Monday, April 28, 2014

Talking About What Is Not Broken

Early this morning we learned that a friend of ours, one who had struggled with alcoholism for many years and had tried with all his heart to stop drinking, died at home in his bed sometime early yesterday after having taken a cab to a grocery store the previous night so that he could buy some vodka and find some peace. He is not the first friend that I have lost as the result of alcoholism and won't be the last. Yesterday morning I woke up feeling out of sorts. I went down to Bellingham to look out at the water, not knowing that our friend had died. We are both fragile and indestructible, and the earth and the sky and the water share that with us.

This morning and always I want to honor our friend's life and that spirit in him, and in all of us, which is not broken. His kindness, his generosity, his gentleness, his courage, his perseverance, his love for his family and friends remain with us.


("Talking About What Is Not Broken," gouache and watercolor, 1989, by am. The paintings go side by side, but I was unable to figure out how to place them that way.)


The Solitary Walker said...

I have intimate family experience with alcoholism — in its various degrees and manifestations — as do many of us. I do not judge, and have been close to addiction myself, and, with you, want to honour life and spirit and the unbroken.

'We are both fragile and indestructible.'

bev said...

I am sorry to hear about your friend's death, am. Yes, we are both fragile and indestructible. I often think about that - how close we are to both sides of the equation.

Sabine said...

Fragile and indestructible, oh yes indeed even if we struggle to accept the fragile aspect at times.

Addiction is such a difficult illness to accept, both for the person suffering from it and family/friends. There is too much blame and shame, and sadly, shaming involved. Maybe one day we will be able to look at it differently and find the compassion and care that all sufferers deserve and need. We meaning our society as a whole. Your post shows me that you already know this. I am still struggling at times, the scars from my childhood are still itchy.

Anonymous said...

Such sad news about your friend's death.

I like the sense of being both fragile and indestructible. The balance is the pain and poetics of life.

Tara said...

oh yes, we all struggle. I'm so sorry you have lost a good friend. Such a lonely and desolate experience, very few words can actually capture it.

Peace to you, and to all who loved him.

am said...

Solitary Walker, bev, Sabine, robin andrea and Tara -- Thank you for being here. We are having a memorial potluck this evening, May 5, at 5:30. We've all been grieving in our own ways. Some of us go numb. Some of us cry. Some of us are angry. Some of us are philosophical. Some of us are not. Some talk religion. Some don't. What we don't do is argue. We listen to each other. We grieve together.