THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JOHN BARLEYCORN

Back in the 1960s I had a young wife, a few friends, family, and a little house with a garage and a garden. Life was good, and then, I lost it all to untreated alcoholism and addictions. I began cutting corners on honesty and integrity in order to get more, and by the way, make it snappy! I chased around the world after more money, more power, and more material things. In the mid-1980s, I was nearly murdered by self-will after ending up in an institution. For many years, I ignored spirituality and thought only of myself until that futile life-style drove me humbly to my knees.

Not long after that, I found myself sitting in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. God, it seemed, led me to A.A. and A.A. led me to God, a God of my understanding who did for me what I could not do for myself. My new daily actions, regular meetings and new-found spiritual program gradually introduced me to a Higher Power of grace, love and charity who set me free. Nature it seems abhors a vacuum and soon after my grinding obsessions departed they were replaced by serenity, hope and a sincere desire to help others.

Nowadays, I’m well past sixty years of age, and again I have a wife, children, grandchildren, a great-grandchild, a few friends and family. We live in a cozy little house with a garage and there’s a small garden. God has given us everything we need and it’s clear to see in hindsight that I had everything I needed all those painful years ago.

When I read Voltaire’s short story, Candid, it impacted me in several unexpected ways. A captain friend recently inquired if ever I would return to a life on the sea? I have yet to sail around the world and that’s what I started out to do after a bitter divorce and my father’s death in 1970. Sometimes I suffer self-doubt, and wonder, if I’m a failure, and other times I wonder if that distant circum-navigation idea was, but an alcoholic delusion?

Some people who I currently attempt to help believe I’m a loser, but they know-not the deep joy, peace and contentment that has ever so gradually filled my soul. The schmucks scowl with contempt and cannot understand why I smile, but it’s because they remind me of my former self.

The wise guys are so busy playing the Mole Whacker game that they can see little else. The mole whacker game begins when a sucker pays his money to hold a mallet and hit the mole when it pokes its head up; it’s a simple game and at first, the mole-whacker grins with delight because he has been empowered over the blind moles; he holds the scepter of power. But of course, as the game progresses, the frequency of moles popping their heads up accelerate until the whacker weakens and he can no longer continue the game.

The gangs of thieves, dealers and wise guy’s have probates and want-a-be’s under them who pop their heads up and the leader quickly pounds their heads down. But standing over the gang leaders are corrupt politicians, law enforcement officers and other powerful people, mallet in hand, waiting to pound the gang leader’s head back down. When the whackers weaken, some of them refuse to give up the mallet and then it’s unceremoniously ripped from their hand by the next-in-line.

Seasons and years come and go without their ever understanding that none can win the mole-whacker game. In God’s will is our peace. Perfect liberty excludes personal choice, except our choice to surrender our will to a Higher Power and walk towards the light. At any point in the senseless game the moles and the mole whackers can surrender to a Power who will do for them what they cannot do for themselves…What will happen you might ask, if the players refuse to surrender? The laws of nature and the fruits of their pathetic actions will drive them into a hole of dark desperation with, but three outcomes. To be murdered by self-will (suicide), homicide, or they will be institutionalized! Surrender to win?

 

What a concept!
Anonymous Philosopher

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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