August 7, 2013
I thought I’d post some thoughts on the upcoming Reunion. This post will again have my unique twist on things, since my mind works in nonlinear ways.
First of all, there has been an absence of posts this summer on this blog not due to vacation or lack of interest, on my part, but rather because I was in the process of selling a house. My wife and I had been blessed to be able to have a second home on, of all places, Cape Cod—my childhood dream. We’ve had the house 21 years and it was everything we wanted it to be— an escape, a haven, something totally different, a real work of our hands (it was designed and landscaped with sweat equity), and extension of our fantasy of what Cape Cod was to us.
What we’ve found out is that there is a time for everything, and in this case, there is a time for selling our corner of paradise. Two prominent reasons for selling are: 1. Cape Cod has become homogenized over the last 30-40 years; it used to be truly unique in landscape, people, activities, and viewpoint. Cape Cod had become just like the rest of America with Dunkin Donuts and loss of individuality. There are only a few “ma and pa” enterprises left on that Massachusetts peninsula. 2. As one ages, one is less able to keep up with the natural maintenance of a house where the Cape Cod weather is always trying to reformulate/restructure your house as well as your lawn and garden. One of the saving graces of selling for my wife and I are that it is under our control. I cannot image how it must have been for people on the Jersey Shore to have to been forced to move or rebuild due to Sandy. So, we are indeed fortunate. However, it still is bittersweet.
How does this relate to the 2013 Reunion, you may ask. Well, our closing is on August 16th, the first day of the reunion. I was planning on attending the reunion, but may nor be able to. I could have the closing in absentia, and this is still a possibility.
What this experience brings back to mind is the difficulty of separating from something that has imperceptibly become part of your life. In other words, you do not realize how much something means until the threat or possibility of its absence.
Everyone who had graduated or even attended Padua (without graduating) experiences this event of separation quite differently, I’m sure. For myself, I never really faced up to it. I just went through the motions of graduating without thinking or feeling the consequences. Maybe I should have. Maybe if I did truly be present at that moment of separation I may not have been trying to relive the Padua experience. Maybe or maybe not. It is quite unclear to me. All I know is that I find the separation I will be having from my dream home on Cape Cod will be very similar to my dream school on the hill above Watkins Glen.
February 11, 2013
One of the more memorable winter storms of the century has just followed one of the more memorable storms in the history of the U.S.A., namely Hurricane Sandy. In New England we survived it without much to-do, simply due to luck. Obviously, Hurricane Sandy wrecked more havoc and the victims of that storm are still recovering.
Why am I posting this photo of the class of 1955? Indeed, why am I? To my own mind I have not discovered the reason, but maybe someone can. I have discovered that the workings of the human mind imitates nature in all its fine details, and not vice versa. What this means for me is that time and place are more intimately connected than one would suppose simply by assuming that there is a great distance between the two.
There is a certain calm in the whirlwind of life. This photo (of which the only person I recognize is Valentine Lapsanski, a dear friend) portrays that calm. Nemo, recently departed, portrays the storm. They are related simply by the fact of association. Some may say that is, indeed, stretching analogy or for want of a better word, associations. But, I say, why not? The art of adaption is none other than the creative use of the most obvious and the most gracious (grace) which is given to us.
Having gone through the storm of Nemo I rejoice in finding Valentine smiling once again.
January 11, 2013
Most of the things in my life that keep me going are small but fundamental, and there are a lot of them. Say, for instance, feeling the softness of a warm sweater in winter, or the harmony of design when I look at my wife’s garden. There are so many of them, they are often clustered into the realm of insignificance, but they are far from insignificant.
On the other hand, there are big things in my life that keep me going, and they are overwhelming and infrequent. An example may be the New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl, since I’m from Rhode Island and 40 minutes from Gillette Stadium. Another may be a creative idea which may impel me to organize a work project. These large moments of life appear to be the bully on the block as compared to the small things. Continue reading Take Me Home
December 7, 2012
Again I am drawn to think and feel about themes I thought were long resolved and over-meditated (if there is a word like that). But the movement of the soul has thought otherwise.
Dialectics have fascinated me all my adult life, and in many ways that could be a thumbnail of what life is for me— a creative balance and interplay of opposites. Artistically in recent years this has revealed itself to me in, of all things, the color gradient or its black and white counterpart, the grayscale gradient. Other examples of it are most common in how we as humans think and feel. For every “beginning” there is an “end.” For every “presence”, an “absence.” Continue reading An Absence