Thursday, October 8, 2009
Went to my twenty-year high school reunion on Saturday. We are all still ourselves! Each person's gesture, movement - so familiar. We really knew each other: chemicals, nerves, muscles, skin, and heart. Some more deeply than others, but all more than we know.
But since the last time I saw you - the people I spent twelve physical years of Catholic school with - every cell on us, except nerve cells (the ones that feel and remember) have been replaced. We've died by pieces and replaced ourselves. You can see it: a canniness and a grace achieved - knowing death and birth - along with stray grey hairs and beginnings of wrinkles. It makes everyone look better.
There was so much to hear, report, laugh about, include, omit- it was too much. Wished I could cut out the talk, or turn down the volume, and just watch everyone. Really look - or smell - or touch. And before and after, on my seven-hour drives to Pennsylvania and back, I missed everyone. What comes up is sensory reassessment, revisiting, remembering. All the wantings, not-wantings, gettings, not-gettings - they percolate into the stories I live, now.
This rite is for Kerry - it was so fun to see you at the reunion - responding to your response, from way back!
Here in Vermont it is a speechless time of year. The colors, in perfect disorderly jumble, are clownish, are ridiculous, are laugh-out-loud. There is nothing to do but stand mouth agape - and applaud. The trees are going out, flaming - the trees are dying for the year, burning up. Things die to perform, they die to come into their own. This is a performance to match any performance anywhere in the world. It calls to mind Annie Dillard's quote "any life without sacrifice is a sacrilege." The dying must happen, for the life to be lived.