Friday, April 29, 2011


“Still the heart resists, something in her yearning for what was. It is hard to replace history with a future yet unnamed.”*

In truthfulness, we’ve taken a sabbatical the last few months—well, in part because we’ve been busy—but mostly because we knew all posts were leading to this one. Goodbyes are tricky. Part of us wants to scream—“We made it!”—and soak in the warm beams of relief, excitement, and satisfaction. Another part, the one tugging at us now, insists that in the complete abandon of celebration we risk practicing ingratitude for each piece of our experience’s success—something in us longing for the familiar and comfortable. The future’s a pretty scary place.

Jerry walked across upper campus today; it was one of those perfect spring days which occur more frequently in memory than in real life. We do not remember days; we remember moments—and memory was heavy as it recalled his first walk across this lawn. He saw a collage of rushing to class, sitting under the pines with Prudence taking lunch, classes conducted under a canopy of vaulted space with room enough for all the ideas to fit. The grass was just cut; the scar from running pipe finally bandaged with sod; the light suggesting April, youth and that anticipation born on the same day as spring.

He sat on the embankment in the shade of Old Main, watching the last minutes of the last day pass through the tower of the clock with the sun. Five o’clock struck—the usual chime followed by the usual count: one…two…three……four………five— the space between each ring expanded, a gentle ritardando signaling the close of two years. Time to leave.

Pithy gathered their books, and with an almost imperceptible glance over their shoulder, they walked towards the parking lot.

Nostalgia can cripple—nostalgia, not only for the beautiful that we had, but also for the unturned: footfalls sound in the memory down the passages we didn’t take, echoing towards the doors we never opened. But those doors remain shut—and we’re happy to leave because we know that the best memories are of the moments that ended when they should have. Still—the future belongs only to those who’ve purchased it with their past, and so we rest for a small moment in the in-between, connecting the effort, the love, and the good from our past two years to our next step.

"There are many of us here, alert, scanning the ether for direction, for evidence, for a word to coax us forward, some gesture we will recognize as ours alone to take us from what was to what is, and that small but necessary glimmer of what will be."*

*Borrowed from our friend, Maya: