I look at the line on my heel where I must stay vigilant with the pumice and the moisturizer. My toes are clean and straight but nothing more. I see my feet as passable; it’s hard for me to see them as beautiful. Well cared for is the best I can do, but there is a beauty in that. I think of myself; I am an alcoholic. There is nothing beautiful about alcoholism either. The care I take in tending my sobriety, the nurturing I see others use in their own lives, there is a certain loveliness to that. Crusted-over hearts, scraped and oiled, are fit and ready to beat anew. Polluted minds, drained and reformed, turn lives upright. Step work and making meetings are just functionary things but gorgeous in their own way. Efficacy is a pearl not to be disregarded.
Congratulate the part of you that survived.
My Experiences with Tennis
I have held the racket, I have hit the ball,
but I have never played with a partner.
I have slammed the fuzzy orb against the wall
for long years now, but I have never had a mate.
There were times when I had opponents;
yes I’ve had a couple of those,
a collaborator though, that I have never had.
I have learned to overcome opposition
either through wile or guile.
Slugged my way toward some inevitable outcome,
I never expected you on my court.
The game we play is for keeps
and the muscles required I have never used,
I ache from the pain of ending an atrophy
imposed on me by isolation and misunderstanding.
Often I don’t know how to stand,
don’t know how to act;
don’t know how to be the equal to your serve.
I play chase, running after the thing I didn’t see
and only faintly felt.
I have come to the place where
I know, you and I are a team;
You will not be leaving looking for someone
better equipped or with greater experience.
It is time for me to layout in front of you
my host of tendencies and inclinations.
I’m in the habit of overwhelming with my strength
to hide my weakness;
I must expose this all to you,
the strength and the weakness,
and work together for the resolution.
I will no longer pretend that I know
what is right and wrong in this un-played game.
I fear that I will lose the old game by making this change
All that is familiar put up for grabs
to the uncertain outcome of paired sports.
All I truly know is
that with you by my side I can never lose
and I will learn to do whatever it takes to be your partner
You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault