“And when all that was left was ashes, she would again clothe herself in flame. Rising from the dust of her past to rekindle the spark of her future. She was a Phoenix, her own salvation; rebirthed, renewed, resurrected.” — LaRhonda Toreson
She could hold her own on the stage with the likes of Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Roger Daltrey, Prince and David Bowie. Her stage presence was mesmerizing and each performance, was a soul-wrenching out pouring of love and appreciate for her audiences, and I will always regret not seeing her live in concert.
Growing up in the 70’s, I didn’t know much about Her early career or life with Ike. I had heard the occasional story but guess I didn’t pay that close attention, as I got older, I grew to appreciate her music and her style. I always loved her lion’s mane, those incredible legs, and her boundless energy. She was like a rock and roll superhero whose voice could unite the world.
After learning more about her story of abuse and overcoming life with Ike, she became for me a personal symbol of the power of woman hood, strong, determined, resilient and confident in her own abilities to take control of her life and her career.
Like Tina, I grew up with parents who abused each other. Their fighting, and cycles of violent behavior became the story of my childhood. I often dreamt of the day when I could break free and start a new life, my life. Thankfully, I did, and the shadows of my early years have been replaced with love and light and joy. Tina did too, but her road to freedom, unlike mine took many dark and twisted turns. But she ultimately found her way through the darkness. Her early encounters with Buddhist chanting and her later adoption of Buddhist spiritual practices helped her chose a different path, one that led her to her own version of love, light and joy.
As I’ve come to learn more about her story, I realize it is a woman’s story, yet beyond this, it is the Human story. The details may differ from person to person But it is a story filled with our heart breaks and fears, our hopes and dreams. It is the story of our search for love and our triumphs over life’s many obstacles. It the story of who we were, who we are and who we choose to become.
As I reflect on Tina’s story, I am sending a loving thought out into the universe wishing her, continued love, happiness, prosperity and health and I thank her for the many lessons of strength, courage, and love she has shared with the world.
Tina Turner is the Bright Lighter who lights the way forward, ever forward when I need to dig deep within myself and find my own Phoenix Rising.