To Raise a Warrior

vikings-headlineI went to a Viking Age society life exhibition at the local museum last month. I’m a Norse spirituality fan, so how I could I miss it? Beautiful exhibition, very well presented and explained. Besides the display of the artifacts excavated from the Norse soil, such as the swords, the ships, and the amulets, the museum provided a warrior battle presentation, played out by the Viking warrior and folk fans, travelling around the world. The brave folks dressed themselves in the Norse people garments and used the replica weapons to bring one another down in front of the packed auditorium, a crowd of which at least half were kids.

Each time a warrior fell in the one-on-one fight, the leader of the pack that explained the event to the audience, invited us to bring the dead fighter back to life. It was explained to the guests that the warriors who fought so brave must be on the way to Hall of Valour where they were so eager to go and party until the end of time. The only thing that could possibly bring them back to life is… well, party on earth. “Anybody knows what mead is?” the leader of the pack yelled into the crowd. “That’s right, Viking alcohol drink!” The crowd was then encouraged to yell “Mead! Mead! Mead!” to bring the soul of the dead fighter back to join the body so he could join the rank of the armed folks on stage. And so it went after each fight.

I thought it was fascinating, because the kids in the crowd, were brought to believe, for some odd reason, that an alcoholic beverage could bring one back to life from death. Yes, those are Vikings, to the majority they are all extinct for a thousand years except for TV series legacy. Yes, there is folklore, mythology, and other fun stuff to read about, and maybe forget in a month or so. Yet some stuff, especially fun stuff like that, it stays somewhere in the mind. What enters the mind acts out at some point, in ways we find unexpected and fascinating. How many future punters sat in that room? How many of them, like me, won’t be able to let go off booze easily in ten years?

Yes, me. I never heard of mead raising the dead, but I was actively addicted to alcohol for years, and without my version of mead, such as beer, I felt like a living dead. With it I was alive and could rage like a warrior running through enemy shores and their castle walls of the modern world, or at least I thought so. It made up fun reality for me. It was a kingdom of illusion I loved to keep alive for many years. It didn’t do me much good.

Blame on the Viking fans? No. that’s not what I write this for. This one is as usual for opening eyes. For thinking, while it’s still allowed to do so. The Gods brought us enlightenment for a reason.


the image was copied from https://royalalbertamuseum.ca/visit/galleries/feature-gallery/index.cfm and pillaged by me. thank you.

factories of endless thought

There are lands unknown,

Places many wonder about.

In dark halls we deny we have,

There are kept the machines

That eternally run.

When all is sleep,

Theirs is the endless work.

Although their guards are on constant watch.

The precision of the production is questionable.

When a machine wears out

Hardly anyone pays attention.

In the concealed towns of the mind

Vulnerable faculties are at work.

Facehugger Rage

Alien_facehuggerWhatever happens, it’s never my fault.

What you say to me is never sincere.

How ever you wear your language for me to understand,

I know you’re wrong and your speech is a lie.

 

I am a rebel for the sake of nothing but my gain of something

That would feed an illusion

Capable of calming the old pain of all kinds.

You’ve got my history written down in your books,

And you seem to think that I am up to no good at all times,

And you tell me that you do for me all you can do

But one thing you cannot give me is freedom.

 

What would I do with this freedom, you ask,

If I presumably received it?

I don’t know.

Probably shoot myself up with dope

Like all the other times,

The crash-and-burns, the last times,

I mean those times I swore up and down they will be last times.

I’d probably do something that would cause my leg to break at another spot,

Or dislocate another knee,

Steal stuff here, trash an apartment there.

You know how it works for me.

 

You know it, but I still don’t trust you.

My anger against you is really against me,

But I didn’t just say that.

My clawed fingers I hug my face with as I growl loudly

Is my rage facing me

For it knows my bullshit and it smells my fear.

 

My war against the world is my war against me

The war that I can never let go of,

For I have to fight something.

You and the rest of caregivers

Fall victim to these battles,

For I will never admit the truth.

All I believe (or make myself believe and pray to)

Is that I am surrounded by lies,

No matter what you tell me,

Pushing my wheelchair down the never-ending hallways.


the image was copied from https://aliens.fandom.com/wiki/Facehugger thanks.

What We Do They Do Not Know

No, we are not in a cult. No, it’s not a secret – our books are sold in the open and there is no password to get into a meeting. Yet there is a difference between us and them. Us, problem drinkers and them, non-drinkers and non-problem drinkers.

Nothing against them. In fact, good for them, in a way. They don’t know the problem we have. Constant temptations. Perpetually lost wars with mind and spirit. Repetitive hangovers, loss of relationship, job, home, self-esteem – and all of that because of compulsive alcohol drinking. They don’t know what the hell that is – I’m happy for them.

However, there is something else they may not know. It’s our coming to our senses and recovery through seeking and obtaining spiritual liberation. They may be in church or in pagan temple, and if so, again, good for them for having that support in their lives. Still, the way many of us, the problem drinkers, came to having support in our fellowship is one of a kind, to be shared by few.

Still, there are things that we do they don’t know, don’t understand, and sometimes don’t want to understand. I hear it from time to time that families and friends of recovered alcoholics don’t understand them anymore. It’s too weird to them. It’s too hard to accept that the change is finally happening to their loved ones, and yet with the lack of drinking they become someone else. Some families and friends don’t seem to be OK with accepting it. “To Wives” chapter was addressed to them. I hope they read it, despite the title that may smell of exclusion.

Things we do and we know are of benefit to us, whether we are understood by those outside our circle or not. Still though, I’m sure Twelve Steps fellowships will welcome them all if they come to realization one day that they have problem with substance abuse similar to ours.

Shake It Baby

baby shakes head side to sideI’ve recently been taking a class and the instructor (who however very skilled and knowledgeable, jumped from topic to topic and here we go, I don’t remember how we got here) talked about shaking baby syndrome. The class I was taking was non-violence crisis intervention, so I think he started with how much strength and time people like us, the support workers, put into dealing with other people we were take care of, and from there the parallel with Shaken Baby Syndrome came through.

SBS is related to the idea that parents would shake their babies too hard to keep them from crying which worked only the opposite way. The point of what the instructor was leading to, and what I’m trying to get to here, is that there is a strategy aimed at the person going through that difficult experience and that it is to stop what they were doing, leave alone the task (a crying baby, if you will) for several minutes and… phone someone.

Life is that kind of thing that it may seem like it is a walk in a park in good weather one day, and it is a shaking crying baby time for the rest of the week. Stress is a constant plague of a modern human and getting out of the grind of the ever-turning wheel may seem impossible. So much work, so many responsibilities, frustrations, temptations, and unmet expectations. We can drown fast in that sea of emotions and information of all kinds, if we don’t pay attention. As the result, perpetual watching out for danger and possibilities may lead to mental and physical exhaustion, and then the spirit would start fading out as well.

What would people do in that situation if we haven’t learned and practiced (and some of us perfected) the habit of talking to others when we need it? Yes, when we need it. So often we ask a person who have flipped big time to almost lose their job, or relapsed on alcohol: “Why didn’t you talk to us?” There are plenty of excuses, and some good ones, but I think the most important reason is that we don’t see ourselves very important to take a break.

When I was in elementary school, we have an exercise in the middle of a writing session. The instructor would ask us to put pens down and stretch our fingers, saying along with that something to the sense of “we’ve been writing for a long time, our fingers are now tired. It’s time to relax before we go back at it.” (Shit, I still remember that?!) I don’t know if they teach something similar in elementary schools these days, but I hope they do. In the adult organizations they have health classes, and it is taught, as it is highly recommended, to take a break in the midst of what people are doing. Leave the desk for several minutes, take a walk around the room, bend forward, stretch legs, have a drink of water, go back to your project. It’s not just about your body – it’s about your focus and about breaking down your stress.

Good theories, and there is good proof too, too good not to apply to reality – and how often do we do it? I only do it when I remember which is many hours into the shift. Still, though, I take that time to stretch. Now how about talking to each other?

We need to do that. We need to put the baby back in the crib for several minutes and let it cry. Because if we are in bad shape, we cannot help the baby, until we are OK. And how are going to be OK? Stretch or talk. Or both. DO IT. Talk. Stretch. Give it a couple minutes. Are you feeling better? Just a little bit? That counts too. Keep doing it.


the image was copied from https://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Baby-Shakes-Head-Side-to-Side.html thanks.

Neutral Affirmation

I am given a wordblood

And I say my first name

And I call myself an alcoholic

After which I speak some more

About myself.

Whether I am in recovery

Or not,

Maybe still struggling through trenches

Of “human versus disease” war,

It is not a negative word.

It is not (or at least shouldn’t be)

Said with self-loathing,

Or sadness,

Or uttered bitterly to point a finger

At someone else to blame for my faults.

It is a neutral affirmation of reality.

Some folks are born with pale skin, not dark

Some others are born female, not male.

I was born pale skinned male,

With birth-attached ill disease

Streaming through my blood,

A condition that plagued me for years

Until its essence was explained to me

And I saw it for what it was,

Not an illusion that I kept alive all that time.

Alcoholic is not a derogatory word that shames.

Neither it is a happy word.

It is a diagnosis that doesn’t discriminate.

It is part of my nature,

That I know now,

And with that I know who I am,

And things I can and no longer can do

If I want to live freely in mind and spirit.


the image was copied from https://www.newscientist.com/article/2191282-weve-discovered-a-new-type-of-blood-vessel-in-our-bones/ thank you

Famous in Death

Bob_01“His name was Robert Paulson.”

“I’m sorry sir, but there are no names in Fight Club.”

“Oh, I get it. In death we get our names back!”

“His name was Robert Paulson!”

“His name was Robert Paulson!” © Chuck Palaniuk

 

I have no idea why this memory about Fight Club movie came to me one day as some sort of a revelation. I wrote it down in the notebook, but months later when I’ve read it, it made no significance at all. Yet I pondered it some more, and I remembered a poem I wrote over ten years ago.

It was about famous people that I’ve learned about in school. We were taught of them because they were inventors and geniuses. They were responsible for all the great things we had in life and we were learning of them. I secretly hated them all because I didn’t care for school. Those folks created or explored something and now I had to grind my brain into dust to learn what it was about. Frankly, some things I’ve learned in school are just plain useless, like geometry or organic chemistry. Maybe not to you, dear reader, but to me for sure.

Years later I started thinking that these famous people were not just inventors. They were people who lived lives, had families, had fun outside the lab (hopefully) and maybe never even expected their inventions to put their names into the gold fund of human culture and made them practically immortalized. So that poem was some sort of an apology to the bunch.

Having that brought to memory, the Fight Club paragraph I freely quoted out of memory makes sense. Robert Paulson (in the movie played by Meat Loaf) gets killed during putting Project Mayhem into life. In the past he was a famous wrestler, but after experimenting with steroids becomes extremely obese, as the result of which his children turned away from him. After going to self-help groups for people with near fatal health issues (I think Robert had testicle cancer), he joins Fight Club. FC mission gets him killed, but it appears he had the most fun in his later life by serving Project Mayhem.

What does this matter?

I will make here a brave assumption that we all want to be Robert Paulsons. If we are nobodies, that is. Nobodies that tried to accomplish something special, but got either fucked by life or by our own actions (too much, too soon, not enough, etc.) We want to carry something out in life that people may even benefit from (Project Mayhem was originally designed to liberate the masses, in a crude way though), and then hailed as heroes, even if fallen in the line of duty. But it’s not to be greatly famous. It’s to be happy with what we are doing and feeling validated for our efforts. Having our names included into the gold fund of human culture and becoming immortalized probably isn’t the goal. We just want our efforts to count. Well, at least I know I do.

Cliff Burton, the second of official four Metallica bass players, and the most famous of them, said that if you wanted to succeed in something, you need to marry yourself to it. I liked that expression that was attributed to him the first time I read it, over 20 years ago. At that time, I was trying to learn playing guitar, but I haven’t put a lot of effort into it and I haven’t got far, naturally. I saw however that my writing was getting better and there were certainly more people appreciating my efforts in putting stories together. So, I’ve stuck with writing. I can’t say I got much success. Quite the opposite. Trying to break through, I submit my stories to competitions of all kinds, but deep inside I know I need to be writing query letters to get longer stories in. And what do I do about that? Procrastinate by keeping writing longer stories and keeping submitting shorter ones to magazine competitions.

Writing is fun, and stories are good, but lately only one other person reads them. Maybe one day I will learn to do the right thing… before Project Mayhem of my own kind gets me checked out for good.


the image was copied from https://fightclub.fandom.com/wiki/Robert_Paulson

thank you, Fight Club fan page