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Control, or No My Name Ain’t Baby

“I really admire your strength; two years of sobriety, that takes incredible will power,” he says.

But will power is the red herring; sobriety isn’t about will power or control; it’s all about the opposite; the surrender, the release. Two years of will power is doomed from the start; a crack, a hairline fracture will spread; the whole affair will come crashing down.

You don’t build it up, you tear it down, day after day. You strip away your will, you strip away expectation and control. If you don’t you’ll die. You’ll get fucked up again, and you’ll be taken (no control) to the edges of life; jailed, hospitalized, homeless. And it’s either kill yourself quickly or do it slowly, gutlessly.

There’s not much we can control. We can’t control lovers, parents, bosses, presidents, public transportation. We can’t control their approval, their acceptance, their love. We can’t control corporations, traffic, disease. (Manage, maybe, if we’re lucky, but not control). We can’t control editors, publishers, arts councils. We can’t control people with guns or bombs.

We can kill them, sure, but do we wipe them out? What about their friends, their children, their lovers? Don’t we just welcome revenge? I don’t think killing stops killing; I think it begs for more. You can’t stamp it out like a fire; it’s more like water, running, dripping, pooling. It escapes confinement.

All I have are my actions. Naive as I may be, I choose negotiation. I choose olive branches and compromise. I choose who are you and how do we get this to work. If you don’t want that, guess what, I can’t control you.

I started this with a mission, a message. A thesis statement supported by facts and figures. But it’s come out forced, clunky, self-conscious. All I know is to try and learn how to love more. And to strip away everything else. To love and then surrender. To screw it up one day and try harder the next. To look for the spark and sugar in others. To scratch my dog more often.

And yet, in spite of all this it feels okay to take a break from the Love Bomb this week. I don’t know what to tell you except that I’m spread thin and I couldn’t do a target justice; it would sound half-baked. Ultimately though the Love Bomb is not my creation, not really; it’s more than the sum of it’s parts. It’s also all of you who participate; that’s what makes it a bomb. So choose your own; someone in your life, perhaps, that needs to know they’re loved.

I’m off for a few days on Wednesday to D.C. to visit my Dad and his partner, to dodge sniper bullets and to hopefully connect with at least two other bloggers while I’m there. There’s much to be done before I leave; I better get moving.

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