Some more thoughts on Spain and conventions…

So, here’s a switch…two posts in one day. This morning’s was a bit hazy and jet lagged, but this one is sharper, after some grocery shopping and a bit of a kip during lunch. I am speaking tonight in Limerock, so I thought it would be best to have a little lie down first so I don’t fall asleep during my qualification.

My new AA friend Ian the Younger (as opposed to Ian the Elder, his sponsor), from Norwich offered some precise insight into the function of conventions, and AA conventions at that. He said that he views these events in much the same way that the medieval pilgrim viewed a spiritual pilgrimage. Some necessary factors must be in place for the convention/pilgrimage to take place. The Pilgrim must leave the surroundings of his comfortable and familiar life, travel to a distant, unfamiliar place and meet people that he does not know. The great thing, though, is that all of these other people have made a commitment to embark on a similar or identical journey, so the feelings of nervousness and trepidation on the part of the novice pilgrim turn out to be unfounded.

Everyone attends the convention for the same reason, whether to discuss washing machines or the importance of a Higher Power and how to help the next alcoholic. They leave with a sense of purpose and an acknowledgment of who has given aid, and in my case, a desire to repeat the experience as well.

As the same pilgrimage becomes a familiar route, the experience becomes deeper for the more seasoned pilgrim and the chances of lending a helping hand to the novice become more relevant.

I love it.


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Johnnyboy is a queer recovering alcoholic. For the moment he is also the primary caregiver for his mother, who suffers from age-related cognitive impairment. She is happy as a lark and is surrounded by a crew of sober women which gives him the freedom he needs to get out of town. When he is not at home in Somewheresville, he is searching out the proper path to travel for happiness and joy. He is a photographer who believes in the digital age, but feels that film is still where its at. He has a darkroom and works in it. He is single and is in remarkably great physical condition for all the damage he has submitted his body to. His cardiologist is very happy. Johnnyboy is over the age of 35.

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