Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Stories of our Lives

Here is what I wrote in response to a post by Gunther today over at:

I really miss Gunther's videos.  Gunther, I know you prolly have your reasons for not having them up, but seriously, I would *purchase* a DVD of them.  I remember that month, your "Park your car in the Harvard yard," all of it.  It was the month I realized you guys were all *real*.  I do not mean to make you uncomfortable; I know you sometimes analyze your “Part” for being a leader of sorts on the anti AA movement.  My unsolicited advice for you on this is to enjoy it and embrace it. 

I am rewriting my story, too.  All of the time and every day.  It is not like I am tacking on a new chapter though; it is like I am editing.  And while I am doing so, I am figuring out what my story actually is about.  And my voice is becoming so much stronger, too.  Even now, during the editing, there are times when I ask for "God's" help.  And this is interestingly, as I am evolving into an unbeliever. Sometimes I think leaving AA has completely changed me, everything is now completely the opposite of what is was.  It is like bizarro Jerry on Seinfeld.  But then I wonder if the change is actually infinitesimal, that things would be pretty similar if I stayed in AA; maybe I’d be uncomfortable with all the powerless stuff, the rapes, the control games, but I would look at these like they were only a   peripheral issue, and my voice would lucidly help new women coming in. 

If it is a huge change or not though, I wonder about my waning belief in God, especially my idea of God that was created in the AA context.  Today, I think it is OK for me to ask God for help, if only out of habit.  Some of the smartest academic and intellectual thinkers in our history believed in God with a fervor that I never felt, even while in AA.  Wanting to believe (even in the lame AA God) is not a weakness; for me, it is a way to make sense of this insanely beautiful, but mostly terrifying situation we’re all in, junkies, alkies, regular mentally ill people, or “normies.”   And sometimes I wonder if I had not hit AA, maybe I would have come upon another way to believe in God; the belief itself would have been similar, but it would have been a different mode.  And this different mode may have been far graver than any sick AA situation: think poly-type Mormon compounds, or think born time infinity.  I might have been the baby mamma opposite a sick, Baptist never nude with an appetite for teen girls.  Instead I am counterpart to an aging deadhead who still has visible track marks, but who loves our son like the stars burn into the night sky and who gave our spare cash (when we had very little) to Howard Dean’s misguided, but hopeful campaign.

(Unrelated Note: I drove with this same father and our son this weekend past the Eric Carle Museum, and Carle's stars danced unhurried in my mind.  This father, though intensely flawed is the father who, without question, would get the moon right out of the sky if his son asked.  The Eric Carle Museum is across the street from Hampshire COllege, where I saw Mary Lou Lord when I was like 18 years old.)

Mary Lou Lord is so fucking parenthetical to this post, but I gotta let you hear her sing, man, it is like watching a teenage ballerina dance.  And one last thing about her, the beginning riff to this song sounds like Big Star's "Thirteen."

Mary Lou:

I have a tendency to write into what I am thinking.  As I write, I am not only expressing my thinking to the reader, but to myself.  It is a long, clumsy digression almost every time… And here is what I am reaching now, as I type this to you guys:  I think the germ of my overall life story has actually changed by leaving AA: if only my perception of my story.  And it is like this: in AA I was bad and sick and now I am flawed, but good.  And I am working on having the most fluid perception as possible, as I do not want to be imprisoned by that easy, black and white AA thinking that plagued me for so long.  It is hard, but, as Rilke says, I am learning to live the questions.  And I feel like I am in brilliant company, esp. with all of you, even the ones I fight with and say mean shit to sometimes.  To end this digression, I’ll say this:  I am glad you are all part of my story. Without irony or embarrassment I can say that we are like Eric Carle's illustrated stars, imperfect and splendid, bumpy and smooth against the darkness that is our collective experience.  Thank you.  

New Idea:  Expressive, autobiographical criticism of illustrated children's fiction. 

No comments:

Post a Comment