Skip to main content

The Blame Game

When I was attending AA meetings with the regularity of a well-run assembly line for Swiss watches, and not in my current, more random, arrangement, I found myself showing up every week at an unusual meeting that met near my house. All men, the meeting featured strong alpha-males -- real Lord of the Flies type assholes with big egos and a continual need for strong coffee to wash away their casual verbal cruelties. These were men for whom the sun and moon revolved around compliantly, men for whom women threw away their souls. It was a tough audience of people who played themselves only when on an elevated stage with appropriate lighting and a cover charge.

And every man that attended the meeting prefaced everything thing they said with this little ditty to god.

I am sober today only by the grace of God and any success I may be having is far more his success than mine.”

The purpose of AA, simplified, is the finding of a way for to figure out to the satisfaction of drunks, that no any one individual is god, especially, and this is the hard part for people so unique and special, them. Usually this happens because the individual involved has screwed up things so bad that by the time they join AA they realize, at least on a meaty, physical level that, they will need to find a bigger boat. This negative affirmation is the real start of the finding of a god, the higher power, and this is the whole end point purpose of the rituals of AA.

It’s a cult for people who would gnaw off their limb if they though they had been trapped in a cult. At the same time, these are also people too self-centered to see the obvious when it’s rubbed into their face like a salted piece of sandpaper.

If I saw people jumping off a tall bridge into cold water, I wouldn’t join them. If I saw people jumping off a bridge, then coming back into line to do it again, and giggling, – I still probably wouldn’t join them – but I might.

Especially if I was on fire, or being flicked around like a paper football for amusement by the giant unseen hand of gods unseen index finger.

I came to accept all this god stuff over time and with the banal repetition of practical experience. I came in broken, followed simple direction, and got better in measurable ways over the weeks and months that followed. I began to feel that I was being cleaned up and being made presentable by forces that I couldn’t begin to understand and that it was all for a bigger purpose – a purpose I could never imagine because I was both too small to see it and truthfully, it didn’t matter if I understood any of it.


OK, I get it. But I’m left with these questions as I begin my daily plunge into the abyss of faith:

“If god gets the credit for all the good in my life, why do I have to get the credit for all the bad? Why is the excuse of original sin evoked to explain my actions, when it’s all part of his plan for me?”

I bring these questions up today because of my writing. I labor daily to put lines on a screen, and at the end of the day, I can see that some of them are good. I then think that I should have a feeling of pride, but I don’t – I feel like a puppy that’s been trained to fetch a newspaper and received from his master a pat on the head and a gentle word in reward. It’s all I can do to keep from wagging my vestigial tale in a no-words-for-it happiness of a meal well eaten.

I feel like a sock puppet of the lord. 


I’d like better answers, but it might be I'm missing the obvious ones, again.









Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Wedding and Funeral

Went to a wedding and a funeral this weekend with Mary. Sacramento, Santa Rosa, then home– a whirlwind trip through weekend bay area traffic. The traffic was horrible – life changing horrible, but not unusual.
As with most things, it’s a balance of an the unnamed terror and an easy chair in a padded room that rocks. 
The wedding was delightful, part of an interconnected strong woman’s club that marries off their daughters to provably weaker men. And so, the cycle continues, but the company was nice and I’m too old to wonder at the process anymore.
The funeral was for another interconnected strong woman, who, by hinkey or dinky, was a scary woman that I used to work with as a nurse. She would have been surprised that I outlived her, much as Charles the cat was. Please pay attention out there – this is how life works.
(To be fair, she didn’t put up with shit and I liked to throw handfuls of it around as if I were Christ standing on the back of a broken piƱata heaving candy cigarettes to the…

Only once

For clarity, I think I will write this only once.I do not write confessional poetry, and I do not write things down as a form of therapy. I write because I have something unique to say in a unique sort of way, a way that I think is universal in an analogous manner, not as any sort of literal telling of the truth.  I trowel spackle onto pages with a straight edged blade, I don’t paint aging widows with a brush. (My soul has been psychedelicized, but this shit’s not about me.)It comes in this form – that this relates to that, in this way – A form that I think illustrates things that are too true to be looked at straight on – personal truths that are usually discovered through interactions with other people – truths that are often relational, unreliable and subject to the weavings and debris of human beings. Truths that sneak out and become a miraculous surprise of insight – like a Zen master hitting you on the head with a baseball bat at just the right time.I don’t think I’m the only on…

How do I know when I'm done?

I left a message on Facebook for someone I care about that ended with the words, “one won”. I did it just because I thought was funny. That led to a whimsical discovery that I no longer had to place a period at the end of my sentences – in fact to do so would be rude and identify myself as an old person. 
It seems that, for online use anyway, a period has become a loud shout -- a purposeful exclamation point useful only in drawing unnecessary attention, or as a way of making an angry burp of anti-social angst. Sentences no longer end, they gently back out a side door when no one is looking -- they’ve become bars without a jail, or that angry driver just ahead of you who hesitates before moving through an intersection just to make a point of how stupid you are.
Since a period is no longer an end to a thought, its new function has evidentially become nothing but a stuffy ritual of formality that writers can now use to mark up or down generalized feeling of huffiness, or perhaps a way to s…