I am listening to Pandora radio on my television. My daughter had told me you could set up your own “stations.” I just felt compelled to do that but didn’t feel like putting any effort into it. It asked for a favorite artist… is there anyone over 30 years old who could come up with ONE? Just one? So, out of the air, I picked Leon Russell. I love Leon. And that was it. I am loving listening to who Pandora thinks should be on a station with Leon. In a half hour or so I have listened to Steve Ray Vaughn, The Allman Brothers, Joe Cocker, Steve Winwood, and of course, Leon Russell. Now, this is the kind of oldies I actually listened to!
This morning another discouraging lesson about how the culture of this world/AA has turned, just like a worm. I went to a very small meeting near my house. There were four men in their first year, my sponsee, and a man who is nearing 80 years old – who has been sober for 45 years. Since everyone had shared already, the old guy, who I LOVE, kind of went on and on. God bless him. I was happy to listen. I looked around the room at those jackasses who were yawning, playing with a loud piece of cellophane, cleaning their fingernails, etc. In other words, not only bored, but really really rude.
After the meeting, the old guy who I LOVE told me the young ones don’t want to hear what he has to say. I didn’t argue with him – how could I? I asked him if he could imagine us yawning when Dick S., Don C., Bob K.. or any of those old guys were talking. Nope. Never. In a million years, NO. Some of those old guys went on and on too. One of them had a little box in his throat that made him sound like a robot. Smoking had taken his voice away, and eventually it took his life. But we listened, and not just because we were polite. We listened because we LEARNED from them.
My 80 year old friend is the last of a breed. All dying of course. We do that. Die.
You know what he said this morning while the young know-it-alls were stretching backwards in their chairs, showing their abdomens while yawning? He said he retired a long time ago. His retirement income was 1,400. a month. He said it wasn’t impressive then and it isn’t much more than that now. He said he has been fine all these years. He trusts God. That’s all his magic is: trusting God.
I have been to his house. It is lovely. It is near mine. He has one of those “eccentric” backyards – with a lot of statuary and doo dads. He and his wife are living on probably less than $2,000 a month. Wow. And he tells me it has been OK, and I believe him because I have been watching him since long before he retired.
OK, the spell is broken, they are playing the Rolling Stones.
My sponsor over on the other side of the state has been confronted by the “ladies” in her group telling her she needs to tone her story down. No one wants to hear that crap. Don’t talk about the degradation alcohol caused in your life, it might offend someone who probably has no business in Alcoholics Anonymous anyway. She nicely told them that she is not changing her story and if they don’t like it they can do something that is anatomically impossible. She is a truthful person. She is not changing her story. She has been my sponsor for nearly 20 years and I have utmost respect for her because of her honesty…. among other wonderful qualities.
She says it is just the way it is. Indeed it is.
But I can drive 37 miles on Sunday morning to be at a meeting where people – all of them – are listened to and cherished. New people, long-timers, Young, old – whatever. I wish there were more meetings like that. A little bit of respect and human kindness goes a long way. No wonder we have such a good track record of long term sobriety in that group.
While my internet went down and I lost most of this post, I listened to Richie Valans, more Allmans, more Leon Russell, and more Rolling Stones. I’m over it. It was fun while it lasted.
I’m watching a Broncos game tonight! The first one I will have seen so far this season. I hope they play well, but secretly I am really hoping the Patriots have a great season with my Mr. Tebow.