just a bit of light
These days, for me, are days of busyness shot through with the light of sudden memories. Gifts, and losses. Sometimes I'm not sure which is which.
Following news of my friend Berk's death--indeed, five minutes after I posted those paragraphs--I received news of the death of the father of my highschool sweetheart. We were together--10 years? 12? that poet-historian and I, and his father stalwartly disliked me every day of that time, because I was not Jewish. And because, he would add, I was sloppy and a dilettante and--oh, I don't know what else. They were probably always true things, though they cut to my heart.
I cried when I heard the news. He was in his late 80's, I had not seen him for--let me think--perhaps 35 years? I heard news, bit by bit.
And he is dead now, with his cleverness, his passion for Israel, his baritone voice. There's not a story I can tell now, not really.
And I don't really like being struck silent and bewildered.
My dearest friend from highschool stopped by a couple weeks ago with her mother, on a whirlwind tour of the coast, up to Canada. Over pancakes her mother told me stories and paused to say "I can see the young girl you were". I laughed and said I was glad, and that she is probably the only one now who can do that, look back through the decades to my 15 or 16 year old self and cherish that lost girl and all her dreams. It's a precious thing. Her daughter, my dear friend, mentioned the possible journeys of our retirement..or, well, her retirement. Retirement isn't in my dictionary of possibilities--but I could be tempted to weekends of irresponsiblity, in the name of the young crones everywhere ( & with fond nods to Lori and Marly). The mother--my own sole mother of the heart, in absence of those of blood--is 84 now, and vibrant as ever. I wistfully wished I really did share those enduring and clever genes; my friend says perhaps, by long acquaintance, they rub off.
It's a good thought. I'd love to be in my mid 80's racketing off somewhere. Or maybe hiking again, a little slowly, but with great stubborness. Climbing towards the light.