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  • Keep a fire for the human race
    Let your prayers go drifting into space
    You never know what will be coming down
    Perhaps a better world is drawing near
    Just as easily it could all disappear
    Along with whatever meaning you might have found
    Don't let the uncertainty turn you around
    Go on and make a joyful sound
    Into a dancer you have grown
    From a seed somebody else has thrown
    Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
    And somewhere between the time you arrive
    And the time you go
    May lie a reason you were alive
    But you'll never know...

    Jackson Browne

    In those early days of haunting meeting halls and church basements up and down the east coast, searching for the truth that would set me free, grasping at nuggets, desperately seeking that kernel that would make it all make sense, and help me to learn to be able to grow comfortable in my own skin, there were one or two of the many nuggets being offered up by all the "wise sages of the coffee pots" that stuck. They weren't the key to the universe, or "The Answer" that I sought, but they did help me to sustain, to make it through the rough patches, to keep sailing until I reached the safe harbor of recovery.

    "Just show up!" That was a good one for me at the time. I, who went through 17 jobs in those first 4 years of sobriety, "pre-recovery" days. I initially took it to mean "just show up to meetings", but eventually understood a broader meaning as "just show up for life."

    Just show up. Be about whatever it is I'm about, this day, and go live it, breathe it, even if I can't feel it. I'm not always meant to feel it. It's not about me, anymore. It's about living. Growing. Throwing seeds. Passing whatever I've found on to the next person, to the universe. Becoming part of the flow of life. Moving away from the walls and getting into the dance.

    It eventually becomes so easy to do. In the beginning, not so much. Very awkward, those first few times. Two steps up - one step back. Now turn around, now change partners.

    After awhile, you get into the swing of it. Sometimes, you can even feel it. It's wonderful. Joyfully overflowing. The music's jamming, the feet are flying, the arms are waving, all are jumping and laughing and together, the good times roll. Glorious times.

    Other times, the music slows down, and things get serious, and you either find a partner and slow dance, or you dance alone, or take a break and get some sustenance.

    But in order to hear the music, you have to show up to the dance hall. Just show up. That one stuck with me. After 17 jobs in 4 years, I kept showing up to the same place for the next 27 1/2 years, and the music kept getting better, and I eventually mastered most of the steps, and made up a few of my own. But, there's always new songs to hear, and new dances to learn. It's a fun place.

    On most days, I have no idea what the reasons are, or why I'm here, or what my impact this day might be, or what impact someone else might have on me. I just show up, and do whatever it is that I do, and keep dancing.
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