As a child i was taught indirectly
to fear God.
Sunday School teachers would tell tales
of burning in hell and being taken over
by demons,
for disobeying Gods word.

As a teenager my parents would tell me
about those thrown into the pit
for their sins-
like smoking ..drinking..sexual thoughts
all of which I was guilty and then
funny how neither of them ever attended church.

The more people preached against something
the more attracted I was to it,
funny- how lightning never
struck me down..and I never went blind
there were however, other prices to be paid
when breaking the laws of man.

Addiction- became a condition..a price
for feeling nice
starting young tobacco and beer
a novice wearing a black leather jacket
duck tail hair and frenched levi's
looking cool

Then came Vietnam for my Senior trip
and all of us learned
there really was a hell but heaven
remained a myth.
It don't mean nothin'
DEROS 2-1967 golden bee bee
back in the world.

God and Country.. one was fiction
the other a stranger
Alcohol and psychedelics welcome
to my brave new world.
It was suggested that I find a new one
and so the Odyssey began.

My return to the spiritual world
began in the Bighorn Mts. in Wyoming
when following the advice of a Sioux
I new from Nam About the Bighorn Medicine Wheel
being a place of healing I sought it out.

Found at 9642 feet at the top of the bighorn range
the Medicine Wheel is a sacred place and back
when I visited still pretty much undisturbed
I stayed in the area for several days
while the nightmares of Nam faded away
was it that place? who can say.

Years passed .. traveling ..working..the Arctic to Key West
back and forth drank my way giving up the drugs in
self defense,
finding solace in the wild places..finding there a glimmer
of ....salvation?
but not quite catching it's meaning.

Alaska... sometime in the late seventies I agreed to watch a friends homestead
while he and his wife went outside for the winter.
Seven miles out from the rail road and seventy + miles from Anchorage, with several sacks of tobacco and (according to them) plenty of hooch) a generator with a winter supply of gas
and food in I came and out they went.
The rest is a Stephen King comedy of errors ..mishaps and a return to my Creator.

It went this way:
Their idea of Hooch was 2 qts each of bourbon
5 bottles of beer and 1/2 gallon of Pisano Wine.
A 2 week supply if I stretched it out.and it was November with an early snow
with no ending til' May.
Well at least there was no stock to feed, a good fireplace..(oil lamps in case the gen. quit)
20 gallons of lamp oil.. wood stove..Rifle.. Shotgun and .44 mag revolver .22 rifle.
ten 20 pound bags of PIPE tobacco 1 pipe ..shortwave radio aa-aaa-c & d batteries
misc. stuff.. books all types including of course Robert W Service.

Thus began the went like this:

November 25th hooch gone..throat raw from pipe tobacco
December 1 -15 light snow but cold -10 most of the time
withdrawl from hooch minor.
December 25th first sober Xmas in years including Nam.
January 1 New Years YAY! -26 below snow banking 11 feet
on east side of cabin up to roof ..door on west side 4 feet there.
All windows boarded up so no view anyway.
have 20 foot extension for stove vent so clear.

February gone through one bag tobacco 20 odd books
Northern Lights are burning..rose yellow and green
-20 below hearing the wolves howling now for the first time
this winter or maybe it's just the first time I've been sober long enough.
This is a quiet revelation for me the loneliness without being lonely,
time for reflection peace.

March prayed for the first time in years..not however to the Sudo
Christian concept of the Deity but to the Cosmos... to the Creator..
to the stars- to all of nature of which I'm a part..for the knowledge
to understand..the WHY of it all.

April early thaw begins above freezing at+35
Generator quit wiring short somewhere? still has fuel.
Using Oil lamps for reading now.
April 15th 45 degrees outside now
April 21st hear Snow Cat.. having visitors?
Owners are back from the lower 48.
nice reunion..HI!..GOOD- BY.. on Snow Cat heading for Rail Road.

Soon after this thought I could have that ONE drink and guess what-
it took until 1987 to finally put the bottle down with many ups and downs as a result
but never again was I as spiritually lost as I was before that winter in Alaska.

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