I go to my button box to sort out my life. I lay out matching sets, the various sizes, shapes and colors. Coat buttons are commanding but unsuitable for the delicate places. The tiny pearl buttons with shanks pull my attention but work well only on silk. The metal, shell, and horn buttons come from such far off places and all end up here crossing my table, as I try to see clearly how to stick with the winners.
I know the people represented in this box, the strong, the loud, the beautiful. I know the weak, the unique, the ones of special circumstances and occasion. I come to the realization the simple ones, the buttons sewn on the inside, the ones who silently give strength and support to the large and small alike, the ones which come in every shade and size, which match their ability to the service they can render others, these are my favorites. They make secure all the things I love and trust in sobriety. Flat and unobtrusive, these buttons hold fast the fabric of my life.
Name your pens and pencils.
Responding to Response
Thankfully I’m not in charge
of what is so freely given in this program.
I want it to be available,
but I want gratitude to be the universal response.
At first I thought I couldn’t understand
how anyone could hold this gift in their hands
and not feel grateful,
truth is I know exactly how that’s done
and I don’t want to look at that ugly thing.
“Cunning, Baffling, Powerful”
But they left out how repulsive it is,
maybe they didn’t want to see it either,
or thought it was self-explanatory.
No matter which,
I’m glad I am not the arbiter
of the flowing fount that is recovery,
I might have been tempted to cap and meter it,
killing all the beauty and wild randomness
that makes it real and true.
I despair that others don’t recover as I recover
and yet I am relieved that I didn’t have to drink as they drank.
I have to see those around me well enough
to stay out of their traps or follow their leads,
whichever is appropriate,
but I don’t have to adjudicate their reply.
You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault