Thursday. He was running late for lunch. My college roommate. Just like him to be late. My mind whirring back to college…
Short (very) and stocky build. Permanently attired in University of Minnesota Gopher sweatpants and an oversized sweat shirt with hoody. Everything hung large. Everything rumpled. “Unkempt, having an untidy or disheveled appearance.” Webster’s should have added his name. He was the magnetic center – the beating heart – of every college party. Quarter-bounce champ into Pabst Blue Ribbon at the Alibi. Ringleader for late night games of Hearts. Out late. (Very) Up late. (Very) Blessed with a quick wit and quicker on the ice. Selected easiest path to graduation: Art. Sculpture. Sociology. Physical Education. And even this was a struggle. Yet, he was never late for hockey practice. Vote never taken, but most likely to end up next to the curb.
He walked in. Hair salt and peppered grey. Blazer. Blue open collar shirt. Tropical skin tone. (He’s got it together.)
“…maybe that’s the lesson for me today. to hold on to these simple moments. to appreciate them a little more. there’s not many of them left. i don’t ever want that for you, finding things that make you happy shouldn’t be so hard. i know you’ll face pain, suffering, hard choices, but you can’t let the weight of it choke the joy out of your life. no matter what you have to find the things that love you; run to them. there’s an old saying: that which does not kill you makes you stronger. i don’t believe that. i think the things that try to kill you make you angry and sad. strength comes from the good things: your family, your friends, the satisfaction of hard work. those are the things that keep you whole, those are the things to hold on to when you’re broken.”
~ Jax Teller, Sons of Anarchy
“Every spring, an interactive installation takes over a high-traffic area in Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles and sets a collective ritual. The installation offers a fresh look at the idea of cooperation, the notion that we can achieve more together than separately. The result is a giant instrument made of 21 musical swings; each swing in motion triggers different notes, all the swings together compose a piece, but some sounds only emerge from cooperation. The project stimulates ownership of the public space, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds, and creating a place for playing and hanging out in the middle of the city centre. A traveling version of the project is currently being made for these collective moments to spread around the world.”
On August 23, 1992, it was a calm, windless, average summer day in Miami. Yet, the undercurrent was boiling. South Florida natives were tense – eyes glued to Bryan Norcross, the television meteorologist and hurricane specialist. We were bracing for what would become the 4th most powerful storm to hit landfall in the U.S.
We took shelter at our friends’ (Bob & Hallie’s) home. Rather than jogging north as predicted, the hurricane moved South and we were directly in its path. That night, the winds and rains pounded away for hours. We moved into an interior room, the bathroom, to seek maximum protection. Six-week old Rachel was tucked safely away. Our baby girl slept soundly through the howling winds and rain. She slept through the crashing of a huge Oak tree which rattled the home and all the windows. Colicky Rachel slept better that terrifying night than she had on any night in the prior month. And then our dear sweet girl, proceeded to wail away for most of the 5 sweltering days which followed when we had no water or electricity. (I remember this clearly honey, yes I do. No revisionist history here. No Mme.)