July 4th

I saw a thing today that said that we live in a country so great that even the haters won’t leave it.

And, you know, I can really relate to that. Yes, given that we are a massive quantity of human beings, we necessarily will have many problems, many disagreements, many misunderstandings. And yet, for being such a large collection of people, I think this country has actually done a really great job overall. New levels of consciousness and awareness and human connection are allowing for new opportunities for growth as a country, as a people, and as individuals. Acknowledging the many problems we have is the first step toward remedying them going forward. And, the fact that people are able to call out society on problems they see is magnificent so far as freedoms go. There are far too many places where such a thing is not only prohibited but extremely dangerous to one’s life. One of our most unique freedoms is the freedom to complain.

As someone said yesterday, I think one thing that would make a humongous difference for people is simply listening, allowing others to be heard. Oftentimes, people begin to get loud, because they feel they are not being heard. So, I intend to continue to improve my efforts to listen, to hear what those around me are saying more and more loudly. And I intend to encourage others to listen. Oftentimes, all it takes to solve a misunderstanding is for one side to stop and listen to the other. At the very least, it can be a starting ground for mutual love.

Post-a-day 2021

Give it a go?

I have recently begun listening to this podcast about alcoholism.  I haven’t really listened to podcasts for the past ten+ years, since I discovered that there would be far more podcasts that interested me than I actually could take the time to hear, and so just gave up on them, instead of being frustrated over having to pick which ones were the most important, being stressed out over feeling like I must listen to them as often as possible, and all that jazz.  However, someone sent me this podcast, and I accepted the proffered link, because of the various degrees of connection various members of my family have with addiction, and specifically alcohol addiction.  (Let’s just say that, while not everyone has it, we’ve had from the slightest to one of the worst cases of it just in my lifetime.)

It’s called “An Addict Named Mary”.  I was surprised to find that, while the podcast is just a girl – I say “girl”, but she is actually a woman in her upper thirties or so – recording with her phone or laptop in each episode, it is actually really interesting.  I don’t know if there are other podcasts done by recovering alcoholics, but I like this one.  She spends the time talking about the experience of addiction and what is involved in recovery and moving beyond the active addiction (i.e. still drinking alcohol) into a fully sober life, which she hadn’t experienced in decades… and it’s kind of fascinating.  I keep coming back to it and listening whenever there’s a new episode, partly because I find it beneficial for myself, as someone who is around people in active addiction, as well as people in recovery, but mostly because I like the girl.  She’s funny and goofy, and she’s totally honest about the b*** underneath at times – it almost feels as though I can see the light and depth in her eyes, the eternal joy becoming manifest at last within them, as she struggles willingly through it all, and aims to make a difference for others however they are ready to have her help.  I also get the occasional glimpse of the sad, outwardly fun, go-getter who desperately just wanted to be loved, little girl who used to hide in a sea of alcohol (and, occasionally, plenty of other drugs)…, and it’s beautiful to see the transformation.

I particularly liked the first two interviews she did (at least, I think they were the first two).  The first was with her sponsee, someone she is sponsoring in recovery, and it wasn’t exactly an interview, but more like just the two of them talking about things.  Specifically, the way they talk about their active addiction days is very eye-opening for me, especially as I saw how many people I know who say the same things these girls were expressing…, but who are not recovering alcoholics…. and it had me wonder about how much I’ve been living with blinders on regarding alcohol addiction/abuse.

The second was actually an interview.  And it was rough, but super good.  She interviewed a guy who admits to being an alcoholic, but who says also that he is not willing or ready to do anything to stop his drinking, despite the many and deep negative effects it has on his life (including, but not limited to his relationship with his young children).  Now this one was…. just wow.  For anyone dealing with a person who is in active addiction, I highly recommend listening to this episode.  For everyone else, I still highly recommend it, because I find it so important for people to see an honest expression of what is going on inside the head of someone who cannot give up an addiction.  We have them all around us in society, and the first step to helping them and our society as a whole is to understand and thereby love them.  I believe that all change, to be true, must come from love.  And this is a guide to the first step involved in loving the people who can not (currently) give up their active addictions.

As a whole, I recommend the podcast.  Like I mentioned, it is not very professional, but the sound quality is good enough to sit through it, and the information is definitely good enough to sit through it.  Give it a go, trust me.

As I understand it, there are multiple ways to subscribe and auto-download the episodes, however, I just check back regularly and listen via my web browser, because I’m old-school and don’t want to download anything else to my phone.  😛  At the beginning of just about every episode, if not all of them, she encourages feedback and contacting her through her e-mail address – anaddictnamedmary@gmail.com, to be sure.  I sent her an e-mail, asking about something a friend and I were wondering, based on something she’d mentioned briefly, but that we totally didn’t get, our not having the alcohol addiction and all.  She replied back, telling me that she’d do an episode on it!  That was just recently, so we’re both anxiously awaiting the episode.  🙂

Here’s the first episode: The Beginning
Here’s the episode I mentioned of the first interview, with the sponsee: Getting Grounded with Ciara
Here’s the a-maz-ing one with the active alcoholic: Dr. Ew Kaleidoscope Dream Theater

And here’s the website to the podcast as a whole: An Addict Named Mary


Post-a-day 2019

The Last Samurai

I just watched the film “The Last Samurai”, and it was the first time I’d seen it all the way through, as well as the first time I’d seen any of it post-Japan (remember that I lived in Japan for a while).

I balled my eyes out over and over and over again, and mostly for things I never would have considered before having lived in Japan.

As Katsumoto-San says, ‘There are many of our customs/traditions that seem strange to you… Yours are the same for us.’

And now I see both sides of it all, and I wonder at how anyone could consider that only one side to anything in life is good enough, satisfactory enough, adequate… for anything beneficial to anyone or anything.

It can be terrifying, but seeing through the eyes of ones we don’t understand creates a solution to any problem, because, as Ender Wiggin said, once we understand our enemies, we can’t help but to love them.

Post-a-day 2018

A letter from my past self

The following is the transcription of a letter I found this week.  (Yes, it was in one of the boxes of papers and folders and such.)  I wish I had found it months ago, when I’d first returned from Japan.  However, it still did me loads of good when I read it the other day.  While I missed out on some bits it mentions, I actually did a really good job of fulfilling most of the tasks prescribed in it… a version of them, anyway.

Anyway, it is a letter I wrote to myself when I was still on my college campus, about to leave to study abroad in Germany and Austria.  As per standards of our school’s study abroad program, we all had to write our future selves a letter, which would be mailed to us upon our return from our study abroad programs.  I fully acknowledge that mine is full of grammatical errors, but that was part of why I was going abroad anyway – to improve my language skills.  Also, the whole letter is written in cursive, because I do that.  The third sentence actually caused me to tear up, and the fourth had me crying.  It’s amazing how right I was, and I really didn’t know that I ever would be in the current situation in which I find myself.


10. April 2012

Hannah Leigh, chèrie,

Ich weiss nicht, was muss ich dir sagen.  Ich kenne dich nicht, weil du so viel gechanged hast.  Welcome home – may it still feel that way to you.  You are forever welcome here, so remember that – you might need it some day.  Okay, here’s what I want you to do:

1) Go record it.  Get on your computer, write up any questions
you would love for others to ask, & then record yourself
answering them.  Then you can do what you want with
it all, but you will have that satisfaction, that completeness,
wholeness of having shared what you needed, desired, wanted
to share.

2) Talk to people.  Make a quick list of what specifically you already
have wanted to share with whom.  Call each person & set up when
& where you will share what you have to share.  Share with them.

3) Talk to Opa.  No matter where he is, go visit him & talk with
him completely in German.

4) Find someone local with whom you can be open, close, & frank, & speak
only German (or completely German) together with ease.

5) Remember that it’s all right not to “know” who you are.  Knowing
makes no difference, anyway, so no good reason to bother with it.
Look yourself in the mirror & see all that has passed, & be open to
all that will come.

6) You are woman & you create the universe with your being.  Your
power is endless, & it is selfless love that feels it.  Love your
mother & your Mother.  Love your self wholly, & your next
step will become available and visible to you.

7) Be at peace.  Even if it was &/or is hard, it is all relative.
Take it for the beneficial experience that it is, & enjoy every
bit you have gotten & will get from it all.

8) Now & every time you see that it just might possibly help,
take a deep breath & close your eyes, letting your thoughts
run around & then calm naturally as you breathe deeply.

I love you & I wish you all the best.  I am here with you always, though I will now be transformed from the time I wrote this letter.  My understanding & my love have only increased & expanded, I promise.  You are wonderful.  You are beautiful.  You are mine.

I love you.  Love me, too.
❤ Peace       Hannah Leigh


P.S. Pretend I pressed a flower in here to give you a wholesome smile & kiss.  🙂 oxox


Post-a-day 2018