soul mining with an uncertain smile


image credit…. ddmag

Peeling the skin back from my eyes, I felt surprised
that the time on the clock was the time I usually retired
to the place where I cleared my head of you;
but just for today, i think I’ll lie here and dream of you.
I’ve got you under my skin where the rain can’t get in,
but if the sweat pours out, just shout I’ll try to SWIM AND pull you out.
A howling wind blows the litter as the rain flows,
As street lamps pour orange coloured shapes through your window,
a broken soul stares from a pair of watering eyes,
uncertain emotions force in an uncertain smile…
.. matt johnson(the the)

i find myself entering a familiar yet precarious chapter in my life. my nature is very much geared towards program and process development. in my early 20’s, i found passion (and pain) in the collaborative creation and formation of an after-hours club in chicago. i certainly say collaborative here because i fully believe that nothing that is done is done alone and in no way did i participate in any of these things alone. the club became quite popular in chicago and lasted about 10 years, although my life and my nature didn’t allow me to be involved that long at all. disease, death (it was the 1980’s) and drug addiction kept me tied to a post like a sad and lonely pit bull, barking at almost every one who tried to get near.


i then found myself in colorado without much direction and consuming a lotta liquor. my uncle asked me to help him with a travel agency he started with his college roommate.  i knew absolutely nothing about travel (which was so like my uncle) but i took the gig and helped steer it from a 250,000 a year venue to an enterprise ringing in 17M annually.  my desire to continue and my instability due to alcohol consumption, the trauma and fatigue in 12 years of waiting ot die of aids, i let go of that project with no takeaway

the next offering to my appetite for creativity was a gay men’s meth treatment program during my 3rd year in recovery. i researched for a curriculum, advocated in hiv circles for grant approval, networked with recovery communities  to build some capacity and delivered. i realized once the program had launched that the MH needs  of the implementation were above my skill set. after discussing my concerns in-house, found my trust breached and i shut down from the onslaught of shame-based trauma triggers. 

i have embarked on the quiet development of a meth treatment program in a suburb. it is going smoothly, albeit a more quiet kick-off than i am accustomed. but it is having some impact on a few individuals. and it is having some calming effect on my obsession with creating. 

and now i stand before an opportunity that meets all the criteria. and in the back of my mind, i circle around disappointment and loss. let down. betrayal. disposal. failure. and as i write all of this down, it occurs to me that all these years and these events had led me to believe that actions (either mine or that of others’) had led me here, but i am now getting the sense that it is my own nature that is at the core of my situations. it is the palpable and ironic reality that what excites me just might hurt me as well. it might be that if i find myself in sweet spots in my life which include engaging in my passion that it might also be concluded that the likelihood of the other side of passion being involved is very high.  hopefully  i have begun to move beyond some intelligence and intuition towards a semblance of wisdom.

Wisdom is the judicious application of knowledge. It is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgments and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one’s emotional reactions (the “passions“) so that universal principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one’s actions. Wisdom is also the comprehension of what is true coupled with optimum judgment as to action

i have been swimming in 80’s reflection these last months. matt johnson and the the are a shining beacon from those days. their sound was a jazz/rock/electronica crossover to say the least, with  lyrics that  feel like poetry, and i love them sitll. as i write i sit here on this snowy snowy sunday morning doing some soul mining with an uncertain smile- but certainly a smile none-the-less.

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4 replies

  1. I heard an old timer say the other night that “everything happens for a reason, as if the world around us in recovery is predestined. Finding that sweet spot is a good change for you. Don't engage in your head all that negative self talk and sabotage what is in front of you. You've worked hard to get here, don't let that effort of positive accomplishment get taken down. it's about time things started moving in your direction. But at the same time, we are living on God's time, not ours. I hope you rise and claim the sweet spot and not sink into your head and poof your good fortune. Jeremy

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  2. targeted comments jeremy and rightfully so. it is so tough to move forward with one's feet facing one direction and one's head facing another. and although i am not completely confident i can endure more disappointment, i am darn sure that sucdess is always accompanied by a plethora of feelings and that i don't get to choose but a few. thanks for the nod and the pat on the back. i appreciate it.

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  3. I meet people who do not demonstrate sufficient remorse, & I meet people who beat themselves to death with remorse. I rarely meet people in the middle ground. I also hear people use the term “don't live in the past” to death. Yeah, yeah, but honestly, sometimes the past slams right up against the present. And crisis does reveal us, no matter what a mother it is to live through. From reading you here, & quite a while on the “Tina” blog, what I do think I know about you is that you have an expandable heart & a real willingness to own up & work on yourself. And when push comes to shove, I believe in the end those things will take you good places.

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