Sunday, May 4, 2014

Clementine

I had no idea that going to my 25th high school reunion would have an impact of extreme emotional - nay, psychic - recalibration. Trust me, if I had, I would most definitely have stayed away.What an irony, that the place which made me the articulate intellectual that I am, has reduced me to mush. I'm going to call this an opportunity and turn my mind to other things for a while. Crying incessantly is SO bad for the face.

I stood amongst my peers - amongst generations of St. Clement's girls - the ones still in uniform transposed against the women who graduated in 1944 and I felt a connection that caused physical pain. The present merged with the past - as in some fantasy film about the quantum multiverse - in such a way that I could not repress emotion. I could not. I was powerless against the surge and I am (for all my extroversion) extremely emotionally composed. I have to be, because the table of emotion I generally restrain is so gripping that it takes me under hard whenever it has the chance.

My former classmates are just what they were raised to be (though stating it is entirely reductionist): iron-strong, intelligent, insightful women affecting small or large changes in our world. They also continue to be (to a one) hilarious, pragmatic, honest women who cannot shut up. Lord, at dinner, 17 of us sounded like a convention of hundreds. How often does one have the luxury to experience a small nervous collapse amongst others, having not seen those others for a quarter century (in some cases), and be met with total comprehension and the perfect response.

I'll just say this, if I can squeeze it out in some sensical manner: The penalty for infinite potential is action. You make choices in life - many great choices, some bad choices. I am not speaking about judgement or regret. I'm speaking of the reality of finite possibility, of which we are so blissfully unaware in childhood. Time goes by and you can't keep everything close in your heart. There are too many things competing for attention. But occasionally, something forces you to see the things that have fallen away. To truly see them for the losses they are - just as you see all you have maintained and accomplished for the gains. Grief and joy merge and you are brought into the fold.

This, after the worst winter ever. It's amazing I can string together a sentence. And I truly hope I can make some sense of this over time. Because where I'm at now is the chasm.

8 comments:

  1. I can't pretend to understand, but I'm sending you a million hugs! Hope things looks better on the other side!

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    1. I'm sure they do! Thank you for your hugs, G. They have been very helpful. xo

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  2. For me high school reunions are emotionally powerful affairs --- fun and surprising and thought- provoking for days afterward. I'm not surprised at your reaction!

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    1. I don't know why I thought it would merely be a fun social event. Apparently, most people avoid the reunion (perhaps for just this reason!) Thanks for your comment, M. Good to know you can relate.

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  3. I wouldn't go to a school reunion if you paid me...simply because it was oh so awful. What a blessing (although obviously well disguised) to be in the company of such astonishing women. Hang in there.

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  4. Your articulate intellect always shines through. Bravo, and hugs for bracing against the gripping emotion. I know how that feels. xoxo

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    1. I suspect you do, Susan. Thank you. xo

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