Thursday 08/31/2017 by phishnet

"HOW PHISH HAS HEALED MY SOUL"

[The following is written by user @Ertle_Turtle.]

One early summer morning, I awoke to a man I did not know standing over me while I slept. As a single mother to two small children, the trauma I experienced from having an intruder in my home while all three of us were sleeping soundly is one I do not wish on my worst enemy. Thankfully, we are all safe.

Phioto © Andrea Nusinov
Phioto © Andrea Nusinov

I don't miss the "things" this man took from my home, but what I did miss was feeling safe. I went through the rest of July in a haze of fear and gripping anxiety that caused me to awake in the night to wonder if someone was there . . . or did my boyfriend leave me here alone?

Baker's Dozen was my boyfriend's trip. Phish was his band. His love. I went along not sure what to expect, but excited I could at least sightsee in NYC during the day. As tears stream down my face, I'm here to tell you: Phish healed my soul.

During Night 11 of the Baker's Dozen, I stared around MSG to the thousands of people happily dancing, helping one another, and every single person was SO excited and genuinely happy. I wondered what they had that I didn't? I looked around wondering how all these thousands of people knew when to yell out at the same time, raise their arms at the same time---and those glow sticks! All I knew is I needed whatever these people had!

We got there really early on Night 12 to snag that "Boston Cream" donut. I danced the night away, laughed, watched the happiness on the faces of thousands, and stared at the band, in awe of what they were doing. A guy I had briefly met before the show knew it was my second show ever, so during set break he came to talk to me, and give me a thumb's up. I kept thinking, "Where did all of these nice people come from?!"

The final night arrived. I danced and danced, I laughed, I had a stranger buy me a water because they overheard me telling my boyfriend he forgot mine. I told my boyfriend, "don't worry about it, don't miss the show!", but this stranger then came back from their trip to the concessions to give me water! I had NEVER seen generosity like that in my 20 years of attending shows.

Photo © Andrea Nusinov
Photo © Andrea Nusinov

I cried during the last show. I cried because I was so happy. I cried because I knew it was almost over. I cried because I didn't want it to ever end.

I arrived back to Jacksonville, Florida, with a peace that passed any type of understanding. The fear and anxiety was completely gone. I cried the day we returned, and for days after we were home. I have listened to Phish 24/7 since I got returned from Baker's Dozen. I have read everything I can about these men. The men who I feel healed my soul without even realizing it. These are just men, I realize that. Men with families. Men who are just that, men. They healed one of the most traumatic things to happen to me yet in this short lifetime. The scene, their talent, and the community as a whole is something you will never be able to explain properly with words. Get to a Phish show to witness the healing.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I hope whomever comes across these words is able to experience the healing my soul received from Phish as well. Might be a noob, but forever a phan <3 Ashley

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Comments

, comment by PhranceMOD
PhranceMOD Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing.
, comment by timrpow
timrpow First experiences like these are the reason I love this band, and I love hearing of them. Mine too happened on an August weekend in New York State. Yes, it was 21 years ago and in Plattsburgh, NY- but the feeling is always the same, no matter what decade, what century, indoor or outdoor- control for smilers can never be bought.
, comment by PrinceOfPrussia757
PrinceOfPrussia757 This is an awesome story. Gave my goosebumps reading it. Truly defines what it's like going to a Phish show. Thank you.
, comment by GHOST8
GHOST8 I cried after I read this it was so beautiful and touching..... and on this day I needed to read this, I was in a dark place for the day before I read this...and I just put on 8/6/17 Simple, and after I read your words while listening to the band.... I left that place and felt better and brighter immediately;....thank you!!!!!!!....

and thanks again so much for sharing.... and welcome aboard!!!!
, comment by salorsino
salorsino Amazing - it takes a special person to understand what power music can have and the incredible things it can do for people. Beautiful to see how you have been saved by this band, hope you and your family stay safe and enjoy many more shows. Whatever you do, take care of your shoes!
, comment by Jephwa14
Jephwa14 Thank you for sharing and we're all happy to have you officially on board.

For everything that this coward stripped away from you, I hope experiences like your weekend with Phish (and all of us) overwhelms his cowardice and brings you peace.

Godspeed, friend! Enjoy the obsession :)

Jeff
, comment by nesta
nesta Holy Shit!!!... for a noob, you sure get IT ! I also cried, ...Night7... Meatstick>Dirt. Hearing those sweet chords out of that chaotic Meatstick space journey jam was a rebirthing for me and my spirit. Tears were streaming down my face by Mike's bass solo.

Thank you for sharing, because that is what life is about.
, comment by Tyler_The_Piker
Tyler_The_Piker This is a moving story. I myself have found solace, comfort, joy, peace and unbridled happiness in listening to the music of Phish. And then experiencing it live along with thousands of other people who share those emotions with me...well that is an indescribable feeling, isnt it? Yes it is.
, comment by MkePhan7
MkePhan7 Thank you for sharing. Written so well. I was moved to tears also, being at the whole run was such an emotional ruler coaster. That Izabella am I right? I'm still smiling and don't intend on stopping.
, comment by lysergic
lysergic It's awesome to hear that this band and the community surrounding them has been such a powerful force for good in your life, Ashley. I hope you are able to maintain that sense of calm. The trick is to surrender to the flow.
, comment by itsice88
itsice88 Thank you for sharing this. Beautiful.
, comment by Swag_space
Swag_space It was so nice to read about your experience with the band Ashley. It was actually a little hard to read by the end because I was crying.
My first show I was 15 it was on 2/25/2003 and I had bronchitis. I was trying to walk up the steps to get some air and fell over. I had 5 people come to my side help me up and a couple forced me to drink a bottle of water. That's when I knew that Gamehendge was a place where people are the best versions of themselves. I really hope you bring the feelings of love and light from the bakers dozen with you back to Florida and love your life everyday by the book. Hopefully one day we can share in the groove together, thank you for sharing your story.
, comment by Slewfoot
Slewfoot Thank you for this wonderful piece! So glad you're safe and that you found such safety with the music we all love.
, comment by whrdina
whrdina From my first show, I've always thought of Phish as church. I'm not religious, I don't believe in god, but I do believe in humanity. That faith is largely based on the version of us I see at Phish shows. It is a unique, sacred space that I am grateful to have had in my life for 23 years now. Welcome to the congregation! Working together, we change the world, one soul at a time.
, comment by JustACoupleTimes
JustACoupleTimes Great story!

You really painted an amazing picture of your experience.

Thanks for sharing!
, comment by hdorne
hdorne Thank you so much for sharing this. I genuinely believe that this band, this community, are a force for good in this world. I'm glad you were able to experience it in such a profound way after such a dark episode in your life.
, comment by SatisphriedTEH
SatisphriedTEH Simply put, this is what it's all about.
, comment by PhanFromWI
PhanFromWI I have been a Phan for most of my 35 years of life. I am fortunate to have found Phish early in my life.

I wanted to open an account on here after reading your blog. This is absolutely what they/IT is all about.

I will spare the details but my life has not been filled with joy. Most of my life is a story of tragedy, struggle, and challenge.

However, Phish heals my soul again and again. I mean this with all sincerity. For me and I feel the same goes for most of the community, THERE IS NOTHING BETTER.

This band/music/and community has never failed me. They never will.

So I say to you Ertle the Turtle... WELCOME to where you belong. You are WELCOME here.

May you find the peace and safety you need in your life for you and your family. And kudos to your boyfriend for bringing you to our Phamily.

Peace.
, comment by wombat4eva
wombat4eva Hey girl. I am crying reading about your experiences this summer. I am so glad the universe brought you into the fold. There are good people left!!! Bakers Dozen was one of the best times of my life and I am so grateful that I got to share my summer with such wonderful "strangers." If you haven't already, join "phish chicks" group on fb - I just joined this summer and it is just the coolest mosts supportive group of women. Thanks for sharing your story!
, comment by shaphty
shaphty I woke up yesterday in jefferson county jail, caught an assault charge for breaking up a fight that i provoked.... Was very fortunate to make the show last night.. It was my 88th show and man did it hurt... Every single song every lyric was mocking me for my mistakes and dragging me thru an emotional roller coaster until Hood. Felt like an axe was being hammered into my heart and had to bleed it out to feel better... Having troubIe putting thoughts to words. I love this community so much! all of you mean everything to me thank you for being here to experience it with
, comment by CariniCallini
CariniCallini Thank you so much for sharing! Your post inspired me to join the phish.net community. You've in one short post somehow managed to articulate the feeling I've been experiencing for over 20 years every time I go to a show or run into someone that's been lucky enough to experience this world. I've always found it so hard to explain this "thing" we all feel by being part of the community, but you nailed it. Thank you and welcome to the family!
, comment by Aetaram9
Aetaram9 Amazing story of triumph over this terrible thing that happened to you. So glad you are part of the phamily. I had goosebumps reading your story. Very inspirational and love that you had an amazing experience. Safe going. Peace love and phishy laser beams.
, comment by italianrose5
italianrose5 I am so happy to hear that you and your family are safe! Ya'll are in my prayers
, comment by GenoTreyBall
GenoTreyBall I too was there those 3 last nights. Makes me even happier now to know I was sharing in the groove with you. You get IT!!!!!! So happy to hear how good it was for your soul.
, comment by Jempphan
Jempphan Incredible story- eyes seem to be sweating a bit right now for some reason...

, comment by SkyTrainWand
SkyTrainWand If you've been attending shows for 20 years, but this was only your 2nd phish show, which shows are you talking about? Do you go to see any other bands?

Anyway, sorry you had to go through such a hard time, welcome to the board :) I'm glad the band helped you get through it.
, comment by rabscutle
rabscutle I'm sitting here listening to the Friday night show from 2017 Dicks. I feel something hitting me I didn't know I needed. Having grown up in Houston and watched Harvey wreak holy hell all over my childhood these last two weeks, I've been ready to crack at every turn. And now this band... these wonderful 4 men take me back to joy and feeling included in a family that stretches beyond mortal bounds and I find peace.

I was going to write up something more detailed, then I read your article. I can only say simply... yeah... what you said there... that... yes.

Welcome to the pham.
, comment by ForbinsDescent
ForbinsDescent Thank you for sharing your experience. So happy to hear how much Phish and the community that surrounds them has helped you, as it has all of us. I had the pleasure of attending those shows with you and they were a perfect example (as almost all phish shows) of what is possible when love triumphs over fear. We are the no men (and women) in no man's land.

"IT" =
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