On a sunny day in May, I sat on the side of the highway, feeling sorry for myself and watching cars zip by. I’d been coaxing an old Jeep Cherokee into motion for the past six months, and about three-quarters of the way between Duluth and Rochester, my best arguments failed, leaving me stranded. As I crested the hill on the south side of the Cannon River valley, the car’s engine roared, much too loud, then coughed and died.

This is my story of recovery. It is not as dramatic or grandiose as A Million Little Pieces or a million other recovery stories, but it is mine and it is true. I was drinking too much and not going to school enough. I was broke, my credit cards were maxed out, and I was exhausted. I was living my life for each individual moment, neglecting any subsequent moments, and paying a price for such self-indulgent behavior. As I sat waiting for the tow truck to pick me up, I realized the time had come for me to put away childish things and grow up.

In our February issue, we turn our eyes to recovery. Mark Murphy writes of love, loss, and recovery in his poetry titled Pomegranates, singing telephones, and night’s cloak. In her piece Toasting Poe, Cynthia Pelayo finds disappointment and recovery when she visits Edgar Allen Poe’s grave. Chelsea Rudman tells of her trip to Israel and her conflicting emotions in her piece, The Kotel. Jillian C. York reviews Footnotes in Gaza, a comic art take on life across the border in Gaza. We end with a look at Iceland’s recovery from its recent economic meltdown in Kekoa Kaluhiokalani’s Iceland after the fall.

Recovery is, by definition, the opposite of trauma, be it self-inflicted or imposed by the outside world. I would like to think the two are correlated: that every trauma has a corresponding recovery. But I know that this is not true. There are always those who do not recover, who will not recover. That is what makes recovery so precious: It is not like spring; it does not always come. There are no guarantees, and therefore it is always to be treasured.

I am a writer/editor turned web developer. I’ve served as both Editor-in-chief and Technical Developer of In The Fray Magazine over the past 5 years. I am gainfully employed, writing, editing and developing on the web for a small private college in Duluth, MN. I enjoy both silence and heavy metal, John Milton and Stephen King, sunrise and sunset. Like all of us, I contain multitudes.

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