Sunday, September 4, 2011

Four Days in Denver

I am in Denver and thought I would get something down here before posting the meetings.

I am surfing in a house in Aurora, Colorado, just outside the city of Denver. The house belongs to the mother of a friend of mine I have known since high school. She has seen me at my worst. Just yesterday, on the way to Whole Foods, she recounted a story of my drunkenness from 20-plus years ago.

I was passed out at the top of the stairs in her home on Cape Cod. She was so worried that I would fall down the stairs and kill myself that she woke one of her sons to drag me away from the top of the stairs. Though she wouldn't say it, she also had to wake her daughter to pull my pants up. I didn't wake up during the whole adjustment phase, but did crawl into bed at some point during the night, as I found myself there when I awoke.

It is difficult when your ugliness comes up and hits you in the face. The only thing you can do is sit with it and accept it, and at some point, move past it. Like the story of my drunkenness so long ago, my tendency to ABL or, Always Be Leaving, has settled upon me like a cloud. I have set up a project so that I can commit justifiable ABL continuously, over the course of a year.

In this bit of time before I am to meet people and hear their stories, I consider my own, how I tell it, and who might be listening. Is the story of someone who is always leaving interesting? Easy to relate to? Or is it just boring?

There is a lot that I don't write. As I listen to people's stories, I hear a lot of myself. I consider how people's choices reflect what they value, and ultimately, what values my choices reflect. In the space between the commentaries, quotes and observations lies the truth. I leave it in that space and stumble around it.

Being honest is awkward up until the point of acceptance. That point exists on the ever-shifting horizon of this project. Catching it is out of the question, but keeping it in view has come in quite handy.

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