when father’s day feels both good and sad

we can do all the things

Today is Father’s day in the U.S., and I’m feeling both melancholy and joyful. It’s astonishing to me all we can contain and the many ways joy and pain co-exist in life.

Last year, I wrote .
Yesterday, I wrote .

I will always suffer the heartbreak of my “no, nay, never, no more” with my biological father.

Moreover, I will forever feel immensely grateful for my stepdad, whose presence in my life brought lots of happiness and healthful family experiences.

For many years, the former eclipsed…

Dear Epic Stepdad

stepdad by name, epic dad in all the ways that matter

Photographing The Unseen

a photographer’s composition of essence and truth

More than ever, we need artists to create, document and inspire our humanity. Looking at the art of Charles Franklin Stonewall, his contemporary photography reveals his passion for life-changing moments. Mr. Stonewall’s photography shows more about the unseen than the obvious; the images evoke thoughtfulness, leading the viewer to inquire beyond assumptions.

Right now, artists of all genres are producing moving pieces of work. For some, their creative reflection of humanity at both its best and worst is nothing new but rather the continuing extension of their unique style. As…

I’ve endured Christmastime for a few decades now but never quite like this year, and I’ll never have it any other way.

Living, loving, parenting, and loss during this pandemic seemed the fat pitch for another strike on Christmas. I did some of the usual things; decorated, purchased, hid gifts throughout my house, and reminisced. I watched, passively and actively, all the holiday movies — the characters return to me each year like long-lost-beloved family.

This year though, many things fell away. There were no holiday parties, no restaurant dinners, girlfriend gatherings, or hugs — this last piece is challenging for me. …

photo courtesy of Sonia LaPLace Cannistraci

Nurses are the vital omnipresent heroes of healing. If doctors are the spine, nurses are the central nervous system that affects and benefits all functions.

Our nurses embody the positive intentions of the American dream — diverse in cultures, steadfast in achievements; nurses are valiant caregivers to those in need.

Their devotion is the essence of real super-heroes, worthy of reverence and appreciation.

For the last few months, I’ve communicated with a heroine, Sonia LaPlace-Cannistraci, RN, CCRN — she shared experiences from her beginnings in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), to the day she became a COVID-19 nurse. …

She had a father-shaped hole in her heart,
it was a ramshackle scar.

She filled it with dangerous friends
because that space was too quiet.

She appointed boyfriends to the void
because the extent was lonely.

She loaded up on remedies
because the breach bestowed injuries.

She taped it shut with anger
because the gap leaked toxins.

She married the rift to another
because the range became embraced.

She broke away from bonds
because the scope was irrepressible.

She felt the hole expanding
because there is no proxy for self-worth. …

It all begins with us.

Women are wondrous entities of existence.
It all begins with us.

Growers of creativity, we birth art, artists, and history. We are unforgettable passages, luscious impressions on canvases, and indelible marks on the hearts of lyricists throughout all time.

Passion begins with us.

Nurturers of adaptation, we source innovation, plans B, C, and beyond. Nimble and observant, we outflank restrictions with sureness and heart. We are shape-shifting masters of proficiency and consideration.

Evolution begins with us.

Seamstresses of necessity, we darn the crises of society. We hold the line; ours, theirs, and then some. We…

a parody of pediatric medicine

The sun did not shine during our hospital stay. So we sat in that room for most of our day.

I sat with my mini. We sat there, we two. And I said,”How I wish there were answers we knew.”

Too sick to go out or even have water. So we sat in that room without windows or fodder.

There, all we could do was to just Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. And we didn’t like it. Not one freaking bit.

Then something went BUMP! We perked up from our slump.

A doctor and a nurse…

Co-Parenting Challenges And Promises

Parenting choices at the gumball machine tell a story.

The creation of our post-divorce family paradigm steered us through many unexpected paths of both challenge and promise. As a couple, we struggled with differing modalities towards the same desired goals for our kids. After we ended our marital relationship, these struggles didn’t magically ease in their intensity; at first, they became more difficult. We made mistakes that hurt our kids because we fell head-first into fruitless power struggles.

The challenge.

During one of our first post-divorce experiences, we attended a school performance and chose not to…

If I hid my color story, I would find acceptance — how I gaslighted myself away from my truth and eventually found my way home to self-love.


It started with a misguided direction sourced from good intentions.

“Be White,” she said. There were other words at our parting; it was these two that enveloped a dense layer of shame and confusion on my identity for decades to come. She was not a monster; I believe she was afraid. My beautiful Caribbean Mother knew what lay ahead on the mainland; she had lived it years before in NYC during the ’60s…

Laura Phoenix Power

Writer, Poet, Creative Collaborator, Intuitive Coach

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