Tonight was the Trilogy Recovery Community fundraiser at Kimball Theatre on Whitman College campus, with the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival. Normally when you think of recovery groups, you think of the basement of a church with squeaky folding chairs and strong black coffee in styrofoam cups. The stigma surrounding addiction has, to a greater degree, isolated addicts into a sub-culture that, outside the safety of the anonymous rooms, is seldom openly spoken about. We've all heard of the first step: Admitting we have a problem. But with such strong stigmas in place stifling open vulnerability, this first step is often never reached for fear of shame. Tonight Kathy Ketcham, the director of Trilogy, actualized her idea of pairing the recovery conversation with the language of moving, powerful, and sophisticated chamber music. Like any habit, the habit of culture can shift when we start to connect two conversations under one roof, creating a new conversation that never normally would have been had. Tonight there was equally loud applause for young Tyson's story of finding hope and sobriety, as there was for Felix Mendelssohn's Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 66.
Below are images from the evening. The people in the photos all have amazing stories, but I do not know them all. So I will let most of the images speak for themselves.
This is Tyson with his parents. Without Trilogy, he certainly wouldn't have been spending his Saturday night at a chamber music festival, exposing his vulnerability in front of an audience; To which he received an overwhelmingly loud accepting applause. Here is what Tyson had for his bio in the event program: "I am seventeen years old and there are many ways to describe me. I have a family that loves me very much. I am a high school senior, a son, brother, athlete and a friend. I also have a deadly disease called addiction. Thankfully, I am in active recovery and Trilogy has been there to help me and my family every step of the way."
Besides many other dominoes in my life, this program is how I ended up here tonight. My friend Robin saw that Trilogy had a need, and knew that I could fill it. So with Robin facilitating, I put my design skills and resources to use and made this program for them.
This is Marla Morrell, the board president for Trilogy, giving an eloquent welcome speech. Her bio as it appeared in the program:
"Marla Morrell has called Walla Walla home for the past 30 years. She is married and has two adult children and three grandchildren. Marla is a vice president/private banking advisor at Baker Boyer Bank. She is a past board member of Camp Fire USA Walla Walla Council and The Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She is the current board president of Trilogy Recovery Community. She enjoys baking and spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren."
Young Tyson bravely sharing his story with a room full of strangers.
Tyson and Kathy: Creating connections, starting new conversations, and evolving culture.
The extraordinarily talented musicians who spoke in music what is in the hearts of all humans; The desire to thrive, to actualize, to manifest hope. This conversation with the heart, the desire to manifest hope, is what compels addicts to open up to vulnerability and ask for help on this rough and tumble journey of life.
I know this from experience, as I have had to ask for help as well.