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Oh, What a World

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Categories: The Pondering

Yesterday I was feeling pretty down, and I’m reflecting on it today. Humanity continues on in its hatred, and lately I feel mired down by the weight of the cruelty & aggression of our time. I have no illusion that our time is somehow bloodier; most of the pages of history are soaked in blood…usually in the name of one god or another. Why can’t humanity find peace, find empathy, realize and acknowledge that our connection to one another is composed of far more similarities than differences?

I’m going to try a new track. Kim Jong-un (North Korea), Bashar al-Assad (Syria), Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel), Vladimir Putin (Russia), ISIS & all those other terrorists organizations that seek to murder innocents (the list is frighteningly and depressingly long), Omar al-Bashir (Sudan), and too many others (one is too many, obvz): rather than dwelling and wallowing in my hatred of you, I am going to seek to find positive thoughts of peace to send your way…to wish for you peace rather than suffering. Hatred has solved little, so maybe I’ll feel better & will become a better person by playing this small part in the betterment of humanity.

As most of you folks know, I am not a religious fellow, but I do find religious texts to be powerful & helpful. There are three lines from the “Sermon on the Mount” in the Bible‘s Book of Matthew that inspire me, and I am going to use them every day to help me in this project of projecting peace:

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
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Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
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Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

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First Day

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Categories: The Learning

Today was the first day back at school. I was so ready. Interestingly, in my first class a peer mentioned research he had helped conduct on the connection between boredom and relapse. I hadn’t linked my boredom to my recent thoughts (very frequent thoughts) of alcohol, and after hearing it, I thought Wow, that was obvious! This might have been a circumstance of my addict mind totally pulling the wool in front on my logical mind’s eye. Perhaps the psychic energy involved in maintaining my sobriety was the cause of my bad moods?

So about school….I’m confident – so far – that I’m going to like my Research and my Human Sexuality professors. Time shall tell.

By far the best thing about today was seeing all my peers again – learning about their summers, discussing with them recent goings on in the world, gossiping. After classes a group of us went to a bar to socialize and celebrate being back. I had these tasty beef arepitas that kind of blew my mind, particularly since I hadn’t a clue what they were before they landed in front of me. I sat behind a long table, pretty much trapped, and I found myself feeling safe and comfortable. What I mean to convey is that being in a bar wasn’t at all uncomfortable for me. This particular place is where we also celebrated having finished our first year, and on that occasion I was uncomfortable. Notably, I was exhausted then, but also, it was tremendously helpful having nibbles and keeping myself surrounded by friends rather than exposed to the room.

I made the journey home with a couple of folks who I’d not seen all summer and who I like quite a lot, so that was fun. One of them, Dara, and I were about to get into a likely juicy discussion of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians…pretty sure she thinks as do I. I’m anxious to get back to that one!

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So Very Much Pain

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Categories: The Pondering

So. The internet is a dangerous thing…obviously. A fantastic thing, but also a dangerous thing. I forced myself to watch part of the beheading of a Catholic priest by these godless lunatics who taint the Muslim religion with their claims to it. I couldn’t watch the whole thing, but I really did want to better understand this evil (also, I’m a masochist). It was so amazingly horrific, even just the one or two seconds I was able to watch it.

Here’s a snippet from the article accompanying the video: ‘The Vatican confirmed that Father François Murad was killed on June 23 after jihadists affiliated with the Al Nusrah Front overran his monastery in Gassanieh, a town in the countryside in the northern province of Idlib.”

I’ve been trying to find out more about the Quran because, well, why not. Anyway, to the evil homosapiens (Can one be called human if no humanity is possessed?), I would very much like to know your thoughts on the Quran’s Chapter 109. al-Kafirun (The Unbelievers):

1 Say: O disbelievers!
2 I worship not that which ye worship;
3 Nor worship ye that which I worship.
4 And I shall not worship that which ye worship.
5 Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
6 Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.

Isn’t that a decree to agree to disagree? It certainly doesn’t seem to me like a call to arms to kill folks who believe differently than you. The murderers in the video I watched are not Muslims, they are worthless creatures who know nothing but evil.

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Whilin’ Away the Hours

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Categories: The Journey

I’m spending a large majority of my time watching television. I made my way through Psych and Eureka and am now working on Chuck. I’ve also started watching Haven and Supernatural. And we’re oh so slowly making our way through Downton Abbey. During the first year of school, each week I watched Arrow and sometimes Modern Family, which means I spent max one and a half hours a week in front of the television. The point: there isn’t one. Just sayin’ that it’s been a shock getting into watching so much television, and it’s going to be a shock getting back out.

Today was the first day that smoking actually seemed like a gross thing.

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Evil

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Categories: The Pondering

I don’t consider myself a war hawk – I think I’ve made my view of the Iraq War completely clear, but neither am I a dove. James Foley was a journalist, one of the more noble professions, providing us with knowledge of the goings on of this world in which we live. He risked his life to do this. And he was an American citizen. ISIS is evil; no god that may or may not exist would possibly condone their disgustingness. They hide behind the bastardization of Islam, a religion that is no less respectable than any other in its teachings.

I hope the United States uses all the military air power we have to show them the closest thing to the wrath of god that humankind can offer.

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Ramping Up

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Categories: The Journey

I went to Silberman to man the table for the Student/Faculty Senate and to co-facilitate an information session for the incoming class, both of which were fun. My trip confirmed what I’ve been thinking: I’m so ready for school to start. I feel my life is so very on track (yes, I know this can change in a moment, Madame Jinx), and I’m just chomping at the bit, as is said, to get on with it. I’m always looking to run to the next place, and this needs to stop. I haven’t lately been focusing on trying to ground myself in the present; in fact, I haven’t even been checking to keep my horses in order. I know I’m not surrounded by white or even white-ish blue, and I find that I’m having difficulty even caring. This is, I’m pretty sure, a warning sign. When you close your eyes while driving, you’re very likely going to have an accident.

Note to self: Consider the title of What’s the Point.

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Well, I was remiss, wasn’t I?

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Categories: The Journey

It has been just under a year since I last posted here, which is ridiculous. I will throw out there, though – a perhaps feeble excuse, that school was quite a bit more difficult than I expected it to be. And I went in expecting it to be really hard. I’m a perfectionist, though, and a procrastinator (which equates to also being a masochist), so I spent nine months feeling like I might die. There were tears and frequently far too little sleep, but I did excellently & am so happy & am so grateful. It took me 35 years to find my path, and I walk down it knowing that I am a lucky one. Gratitude is something I hope I will for all my days keep close to my heart & at the forefront of my mind.

Last September I failed at the quitting smoking thing, and I didn’t even try after that until about two weeks ago. During that time I have had two cigarettes. I would like to lie and write that I’ve had none, but that’s the whole “addictive thinking” thing I need to avoid. Anyhoo, I’m thinking / hoping I’m on my way to avoiding cigarettes all together. Two in two weeks, after all, isn’t such a bad record.

Also on the topic of addiction, I’m well into the planning for this year’s tea party. Invitations have gone out, and most of my outfit for the affair has been ordered. I’ve found the bow tie I will be ordering (from Beau Ties, which supports marriage equality with its profits) & I’ve bookmarked several pairs of socks between which I will eventually decide. I own the shirt I will wear, but I first have to decide which of the shirts I own I will wear – it’s really that decision that will determine the socks. Moving away from the outfit, some more china & champagne glasses (for a non-alcoholic champagne substitute & elder flower syrup concoction) & a couple of pieces of crystal & two very pretty colored glass cake pedestals were acquired for this year’s affair, and I think all else is handled. Save for the final decision of which tea sandwiches we will serve. Phillip will be helping decide, but we likely won’t do that until next month.

I’m still fat.

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Tea Party – The Good Kind

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Categories: The Journey

My tea party was ridiculously awesome.  I was so crazy happy with the folks who came, everyone loved the whole set up, I got some fabulous gifts, the weather was beautiful, and it felt like the perfect celebration of one year of sobriety and my 35th birthday.

I had to stand up and thank Jeremy & Alison & Phillip because without them I would not be sober.  They are my favorite people, and I love them more than I can express with a simple, “I love you.”  It is something that I will only be able to express by living honestly and openly as me, and living soberly, and living to do good in this world; that is the only way I can show them how much I love them.

jpra

TeaParty

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Relief

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Categories: The Journey

I opened up to Pip today that I have been smoking, telling him about the abstinence project for my Ways of Knowing:  Alcohol & Drug Addictions class.  I spend the day smoking, and today I do it without shame.  I feel relief at having been mostly honest about my sneaky smoking, and I prepare myself for tomorrow.

I did some school work today – my first assignment was due, so it’s a good thing!  I also created a school calendar so I can easily see what is due when.  Of course, I’m  nervous I didn’t do it correctly!  Anyhoo, I’m having difficulty focusing on school because I’m putting so much energy into focusing on the tea party!  I’m so excited.  About both, really, so I better get with it (re: school) tomorrow!

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