To Strike A Chord

The other night Paula was away and I was hosting my co-editors of a journal, call it literary, but we envision it as a passionate expression of faith in our community. We had met at a local restaurant and came back to our house for coffee and dessert because I was on call for a hotline. One of the things that Paula and I love is the ritual of tea or coffee, the implements for either one. I love that the pots are a different shape. I love containers. The way I used to love wine or beer glasses, a coco mug as opposed to a tea cup, and so on.
While we sat around the table talking about the magazine I made coffee and put out the dessert a friend had made. I asked everyone how would they like their coffee, what strength, sweet or not, foamed milk or (foamed) half and half. They barely looked up and said, “whatever you have is OK.” But I wanted to make something special. They weren’t having any!
So two things come to me today as I write. One, is that I’m so happy to be with Paula. Sometimes after so many years I forget what the “cream” of our togetherness is. Loving a shared experience is central to our life as humans. The eye contact thrown across a room when we meet up with an experience we agree on – or loathe. A remembrance that comes to us simultaneously. When we adopted our daughters I wanted them to each have a friend, more a cohort, an accomplice in this life. The life we were taking them to as well as the life we were asking them to let go of. I wanted them to look at each other in years coming and share a remembrance, a smell, a feeling. Now we’re included in so many of their experiences and they fill our world with theirs.
My literary cohorts and I do too. We came together, winnowed in many meetings that at first a lot of others came to and then it was us, our group. We capitalized it, Our Group. Like “Our Family, Our State, Our Country.” Like pack animals the smell of the den is in our nostrils, we commit to a shared future.
This is the crux of what matters. The skin of the whole, the matrix that holds us together. It’s not that all the groups I belong to love each other, probably not. But they are all part of me and I reside in them. It doesn’t mean I get along completely with any of them but it means I care enough to keep the group above me – or I leave. I’ve done that too. But they are why I’m here – all of them, the ones I’ve left or been kicked out of and the ones I’m in now. They are the weft of my life. They are where I stand and what I stand on as I live day to day.
The dance of the individual in community is varied, the choices are many. And though we are greater as a group the music of the spheres can be initiated by any one of us.

10 thoughts on “To Strike A Chord

    • Hi Joanie, Thanks so much for responding – I love that you are playing tennis and doing your clay – everything I have of yours, including the runes I made in the woodchip barrel are so dear to my heart. I love them and use them all everyday!
      I could be a lot better at the technical stuff, but there’s a sign-up form on the right side of each page of my blog and that should get you signed up. I’m not sure if the things I write on the blog actually get delivered – that’s another question….keep trying, thank you – love to you and Peter and your fantastic and wonderful, amazing and super kids. xoxo P

  1. Pam, your words say it all. It’s been eye opening to be alone in a new place after living in such a rich community before. I have weighed the importance of many things and your words are right on target. thanks- Tilly

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