This is a decision I've not taken lightly. This blog will always be about radical politics . . . and nothing else. I've resisted the impulse to talk about my own addiction(s) and attempts at recovery, with a few exceptions. I've added the links now for several reasons:
- although I've struggled with this stuff (and with mental illness) since my late teens - and at one point had achieved nearly 20 years of sobriety - I've not done very well now for several years. I have no excuses. The recovery methods I've involved myself in do work - unequivocally. It is I who fails, through my own choices to minimize and deny how bad it is . . . to think, "I can get away with another toot"
- there are times I've been extremely hypocritical here - concentrating on the ills of others, while not revealing my own. The truth just may set me free, and certainly will hold me more accountable
- I developed my radical political ideals, from the seed planted in me by my father, in my past periods of sobriety. My models for personal behavior and societal/political structure are based in the 12 steps and 12 traditions of recovery programs
- my and this blog's credibility is at stake. If I am not honest, this blog will fail to impact much of anything
- maybe I can help a person or two. I'm sure that once in awhile a reader going through this stuff might stumble (pun intended) upon this humble site. Maybe a spark, eh?
Over the past few weeks I've posted some stuff about my last major relapse, which left me homeless and living in a shelter/treatment program. I've left there, am trying to stay stable and find a safe place to live. I am blessed by having a number of people in my life who care about and for me. I'm tired of letting them down. Maybe this will help.
Be at peace.
(The graphic in this post is original art, copyright Bill Kreutzmann.)
ADDITION: Just minutes after I posted the above, I came across "Thoughts on the Spiritual Condition of America's Leftward Half" by Andrew Bard Schmookler at OpEd News. Schmookler just happens to express many of my own thoughts about how the spirituality that is the basis of my attempts at addiction recovery may/should be closely aligned with an effective left-radical practice. Please read the article, but here are some clips:
For someone who lived through, and fully participated in, the 1960s and 1970s, this spiritual shallowness of the progressive element of America comes as a big disappointment. It was not always so.Schmookler's site is SEE NO EVIL: The Blinding of America. His blog is here.
From amid the confusions and the errors and the sloth that were also part of the counter-culture, there are also a genuinely positive spirit that gave voice to some of the "sacred values" which our nation and our world genuinely need.
Part of this concerned a transformation of the human relationship with the rest of the natural world. In addition to the political dimension of "environmentalism" --indeed, the source of the passion that gave that political movement its impetus-- there was a spiritual dimension. In the matter of just a few years, the idea that there is something sacred about the biosphere --about the Creation, as some would also express it-- became a powerful force in America.
This spirit seems to have dissipated in today's America --even when we bother to talk about environmental issues, one would scarcely think that something deep and sacred is at stake-- but we can still get a sense of the former deeper vibrancy of such values from some old movies.
Just a few that come to mind mind: FERN GULLY, THE DARK CRYSTAL, STAR WARS. The list could easily be expanded . . .
In today's America, which has itself given itself over to the dark side, this failure of the spirit and of the creative imagination was a profound betrayal of what had been glimpsed, and given some creative expression, in the earlier time.
Lucas and these latter day "prequels" reveal in miniature the spiritual failure of that part of America that was quickening a generation ago, and thus also the present profound need America has for a spiritual renewal --a re-connection with the sacred-- on the part of America's progressive side.
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