate. It is my privilege. It is not my right, nor have I earned it, even though I am a good man and have been so. It is a grace note that I can offer if I offer anything. I neither write the theme nor am I more than one of the many voices in the choir. I now speak with some authority because I have 27 years of experience and it is not the same year of experience 27 times either. The authority is not mine. It belongs to the experience, the genuine experience of sobriety both in and out of AA, in the world, in the market place, in the relationships.

I have been on the blogs close to two years now. I have some experience here too. Lately I notice that my old friends are fading away. I am not complaining. This is natural. I know of this from AA too. Every human group has a rhythm and a life, a coming and going. There is no reason to stay when it is time to go. Some women had old tired relationships and are now in fresh ones. They have changed their intensity of participation. Others have other changes. It is time. What one does if one wants to change the fading away, one seeks out new friends. But here’s the deal over on this side of the wall. I am short of energy too. I don’t have it in me to do the extra stuff, even the normal visits to my old friends is too much now. I just barely make it through the week when I am working, but I notice it doesn’t make much difference when I am not working either. I am just to the point where I have to manage what energy I do have.

I know that people visit even when they do not post a comment. The counters prove that, not only that people visit but that they visit from everywhere. Now as I publish I am more like a print poet. I don’t know who it is who visits anymore. Do I need adulation or even kindness from my readers? No. These are not really my poems anyway. They come so quickly with so little effort that they cannot really be mine. I have written poetry my whole adult life. These haiku framed poems are not like my other poetry, not how I wrote, at least not how it felt to write before and in many ways not even the subjects I used to write about. The poetry is not really mine. The voice however, is.

Truly Ripe

Of course, go home, love.
Another fire night will come
in time, a long time
perhaps and yet songs
will still be sung to the moon
by someone truly
ready, truly ripe,
and you if not yet ready,
are still on the path.

June 9, 2009 7:20 AM


  1. When words come through you seemingly, instead of by you
    one looks over their shoulder to see where they come from.

    It astounds me when this happens. Like a free flow without anything getting hung up in insecurites and 'saying the right thing' and ego.

    I like your last line before the poem very much.

    I like the poem very much, if you are not ready and still on the path
    that dirrection to happiness, love, light. Wonderful.


  2. It is a strange world indeed this blog world. I wrote elsewhere about the brittle friendships that form at conferences. I think they are similar in the blogosphere.

    There are the gregarious, outgoing ones who speak a lot. You notice them. They come and go. Then there are others who say very little if at all, but they hang around, perhaps for longer periods, hovering. As you say there is much movement and fluidity.

    Your poem here is very beautiful. I wish such words might fall to me from time to time. They're lovely. Thanks.

  3. Thank you, Robert. There is so much about life that really is simple response. In those places maintaining a posture of control is a waste of energy and is confusing to others and oneself. To me this is especially true in the creative realms where at least for me I hunt for the solutions at most. There is very little fabrication. I am not a maker. I am a finder. And then I do not coerce, I persuade.

    It is for this reason, this posture of accepting my actual place that I do not have to struggle over a lack of creativity so much. I am only part of the flow, and not the bigger part either. If I cannot find my way it is more often that the way has fled. It means that a journey is in front of me to another part of the forest.

    In the last couple years I found myself in an amazingly fruitful area. I went to work and now I have over a thousand poems. In the last several months the poems have wandered off. There are other things to attend. They are not in the way but are instead appropriate things to attend. Perhaps I shall find the poem herd again up the road.

  4. Elisabeth, to add to my reply to Robert, I assume everyone else is wandering too, some to a greater purpose perhaps. I think the people come and go mainly to their own purpose with very little intention to touch my own. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the larger spheres of association. There are a whole set of words in the language for this kind of coming together. We associate. We fellowship. We fraternize.

    This distinct beginning permits intimacy but does not ordinarily support longevity. To create longer relationship, one has to reach across and change the foundation. In AA this can happen, and often does happen as a matter of saving lives, as a matter of life support. Most of our associations, including here in the blogs, perhaps especially here in the blogs, do not promote the effort required to create the crossover to genuine friendship.

  5. goodmorning friend forever :)
    this morning i know nothing
    about anything
    do i have voice?
    do words come to me?
    it must somehow
    you at least say
    i am still on the path
    thanks for that

  6. Tracking You

    I follow the trail
    you left for me, headed straight
    like old Roman roads,
    straight for the day star
    of another realm farther
    from here than my life,
    than the heron's flight.

    I tread on the verge of things
    recalling your scent.

  7. Funny. I know I left a comment about how I seldom comment but often come. Then it disappeared. Let me just say it again. Here but called elsewhere by living. Same story; different author.

  8. Karen, I use Google's reader as a skimming device. I see many sites without actually entering them. I feel sad about that much of the time but what can I do? It is a mystery too. I had the time then but not now. This is an inner state, not some objective truth. The fire is out. It is confusing but not that serious because I was "stealing" time from other things before. I am actually treating the rest of my life better than I was when I was in the blogs deeper.

    Jozien, touch and scent are the intimate ways of being with life.

  9. This post helped me find some peace in terms of accepting the fact that blog followers come & go. I especially find inspiration to continue writing like you do, almost everyday, no matter who's reading.

    Thank you.

  10. Vinisha, if you identify as a writer, then the best practice is writing something every day. It is a matter of practice. There is no way to become the writer you mean to be without it. And if you quit writing every day, you will soon become rusty at it too. I liken it to body building or becoming a master in any of the arts. You create an artificially high level of functioning in the constant practice. You cannot achieve that level without the practice and you cannot maintain it either.

    I lost nearly all my music in the course of twenty years, though I was able to get it back quickly when I wanted to, through daily practice - except...I lost some of the stuff I once did for good. There is a price to pay for letting your art go idle.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

Get Your Own Visitor Map!