I've just returned from an amazing event - in fact several events that I'll be reflecting upon over the next few days here at the MINDSIEVE. The setting for the photo above was the ALL Classes Reunion/Celebration of my home town's 100 Year anniversary of its public schools' founding. That evening, my 1960 graduating class represented the largest individual group's gathering in the room, as well as I believe, setting a school record for classes returning to reunion celebrations! Yes, 50 years and out of our 73 classmates, we had a 70% turnout (adjusting the number for the 16 of us already lost to death). Seventy percent!
You may be wondering about the photo - of all the photos taken on my camera - and there were many....some were clear and some were blurry. Yet, in my attempt to savor each photo, I found it difficult to delete even those photos with closed eyes and blurry features. Upon reflection I found that perhaps the blur of the photos may've been symbolic of the blur of emotions in the gatherings of a few days and most especially in the heady experience of our last evening together - memories running the gamut of emotion - happy, sad, silly, ridiculous, precious, mind-changing, life-changing memories and heartbeats filled the room of nearly 600 people coming together to celebrate the joy and mystery of our years apart and the phenomenon of our returning to once more embrace each other in love, hope and optimism for the future.
The photo featured here happens to be a photo of me greeting one of my deceased mother's friends, Mattie Lee C., from the Class of '39. My mother has been gone from this life for 6 years and to embrace this dear friend/classmate of hers, and a mother that all of our class would have known and recognized, and to have her arms come around me was to have a part of my mother there in that room. How could I delete that photo - blurry or not?
At events such as class or family reunions, how conveniently we may be able to blur our memories, making them sometimes better and sometimes worse than they really were. Unlike our tony digital cameras, IPhones, and recorders of today, it may not be so easy to delete those memories that would better be forgotten. Far beyond the tech of our gadgets though is our God given ability to come together with old friends and meld the sadness or maybe even regret or bitterness into an amalgam of love, tenderness, and forgiveness - a celebration of joy - a celebration of the gift of our lives together.
It was a grand celebration - one I wouldn't have missed for anything!