The “Prodigal Contributor” returns. It has been far too long since I have added a contribution here, and I guess it’s a good thing in that respect, that I don’t go to the luncheons. John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans”, and I can attest to that. It’s been a hectic few months, but I am seeing signs of things somewhat easing up, and hopefully Mother Nature got the memo that it is indeed Spring now.
It’s actually somewhat fitting that I post today, as last Thursday (March 27) I celebrated 24 years of being clean and sober. I don’t say that seeking applause or praise, but I mention it to show others that if I can do it, certainly they can if they so desire. Those of you who truly know me, know I am one of those “sober people” who does not preach or judge others for whatever their pleasures may be. Basically, I don’t care what you may or may not do, as long as you just respect what I have to do. It’s actually the freedom I was given, when I chose this path. Trust me, I found out that “bottoms” can indeed have “sub-basements”.
I had to be slammed into the ground pretty severely, just to get my attention. In “Cool Hand Luke” terms, “just stay down”, but I, like Luke, kept crawling back up, only to get beaten back down, until I finally gave in (it's probably why “Cool Hand Luke” remains one of my favorite films). These days, I simply go by the credo of, “If you want what I have I will share what I know.” That outlook became simple enough for me and that was/is the key. I am ever so grateful for others who believed in me, when I did not believe in myself. I owe all of this to you. This indeed has been the “bonus round” of life for me, but I’m certain some people still question my sanity even in sobriety, especially by my “sense of humor”. Like I say, "My 'sense of humor' is a form of 'self amuse'”.
This (eventually) brings me to my topic of the day. Twenty four years ago, I adopted the phrase “Somewhere Between a Flower and a Chainsaw”. A few of you know what it means to me, and I have explained it to them, when they ask. After two dozen years, I suppose it’s time for me to explain it to others in a more public forum. That phrase defines balance in my life. Some days I am somewhat “rooted”, a bit more colorful, and can sway in the breeze of life as it blows over and around me, without much of a care or worry. Other days, I can be loud, aggressive and I will cut you to pieces. Somewhere between the two, lies a balance for me. As long as I am in-between those two opposite ends of the spectrum, I should be able to function pretty well, and tolerate others around me.
Some of you who know me here, know that these days I define “sobriety” not by “not drinking or drugging”, but by that “Peace Within” I mention. That peace is my sobriety, and today I know it exists, and like a good addict, I crave it more and more. I have also learned that if something threatens my sobriety (that peace) I either remove myself or it from the situation. Survival in very basic terms.
During the past two years, I have found that calm, that peace and sense of well being, behind the lens of my camera, and while taking photos, my mind focuses (no pun intended) on nothing else but what is directly in front of me. It’s become my new and healthier “addiction” of sorts.
During the past few weeks, I was actually able to get out and find a few “new” old places to shoot, and will post some of them here today. In future weeks, I plan on doing a real “Marty-like” piece on the Community Art Center and Gallery that I was recently juried into. I am actually planning a show there in June, and will mention it as it nears. Meeting these fellow artists and enjoying their company and work, has truly made me feel at home.
So, just as your carpal tunnel was almost healed, get that scrolling action going, and take a look at some recent adventures behind the lens.
It’s good to be back. Peace Within.
This song came out the year I sobered up (1990), and was somewhat of a musical mantra for me.