Posts Tagged ‘anniversary’

25 years ago at Thanksgiving dinner at our family friends’ house in a suburb of Detroit, I took my last drink of alcohol. I’m sure I had a glass of wine at least. More than one glass? A beer? That I don’t know. I was never picky. I loved all alcohol. If the occasion called for wine, that’s what I’d be drinking.

I remember driving north, probably on I-75, then I-94, to their house. I have no idea what suburb. Was it still Southfield where they lived or had they moved on? I remember the barren fields, the low winter sun, the flat landscape on the highway. Did we pass the huge tire on the side of the highway, did we pass one of the first super-flashy moving digitized billboards I’d ever seen in my life?

My mother lived in Farmington Hills, Michigan at the time. Paul and I would drive up on the weekends and visit her, stay in her ranch condo, rent about a dozen movies from the arty-farty video store a mile away, lock ourselves in the den and watch movies all weekend. Sometimes we would fight, inevitably we would have sex, sometimes we’d go out to eat, even if just for lunch, sometimes take a walk in the sterile “neighborhood” that was like all of the other hundreds of condo neighborhoods in the suburb I grew up in for a few years when I was still in elementary school. The condos and sprawl came later, after my family moved away to a suburb of Toledo.

I had skirted around AA for about a year, hanging out at Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings with another friend of mine from college. After the meetings, we’d go out and get drunk at one or two of my favorite townie bars in Kent.

When I finally went to my first AA meeting, after being invitied by a woman who I banquet waitressed with at a sprawling restaurant in Hudson, Ohio, I felt happy and at-home right away; not like I felt when I was around the dragged-down energy of the people in the ACoA meetings. The alcoholics were a happy, gregarious lot; the codependents were pissed off and low.

It only took me a month to know why I was so comfortable in the AA meetings. These were my people.

Last drink, Thanksgiving Day, November 1987.

And that’s all she wrote.

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My father died on this date in 1985. This is not news. I’ve mentioned it before, even last year on this day I think.

Don’t worry, this is not a poem, just some scribbles….hopefully I won’t be removing it soon.

8/6/12 anniversary

wanted to be quiet today

counting something on my fingers
the hollow wind that rings
along a cement corridor

when I was looking for the word wind
I lost track of another word
it was on the tip of my mind

pre-frontal cortex
gray matter
does gray matter?

serving up the need
for shutting down

my mother is unraveling
the small bones
27 per hand

I still want to be preserved in salt
camphor to mask my scent


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Algonquin Park, Ontario, perhaps 1989

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You probably don’t remember that February is birthday month around here. When you have 4 core family members and half of them have birthdays in February, right after Valentine’s Day, no less, it’s a big deal. Makes for scrambling and excitement and extra cake.

As far as other things I’m grateful for, I’ve been feeling mostly better for almost 2 weeks. After a 7-week hiatus I got to go to Shape Note singing on Tuesday night, took Vi with me, sang for about an hour. It was fabulous. I had enough breath and I was using my best Alexander thinking due to having been around one of my colleagues on Saturday night (nothing to get good psycho-physical unification functioning like being around another Alexander teacher!).

In the 7-and-a-half years that I’ve been singing Sacred Harp on Tuesday nights in Northampton, Mass, I have never missed as many weeks in a row as I did over this extended period of ill health.

I also returned to yoga this week. This was the longest period in which I’ve missed yoga classes in over 3 years. Seven weeks. I was much stronger than I imagined, not so much was lost. I’ve still got muscles–even my abs (who knew?) and I’m regaining my breath very nicely.

Today is Hubby’s birthday and also marks the 25th anniversary of our first date. I don’t have a photo to share (I should get out the scanner) and I’m tired of google images, but I think some color is needed to break up the monotony of all these words.

I have now passed the point in my life after which I will now have known Paul for longer than I haven’t. I love to mark time in this way.

Time lengthening, time speeding up.

On Tuesday, I got to lead one of my favorite songs from The Sacred Harp:

#230 Converting Grace

As pants the hart for cooling streams, When heated in the chase;

So longs my soul, O God, for Thee, and Thy refreshing grace.

Oh, for converting grace, and oh, for sanctifying pow’r; Lord, we ask in Jesus’ name, A sweet, refreshing show’r.

For Thee, my God, the living God, My thirsty soul doth pine;

Oh, when shall I behold Thy face, Thy majesty divine?

Why restless, why cast down, my soul?  Hope still; and thou shalt sing

Praise of Him who is thy God, Thy heath’s eternal spring.

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Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law. Buddha

I didn’t know what other song to post.

I’m still appalled and angry and saddened and shocked.

Being born in 1963, I was subject to the zeitgeist of peace protests and the anti-war movement. I am not too sure how much came from my parents because even though they were Democrats and they hated Nixon, they were also Establishment and European and warned us of “hippies” and counter-culture types with long hair. I remember hints of racism in spite of their liberal views and in spite of our racially-mixed neighborhood in Detroit.

I watched TV yesterday for a while until the commentators took over and wouldn’t allow for even another hour or two of family members reading off the names of those killed. I loved hearing the names read off without interruption. I didn’t want to hear the politicians speak their speeches; I didn’t want to hear a poem; I didn’t even want to hear Yo Yo Ma play his cello.

I am not sure who the day belonged to.

I keep wondering how much money it takes to run the waterfall. I keep thinking about waste. I keep thinking about pride and its foil, humility. I keep thinking about our bodies and the pain of having a complex nervous system. I keep thinking about war and Elvis Costello’s words from “The Scarlet Tide:”

Man goes beyond his own decision/Gets caught up in the mechanism/Of swindlers who act like kings/And brokers who break everything

I think of Cheney and Halliburton and the billions of dollars made, wasted. And the extremists who visited strip joints in Florida when they trained to fly the planes. Guns produced by one country and sold to another. What difference does it make? Someone profits and a lot of people suffer.

And this one: why can’t men get their personal shit together and stop acting out? Why do people need to couch their hate in something larger than themselves?

The memorial looks beautiful and fitting and I’m glad it’s there and we’ll probably hop down to the city to see it, soon I hope, in the fall.

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It’s anniversary month all month long, peeps. Time to roll out the big guns.

And just so we don’t all jump in the sack and get nothing done today,

after moving our hips to Marvin Gaye,

Remember yesterday was the anniversary of Loving Day.

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