Monday, June 01, 2009

REUNION: Priceless. For everything Else, there's Mastercard

There is much to be said-- everything in fact-- for being with people you have known since the beginning of your adult life, to whom you have to explain nothing. There is only the joy of seeing them again, the embrace, the how are you? the not even needing to tell them what you have been doing, what prospects there are. To be alive at such times is enough, to be able to be who you really are.
So it was that I arrived at my Bryn Mawr Reunion-- I will not say which one it was, as there is a sense of embarrassment in our society at growing older, instead of realizing how lucky we are to have lived this long, gotten this far. Bryn Mawr, with its majestic Gothic buildings, the old M. Carey Thomas library now called 'The Great Hall' which indeed it always was even when we sat in little green-lit cubicles studying, fearful of dropping a pencil as it sounded like a thunderclap and a sneeze echoed forever, the Cloisters where legend had it Katharine Hepburn swam nude in the little pool the night before Comprehensives when Truth was we all did, for luck, the weeping cherry tree cut into the shape of a palapa, offering shade-- everything so preened and perfect, flags waving from the towers, it is lucky the eyes are still working, and the heart can remember how it felt to arrive there the first time, and be so overwhelmed, so intimidated, it was hard to see-- well, secondary anyway,-- how beautiful it was.
Lovely(although one shouldn't probably use words like that, as Feminists prevail)pink-shirted young undergraduates were there as helpers, a fantastically impressive woman, Jane McAuliffe, specialist in Islam, is the new president,and it is only right to feel a sense of pride to have gone there, and actually gotten through. There was no Phi Beta Kappa at Bryn Mawr, as we were told, on entering, that to graduate from there was the equivalent of Phi Bet Kappa anywhere else. AMEN.
A Hepburn quote is painted on the wall of the Campus Center: 'As long as you do what really interests you, at least one person will be pleased.' Amen to that, too. Would we had all learned that lesson, especially me.