The Marina Dock Newsletter April 2002
Dear Marina Dock members and patrons alike, thank you for your continued support
over the last sixteen years (and two months!). Yes, quite a few people who
are still supporting us now were there at the beginning too. All support,
by the way, moral as well as financial, is greatly appreciated, especially
at this time of the year.
You will have noticed that the interior improvements are still in progress,
and we apologize for the continued inconvenience. Thank you especially to
those groups that meet in the Middle Room and have withstood the worst of
the disruption. Your good humor and patience are an example to us all. The
good news is that we are closing in on a deadline. As far as the soundproofing
goes, I have to say that Richard W. is doing a most professional job.
PROJECTS IN THE PIPELINE
Speaking of pipes, we have now removed the long stainless steel sink
from the West Room. This will be replaced by a smaller unit in the corner,
which will allow more space by the windows where we plan to put a nice built-in
We intend to lay down a new carpet in the Social Room and the West
Room within the next month, once the heavy construction is complete.
Further ideas include a more efficient use of our social room space and installing
an attractive display cabinet for our refreshments.
It was Churchill who said, “we shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings
shape us” (28 October 1943 to the House of Commons). Well, soon our
building will be in great shape and we can build on the daily story of recovery
at the Marina Dock in even better surroundings.
We’re also in the process of re-arranging the staffing hours. Soon
you may see some new faces behind the counter or some familiar ones at unusual
times. As always, my gratitude goes to these unsung heroes who keep the Marina
Dock in operation through a combination of hard work, good humor, flexibility
and the putting of spiritual life into practice on a daily basis.
By the way, don’t forget to get a copy of our new look and updated meetings
and workshops schedule, from the Marina Dock or our website.
“Do not worry about what others are doing - each of
us should turn the searchlight inward and purify his heart as much as possible.”
(Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948)
THE NEW WORKSHOPS
Our new workshops series is under way to much acclaim and are proving popular,
especially Swami Satyambrananda’s Relaxation and Meditation workshop
on Sunday evenings.
The new Health and Fitness
Workshop has been launched with Rick M and needs support. I urge
you to check it out – it’s every Tuesday evening at 7:45 pm. Rick
has put a lot of time and effort into making this workshop available
for everyone, so please support it.
The format of the Health
and Fitness Workshop will be Speaker/Discussion. Speakers will
focus on how physical fitness, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle
have enhanced and facilitated their recovery.
Of course, that’s not the end of the workshops – stay tuned for details of
the next AA Secretary’s Workshop at the Marina Dock and for others in the
TOLERANCE (KEEPS US SOBER) *
Spring is always a special time for tolerance, and there’s always plenty
to test your limits around this time. It’s always worth remembering your program
the next time you’re stuck behind that person in Walgreens with the three
dozen coupons, when you’re waiting in those sub-zero conditions for the N
Judah, or when someone else takes your parking place outside the Marina
“Though we did not
like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves,
were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity,
and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick
When a person offended
we said to ourselves, “This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him?
God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.”
We avoid retaliation
or argument. We wouldn't treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy
our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at
least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and
Anonymous page 67)
At times, tolerance and patience are short in supply, and negative thoughts
about people, places and things come to the fore. That shadow, “the thing
a person has no wish to be” (Carl Jung 1875-1961) is, in some way, part of
us all. It is only through a process of increased consciousness and a spiritual
awakening that each of us, in our own way, comes to terms with this negativity
and arrives at a state of self-acceptance and forgiveness. There’s no rationalizing
this - as they stand, pure logic and facts simply bounce off the emotions
that are felt and experienced. Only through unreserved surrender can we hope
to reach some self-defined goal of charisma and peace. Moreover (ironically),
this individual experience of
“at-onement” brings a sense of real human community with our fellows. If we
act within the spirit of love and tolerance for others, then all our daily
lives become free of fear and conflict. In sum – “Learn to let go. That is
the key to happiness.” (Buddha)
* A contribution from Guy B.
Every day, I read conflicting reports and forecasts about recovery of the
economic kind (can we 12 Step the economy?).
It reminds me of the Trinity College Dublin professor who declared that if
you laid all the economists in world end-to-end they still wouldn’t
reach a conclusion.
I personally believe that we are still in a belt-tightening mode and may stay
that way until the spring of next year.
“Mistakes are easy, mistakes are inevitable, but there is no
mistake so great as
the mistake of giving up.”
Despite hard times, our supporters keep coming up trumps for us. So thank
you most sincerely for your generous contributions, as ever, you the few
that make it possible for the many.
When giving, you might be as heartened as I am when I hear of someone with
their first 90 days or see a testimonial which pays tribute to our raison
d’être, like the one which recently came in over the internet:
“The Marina Dock has become my second home. A year ago,
when I first entered a recovery program, I didn't want AA, didn't want meetings,
and didn't want a sponsor
(I found my sponsor through the Marina Dock). I thought I could find the
answer to my problem by only reading the Big Book!
The past year has been amazing for me and the Marina Dock has
been an integral part of my recovery. The rooms have made me very aware
of how important this fellowship of AA is to my sobriety.
I thank God that you are there 18 hours a day, every day, and
I can't believe it, but I’m now a meeting secretary at the Dock. You've
saved my life!”
Unfortunately, the last two months (February and March) have seen a substantial
decline in financial contributions. Forgive me if I sound like Chancey
Gardner (the late Peter Sellers) from the movie “Being There”, but if
we prepare the soil now and nurture it, in the spring we will flourish. We
fully understand that everyone is feeling the pinch now and that there is
an IRS deadline looming. However, if you have those few extra bucks to
spare then we certainly will appreciate your selfless gesture.
Thank you again for your generosity. It’s worth remembering that we make a
living by what we get, and that we make a life by what we give.
The solution is love. Until next time,
Anthony T Murray (“Irish Tony”)