Wednesday, July 5, 2017

An unexpected consequence of abstinence

I've always been tender-hearted, a sensitive, as we are sometimes called. That may be one reason I drank for so long and then numbed with sugar for more decades after I got sober. The world has a lot of awfulness in it and some of it pains me a great deal.

Last week, workmen spent a day working on two ancient and enormous deciduous trees across the street from me. They form an integral part of my skyline and our neighborhood. I spent the day in grief and terror that they were going to be killed (the old house had recently been sold to a developer) and anger that greed trumps oxygen-producing, shade-cooling beauty and grandeur. My impotence to save them was wrenching.

As it turned out, the trees are still standing akthough minus about 25 feet of lower limbs. I am relieved but cautious. Maybe that is all that will happen to them. Maybe not. I realized in my emotional exhaustion at the end of that day, that abstinence from anesthetic sharpens my feelings. It sharpens my joy and pleasure for sure, and it sharpens the heartbreak. As long as that was an intellectual knowing, I was okay with it. Feeling the reality is something else.

No comments: