Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I'd like to introduce some of you to each other and talk a little bit about the face to face community here in the semi-wildlands of NW Montana, USA (funny, I don't feel so ashamed of claiming that anymore - the USA part), very close to the no-doubt-about-it-sure-enough wildlands of grizzly bear and spotted trout and mountain, where a few of us choose to live and create our lives.
My friend, Claudia, and I went to see another friend of ours from AA yesterday. Zelda is a little spitfire who got sober 2 years ago and now lies wasting in a bed, cancer ravaging her tiny body. Zelda is not old, she's maybe in her mid-50's, but her life has been hard and it shows. Her eyes are piercing blue-white and they are not fading with her body; if anything, they are brightening. I'm not as close to Zelda as Claudia, not really a part of the AA inner circle, and I was uncomfortable about going. And I'm not sure if she wanted me there or not. But I'm glad I went. I think if I were in that bed I would be very happy to have Zelda visit me.
Claudia and my friend, Julie, aka Alley Grazer have always been giving of their time, their love, their homes and food and friendship. We have watched each other's children grow, animals and parents die and we have watched many of us battle cancer, and we gather around each other when we need to which is often. How could I have ever thought alcohol could replace this?
Claudia will have a book published next year and the entire community is looking forward to a huge celebration! Last year, we celebrated Jennifer Graf-Groneberg's book, Roadmap to Holland. Jennifer, Claudia and I are in a writer's group that's been meeting once a month for over three years. It was a thrilling experience to be involved with both Jennifer and Claudia through the process of writing their respective books. Wouldn't you know? Both books are geard towards helping others!
I've written more than once about my friend, and now employer, Roberta, and the effect she's had on my life. Everyone needs a role model and man did I ever choose a good one. Roberta serves as matriarch/mentor/counselor to a lot of women in our community. Working and playing in the beautiful space she's created is an ever-expanding delight.
These women form the inner circle of my life in Montana, along with Brent of course. And if that weren't great enough I have another circle of friends and support on the other side of the country. People with whom I share deep history from the deep south. I'll be writing more about all of them as I continue on my sober journey. Affection and pride in our community of human beings sits well with my heart tonight.