Electric Skies

There’s something about a blue sky,” Willow said once when we were at her place and were looking out towards the river and the grey skies above it.

She wasn’t describing the London skies – obvs – but the hue of the skies in the place she considers home, which isn’t just across the Atlantic but all the way across the home of the brave where it nudges the north of the ocean whose waves I sat and listened to in awe one night with hubby on Waihi beach. They tumbled in with such a mighty roar and I remember feeling so humbled by the power and brute force of Mother Nature. You can kind of see where us humans got our sense of God from – it’s all her! Mother Nature is so wondrous and magical she inspired countless religions. What a goddess indeed.

Back in my native land there is of course Thor, who sprang to life in my ancestors’ imaginations (but no doubt hearts and souls too) on thundery nights as he rode across the heavens and sent lightning with each strike of his hammer. And of course the mighty oceans inspired similar thoughts and similar gods, Poseidon just one of those but I don’t quite know his story. And so the sky does too – not just when Thor makes it roar, hiss and lash with electricity but with sun gods and rain gods too and across all time we have worshipped each one in various forms here on earth. What they all have in common is that we had to make them loving and divine as well as terrifying and brutal, because otherwise it wouldn’t have made any sense. Mother Nature can be awe inspiring in both respects – she can be divine when she lovingly caresses the savannah with a sunrise and she can be hellish when she unleashes her volcanoes and so our gods had to be all these things too.

But there is much to be said for a blue sky, even though the London skies are rarely as perfectly blue as I imagine Willowtown’s to be. I wonder what effect that’d have on me, what difference it would make to my well being if I lived someplace where the sun was almost always shining from clear blue skies. What’s the vitamin you get from sunlight? E? I don’t know, but it’s hardly an unknown fact that beautiful weather makes us feel happier. And the brief few hours when there was some of that sparse commodity in this town as I drove to work, did I feel happier than I did yesterday when it rained? I don’t know, but I’m sure I felt perkier although I couldn’t say for sure if it was to do with those momentary rays of sunshine.

So. Still sober, blue skies or otherwise. Felt the pull over the weekend but it wasn’t strong. Is the idea of a drink tempting still? A little, actually. Is this how it starts? Is this the fabled fall from the Pink Cloud you hear of sometimes in AA meetings? The image is absolutely there, and with it the feeling of excitement too. Our favourite pub, a few wines, put the world to rights like only drunk twats can. Right? Those images and any other fun stuff that goes around it will take more than a sincere wish to be sober to erase because they’ve been with me for almost as long as I can remember. Alcohol was always something I viewed as a party enhancer. Something to trigger the fun. Problem is though, of course, that even if those illusions were true – and they’re not – it would never work for me anyway. Even if that’s what wine did – made everything fun, fun, fun – it’d never be true for me, because I’m an alcoholic and therefore by definition incapable of consuming the stuff in a way that’d be fun and nothing else.

So for me, wine will never enhance anything, not a damn thing. It’ll just awaken something dark in me which would bypass all the “fun” and then rapidly proceed to take me to blackout, then of course I’d wake up feeling all the things alcohol brings out (or down) in me – anxiety, worry, sadness and of course a terrible mood. It won’t do anything else. Besides – given how I drink – I hate to drink with people anyway, it’s just torture to have to slow myself, pace myself, check myself. It’s fucking hard work – I get exhausted just thinking about it. So why in God’s name bother? Exactly.

Nope. I do believe that even in those hitherto rare moments when a mirage appears and I momentarily allow the thought to take root and forget I’m in the desert, I wouldn’t bring that glass of wine to my lips. Not even then. It may as well be arsenic.

And that’s that, really. Today I won’t drink.

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