The Marina Dock Newsletter April 2003
Dear Marina Dock members
and patrons alike,
Events over the last
few weeks have presented real difficulties in terms of going about
one’s business and trying to put the best face on things.
The Marina Dock has experienced its worst six weeks financially
since its inception. The story is the same citywide with people
going out less, have less money to spend, worrying about the future
and what’s in store.
This month I really
procrastinated over getting down to the business of putting out
the newsletter. I was assailed by conflicting thoughts about the
appropriateness of writing this letter under the circumstances.
Would our members and supporters really be interested in such
things at this time given the situation globally? Then I thought
about all the people who have told me over the year, how much
they look forward to getting the newsletter every month.
Faith without works
This is probably a
good time, for me anyway, to renew my faith in the spirit of the
universe. Today, I resorted to the old reliable: an absolute belief
in the power of faith and the cracking open of the “Big
Book” for reassurance that all will be well. It opened on
page 49 - We Agnostics.
“We have learned
that whatever the human frailties of faiths may be, those faiths
have given purpose and directions to millions. People of faith
have a logical idea of what life is all about. Actually we used
to have no reasonable conception whatever. We used to amuse ourselves
by cynically dissecting spiritual beliefs and practices when we
might have observed that many spiritually minded persons of all
races, colors and creeds were demonstrating a degree of stability,
happiness and usefulness, which we should have sought ourselves.
Instead, we looked at the human defects of these people, and sometimes
used their shortcomings as a basis of wholesale condemnation.
We talked of intolerance while we were intolerant ourselves. We
missed the reality and the beauty of the forest because we were
diverted by the ugliness of some of its trees. We never gave the
spiritual side of life a fair hearing.”
In times like these
I think it’s fair to say the spiritual side to life requires
Wait and see mode
For now we are no different
from the rest of the inhabitants on this planet, we are waiting
to see what happens next. I still believe when the shooting stops
and the dust has settled, beyond the inevitable human cost and
the nursing of a lot of bruised egos, we will come to terms with
the reality that although we don’t all agree on every issue
we must disagree without being disagreeable. Ego deflation in
the words of our co-founder is a sine qua non to humility and
spiritual growth. Besides we have stopped fighting anybody or
anything. We have to! (p. 103.)
When the going gets
Please try to “pull
yourself up by the bootstraps”, come down to a meeting even
if you have not shown your face in a while and you feel people
have forgotten you. A few weeks ago someone showed up that had
not been to a meeting in several years and were amazed to discover
that they were still remembered, still thought of as a fellow
traveler and kindred spirit. I know this may sound repetitious
to some of our readers, having mentioned it in previous letters.
However we must bear in mind that new people are coming around
all the time and they need to be reminded that we “suit
up and show up”. Recently I had my own personal encounter
with the tragic results of relapse. A young fellow that I had
befriended in the Santa Cruz fellowship, Brian, decided to test
the waters again and died on the street last weekend from asphyxiation.
He was 27 years old.
We need support now
more than ever
A number of people continue
to give; the problem is for the most part it is the same hardcore
group of supporters. If you have not contributed for a while or
you are on our mailing list and want to make a difference, now
is a good time. We are doing everything possible to keep our doors
open under the most extenuating circumstances. It’s a team
effort and we all need to pull together on this one. Again a lot
of people are out of work and feeling the pressure of making ends
meet. If you are someone who feels overwhelmed by all that's going
on come on by, share the burden and feel the love.
The bare essentials
As far as expenditure
goes we are cutting our expenses where ever we can to try and
ride this one out. All future projects have been put on hold.
We will do everything possible to keep our doors open one day
at a time. After all, all we have is today.
The indomitable spirit
of Francis Joseph B
I paid a visit to the
man himself last night Saturday, March 29th. I had heard reports
that he was not doing very well. To my surprise he was in fine
fettle, telling stories, giving advice and laughing away like
his old self. He told me a story about some guy years ago that
tried to tell him how to run the old Seven Seas club he had down
on Mission. The guy came upstairs one day with a belly full of
booze and a pocketful of money and told Frank he was going to
buy him out and take over the place. Frank told him he was full
of $h1t and invited the guy outside to settle this dispute. Whereupon
the guy became even more grandiose by whipping a wad of money
out of his pocket, rushing to the open window he threw it down
on the street below. Frank said that on any given day there were
at least five or six winos underneath that window, waiting for
some Good Samaritan to buy them a drink. They could not believe
their luck. They were drunk day and night for several months.
They thought Frank was the generous benefactor and thanked him
profusely every time they saw him for years afterwards. His lucidity
and concern for others remains unchanged.
Until next time,
Anthony T. Murray ("Irish