Saturday, June 02, 2007

Happy Sobriety, Raymond Carver!

I don't know why, but this really cracks me up:
It was on this day in 1977 that the short-story writer Raymond Carver (books by this author) quit drinking. He had just started to get some recognition for his writing when he began drinking more and more heavily. Finally, his doctor told him he had only six months to live, unless he quit drinking. So that's what he did, on this day in 1977. He later said, "If you want the truth, I'm prouder of that, that I quit drinking, than I am of anything in my life." He died of lung cancer 11 years after he quit drinking, but he once described those last years of his life as, "Gravy. Pure gravy."
The anniversary of Raymond Carver's SOBRIETY?


We all have moments, I'm certain, that we can commemorate. The choice to quit killing himself with liquor is a biggie. I whole-heartedly honor Carver, even in the midst of the way this noting sort of tickles something inside me...

"What is that smirking that is happening within?" I wonder.

Perhaps it touches upon my own questions:
What are my anniversaries? What small choices have turned large and the consequences, lingering, transformative? What decision or discernment created a shift in my own ability to be present on the planet and to my own gifts, as writer, artist, human being?


Perhaps I need to create my own anniversary: The date that I left teaching and arts administration work to live fully in prayer and love and honor of my own being?

Too selfish?

(What is more selfish? Killing yourself, or not killing yourself?)

My anniversary: February 23, 2007. My last residency as a teacher/ teaching artist. Patrick Henry High School. Emily Lilja's CFA English students. The next day I got a job with Anna Tsantir working for "Two Betty's and a Broom."

Challenge to you: Reflect and name your own potent moments around life and choosing the ability to be fully present and honor yourself.


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