Wednesday, June 03, 2009


When I joined Alcoholics Anonymous in 1989 I had no idea what to expect. Like so many of our members on their first visit to AA I was petrified that someone would recognize me. A kindly person was quick to point out that whoever was in the room had the same problem that I did and that put it all in perspective for me.

I came to love the anonymity of the program. It not only protected me, to an extent, but it meant that, for the first time in my life, I learned to truly listen to what a person shared. I was no longer influenced by their status in the work place or how much or little they were worth monetarily. Doctors, lawyers and ditch diggers all melded into one and it was their words that caught my attention.

Of course after you become an established member of an AA community you get beyond a first-name basis. You gravitate toward those that “speak” to your particular problems and it is then that you get to know the people more intimately.

I was very surprised to find that many of the members in the rooms that I frequented were high-profile members of our community. One man in particular seemed to have a very good grasp of the program and I learned that he was a well known and successful architect in our area.

John was a very active AA member but he passed away when I was just 3 or 4 years sober so I never really got to know him. However, he had donated two large original art works which are framed and on display on the walls of our local AA club and I think of him often when I am there.

An enterprising member copied them and has made them into get well cards. The pine branches in the shape of AA mirror the area in which we live, which is the Sandhills of North Carolina. The other card is a wonderful example of organized design and features the most influential words of “The Serenity Prayer”.

John may be gone but his artwork reminds us daily of the gifts that this amazing program has in store for us … if we just stick together and “keep the plug in the jog”…(his words.)


Blogger KGMom said...

I have utmost respect for the AA program. A dear friend of mine is a long sober recovering alcoholic, and she finds the courage to continue her journey in AA.
I like the art using the Serenity prayer words. It has an art noveau look to me.

2:28 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

The art work is very stylized and very attractive. How good of him to do that, and how apropos it is of your area.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Thank God for people like John, I wonder if he knew when he wrote those words just what impact they would have on people's lives!

2:33 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Such contributions and remembrances are very meaningful.

4:33 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I like the artwork. Great idea to make them into cards. There are many well known people in 12 step programs.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Chancy said...

Beautiful card. I love the stylized message and the sentiment expressed.

Congratulations,Ginnie, on your 20 years with AA.

8:34 PM  

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