Getting ready to go offline — the computer expert with his languid manner and nicotine-stained fingers will be here shortly to try and fix more glitches with my old monitor. I am dashing off messages and copying workable text onto MS Word so I can carry on writing when the Internet goes down.
Last night the full moon in Scorpio was like a white blow-torch across the valley, the bright light kept waking me as it pierced through curtains and blinds. Now it is damp and overcast, dark and sombre weather.
Met a sober AA woman for a cup of coffee — she was on her way to the small coastal resort of Hermanus, is allergic to dogs so she couldn’t come to my home. We sat over lukewarm cups of instant coffee and almond biscotti. It was disconcerting because she has five years of sobriety, but was so heavily medicated I could hardly follow what she was saying. I don’t know if this is the only way she can cope. She said she feels as if she is frozen on one side of a plate-glass window, but it is better than drinking. Sitting across from her I just nodded and felt that questions were pointless. After I waved goodbye to her, all the unasked questions came up in me like a tidal wave. Consciousness is painful for all of us at times but without consciousness there can be no growth. To muddle through the day numbed and dazed and half-asleep is not a good way to live. It reminds me of all those fairy tale heroines who lay immobilized in glass coffins or entombed in palace beds hidden behind hedges waiting centuries to be awoken by a kiss from Prince Charming. What was it Flannery O’Connor said? — the life you save may be your own.
Grateful to be able to live sober and unmedicated — extending compassion to those who live in the twilight world of Big Pharma. Thinking about tolerance and what that really involves from a discussion found here:
“Tolerance” is a feel-good buzzword in our society, but I fear people have forgotten what it means. Many folks are proud of their “tolerance” for gays, working women, Tibetan monks in cute orange outfits, or blacks sitting at the front of the bus. But what they really mean is that they consider such things to be completely appropriate parts of their society, and are not bothered by them in the slightest. That, however, isn’t “tolerance.”
“Tolerance” is where you tolerate things that actually bother you. Things that make you go “ick”, or that conflict with strong intuitions on proper behavior. Once upon a time, the idea of gay sex made most folks quite uncomfortable, and yet many of those folks still advocated tolerance for gay sex. Their argument was not that gay sex isn’t icky, but that a broad society should be reluctant to ban apparently victimless activities merely because many find them icky.