A person isn't who they are during the last conversation you had with them -- they're who they've been throughout your whole relationship.
I wish that you may find patience enough in yourself to endure, and simplicity enough to believe; that you may acquire more and more confidence in that which is difficult, and in your solitude among others. And for the rest, let life happen to you. Believe me: life is right, in any case.
Let everything happen to you / beauty and terror / just keep going / no feeling is final.
Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
Special Bonus Quote, for my Dead Sponsor, he whose wise counsel I miss every single day:
Do not assume that he who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise he would never have been able to find these words.
I was having coffee with my friend Parker, a smart gentleman of a certain age with nearly 10 years sober.
He was regaling me with stories about an informal reunion he and some of his Rehab-mates had over the weekend.
Parker: So pretty much everyone's still sober, though not everyone has been continuously sober since we got out of rehab.
Mr. SponsorPants: Sounds pretty typical.
Parker: Yeah. But it was great seeing everyone again, how we're both greatly changed yet still the same. How we're all grateful to be here and still feel connected to the program and all.
I smiled and nudged my cup towards the end of the table as I saw the waitress floating around with the coffee pot in her hand, pouring refills.
Parker: It was funny, though, talking about the first day of Rehab.
Mr. SP: I imagine so -- funny how?
Parker: Well at the intake there was a real old AA Crocodile on hand. Come to think of it, looking back, he reminds me of y...
Mr. SP: Hey now! Careful there!
Parker: ... of a lot of old crocodiles in AA I know now.
Mr. SP: Safe by a narrow margin, that.
He chuckled and stirred a disgusting amount of sugar into his coffee. To each their own, but I take mine black; black as my sometimes still craven and sinful heart.
Parker: Anyway, the old crocodile had that thing with the 20 Questions on it.
Mr. SP: That old brochure? Oh God, what was it called again... "Is AA for you?" No... "Are you an alcoholic?" something like that. But you mean the one with the list of 20 Questions about your drinking on it, and it's one of those "If you answer yes to one you may have a problem... if you answer yes to two or three you probably have a problem..." That thing, right?
Parker: Yes. I remember he went through it with me, and part of the miracle that day was that I was honest with him. I answered those questions -- maybe for the first time -- honestly.
I smiled. We both knew what it was like to struggle with honesty when getting sober.
Parker: I got nearly a perfect score, too.
Mr. SP: Nearly? I would have thought you...
Parker: Yeah, yeah. But there was one question I remember saying "no" to.
Mr. SP: Wow. Which one?
Parker: "Do you want a drink the next morning?"
Mr. SP: You didn't? Seriously? You? You're sitting here telling me when you were out there you didn't want a drink in the morning?
Parker: Oh please. I wasn't even awake the next morning. So at the time I thought, 'How can I say yes to that?'
I snorted a chuckle into my coffee, and then grabbed a napkin to check if I'd dripped all over my shirt.
The Professor can be so serious and earnest and buttoned down on occasion that it brings out the absolute worst in me.
I'm sorry, I just can't help myself... sometimes I have to devil him a little.
We were meeting for coffee and he rushed up, breathless to tell me about an article he'd read.
The Professor: Mr. SponsorPants! Hello! I think you should read this article. Maybe you could even write about it.
Mr. SponsorPants: Hello and what article and okay.
Prof: It's about a study they did on the effects of alcohol on pair bonding in Prairie Voles.
Mr. SP: Wait. What? The effect of who on what?
Prof: They did a study on the effects of alcohol on Prairie Voles.
Mr. SP: Is this the set up for a joke? "Two Prairie Dogs walk into a bar..."
Mr. SP: Voles?
Prof: Yes, Prairie Voles, not Prairie Dogs.
Mr. SP: Prairie Voles. What the hell is a Vole?
Prof: It's a kind of rodent.
Mr. SP: So it's a prairie rat.
Prof: No. Yes. Sort of. That's not the point. They did this study of the effects of alcohol on Prarie Voles.
Mr. SP: Someone got paid to get Prairie Rats drunk?
Prof: Voles! No. Sort of. Look, do you want to hear about the Study or not?
Mr. SP: I don't know if I want to hear about the Study or not. You brought it up, not me.
Prof: Oh my God! You are... what is going on with you today?
Mr. SP: What? Nothing. I just...
Prof: You should have a warning sign some days.
Mr. SP: I think "Warning Label" would be more appropriate. And don't get into my "Best by" date while we're going down this track, because clearly that is long past.
Prof: Aren't you going to ask me what your Warning Sign would say?
Mr. SP: No. Because obviously you want me to.
Prof: It would say, 'Warning! I come equipped with Character Defects and I'm not Afraid to Use Them!'
Mr. SP: How long have you been waiting to use that on someone?
Prof: Couple weeks. Since I saw it on the internet. So anyway, the reason they did a study on Prarie Voles is because they Pair Bond for Life.
Mr. SP: So somewhere out there on the prairie there are... monogamous rats?
Prof: Yes. But they're not technically rats, although they are in the rodent family.
Mr. SP: Tomato, Tomahto, Rodents, Rats... so these Prairie Ra... Voles. They 'Pair Bond' for life. And some scientist came along and got them drunk and tried to break them up? Wow. Did this scientist have a doctorate?
Prof: What? I don't... why?
Mr. SP: 'cause they should call him Dr. Asshole. That is just mean. Mean science. Did they build them a little bar to get drunk in?
Prof: Don't be ridiculous. It was a study.
Mr. SP: They should have built them a little bar. They could have called it... ready?
Mr. SP:... come on.
Prof <sighs>: Ok. What could they have called it?
Mr. SP: The Vole Hole. No! Wait! The Vole in the Wall!
The Professor gamely perseveres.
Prof: So the Study showed...
Mr. SP: Vole Lotta Trouble!
He ignored me.
Prof: The study showed that when you gave alcohol to the Prairie Voles...
Mr. SP: The Vole in One!
Prof: ... the pair bonding started to break down. That some of the bonded voles explored different partners. He concluded that the alcohol interfered with the Pair Bonding and...
Mr. SP: Well, paging Dr. Asshole, that is not the correct result from that study.
Prof: How can you... of course it is! He has all the data...
Mr. SP: That only proves there were no alcoholic voles in the study.
Prof: No alcoholic... what on earth are you talking about?
Mr. SP: Yeah. Because if you gave alcohol to an alcoholic vole, they wouldn't want a different partner.
Mr. SP: No. They'd have wanted more alcohol.
The Professor begins to chuckle just a little.
Prof: ... You are impossible sometimes -- often, in fact -- but I'll give you that one.