God’s Presence – All Day

God’s presence was with me all day. I count it human.

I missed my commitment for an early workout – typical human. I rested in bed with God’s presence – I remember that. I awoke and received encouragement from a beautiful roommate named Alexa. A bike rush to the GA office (government assistance). I was also encouraged by an amazing case worker to apply for renters assistance during my food stamps application. Despite the disapproval of a usually very supportive roommate, I took the case managers suggestion. I have struggled with my own internal oppression: Am I furthering an enabled relationship to financial responsibilities by accepting help? A roommate who has always been my ally represents this voice that I struggle with accepting. It is a voice that cries for the ideal Adam – the Adam that I am becoming. The difference between the ideal and the real Adam, is the difference that decides whether or not I qualify for GA. I qualified. I am still me. I need a great deal of help.

God’s presence during this intake interview process was astounding. The process is exposing, humbling. They verify your financial situation through full financial disclosure. Yes. I am in fact ‘poor’ as shit. I participated as the case worker ‘pored’ through my online bank statements. I sit there willingly exposed, following the suggestion of this first case worker whose supportive spirit offered me one clear direction, “Your rent must be under $400.” Well… My rent is over $400. Were it not me, I, like my roommate, would feel it an ethical dilemma, indeed, one that I should be above, beyond, superior. Here I pay close attention to my allied case worker – his spirit speaks for me against all my internalized repression. His spirit is the Spirit of God. He brushed past me today with confidence: “Remember, under $400 dollars.” He whispers. I sit as neutral as possible as both mine and the intake worker eye’s come to view an online check. I view it to my astonishment. A few weeks prior I had wrote a $400 dollar check with the words “Rent” written clearly under the memo. Just a few weeks prior I had given this check. And in that moment, I viewed the miraculous orchestration of events beyond my control, undeniably bound to my favor.

When events like these happen in my life I see grace. I like grace. Grace is bound to the feeling of acceptance. My normal, rational mind critiques upon grounds of morals – normal standards of “disclosure” even “honesty”. These were not my actions, nor is my accountability barred from spaces of increasing intimacy. I am bound to that accountability within friendly domains. For this event… Neutrally I come, neutrally I sit and I pass. I left the GA office accepting what is. One step at a time. I left with the lived tension that in order to pass my application for approval I would need to have a roommate sign a form confirming that I am a resident where I claim. It will be a conversation to come. I continually let go of my palpable fear of his more intimate judgment and his potential what his refusal to sign these papers might mean. I pray that the support I so clearly felt from a complete stranger that was my initial case worker, extends to him.

As I left the GA office I was stuck in these fearful visions. Just then I turned the corner to find two of my most dear friends. Oh… of course. Thank you Lord. That’s right… we were all getting sandwiches! Good lunch and off to reclaim my Ph.D. Wow. After a super tough year of administrative challenges, charged blogs, firing of professors, a victimization particular to higher education, I follow through on my commitment to reapply for my Ph.D. in Anthropology and Social Change. It is a different department now, with a new chair and a new curriculum. I really connected with Andrej. I had forgotten these feelings of deep frustration with the administration until he informed me that I would have to start my Ph.D. from the beginning. I was conferred an M.A. degree despite my written request to have my credits held. I was told that upon re-admission to the program, I would be allowed to pick up where I left off in my advancement, before my professors were fired. These matters to me are incredible personal. It is money to me. It is my pride; my right; my story; my life. I love noticing how painful it is to insist on being right. Oh man! I don’t want to fight at all. I love how far I have come in my ability to loosely hold my narrative, because I’m gathering the skillfulness grace that reminds me – I am God’s. All is God’s. Every narrative, every step. I left that office with his support – as much as he could communicate in my presence, amidst those energies that I conjure and admit. I am impressed with Andrej. Who knows whether I’ll be accepted into the doctoral program at CIIS. Once I was accepted and that was good. God is teaching me restoration.

I walked out of CIIS to run into a dear friend at a cafe – Clara. We embraced and she ran off somewhere. I felt at ease about letting go of my commitment to Glide for the evening since I was gifting myself an AA meeting with my sponsor where I would receive a year chip. So I happened to have a few extra hours. And at this point my go-to, especially when I’m feeling lonely or uncertain of myself, is to see a movie. Perfectly timed escapism. Me alone in the sanctuary of the theater. I walked in to “Ulimiate Rush” – a bike messenger movie I’ve been waiting for many months to see… And low and beyond there is Clara again. Sitting there with Linda – another co-worker I know. So weird-awesome. Whose world is this anyway? We were both propping the Universe – not a single move is missed.

The movies have for a long time, been directly linked to my addictive behavior. Finding Clara, not once but twice, and the second time being in the same theater… was nothing short of God’s presence. God redemes space. The process of my recovery is precisely that – recovery. I’m not doing this… I am being acted.

After, the film about city bike riding, I tear ass through San Francisco on my bike. I am powerful here. I hit the meeting and my sponsor has saved me a seat next to him. He happens to be the chair. Of course God plans it like this… I get my year chip from the chair of one of the most inspiring, powerful men’s meetings in San Francisco. I spoke. I was wet soggy and super confident.

Finally, my experience of indecision leads me to take the bus home. A fellow AAer get’s on and God nudges me to speak with him. He let’s me know he might have some sponsees for me who struggle with marijuana. Gift.

I’m home. I’m healthy. I have lived in God’s presence all day.

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Again

So it is again; always already bound to eternity. How often the lessons of learning occur. The windows of grace show us new horizons of light. It would have been different if it wasn’t happening but it did happen. It did. Eva told me tonight that she did not want to be with me. The words couldn’t have been more clear. We walked toward the Upper Haight about to ascent a hill and her words broke the night. Only moments later we hear a cat cry. Gazing up we see her in the tree. Curious moments of synchronicity bare all… It wasn’t a high tree. Our concern redirected, Eva’s momentum to give aid gave way to my strong words: “Leave it. It will come down.” I spoke it down as powerfully as Eva’s words severed our relationship. “You’re right,” she said. The cat displayed courage as it descended. So much so Eva commented on it. It wasn’t the courage of the cat that struck me, but the courage of her words to me. I had not the courage to tell Eva. Eva was the courageous one here. “Time is out of joint,” said Shakespeare. It is like that with karma, our cycles of growth. Seemingly amiss, ajar, strangely incompatible.

I love her, Eva. The love we share I carry forward. I pray for the relationships we deserve. Eva bore the burdon of my subtle resentments, my projections of anger and disempowerment. She bore it, and she honored me with grace, companionship, encouragement. We were walking back from Blue’s dancing… perhaps the music foreshadowed our following emotions. She was frustrated that she wasn’t able to follow me in dance. A curious experience that I did not share. I had some of the best dances of my life with her this evening – AND with a few other women I might add! It sadden’s me how that we are not together now, perhaps not that much though… Still, last night we lay so close…

I have utter confidence in God. I have confidence over unrequited love. The past year I have lived a life of empowerment through recovery. It was suggested to me that I not date my first year. I did not take this suggestion… so here we go again!

 

8/27/12

8/27/12

This will be the second day of my commitment to write daily.

Today was beautiful. Glide. Lunch with friends after. Video training on how to conduct an interview. Soccer with Eva as a spectator. Then my pre-birthday dinner with Eva. As I write she lays next to me and I am captured by her presence, her grace. She gifted me with a card this evening. It was deeply humbling how much love and attention I have received from her. It has been years since anyone special to me watched me play soccer. She thought I was great. I was great.

With so much affection I have for Eva I am humbled by the perception that I am living through another cycle of intimacy my karma has carved out. It is strange that I write it this way. I have grow so accustom to describing my relationship to women like the cycles of the moon – oh how they wax and wane. I have this vivid memory of my former lover Leah accusing me in the car of a love for her that waxed and waned. I have swayed between the poles of the two W’s: weed and women or in times of single-hood the two M’s: marijuana and masturbation. These cycles of inheritance or karma or consequence or grace – what would you like to call it? – these cycles are part of a narration that brings meaning to my growth. I have so greatly feared unrequited love, that I storied my life along a path that continued to attract love that inevitably left me. Blame my mother for the divorce, blame my father for the disempowerment, blame cannabis as a deterrence… these things only go so far before I’m left facing myself in the mirror of circumstance. It’s me.

Eva will indeed leave. She will leave in a few days time. She will travel to Boston to build a bi-coastal life and all that comes with it. And again, Eva will return in two months time. The cycles continue but the context is only a specter of my former story. This evening I explained that I am confident my former lovers, especially Leah and the love that we cultivated and expressed lives on in the present. I am bring those experiences into the present as gifts. For Eva and I this truth holds fast.

We are being prepared. We are living works of creation. Eva asked me tonight if we are free from the karma of our parents… I said this was a wonderful question.

Practice

I suppose I’m going to begin a practice of “writing” with all the meaning behind the double entendre. The experience of right action is consistently at the forefront of my recovery. Developing any practice was simply impossible during my heavy use of cannabis. It became a method of deterrence, of error. I moved to San Francisco to manifest my potential in all forms. I made a tee-shirt that read some like: “To manifest human potential in our daily lives – this is to participate with the divine.” It has taken me almost seven years to build a consistent morning and evening daily practice. Pretty cool, though. Now… its super cool. Superdooper cool. 

It takes time to be grateful. It is cultivated in me. I’m learning that gratitude is a practice. Forged through the crucibles of experience, I have learned (I am learning) how to walk humbly with my God. This curve is cumulative and I witnessed its presence today. TODAY. I’m a little over a year sober – no drugs, no alcohol – I awoke to make love – sober. I attended a High Noon, one of the strongest AA meetings in SF in the present. Then I met a dear, dear friend, a scholar, Matt Segall. Here the real miracle of my recovery, my practice, unfolded. With Matt, I lived a series of wondrous moments in life with certain knowledge of direction. It was natural flow. Many times I can recall someone offering an invitation that I know will be of generous service to my experience and for many strange reasons I experience resistance, even resentment because my ideas about my action, my experience where different than what was presenting itself. BUT, today… I was able to receive direction; it was effortless. We viewed a film on Obama. I followed Matt to the PCC opening semester party. There I shook the hand of President Joe Subbiondo. This is the miracle of my recovery. For so, so many of my silent visions and lived experiences I held great resentment over this man – the present of CIIS. I judged him, “unskillful” and that judgment often turned to deep anger at my own powerlessness to save my scholastic community from ruin. I suffered alone with these visions. I prayed for my ‘enemy’. I did a “4th step” over and over. AND tonight, I lived through a moment of reconciliation, recognition out of context and power – a hand shake, an acknowledgement of presence, persistence, patients – a practice of recovery opened these doors. I practice. God practices me.

I am going to stop fearing my truth… And continue the practice of writing.