birds eye view

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

scenic tour

spoon river valley scenic tour


i am just taking a breath. stopping(or at least slowing down) and looking around me. i find that, with the help of many, i have done some changing. i was at a meeting with a new mental health therapist talking about the programs that we offer at my workplace and how they might fit for her clients. as i perused her bulletin board, i realized it was littered with flyers from programs i have been part of creating. a gay men's 12 step group, a treatment program for gay men and meth, a newsletter for hiv positive guys, and a fund raiser for a homeless drop-in center. i don't think that much has really changed inside any of these particular issues, but leaving the footprints has been an adventure.

the evidence of this work, all in one place, took me by surprise. just like the prospect of a new job caught me unawares. and the reorganization of the committee i co-chair threw me a curve as well. i would never have had anything to do with any of these programs 5 years ago. i couldn't have seen it. and i don't have a handle on it all now. i am certainly more prepared to roll with the changes yet to come, but that will still be work.

all the heartache that was my reality throughout the years seems to have diminished so much. i don't feel resentful at all that i destroyed my life at so many junctures. i built pretty big lives on and off throughout the years, but i have always felt the need to self destruct and i don't see that here. i don't mind that i got caught in the tumult of crysal meth delusions, because i now certainly have knowledge of hell and how to get out. and this comes in handy.

i missed a good friend's 50th bday party last weekend. i was not prepared to go into a heavy drinking atmosphere. i just had to hunker down and not go. i'm definitely sad to miss it, but i really saw no option. i'm not sorry i didn't go, but i fear her feelings are hurt. have to trust that she will understand.

today's song brings back memories for me. it is steve goodman singing "spoon river". i am from rural illinois- the spoon river valley to be exact, and this song is charming and simple, just as i remember much of the time i spent growing up there. there were, of course, horrors growing up gay in a homophobic society, but there were joys a plenty living in the midwest and being connected to the farm and the land. this reflects the lives of many of my family still.

hope you enjoy it.



absolutwillie said...

i enjoy your sound choices a whole lot - and am breathing in with you on this one ;0)

Marc said...

Sometimes it makes me very sad how inaccessible I was to the messages of recovery I saw on fliers or in magazine ads. It amazes me now. But I do use it to remind me that I musn't be impatient with those who are the same. Addiction is irrational. This is why rational attempts to get through are work so much less well than we hope.

Clay Eals said...

Good to see your post (and sound file) focusing on the version of Michael Smith's "Spoon River" by Steve Goodman. It's one of my favorite of Goodman's versions of songs written by others. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music." The book delves deeply into Goodman's 100-plus songs and his embrace of songs by others.

You can find out more at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the book's first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. The second printing includes hundreds of little updates and additions, including 30 more photos for a total of 575. It won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography: To order a second-printing copy, see the "online store" page of my site. Just trying to spread word about the book. Feel free to do the same!

Clay Eals
1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
Seattle, WA 98116-1958

(206) 935-7515
(206) 484-8008

headbang8 said...


Congratulations on your choice not to go to the birthday party. Sometimes you just need to draw the line. (Besides, when you're sober, do you realise how boring drunks are?

I have, from time to time, done the same thing with family who are not so much active alcoholics, as active alanonics. I simply refuse to swim in a sea of toxins again.

Stay well.

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