Unwrapping myself from duvets and comforters on a cold spring morning, having just reread page 87 of the Big Book for the fifth time on ‘living on an intuitive plane’ attuned to a Higher Power and not self-will. Hoping that one day I get there – moments when I am there, moments I’m not.
Alcoholism remains for me the tragedy/farce of the divided heart. Looking back. I wanted to get sober but I also wanted to keep doing the same old-same old things. I wanted to change but I wanted to stay the same. I wanted a new life but I wanted it on my terms. I felt guilty and a failure but also angry and contemptuous. I wanted help but hated taking advice. I knew I was my own worst enemy but I blamed everyone else. Split right down the middle and the alcoholic self won every time. And for decades I kept thinking, there is still time to change. Then I went out into the garden one evening and thought: ‘I should come and sit out here when I am sober’. The thought occurred to me: I AM NEVER SOBER IN THE EVENINGS. Just like that. Simple as that. I saw for the first time that there had never been a contest, I had lost the battle years ago; and right then I began to want to really change. Mary Christine wrote about something similar in her blog Anonymous Alcoholic a few posts ago (see blogroll).
The real point is to let the Steps work me, transform me. To stop keeping God at arm’s length and let the Divine into my life. So scary and astonishing a notion.. To let my life be lived through me. The point being of course, that I have tried to live life on my own terms and failed dismally, so I would much rather live in and for a Higher Power of love.
This afternoon I am slowly cooking a North African lamb tagine on a wood-burning stove. In a black cast-iron pot, not a glazed tagine, which latter might crack. Even in the bright sunshine it is very, very cold and the old black Dover stove warms the whole cottage. The kitchen smells of cumin, mint, warm ground coriander, cloves, cinnamon, chopped onion and garlic, diced tomatoes, roasting lamb shanks. I have splashed pomegranate juice and a strange but delicious pickled lime syrup on the counter. Karin, newly arrived from a cattle farm in the Free State, is coming to supper and I hope the dish does not frighten her. When I was adding ingredients it seemed to me tat I was layering them very successfully, but it may be that I have just put too many things in the same pot.