*as i get long gone,
out where the wind blows,
the desert sky, she flies by for miles
as i keep walkin’ people keep talkin’
about things they’ve never seen or done
homeless sleep in the park,
sweet hearts kiss in the dark,
i myself just move on through town
the moon keeps on shinin’
the rich keep on dinin’
oh, how i love the highway sun…
There are people who promote very specific ideas about health—do this, don’t eat this, go here, get this done—and it’s wonderful whenever anyone finds an answer they’ve been looking for. But I’d wager there is something more like a lightness of being that’s superior to any one fashion or bite of information. Something that can’t be wielded or controlled or warped. Something that comes from tuning out the noise and just going with your gut. Maybe it’s like surfing—you have to just catch a wave and ride it along. Sometimes you’ll fall, skin your knees, swallow sand…but oh what a ride!
This is just one of the tropes central to the “Health & Wellness” theme of our issue. Each year, we embark on organizing the latest, most vital information to help you look good, feel good and live great. From year to year, new information becomes available, and new trends flood the market, but the one constant is about blending good old-fashioned common sense with modern innovation. Our special section on Long Island’s Top Doctors focuses on this by profiling leaders in diverse areas of the medical world ranging from neurology to pediatrics to cosmetic surgery. What they all have in common is undying passion to pursue advancements in their fields while keeping rooted in the values that attracted them to medicine in the first place (hint: patient care).
The key to all of this seems to be letting go of hang-ups about specific details of “what is healthy” and concentrating instead on an overall feeling of wellness (“the condition your condition is in”). One person who seems to have found a purity in Following Leads is Edie Falco, our feature interview this month. You know her as the…um, compromised, but tough as nails sort of woman who’s either a mafia wife or pill-popping ER nurse, and that’s just the point. Falco has not only found peace with her darkness, but is able to find the good in even the depths of it to channel her vulnerability to her characters, making them human for us in a way we can—and want to—learn from them.
Finding a way to embrace all the things that come your way is, I think, the ultimate sign of strength. Not everything will work, or make sense, for where you’re going (I for one, can’t forgive certain politics, can’t abide instant coffee, don’t “diet” and would be just fine if I never see another Broadway musical) but the point is to not begrudge them. To add to your info-hopper, our compilation of wellness editorial includes making your way through the Calorie Con Game, profiling one Haute Habitat you might want to call home, updating your current abode with purer air and other improvements, mansion-hopping for a step into Historic Long Island, slowing down to appreciate astronomy, art, dining or just running away to a secluded Caribbean getaway—Punta Cana anyone? You may not add all these to your bucket list but you’ll probably take on at least a few. And, for sure, it’ll all spring you that much closer to where you’re going.
*out in the back, the poet writes his songs…
* “The Poet,” on Ryan Bingham’s Junky Star album