The Death Bed

May 9, 2016

By Siegfried Sassoon
He drowsed and was aware of silence heaped 

Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls; 

Aqueous like floating rays of amber light, 

Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep.

Silence and safety; and his mortal shore 

Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death. 

 

Someone was holding water to his mouth. 

He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped 

Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot 

The opiate throb and ache that was his wound. 

Water—calm, sliding green above the weir; 

Water—a sky-lit alley for his boat, 

Bird-voiced, and bordered with reflected flowers 

And shaken hues of summer: drifting down, 

He dipped contented oars, and sighed, and slept. 

 

Night, with a gust of wind, was in the ward, 

Blowing the curtain to a gummering curve. 

Night. He was blind; he could not see the stars 

Glinting among the wraiths of wandering cloud; 

Queer blots of colour, purple, scarlet, green, 

Flickered and faded in his drowning eyes. 

 

Rain—he could hear it rustling through the dark; 

Fragrance and passionless music woven as one; 

Warm rain on drooping roses; pattering showers 

That soak the woods; not the harsh rain that sweeps 

Behind the thunder, but a trickling peace, 

Gently and slowly washing life away. 

He stirred, shifting his body; then the pain 

Leaped like a prowling beast, and gripped and tore 

His groping dreams with grinding claws and fangs. 

But someone was beside him; soon he lay 

Shuddering because that evil thing had passed. 

And death, who’d stepped toward him, paused and stared. 

Light many lamps and gather round his bed. 

Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live. 

Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet. 

He’s young; he hated war; how should he die 

When cruel old campaigners win safe through? 

But death replied: “I choose him.” So he went, 

And there was silence in the summer night; 

Silence and safety; and the veils of sleep. 

Then, far away, the thudding of the guns.
Source: The Old Huntsman and Other Poems (1917)


A Cop’s Christmas Eve

December 16, 2013

By Terence T. Gorski
December 16, 2013

police_xmasThere is one thing you can be sure of, Cops work more than their share of holidays and weekends. This is a great sacrifice. It is, however, part of the job. Most cops don’t complain. They just suck-it-up and do the job. On Holidays like Christmas Eve, the crimes and criminals they deal with can burn into their memories. No only are they away from family and friends, they are dealing with the difficult people and situations no one else wants to deal with. They often take it in stride for decades. With age and retirement, most police officers, like all people, begin taking stock. They remember the holidays they lost with friends and family. It is only normal to wonder at times, was it worth it?

I have had the privilege of working for and with police officers for many years. I have found the overwhelming majority of officers to be people of good will, trying to make a difference, while carrying a huge burden.

My brother, Sgt. Tony Gorski of the West Dundee Police, sent me this link entitled A Cop’s Christmas. It is beautiful example of the men and women that I know who wear the uniform.

I am proud of my brother and the good he has done. He has made the world a little bit safer. I wonder, however, will he be with his family for the Christmas Holidays.

A Cop’s Christmas

police-christmas_01

Preferred Duty On Christmas Eve


The Last Man On The Moon – A Metaphor for Recovery

December 1, 2013

20131201-053858.jpgBy Terence T. Gorski

Gene Cernan is the last man to walk in the moon. The journalist commended him on his courage and asked how he dealt with the fear that he might be stranded with no way home, he said: “You don’t need a lot of courage when you are well prepared and have a clear vision of where you are going, what you are doing, and why. Each time you feel the fear, it pushes you to work the plan. I didn’t have guts and I’m not stupid. I didn’t go to the moon not to come back home. I went so I could bring new and more valuable information back with me. ”

Cernan explained that he had a plan A, a Plan B, thousands of hours of training, and the best team of experts walking behind him every step of the way. He views calculated risk as a way of life. He is not reckless. He sees calculated risk as a necessary survival tool.

“I am not stupid. I didn’t go to the moon not to come back home. I went so I could bring back new and more valuable information. ” ~ Astronaut Gene Cernan

I could see in his words a direct metaphor for addiction recovery. When we decide to recover, we take off on a journey. It is exciting. There are real risks, but we can come home with a better knowledge of who we are.

We need a desire to recover, a recovery plan, and a backup relapse prevention plan (a plan B). We also need to build our recovery team and make commitment to back each other up every step of the way. We must bring our mind with us into recovery.

“Nothing is hopeless unless you believe in your own mind that it is.” ~ Terence T. Gorski

Here is a related blog:
The Psychology of Long-duration Space Flight

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ARROGANCE HAS A PLACE

October 18, 2013

20131018-042622.jpg

Mankind has pulled itself out of the caves and survived the worst of human catastrophes all because one person, at a turning point in history, had the utter arrogance to say no to what everyone else just passively accepted.

Their courage strengthened the resolve of those around them allowing mankind to stumble forward and challenge the beliefs about what was possible. This takes a certain amount of arrogance and denial of the “truth” about what is possible.

On the other side of the argument, the arrogant have led mankind into history’s greatest disasters. It is not the arrogance itself that is the problem. It is how the arrogance is directed.

Bless the arrogant, for in the moments of greatest need, only the arrogant are willing to stand up, spit in the eye of the devil, and move mankind a little bit further along toward higher values and greater kindness, love, and compassion.

Curse the arrogant for, at turning points in history, they stood and spit in they eye of God and led mankind toward destruction, death, and atrocity.

Humility has its place. It takes arrogance to stand in the face of certain death and choose to live.

This form of arrogance is also known as courage.

GORSKI BOOKS: www.relapse.org

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