Maggie threw a 7 day party at her posh Berkshires retreat and we had a blast: Maggie, Mary, Phran, Cate, Kyle, Ryan, Cameron, Scarlett, Clover, Tristan, Matthew, Maureen, and me.
It was a week that’ll replenish me for a year, the year thus far being fun-filled, and interesting, a new sort of sadness losing a friend to dementia, a dear friend suffering a child’s death, the death of Uncle Billy (the last of my father’s six siblings), and the Leafs dropping another game 7 in Boston.
My six year friendship/tutorial with Donald Hall came to a close with his funeral and burial in New Hampshire the week before the BSO opened their 8 week Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood, so there was/is plenty to write about. I’m getting clued into things that may already be apparent to you.
Thinking about the effect on my ability to write profitably (in re: both Mammon and the Muse) my scant acquaintance with Don Hall only showed me that people are signifiers, not paradigms. And that a writer’s primary and unfinishable project is the fashioning of his own mythology – his best try at making sense, at writing in ink not pencil who I am, where am I, where did I come from, how did I get here, wherever here is, and why – why me?
I became a better writer during that span – in the midst of which sister Martha died, I got gravely ill, and cousins died, including Michael Crawford. Next, I need to revise the myth that I’d disdained writing as a career when I was 24. New version acknowledges the young man’s fear, and proceeds faithfully.
While there is no reconciliation with death, without it we are carefree; sometimes, death is a catalyst. And a week with seldom-seen family is all the replenishment I need.