• Hazelden Renewal Center

A Good-bye and Thank You

Julia Edelman

“You’ve got to know when to hold them. Know when to fold them. Know when to walk away, and know when to run.” — Lyrics by Don Schlitz, 1976 Used to be, I enjoyed risks. The higher the stakes, the bigger and better the adrenaline rush. The bigger and better the adrenaline rush, the higher the enjoyment. It was the perfect cocktail: risk plus adrenaline = fun. And thus, the pleasure center in my brain got used to a healthy dose of thrill-seeking adventures. In my youth, I enjoyed the dopamine surges provided by outdoor water sports. A perfect day … Continue reading

The Art of the Urban Retreat

sauna towels

The sauna meister artfully swirled a white towel over his head, sending waves of eucalyptus scented steam to envelope us. “Try to hang in there and breathe it in,” he urged those of us remaining in the room. A couple of people from the group of 22 had slipped out the door already, opting instead to breathe in the urban air at the top of the Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis. I moved to a lower bench in the small wooden-walled sauna, and calculated in an utterly unscientific way that it was probably 10 degrees cooler on the bottom bench versus … Continue reading

On Hope

Not my typical morning ruminations, but this morning I woke up wondering about people in cars in ditches. Here’s the context: I’m on a trans-continental road trip with my 22-year-old son, destination Los Angeles. We opted for the southern route versus the Rockies to avoid Bad Winter Weather, and somewhere around Faribault, MN we encountered a raging snowstorm that blew us all the way to Enid, Oklahoma, 11 hours later. People plan, God laughs. As we passed car after spun-out car in the ditch, I felt myself becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Some people had clearly been rescued from their now abandoned … Continue reading

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