Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hills Like Gray Elephants

One of my favorite writers/bloggers is Mary, who writes, "Letting Go". It's a marvelous blog, designed to be an AA/12 Steps blog. But like it's webmistress itself, it is amazing and multilayered, as Mary, who lives in South Africa, writes on cooking, on the African landscape, on her pups, on writing. Mary is such a gifted writer, she can make something as a bout with malaria sound exotic and fascinating.

I don't know how Mary discovered this blog, indeed she was my first follower. In the few bits and bobs of conversation we have had , we discovered we both love the same authors, and the whole daily writing that we do. She reminds me of the writer I was up until a few years ago before the ECT and the psych meds destroyed my brain. She drank for totally different reasons than I did, but then, I do believe that alcoholics with psychiatric illness tend to drink for different reasons. It really doesn't matter, we both got sober.

But Mary, is a far better writer, I only hope when I grow up I can write like she does.
Mary blogged today she got a little care package I sent- some books I thought she would enjoy, and my latest chip from AA- my 13 year coin. I was surprised that she said they don't have chips in South Africa. It made me real sad. What do people do there if they feel like drinking, they don't have the Big Book with them? Hold on to your coin!

I had a sponsor, it was either my first or second sponsor when I first got sober, who believed in "Pay it forward". She said to me "you keep your 30 day coin, and your one year coin. All the other ones you pay them forward to help people who you see struggling". And I have done that. Paid it forward. Not that Mary is struggling, I do believe she will stay sober the rest of her life. But I wanted her to have something lovely, and wasn't sure what I could and couldn't ship to her part of the world from mine. Such a small thing, and it means so much.

Mary, your writing means so much to me, it lifts me and carries me when I keep trying to write like I use to. It makes me push harder to get to that point again. With you out there in your part of the universe, a place so different from mine it might as well be Mars, yet it shows how much in common we all really have. A little tiny coin that fits in your palm. Amazing. Stuff. Mary, here's a baby elephant for you as well.

From Mary's blog today-

From the poet William Stafford:

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
And I don’t know the kind of person you are
A pattern that others made may prevail in the world
And following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider–
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.


Mary LA said...

Love you Susan and thanks again for the coin. You are a wonderful writer and I hope this year gets easier for you.

Hugs to you my friend

susan said...

Thank you Mary. I need to get consistant again. And I need a spell checker.

sallyo said...

I'm a fan of Mary's blog, too. She writes wonderful stuff and motivates me to try harder. So do you, for that matter.

Syd said...

That was really a wonderful thing to do, Susan. There are a couple of Al-Anon groups that do the medallions for years in the program. I carry mine with me at all times. It is a reminder that I have a choice to be happy or not.

susan said...

Syd, Hazelton sells a box of coins- from 30 day chips to 50 year chips.... some 100 medallions..... I wish I had the money to get that and send it to her home group.

Steve E said...

I felt something behind me, and looked--and you were following me...just began, I guess. How great! WELCOME!

And already I find we have something in common--there are others, certainly. That is MARY LA as a FAVORITE place to go daily, and soak up her wit, wisdom, descriptions of another place on earth...and her SOBRIETY!

Each year I give back my old chip. Maybe I should send it to mary, she can store it somewhere until ...then.--grin!

Glad I found you, Susan

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