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Hanging around the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous for over twenty four years, I’ve learned that we can and do have setbacks (not relapses, when we go back “out” and drink) but setbacks where we lose momentum in maintaining our spiritual connectedness. Or sometimes we get out of the habits that make sobriety a rich and welcome experience.

I had gotten out of the habit of regularly working out. I have some issues with my left shoulder; when I swim, my overhead freestyle stroke hurts. The muscles seemed tight. The stroke felt totally awkward. I stopped at 150 meters. I decided to tread water, using my arms as much as I could, moving, rotating, stretching, putting in an hour of treading. Right now, nearly six hours later, I feel the soreness and pain near where the scapula meets the spine. I will go again tomorrow.

Back to rebuilding, grateful for all I have sustained, I begin another intensive approach to emotional and spiritual recovery. Life is good. Sobriety is good, for with it comes a clear head and a forgiving heart.

If I have learned anything lately, it is to let go of feelings of animosity towards those with whom I disagree, the more strident the angry words and feelings, the more urgent the need to completely let go.

I am not the person I was when I started this blog. I have changed the title three times, from The Celibate Pervert, to Celibate Or Chaste?, to Dispatches From Dystopia. I think we do live in a dystopia, the source of which isn’t political; rather it is our quest for the ideal culture, of perfection that ignores the baseness of the human creature. We can’t ignore the greed, the anger, the lust. the pride.

Maybe we just don’t have all the answers. And never will.

There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your…philosophy.- Shakespeare, Hamlet. (1:5 167-8)