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Oct 19

Finding Darkness Within Light…and Lightness Among the Dark…

img_2326finishing what i have started is sometimes an issue of mine…but, today i do my best in making that happen…whether it be work…play…family time…togetherness with friends…which is what i meant in bringing with me to the Men’s retreat last month…attending this twice before…once a couple years ago…and the first time in 2012…the mission is for intensive work of the 12 step program to continue sobriety…over the course of a couple days during the weekend…we band together to practice these principles…my hopes have always been in finding what i’ve missed…certain ideals, meanings and actions come forward…and i’ve always left with freedom from the bondage of self…it’s an amazing journey…something i look forward to every year, and hope to continue throughout my lifetime

i did happen to take a few quick notes from the speakers while there…one has caught my eye, and had me questioning it’s purpose…i don’t quite remember in what reference it is to…the word is orthodoxy, and next to it in parenthesis is the phrase “trick bag”…looking up this meaning, it is the “condition, quality or practice of conforming”…usually identified when relating to religion, this is still a term i haven’t been acquainted with…although, it fits exactly with how i’ve meant to practice this program, or live this way of life…as far as a bag of tricks, or whatever it was my note eluded to, i still haven’t the foggiest notion…i don’t see how conformity would be tricky…but, maybe it is in how a bag could be thrown at me, once put into a practice

inside our literature there is mention of this “great reality within”…something i’ve continued to search for on the daily…and occasionally there is found glimpse of the truth…or an instance of prophetic vision, if you will…it is hard to explain fully…but, there was an event during this weekend out in the wild with a sober group of guys that may lend an example of what i’m trying to say here…it has always taken an outside view for me to piece certain variables together…whenever i’m questioning propositions, or wondering upon thoughts, its usually another eye and mind to place reverence…rather than discarding it for meaningless, mindless garbage…i am able to find agreement with a separate party,,.this helps me in accepting what i’ve seen and perceived as value, or fact

img_2360an event started during my first attendance at this Men’s retreat was hiking…there are so many different trails to wander while out at this foundation camp…the water boiling from the head of this river running through the park comes from a spring, which leaves its temperature around sixty degrees year-round…this gives some of the guys excitement in taking a swim…my first year at this deal was jam packed with step-work, so the majority of my time during the day was in reading, listening, writing and talking…a group of us got together and made a pact for traveling up through the woods to a 400 foot cliff face that overlooks the campsite and hill country…it was quite a trip…doing this at night, we made sure to bring flashlights and stick together, unless we ended up lost…following a guided trail, we had to cross the river, leaving us soaking wet from the thigh down…regardless, it was an amazing journey…taking nearly an hour to reach the top left us lots of time to speak with each other…and staring at the stars under the absence of city light left us nearly speechless

after seeing how many men wanted a little free time at the facilities and spend extra effort to explore, the organizers of this weekend in the hills decided to change the schedule some…this allowed a few breaks along the weekend for guys to venture into town and check their phones…go fishing in the river (catch and release!)…or check out the trailheads (as long to make sure not surprising other visitors in their campsite)…this year provided a chance to make this trip up to the bluff during the daytime, which quite stoked me…making the trip twice before at night, this provided an entire new experience…grabbing up a collection of guys willing, we made the hike right after lunch…and how much different that was…seeing the surroundings along the trail brought out much an altered experience…i was able to encompass the landscape as a whole…feeling the pressure of heights and drops, looking from left to right, and up and down when taking steps across the dirt and rocks…every now and then was a break through the trees, which made it visible to witness exactly how far up we had climbed that far…it was thrilling, fascinating, beautiful and challenging, all at the same time

img_2327at night i was only able to picture clearly what was in front of me…most of my attention was kept in what the group of us guys were talking to each other about…and during this day trip, my eyes took up a good part of attention…this obviously brought our speech in seperate directions, at times…and out of the darkness we could see the Milky Way…it wasn’t easy finding the brightest star in the sky…they all just seemed to be of increasing/decreasing size, instead…and while the sun was up, we could see for miles…looking down at the river the water was so clear to see the bottom…other camps were clearly viewed…it was just awesome finding the differences, and having the chance of absorbing it all…similarities aren’t always the goodness from finding in others…sometimes it is the changes that fail in keeping us apart…i can greet and find and accept it all, no matter what happens…as long as i strive in pointing out positives, rather than gripping hard onto the negative…this was something i left that weekend with, and pray to never lose complete sight of…as long as i continue to share what i’m going through currently with other walkers of sober life, it is hope that never leaves