Composite photograph by Michael Douglas Jones ©2018
We are, each and all, working on this life; a step and a stumble. The steps are small; the stumbles seem to fall forever, and when I see another friend has fallen to the insidious enemy of addiction, after fighting such a long, weary war, my soldier’s heart is broken. We are all in this fight; we might have battle fatigue; we might have our own deeper demons, our own empty chambers, but still, we must pick up our brothers in arms, hoist them over a shoulder, and move to higher ground, without judgment. This is a hundred year war, that we can win, even though the enemy is everywhere, omnipotent, invading our sleep, and our dreams. This enemy is walking through our neighborhood, where old friends become traitors, and the battle worn veterans feel exhausted, wounded, scarred; we see our comrades fall; we see the warriors in recovery fighting each day, hiding from the harsh lights of humiliation. So walk with me; take satisfaction in your scars; take satisfaction that you are a battle worn veteran, that you have taken one more step; pick up your brothers, your sisters, for you are them and they need your compassion and lovingkindness.