hermitage . . .
(Friday, June 6th): Today, G. and I are making our way up to the coastal town where our granddaughter, A. is graduating from high school tonight. Other relatives and family are doing the same from as far away as Minneapolis, Chicago and Arizona. These family occasions spaced years and sometimes even a decade apart, bring people together who would not normally see each other at all, (like me and my ex-husband.) So, there’s opportunity to either mix and visit or avoid people due to the large numbers of people present. There’s nothing easier than being invisible in the midst of many, is there?
Sort of reminds me of the search to find Taoist hermits that Red Pine and others made to the secluded mountains of Sian in China. Bill Porter thought that hermits were in plain sight sometimes, because you might not know that you were looking right at them. I think it’s a good example to take for this sojourn. I can be there for my graduating granddaughter and to retreat in strength and quietude the rest of the time.
This will be a good tactic because neither of us is wholly well. I am able to walk and go on stairs using a crutch. As of yesterday, I’m even able to drive a little, using my left foot to brake. G.’s back and nerve pain are not much better these days. What a pair we make! The younger generation has taken over in case anyone noticed (meaning me.) I keep a rather firm hand on what we do over the holidays at my house. But my daughters are certainly capable and willing to “take it from here.” We’ll see how this sea change goes this weekend. I’ll let you know too.
(Monday, June 9th): Well, we made it! While it was a little grueling physically and we needed and had lots of help from my daughters, M. and C. to fetch things from the car to our little studio room (see ‘room with a view’) G. and I managed to walk or ride in a wheelchair to the graduation on Friday night and to stay for the socials on Saturday and Sunday. Remember above when I mentioned all the folks convening? There were three pairs of exes and current marriages across two generations. When the reason for getting together is to celebrate a young person’s graduation, poised to enter a whole new world for her, people can be gracious and cordial towards each other, especially when there are lots of people around. This self-regulated kind of gentility can do wonders towards mitigating long-festering resentments, misunderstandings and tension.
On the other hand, some things don’t change that much. Throughout the entire weekend, only one remark rankled me to bits. But G. my husband, had this wise admonition: “a good man is worth reproach.” In this case, I took his advice. The rest of the weekend went well. The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful. Our granddaughter was happy and relaxed, surrounded by her friends and family. There was plenty of food and I only had to be a Chinese hermit for a little while. We had help packing and emptying the car, only forgetting some of G.’s meds which will be mailed to us soon by my daughter C. Thanks to all for a good time!