Show the World All the Love in Your Heart

A recent night on the town found me next to the bars of yesteryear, at the Orpheum Theatre’s staging of Beautiful, a “jukebox musical” highlighting Carole King’s prolific songwriting and singing career. Before long, I was transported to the green shag rug and purple and blue stereo of my junior high school days, and the image of a young girl flopped on the bed, listening over and over again to the strains of the Tapestry album and imagining what life had in store. The power of Carole’s music, at that time, at that place in my life, was pivotal. Her … Continue reading

A Note on Gratitude

I’m in treatment. Again. This time it’s my elbow. Fell on road bike, shattered the olecranon, a body part that apparently I don’t need anymore, so it was taken out during surgery. Surgery led to the question of opioids, for pain management. Codeine makes me sick. So does being in excruciating pain. This caused a major dilemma for me, even 25 years into recovery from drugs and alcohol. The ethical conundrum was simply this: Take pain medications which made some percentage of my addict brain start to salivate and drool, or take what my addict brain considered to be a … Continue reading

What Are the Odds?

I sometimes get asked this question, usually in reference to drug addiction. “What are the odds that my son or daughter will become a drug addict when they grow up? My husband is a “normie” and I’m an recovering alcoholic,” the query begins. “It depends,” is the response, “on so many things. And even with all factors being favorable — genetics, social and home environments, school systems, mental health — there is still no guarantee.” And then I witness a nearly imperceptible shift signaling disappointment. Eyes cast downward, heads nod oh-so-slightly as the parent digests the understanding that they’ve been … Continue reading

from the publisher

Perception Sometimes from happiness I stop And look about me to take in the next delight The next raindrop That looks more full More pregnant than the last Raindrops and then Snow! Makes me giggle while it falls and mingles with its brethren each in its own playful pile. Sometimes from wonder I start To examine things like Candlewax pooled in softwarm puddles Or fingertips as their whorled patterns disappear into the furry hair of my dog Each sometime a fragment a shard A slow blink from a sultry eye. Happy Holidays from all of us at The Phoenix to … Continue reading

from the publisher

Hold onto your earmuffs, readers, for this issue of The Phoenix Spirit will appeal to a wide and colorful swath of tastes and interests. For the tree-huggers and otherwise environmentally minded, flip to the back cover and read how you, too, can ReWild yourself. 2017 may be the Year of Forest Ecotherapy for you and yours. Have a penchant for horses? See Heather Jeffrey’s article about the therapeutic equine work being done at Acres For Life in Chisago City, MN. These gentle giants are muzzling their way into therapeutic plans across the country as treatment centers recognize that horses have … Continue reading

from the publisher “We hold these truths…

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Between the time I write this and when The Phoenix goes to press, millions of Americans over 18 will have cast their votes in favor of one candidate or another, springing from amalgamations of internal convictions, biases, perhaps even confusion. It’s been a political year festooned with muckraking and dodgy ethics. But it’s what we have done in the midst of this political environment that … Continue reading

from the publisher

Someone asked me recently who my favorite teacher was. Ok, truth be told, it was one of those password questions on a website for Delta. But it got me thinking nonetheless – despite the lack of face-to-face contact. I thought of Sister Brown at Sacred Heart School. She taught me not to laugh at the class clown’s jokes for fear of being sent to the Bench of Shame in the hallway. I thought of George, a salty sailing instructor who taught me the difference between a beam reach and a broad reach and the trade-offs between thrill-seeking (it’s exhilerating!) and … Continue reading

From the publisher

Life is circuitous, at least mine has been, and often I find myself scratching my mop, wondering how I got to this particular place in time — and why. While the journey has been filled with twists, hairpin turns, and I’ve stopped millimeters short of a precipice or two, it’s been pretty darn good. Challenging, yes. Filled with moments of awakening should I choose to look at them, yes. And each day I find myself grateful and mostly at peace with the conscious choices I make. Twenty-one years ago I chose to get married, become pregnant, and move to Minneapolis … Continue reading

From the Publisher: Uber Proactive

Julia Edelman

We’ve gotten uber proactive in our culture. Kids learn about sex and drugs at earlier and earlier ages .  This is good, I thought, until my son’s seventh grade sex-ed assignment was to go to Walgreens and buy a condom. This wasn’t so good. We teach them at school, at church, and synagogue about the hazards of tobacco and obesity. We tell them that weed really is addictive and then launch into stories of second-cousins twice removed that 20 years later still mow lawns in the neighborhood. They lost a toe one year due to a combination of illegal substances … Continue reading

From the Publisher: collecting moments

When you live long enough you collect moments —like a waterfall pools at the end of its descent. Or a nebula gathers more dust and gases. You collect awkward moments like your first French kiss. Walking down the hallway at work or school and discovering the 4-foot trail of toilet paper fastened to the underside of your right shoe. Or stopping at a friend’s house in the midst of a dinner party that – oops — you weren’t invited to. You collect serene moments. Like listening really hard on a still dark winter night and hearing the susurration of snowflakes … Continue reading