Woken by sunshine sliding in through a crack in the curtain. After i finish this post I am going out to repot a small curry bush, grey and smelling like freshly made tandoori paste. It overpowers all the herbs around it and has some insignificant dirty yellow flowers late in summer, but for me it is such a part of the South African back yard that I can’t create herb gardens without it. I’m not sure if it is the same botanical species as Hypericum revolutum, or related to the helichrysums, and it resembles santolina. The smell of curry with turmeric and ground coriander is very strong. My neighbour Jackie thinks it is an ugly old thing that smells terrible.
Another long day of writing and editing, hoping it goes better than yesterday. The research takes ages even though I enjoy researching topics and checking copy for obscure errors. My imagination still gets in the way of accuracy but the accuracy always works better in the long run. Facts carry their own element of conviction.Whenever I read these ‘hic’ agony memoirs by recovering drug addicts or alcoholics, the skipping of detail or replacing everyday fact with gothic irks me. If you want to write about your childhood, you need to recall with some precision what your parents were wearing and what was playing on the radio and how they spoke a couple of decades ago, or it just sounds made-up. One of the worst reads in this regard is Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club (some great poetic writing all the same) in which the historical detail is just wrong. The dates, the locales, the pop-culture are skewed.
I was thinking last night that the second year of sobriety is all about just getting on with living sober. The pink cloud has faded away and there is the same old reality and the same person full of those familiar character defects. In my case I don’t have meetings, but I do have the literature and online forums and the blogging community. Sobriety is slowly becoming a mindful habit, the way drinking every day was a mindless habit. You just keep doing it and following the Steps, watching out for the old resentments and reactivity and the recurrent selfishness. There is no quick-fix stuff, that was what the numbing effect of alcohol delivered and we all know what hppened after that! There is no completing the Steps and forgetting about them because just understanding the process of the Steps is lifelong and involves constant corrective action and involvement in service. I may not be able to talk to sponsees face-to-face or afford the phone calls but I can write encouraging emails. I can show others that to just keep trudging along is possible. Once I wouldn’t have believed it possible to stay away from drink for 48 hours at a stretch. And the very ordinariness of a sober life is something good and to be cherished.