Sunday, April 9, 2017

Addiction Wars and Cultural Dishonesty, What to do...

Please read this very interesting article:


 
The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think


Here are my thoughts.  (Perhaps my rant.)

I agree generally speaking with the story here.  However, the writer appears to discount the small percentage but big numbers of folks who are lost in estrangement, behavior or chemical (or all of those) and have no ladder out because they have been so deeply anti-socialized in their families before the drug or behavior or estrangement is blamed later on.  Many refuse to go to meetings or have no clue how to find meaning in the society of meetings and even less in the society at large.  They have no emotional tools to find meaning in themselves and can't stop abandoning themselves and those they love.  Then you throw in prison culture, poverty, declining middle class, poor education opportunities, rampant political power struggle, rampant manipulation in media and relationship, guilting and shaming politicians, religions, families and peers and then they continue to be offered a cultural War On Drugs and class and racial and other minority baiting as solution.  And this is what every person trying to find their sobriety faces in their attempts at transition to better self-care and simpler, safer social life.  This environment is nothing at all like the facile-perfect little rat colony play parks the author offers us.  This shallow, too easy idea feels impossibly lacking in self-honesty and is quite full of emotional nakedness and dangerous pit falls that will find victims in so many of us having no tools to begin strengthening themselves. This sort of easy idea with no actual ladder is what many current and future addicts are and will be trying to escape. 
These issues abide in our culture and we are no where near close to even starting to back out of our huge shame based, punishment and race slavery profit motive prisons.
So I agree with his nice and true observations and the scientists he is agreeing with but he lacks for the courage of concept and the inspirational language and leadership (and perhaps self-honesty) to raise up the first generation of reformers that must emerge to pull this off eventually in our culture.
The changes it requires in our American culture alone will be so deep that it must be a revolution taking perhaps centuries.  How long has it taken SO FAR to establish basic rights for Women, Minorities and Children?  Where is the ERA? These days we are taking giant steps backwards.  And much of the rest of the world is even more backward on these cultural and social issues than ourselves (for the moment).
Of course a new and healthier culture must be built.  We progressives must stop fighting among ourselves FIRST if we are serious about making real progress on this mighty and inevitable project.  Inevitable, unless we are overcome first by a cultural collapse that these days (on darker days and those days are more frequent since last fall) feels imminent!
So...?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Leaving Us All Agape



                                                            Leaving Us All Agape
                                                               (For Beth 04-02-17) 
 
Love leaves us full of fearful holes
Filled then with care just enough
To choose chancy brinks
Come to suffer us to serve
Our maker and our fellow

Effort-fully we fill once more
Our Living Fragile and Holy Skin 
To prepare for the uses of love
The exhaustion of loss
Leaving us all agape again


*agape
a- +‎ gape,   ....wide open, shocked, dumbstruck, overwhelmed, surprised, ajar.
ah-gah-pey,    ...the love of God for man and of man for God
                               *various web sources

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Writing Grief and Joy



Mortal processes have beginnings, I suppose, but grief and joy have no necessary ends.  Feeling develops, sensation warps and bends in time.  Perspective changes everything if I allow my own re-planting and wonder at my own growth.  The fall of shadow moves through a day and under the moon too and around a calendar and when the story is written the calendar stretches indefinitely in a brazen challenge to mortality.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry, RIP



 "The gateway to freedom...was somewhere close to New Orleans where most Africans were sorted through and sold. I had driven through New Orleans on tour and I'd been told my great grandfather had lived way back up in the woods among the evergreens in a log cabin. I revived the era with a song about a coloured boy named Johnny B. Goode. My first thought was to make his life follow as my own had come along, but I thought it would seem biased to white fans to say 'coloured boy' and changed it to 'country boy'."         Chuck Berry

 Comment
For my generation Chuck Berry has been a major model in our individual struggles to define personal autonomy. What exactly does, "attitude" mean? What does, "irony" have to do with my family life. What is going on at home anyway. What do I, "have to do?" What is, "My Choice?" What the hell are, "Consequences, anyway?" I think our generation ('50's and '60's) did different things with these questions than previous generations. Chuck Berry was 'way out' there in the vanguard.  Chuck Britt

http://poetsmouth.blogspot.com/2017/03/chuck-berry-rip.html

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Note to an anxious client:

To a mother of an adult child:

Good job setting a boundary!

Your clear, simple and brief boundary setting with your son will directly reduce your physical stress which reduces your mental anxiety.

When I act like I have choice for others (which I very seldom do) I am choosing to disorient myself.  This is a physical choice with physical consequences. (Increases my physical stress and therefore my level of anxiety.)

When I am aware that I have a choice to make for me and I am honest with myself that the choice has physical consequences (known and unknown) attached... when I make the choices in this way it has a logical foundation.  The choice is congruent.  The choice may be risky or foolish but my thinking ego is truth-ing with the body.  The body knows to be ready for risk.  This is congruent.  It may be fatal but it is congruent.  My body is used to congruent risk.  My body can orient itself and strive to be ready. The consciousness of the mind and the memory in my muscles and in my physical nervous system will work together to try to reduce the risk and try to keep me safe.

If I am intent on jaywalking (or skiing, or doing gymnastics, or wall climbing, or going to a rock concert, and choose to do it consciously and purposefully and I am aware of the apparent risks and aware that there are unknown risks and I am willing to accept the consequences of my risky choice... then I would label the choice "congruent" and oriented.

If I impulsively step off the curb (or the slope etc.)  without any awareness or processing and therefore no consideration or ownership of consequences ...I would label this an in-congruent and disoriented choice.  This is much more dangerous than the previous example.  Even though I am oblivious, my physical stress and resultant anxiety will go up much more dramatically than it would in the previous example.  It will stay elevated until I demonstrate to my body that I am much less oblivious and am ready to process things more deliberately (with ownership).

When you choose to be oblivious to your own physical need to remember that you do not actually have a choice regarding your son's well being ... you are choosing to be in-congruent and disoriented and you are choosing to dramatically increase your short term and longer term stress and anxiety.

When you chose this time to set a proper (simple, moodless and very brief) boundary with your son, you are choosing the consequence of significantly reduced short term and long term stress and anxiety. 

You feel better because you are doing congruent and oriented self care. (Better self care.)

Great Job!!!


Chuck

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I The Digger

I The Digger

I know I am immature

Yet I know I will find it
In the denied
In the forgotten
In the shamed
In the beaten and browbeaten

A slavishly self imposed prison
In each of you

Everywhere I aim
My special powers see

Telltale signs of
Complication

Making so obvious
Your trigger-prison

In seemingly empty fields
Minute quarks of jailed

Potential dash in and out
Of existence...

You inadvertently show me
Where the hidy-holes wait

All my dogged hunting
Senses dive and dig

My big nostrils notice
One pheromone

My big eyes notice
One cheek tick

My big ears notice
One stifled syllable

All of my own reenergized
Slavish joining dives down

You will not see my maniac digging
Tail wagging with certainty anticipating

The base dirt of your discontent
Flying between my back legs

Yet you may notice that hole
With your vulnerable dirt flying out

And your rising bile

There... I The Digger have
Inevitably found your mood

And my adrenaline

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Appalachian Spring

For me this music connects us to the little town truth of America that I think my parents lived and told stories about. There is difficulty and ugliness in the history of small town America and much of our solidity and strength. Copland captures and releases it all without words. Strengths, conflicts, moods, remembrance, horrors and loves in wordless memories. These days the strengths and moods and peculiarities of "Small Town" America all seem to have gone somewhere else. 

In the 'connected' world is there a small town anywhere? Popular culture is not a small town, spreading as it does along every freeway and airway across the world. It is hard to pin point where those small town strengths now live. I think they must live in the millions of small communities of friends that are not so much about places as they are about shared time and memory. The relationships I am noticing are about communication with each other over distance and time. Perhaps it is about choosing to utilize technology to witness each others lives. A living network among each person's disbursed loved ones and friends and memories... at a distance. Telling stories to each other like mom and dad told stories except now we do it over the phone, email, text, and Facebook. Mom and dad in their stories introduced us to earlier times to help us witness the family in history through their eyes and hearts and memories. 

Elders share with youth the basic human strength that we all need to tell stories, share memories and take the risk of sharing our dreams.   We all need to find uses in these new tools and do strong work with them.  

Aaron Copeland, in his Appalachian Spring shows us how to use any media to describe our own lives and our own America and inspires us to tell the small stories underlying our days to each other.  

The smallest town is my body and your body too and the small memories.

Here is Aaron Copland rehearsing Appalachian Spring:


And here is The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performing Appalachian Spring (with other selections) in one of the country’s most beautiful historic sites: Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky.  (You can go to 58:20 to be at the beginning of "Appalachian Spring")  (The first hour of the performance is full of wonderful American music!)

http://www.pbs.org/video/2365834371/

And here an amazing performance live in Detroit 2014. It is the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Leonard Slatkin.   Mr. Slatkin tells a compelling story about Copland's final communication regarding his work.