Friday, January 20, 2012

Life Happens

Last night I had a dream that I was living with my sister and her husband. It was an earlier time in my life. I could tell by the living conditions, and how we all looked. We were much younger. My brother-in-law is a very tall man, and in my dream he was the brother-in-law of yesteryear. A slim, tanned, tall man making his way down the long dark hallway in our home. It was summer. I felt the heat radiating in the room while the heat waves distorting my vision. I felt the cold glass in my hand, and shifting in the chair I heard the telltale sound of ice cubes.

When I woke up I went back in my mind to when we all lived together on Lone Tree Court. Even the street name ominously predicted my trajectory. In those days, as a lone tree, I was absent for my life. My drinking had become a way of being unavailable. I did not yet have the skills to live life as an adult.

Many lost moments.

Many times I failed to appear in my own life.

Many hazardous encounters.

Many parties with too many "spirits".

Back then I hoped to be a tragic writer, famous and irreverent. I liked the idea of a small dark room, a typewriter, cigarettes, and a bottle. But when it came down to actually doing something, I was incarcerated by the booze. A prisoner to King Alcohol and his mad denizens.

During this time my younger brother Jay was killed in a drunk driving accident. This tale is too sad to tell right now. However, the point being, I was unavailable to myself or my family during this tragedy because I was wandering lost in the fog of John Barleycorn's purgatory. The loss of my brother hurt so I drank more.

It matters little whether we are spinning a web of shiny perfection or one of sloppy disinterest — life happens. We cannot always retrieve what was missed the first time around. Sometimes we are forced to live with the reality that there is no going back for another try.

Today I know deep down inside, even when life hurts, or when I am really afraid, that no amount of distraction will help. The old idea here is to feel the pain. And by being in the pain, I am healed. How this works is truly unclear. But I am beginning to believe that the pain is an invitation for the Graces. When I try to "handle" everything on my own, I shut out the divine.

So just for today, I am reaching out my hands for strength greater than my own. Reaching in earnest always invites Grace, Peace and Hope.

May you be filled with these three Blessings as you walk your path today.

Dead Man's Drink, #2406-7D

© 2012 James W. Murray, all rights reserved.

(click image for larger version)

Details: October 7, 2011; Canon 7D; f/5.6 @ 1/32 sec; —2/3 EV; ISO 1000;
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @ 252mm

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