i hadn’t thought i would find the time to post again before 2016. it has been a busy catering season and i have been busy, busy, busy.
however i find that the need to express gratitude for all the blessings that have come my way this year is almost overwhelming. and the finish of 2015 and the beginning of the next year-long chapter seems to make this effort.
i hope to begin my 12th year in recovery in 2016. with that sober time comes the gift of not just recognizing my real behaviors and emotions, but the familiarity to adapt and change as is needed. although not a skill i have perfected by any means, i now understand that one of my survival skills that has developed over my lifetime is knowing that starting over can be done and it’s often less messy and emotionally sticky than working through a situation. one by-product of that tendency is that i have had little experience with forgiveness and acceptance both with letting others see my vulnerability and with working with similar characteristics in others. this seems a very short stick which i have voluntarily drawn repeatedly throughout my life, even in the early years of sobriety.
but emotional sobriety offers me the chance to zoom out from this pattern and see its limitations, not just its lifeboat effect. for this realization alone, i can eagerly say that all the tribulations that washed over me this year have brought with them this understanding and emotional growth. i am certainly a better man for it.
i have taken some chances and am still reeling from some of the aftermath of all this. i have shaken my sense of safety, wavered on some decisions, stirred up some community, questioned the pecking order, and continued to touch a few people and witness the wonders in transformation. it has been a full and flavorful year. i gave freely of myself to some close to me and have received much more than i could have imagined.
there is hope in my life and that is primarily a result of the spiritual practices i take part in regularly. i consistently forget that struggle does not mean failure, that failure does not mean defeat, and that surrender is often a winning strategy, but i am forgetting these things less.
thank you universe for the amazing and for the mundane. and for the grace in reflection. and welcome 2016.
i have become acquainted with several indie songwriters this year and jason isbell is the next gem i will share. my drives around town have raised now that his poetry and melodies are keeping me company. i give you a review from our local scene screen “the westword”.
“Jason Isbell’s story is one of recovery and redemption so it was only fitting that the backdrop he played in front of for Friday night’s show at the Ogden Theatre were large, church-like, stained glass windows. After being ousted by the Drive-By Truckers in 2007, the 36-year-old Alabama native took years to find his footing — mired in a heavy drinking routine that slowed his creative pace. In 2013 after giving up alcohol for good, he released Southeastern, his best album to date and a major turning point in his career. He followed with 2015’s Something More than Free which just earned a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album. The concert on Friday showcased Isbell as, not only a highly professional and skilled performer, but as a poet, a tragic figure and one of the best songwriters in the world (and one who just announced a headlining date at Red Rocks for 2016). “