Friday, March 4, 2011

the biggest mess



today i sat in a room full of gay men with hiv who are working through some issues in their lives caused by substance use and watched a short video called "the biggest mess". it is an educational film about party drugs done in the format of a campy beauty contest with the same name as the title and speaks about how absolutely ugly messy some people get when the overuse. It's dated now (produced  in 2003) but it makes a clear shot as it illustrates the dark side of the party for gay guys. 

it is hard not to laugh at some of the obvious jokes in the film. it lasts about 26 minutes and no doubt it stirs the hearts of those who can identify even in the slightest with the subject matter. Party drugs and recreational approaches to getting high are a cultural standard for gay men and the activities can slip into being competitive or obsessive as they often provide direct lines to pleasure and validation. and having some personal experience with being a mess, if found myself sitting in a room of contemporaries of a sort. so many of them at random places of transition in their journey from the ends of their respective tethers back to some semblance of stability. Putting some order back into one's life after having been blown apart is hard work.

as i listened to them share their impressions of the film and relate it to their own stories, it was evident there was more than the lion's share of guilt and self-judgement among them. they seem to be trying to figure out what paths to follow and what voices in their heads actually have meaning and guidance that might have merit.

what i could not help but absorb with the telling of stories was the construction of a poem or perhaps a cantata. the subject was sounded so clearly just like those that have been written about since man's experiences have been catalogued. many of them may very well be on the path of the spiritual warrior. they have travelled hazardously into places unknown and somehow lost site of their way. and here they gather, with a common goal of recapturing grace in their lives. and what beautiful stanzas were devised.

there are now times in my life that i am dumbfounded by the grandeur and the simplicity through which my life meanders. here i sat with these magic men, storytellers, and travellers and saw a glimpse of a miracle. small and quiet and unencumbered, it was a day to remember.

Happiness is every person’s choice, but few make an effort for it.

The Spiritual Warrior is a person who challenges the dreams of fear, lies, false beliefs, and judgments that create suffering and unhappiness in his or her life. It is a war that takes place in the heart and mind of a man or woman. The quest of the Spiritual Warrior is the same as spiritual seekers around the world. The Spiritual Warrior faces this challenge with the clarity and awareness that this war is fought within himself and that Truth and unconditional love are on the other side of these battles....reprinted from ToltecSpirit.com