When I got sober, I was living in a room in an unfinished basement — grey concrete block walls and the blackened underside of exposed first floorboards. I cooked on a hotplate in a corner near a tool bench — in one hundred years of wear and dampness. The owners were kind to me. It's the place where I changed.
Six weeks in and I looked in the dingy bathroom mirror one morning and was shaken. Pantone 15 – 559. My eyes were the colour of tropical water. Big clear turquoise pools. Windows into a new soul, maybe. I stood there grappling with how hard I had tried not to see. Dodging reality to keep on lifting the lager glass. It hurt my heart and felt like a miracle.
My eyes were a measure of my denial. I crawled toward change. Below ground…sending out weak new shoots. Waking up to life in a basement is poetry.
For the addict and their posse of co-dependents, late-stage addiction is madness. And the world right now reminds me of it. Why act here and now if some distant hostile country is not doing the same? Why care about losing an island somewhere I'll never go? Almost every day, we cross a new barrier. Rationalize environmental disaster. Consume fossil fuels like it's not a matter of life and death.
It's raining again in Toronto. And it's hot.
Hardly "extreme" conditions. Here, the only sign of fire is smoke. The Humber River is moving fast but we've been spared catastrophic flooding. Farmers in southwestern Ontario are dealing with too much water. In Strathmore, where my mother lives, everything is parched. Ottawa's taking stock of the damage and cleaning up again.
We need to change. In my experience, some of it will hurt.
"Love on top of fucking pain."
We like our male rock stars fierce. Chewing the heads off small birds. Not so much the women. You must read this about Sinead.
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