Bringing It Back Home


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Don’t call it a comeback. Oh wait, it sort of is.

It’s that feeling in the belly of the heart which pulls and twists and contorts towards a light in the distance.

The light is a guidance system, a GPS borne of the stars, a tug at the tides which wash upon the shore of my spirit. If I turn my head to that light, hand shading my eyes, I will always catch a glint of a celestial signal. The signal is almost never wrong, as long as I come to it with an open mind, and ears tuned to the sound of authenticity. My mind easily fools me, but the light never does. It’s too strong. It charges at me with a mouth full of truth caught between its jagged teeth.

When I was last writing for this blog, this Message in a Bottle whatchamacallit, a light had started to pull me towards other projects, towards other English garden-style patches of wild growth. It was exciting and yet leaving the blog left me feeling uncertain of what was to come. In doing so, I found myself expanding and breathing deeply of different air. I found new connections, new places of exploration, and new soft spots to land. I also found barbed wired beneath my fingernails, dirt on my boots and sweat on the sleeves of my shirt. There was a shift in the landscape.

But the light, the Universe, has a funny way of doing business. It comes at you with a Don Corleone-type offer you can’t refuse. Leave the gun, take the cannoli. “What you resist, persists,” Dr. Jung once stated. And while I was very content to walk away from this site, my thoughts (and my keyboard) often lingered back to Message in a Bottle. I cloaked them in nostalgia and thought often of the people who made this such a special place. I’d never considered returning, but looking back now, there have always been signs—too many to list here, but if the Creator really does work through others, then He needs to be paying out some overtime to a few folks. Stat.

Returning to the fold is not a light decision (nor was the decision to leave in the first place) but I feel like a weight is off. I am excited about being here. It feels like coming back to a childhood home, where one remembers the creaking of the floors in certain spots, or how the basement walls feel like when it’s raining outside. I also know that things have changed out here in the blogosphere. I have changed. If there is any certainty in this world, it’s that it is uncertain. In the time that I have been away, I have had the pleasure of:

  • Starting a podcast, Buzzkill, which I will continue to do (I have added a Buzzkill page  here where you can check it out)
  • Creating another blog at Buzzkill, which I will now retire.
  • Writing a book (in mid-editing stage, but it is done!) – which I will talk about in a later post, when the time is appropriate.

I celebrated 5 years of sobriety on May 4th. I am grateful to have found recovery and living a life on a spiritual plane, anchored by my Higher Power and the support of so many. I am blessed to be where I am these days, and while I sometimes lose sight of that, caught up in the minutiae of life and the occasional dips into unspiritual thinking, I know that I am precisely where I need to be. And starting today, that includes being here. With you.

So please—take a look around. I will be making a few changes here and there, but what you see is what you get. The grandiose part of me wanted to re-launch with a splashy and sassy new site, complete with fireworks and ninja clowns on flaming unicycles. But that’s not what this place is about, nor has it ever been about flash. It’s about connections. It’s about sharing. It’s about having a safe space to unwind. So, while you snoop about, help yourself to some biscotti (and cannoli) found in the far corner, near the weathered ottoman and recliner. A pot of coffee sits nearby. Sugar is in the pantry if you need. Feel free to make yourself at home. I know I will be.

The light shining through the window lets me know that this is home.

 

 

53 Comments Add yours

  1. Lauren says:

    I’ve drifted away from blogging and even reading a lot of blogs. This, however, excites me. Many blogs that I get a notification for get overlooked these days. As soon as I saw this pop up, I was like Wait, what?!?! I can’t wait to read about what’s been up.

    1. Paul S says:

      Lauren! Missed that smiling face! I have to admit that I rarely read blogs while I was away. I read a few here and there, and lurked a bit, but wasn’t engaged like I used to be. That was part and parcel of leaving here in the first place, even though at first I really did want to keep reading. Anyways, glad to be here and see you – thanks for the comment!

    2. Paul says:

      You’re definitely a rascally one! 😎 the adventure of self-discovery publicly laid bare and wide opwn. No sinple trick, well done Paul.

  2. Rosie says:

    Welcome back! So happy that you did.
    As always, moving, honest, insightful and impeccable writing. Thank you.

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks for all your support as usual 😉 I’m a lucky man!

  3. YES! HE’S BACK!!! Great post.

    “…caught up in the minutiae of life and the occasional dips into unspiritual thinking, I know that I am precisely where I need to be. ”

    Yes. Yes, you are, Paul. Glad you’re back.

    – Your friend, Danno

    1. Paul S says:

      Dan – did you get your OT pay? Thank you again for the support and encouragement. Feels good to put this all together. There will be links to TIR don’t you worry…lol. Big hugs.

  4. mishedup says:

    Don’t you worry Paul…

    we ninja clowns will all come riding home!
    xoxo

    1. Paul S says:

      Mish…I have to say that your blog was one that I missed while away. How has the yoga been? I am sure much has moved and shifted for you in the last while. I hope to catch up soon!

  5. Carol says:

    Wow, talk about synchronicity! I have only recently returned to my own spiritual practice after having cycled away from it for a time, and now here is your rekindled blog in my mailbox. Welcome back! I have missed your voice.

    1. Paul S says:

      Hi Carol! Funny how these things work eh? I love when the Universe conspires that way. Glad you’re returning to another phase in your spiritual journey! Very exciting! Thank you for being here – miss seeing you too.

  6. Marcella says:

    Welcome back my friend! ” Your fans out there deserve a rematch.”

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks Marcella! Rematch challenge accepted!

  7. ainsobriety says:

    I am thrilled to see you return!
    🙏
    Anne

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks Anne – late congrats on your three years and I love your word of the year! Hoping to catch up more!
      Blessings

  8. primrose says:

    Double-take: is that who I think it is? Yes! Squeak!

    So glad your GPS has re-incorporated this place as a ‘via’ on your journey. Looking forward to wherever that goes!

    1. Paul S says:

      Ha ha – squeak and squeal indeed! I am so happy to see your name pop up here! I am looking forward to being back here and more importantly, catching up with old friends like yourself. So thrilled to have you here!

  9. 1jaded1 says:

    Welcome back to my inbox. Can’t wait to read more. 🙂

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks! Nice to see the Red Wings logo again too 🙂

  10. Wow, so glad you’re back. It’s like old friends, when you get back together it’s like no time has passed between. Happy New Year, Paul!
    Sharon

    1. Paul S says:

      Good day Sharon! I love seeing all these old friend like you indeed! I hope the holidays have been good for you and Happy New Year! Thanks for the well wishes!

  11. NeuroNotes says:

    Welcome home, Paul.

    I have missed you!

    1. Paul S says:

      Victoria! I think of you often as I use my BWE almost daily! Thank you for that gift. I need to reconnect with you once this madness of the holiday season lessens a touch!

      1. NeuroNotes says:

        I look forward to it. 🙂

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks Carrie – I hope you have been well 🙂

  12. k2running says:

    I CANNOT even tell you how HAPPY seeing you blogging on here again makes me:) Your words touch me and wow me!! You inspire me Paul!
    The light dims in my corner of.blogging world and everytime I write the light returns and often brighter than before…..
    Keep on trudging!!:)
    Katie

    1. So agree with you, Katie. – D

    2. Paul S says:

      Katie! I am very happy to be here again and to see you as well. I haven’t been reading too many blogs, but yours was one I read several times – so thank you for what you’ve shared!
      Keep shining that light!

  13. byebyebeer says:

    Best Christmas gift ever. Welcome back Paul. You were missed.

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks Kristen! I look forward to getting back into your work – you know just how much I adore your writing.

  14. Paul! Look at this homecoming! Needless to say, I think this was a good move. I start s following you when you started buzzkill, resurrecting message in a bottle just proves what I already know: you weave your words together and they shine a bright light for the world.

    This is awesome! Now I can really rant to you about WordPress! Welcome back (he says, not being here for the start of things)

    1. WordPress does seem to have one advantage over Squarespace—look at all the comments! I’m lucky if I get 4 or 5 and my traffic is crazy! You bros are the best!! – Danno

      1. Paul S says:

        I have to say, Dan, that WP does feel a bit more comment-friendly. That is just an opinion. I get the idea that either one gets tons of reads and a few comments, or a lot of comments and few reads. Doesn’t happen with both very often, unless there is some big reason (like the two I linked – one was a “Freshly Pressed” item, and the other was when I left). I like the posse of regulars sometimes 🙂

        https://messageinabottle-blog.com/2013/07/08/back-when-the-beaver-hit-the-bong/
        https://messageinabottle-blog.com/2015/03/17/so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish/

    2. Paul S says:

      Hey Mark! thanks for this – so glad you’re here! Thanks for the support (as usual!). And yes – rant away! I have some issues with it WP at times. I think that if I had the full self-hosted thing then I can get the Plugins and all that stuff – I am limited with this platform. But that’s okay – it has served me well!

  15. jrj1701 says:

    Welcome back Paul, glad to see that you are writing again and not just being a podcast recovery DJ. I am glad that you will still keep doing Buzzkill, that is an excellent job that you are doing there. Can’t wait for your next blog post.

    1. Paul S says:

      JR! So nice to see you again! I am very excited to be back in the fold and seeing you here. I am going to post soon – I am hoping that you are doing well, my friend!

      Blessings
      Paul

  16. Oh YAY!! Victoria’s Snoopy captures it all. Welcome back with open arms. As I read your words, it was striking how much I have truly missed interacting and reading you. And a book???? I can’t wait to hear more. You know me…I’m not going anywhere and will gobble up anything you put on the page. Happy New Year!

    1. Paul S says:

      I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see you – I see you now and then on IG and Twitter, but I know the blogs is where you call home, and I have seen your usual positive, endearing and supportive comments to others on their posts. Your light has grown brighter. Thank you. I hope you have a wonderful new year as well!

      1. Awww…thank you, Paul! I have loved seeing you on IG and Twitter, too. I’m still deciding what I call home – some days it’s the blog, other days it’s Insta. Most days…it’s my kitchen table surrounded by my family. The best home ever ❤

        1. Paul S says:

          Well that kitchen table will always win. My wife sometimes has to jostle my elbow to get me to put my phone down and take in the space 🙂

  17. Jami says:

    So happy you’re back! I’m excited to read your words again.
    -Jami

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks Jami! I hope you are doing well these days! Can’t wait to get back at all the blogs!

  18. HighOnHugs says:

    WAHOO! I did the same thing as Lauren! I saw my email and was like, “what? Yay!” I’ve been a slacker on writing but still write for my treatment center and occasionally share those post. I’ve stopped reading most blogs as well except for Maggie’s. So glad you are back! Congrats on 5 years and all of your other accomplishments. A book?! WOW, you have been trudging along 😉 Hugs from Wyoming! ❤

    1. Paul S says:

      Howdy stranger!! I had the same feeling just now when I saw who that comment came from! Glad you’re still writing for the treatment center – I have been doing lots of that until recently. I was starting to burn out a bit. And ain’t Maggie amazing? Thank you for the kind words and looking forward to reconnecting, my friend. Hugs back at ya from Toronto!

  19. lifecorked says:

    Paul! I can’t tell you how happy I am! I’ve been doing a lot of what you’ve been doing and not very active around here, but it’s a part of me. Something I can’t and don’t want to let go of. So, while I garden and raise chickens, I stop by here every now and then. Very excited to see you back here. You’ve been an important part of my recovery, whether you realize it or not. Happy New Year!

    1. Paul S says:

      Chenoa! So excited to see you!
      I love what you say about this being a part of you – I agree. I am hoping you post more but who the hell am I to say that?? I enjoy the idea of gardening and raising chickens (not that I would – I just like the *idea* of it!) and I can imagine it being both soothing and cackling batty at the same time. Thanks for being a part of my recovery circle – I have had nothing but fondness for you and the others who I consider “family”.
      Blessings!
      Paul

  20. Debbie says:

    I was listening to your podcast the other day and when you said you were back on the blog, I did a little jump for joy. You have such a way with words that I missed being able to read them. So glad you are back! Can’t wait for the book 🙂 Debbie

    1. Paul S says:

      Awww thanks Debbie!! I am so excited to see you doing so well! I am very happy to be back into the fold and seeing some familiar faces!

  21. Georgina19 says:

    Brilliant that you’re back Paul ….. we missed you.

    1. Paul S says:

      ah thanks…the vid works here! I think I messed up seeing what the other vid you left in a comment earlier.

      1. Georgina19 says:

        Oh, it was just an ode to a barrister/lawyer. My favourite Ode is “Ode to a green lump of putty I found in my armpit one mid summer morn.” See “Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” + “Vogans”, Google Search and don’t panic.

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