One of the first jobs I had growing up was loading trucks when I was 19 or so. An older guy saw me sweating on the dock and came up to me to give me a hard time. He tilted his head and looked up at me and said, "I bet you think you're really strong eh?". I was like, "Well, I do work out a bit." He gave me a look, squinting his eye and said, "I bet I can pick up something you can't." Looking at him I figured he had to be at least 60 years old, maybe 120 pounds, scrawny and had a huge Gin Blossom nose. He must have seen my disbelief, so he grunts, coughs and hacks up a lugi and spits it on the ground. Tilting his head the other way, he tells me to pick THAT up. My eyes go wide and I laugh, no way! He glares at me, steps on it, lifts his foot sideways and shows me that... he can. I love jokes that twist like that and the crusty old bastards I learned them from.
I got called into Daniel Olsens office today, he is charge of the career development here at the Mission. To think, I could have gone the route of the overnighters, but instead God guided me to the Bible program that helping me rebuild me. Mr. Olsen asked if I had any legal problems and told me how we are going to take care of them. Amazing. I want to be doing right, things had just overwhelmed me, and now, through the loving grace of God, I am being helped. I never want to go back to booze, cigs and drugs, and after a month with no TV, I don't miss that a bit either. That tube used to control so much of my day. At 7:pm I had to be in front of it even though there where no shows worth watching most of the time. Yet there I was, hooked and bored like all the times I had gotten stoned. My forced separation from Facebook has been hard but good. Last Sunday I was able to get on-line at Pastor Bowers Church in Crawford. I was on for perhaps 4 minutes and walked away no problem. Perhaps it was because of how few of all those 'friends' even noticed I was missing for two months. It used to be that a half hour away from the net would drive me nuts. Pastor Bower is cool. He is laid back, at times forgetful, spots funny things at random and knows the Bible inside and out. best of all, he is not heavy handed in preaching, he lets people ask questions. Pastor Bower is rather quiet compared to, lets say, Ken Hall. In my first few days here I really wasn't ready for the Baptist style of preaching. Yelling the Gospel... well, considering the audience, the thick headed, it might be the only way for it to get in. Still, at times early on, I felt almost as if I was hallucinating. The new guys have to sit in the front two rows, so we get the full barrage of sound. Then there is Pastor Schoenbuger that likes to grab your attention by pounding on a desk and yelling AMEN!?
Then I hit pits like this. In the last 2 months I have only heard three voices from my entire previous life. They know where I am, family, friends and Facebook... yet nothing. I pray on it, but it seems to be the bed I have made. How big of a jerk must I have been that no one now wants to cheer me up with a simple phone call? It's not easy to live when you're v=cut off from everything you've ever found entertaining. I guess it could be worse, I could be in prison, in a war zone or something. It's just when we sing these hymnals they always say how happy they are, what joy they feel. I pray to God that I can feel that way too... I guess it's all in Gods time.
Is it that I've spent so much time on drugs that many of my fun memories are from when I was on them? Or did the drugs free me up enough to really have fun? I miss trees. All of my life I have lived near trees or would go out to the woods to relax. For the last two months, all I have seen of them are the 10 river Birches in the courtyard and they are barely big enough to rustle against each other when the wind can find them in that three story canyon. I love letting my eyes get lost in the green fuzz of many depths of the tree leaves, like the white noise of a fan by your bed at night, green noise can calm your thoughts. Out at Bussie woods, I really enjoyed going from bright sunshine and sky to piercing the boundary membrane to the inner forest of plants and bushes, entering the tree cathedral, arching up over your head in muffled softness. In my artwork I tend to stay away from green as God has done such a masterful job of it, there is not a lot I can add. Then there are the moist brown tree trunks that look like wet rocks on a lake shore, showing such depths of color, to be appreciated like a fine wine. They offer up a heady mix of oxygen and smells coming out of a million holes on the backs of leaves, taking away and using your exhaled breath. Sterile and thin is a man that cannot see the animal Yang to the plant Yin.