Funny. I'm sitting here. Sunday morning. So in love with sleep that I did not make it to church. The Austin late-summer morning is rolling outside my window. Wind and clouds move in a humid, brisk pace. Writing here, I glance, back and forth, every sight is a different view. One look, sunlight dances off the leaves and bold blue backgrounds of sky bracket the sight complete. Next glance, grey grips the landscape and a dull paste covers the hanging leaves. Sun danced with blue and the wind blinked to grey, hazy and dull.
A different glance, a different day.
Detachment. So vital, so here and now. Why do you think we are oversaturated with daily devotionals and social media memes telling us to “Let go,” and “Be Present.” Why? The American lives the exact opposite of detachment. We live in the Carlin-esque world of obtaining stuff. Possessions, more and more, fill our bellies and houses, with gluttonous abandonment. We harvest material products to gain status and feel superior to others. We judge others solely on the stuff that have or not. And the band plays on.
Over the last seven years I’ve given up practically all of my possessions including furniture, jewelry and expensive clothes. By purging my material life it gave me less to concern myself with. I still own a car, a bike and laptop, all which happily I use for my personal and business purposes. Keep that shit simple or it will drown you man. Of all the things I struggle with, detaching from material things are the easiest for me. It’s made me respect money as well as not being enslaved at the same time.
Family and friends. Oh, the slippery slope we tread. How can we not feel emotion for our blood and dear friends? How can we detach with love? Well we don’t make it easy when we worship our celebrities to a point where wish our present state away over the death of a superstar. Death is the ultimate detachment, but I’ll get to that later. If in the public spectrum we are barely able to control ourselves over the loss of a Bowie or a Prince, how can we detach our emotions from reality over a mother or best friend?
It does make it easier when those we love scorch the earth they walk upon with reckless behavior. We draw the lines of sanity and caution rather quickly against those that have done us wrong. But Jesus did say honor another above yourself. So where does that begin and end? And in the practical sense, how does detaching myself from a friend in need help my sobriety. What are the physical benefits from detaching myself from not drinking? Glad you asked. When my heart is full of light, I’ll give. When I’m tired and depleted, I won’t. When I see a person in need wanting help, I’ll help. When I see a person completely lost in their hell, I won’t. I’ll pray and meditate about their suffering, but I cannot let their hell become mine. Then I become lost to me.
I have no business being at a bar, any of them. As I don’t drink anymore, I don’t look for love in those places anymore. Period. So by not being there, I’ve cut out alot of foolishness already. Having alcohol at my place for family and friends I will not do. If they want to drink thats on them. I have detached myself from the drink. I have detached my lips from the bottle. The benefits are a physically healthier and happy Paul. I wake up with more light and laughter and I’m able to help myself and the world I inhabit. When it comes to blood, they all have names. My Dad is Gilbert, Mom, Christina. If they decided tomorrow to lead a destructive life, I would not be directly in their lives for much longer. I wasn’t in the past but my relationships have some stronger foundations with them and I do owe them alot. Harsh right? Perhaps but they understand me and I them. I will be forever compassionate and helping but I cannot take on anyone’s hell. No matter how bright some days may seem.
Sun danced with blue and the wind blinked to grey, hazy and dull. A different glance, a different day.
Part Two - The Death of Paul, Not the Walrus.