Can We Talk About Something Else?



I spent last Thursday, Friday and Saturday with some of the smartest, funniest and most impassioned addiction/recovery professionals I have ever met. But probably my favorite line during the three days (or at least the one that makes me smile the most as I recall) was, “Can we talk about something else besides recovery? Please?”


This entreaty was made over a Delmonico steak, at an Italian restaurant, with such perfect irony we paused from our furrow-faced discussion of addiction to laugh aloud. And well, for a short time, we talked about something else…


So today in homage to the coiner of the phrase (who will remain anonymous, but ever in my mind as the guy who manned up and said what we were all thinking), I want to talk about an amazing thing that happened while I was in Grand Rapids – that has nothing to do with recovery (except that it kind of does because I wouldn’t have been in Grand Rapids if not for my recovery and this blog…).


Let’s talk about Frank Lloyd Wright and the Meyer May House sitting like a space ship, or a beautiful satire on a quiet street in a quiet neighborhood downtown. Rae Green, one of the owners of Sanford House Rehab Center for women, was giving me a tour of the city and we pulled up to the structure (I am obsessed with FLW and have seen just about everything he has designed first hand). We went to look in the windows and when we got to a kitchen window, Rae peeked in and a guy in full chef’s livery peeked out and they both did that, taken aback, hand to heart, “Oh my God” thing – Rae’s was aloud with the chef’s mirrored “Oh my God” in the shining reflection of a cut glass window.


They knew each other: had not seen each other in years. And the chef let us in and told us about the charity dinner he was creating (like 10 courses with seared walleye in lemon butter – what?), and get this – gave us a private tour of the house from butler’s pantry to cantilevered portico. How amazing is that? How unforeseen.


And did you know that Frank Lloyd did most of his important work after the age of 70? And isn’t this the perfect time to say it is never too late to change your life, reinvent yourself, find peace in recovery? Like our dinner with the sarcastic Delmonicos, the conversation always comes back to recovery. Because it is never too late or too early to get well – to enjoy the company of humankind and to revel in life’s magical moments.


I swear to God I am dying to use the hated word “serendipitous”.  Because as much as it seems schmaltzy and uncool, sometimes things come together in the most surprising, “Oh my God” way; and when they do there is no word to properly describe the confluence of the stars but serendipity.


Today I’m not drinking because it’s never too late – or too early to find the magic…

How come you’re not drinking?