and so w/ a vulcan wave and an intimate smile, ezra disappeared down the apartment corridor w/ the our own carole lombard, vivacious, charismatic aunt eileen, to the dark, throbbing and yielding new york streets below for his day and life ahead.
'alas, alone, along, alove, the...'
i borrow from james joyce's end of 'finnegan's wake' as a backward glance and nod at the current sarah lawrence college president who we were told teaches the course on 'who's afraid of james joyce?' (who's not??).
in truth (outside of beloved literature) are there any 'good' endings to life's drama or necessary partings? any decent or at least not fretful ways to say 'goodbye?' -- especially to one's own child?
(i remember the start of durrell's 'alexandria quartet, when the 'sea is high w/ the thrill' -- or is it 'rush' -- 'of the wind...' as he longs achingly for 'her child', justine's child... and then the drama unfolds...)
i wonder if any of the colleges ez and i visited this week teach such a course? 'tears and fears in american literature: separation anxiety at a child's departure' i'd sign up immediately! or, if no one has yet claimed the academic space, be ready to teach the course if it could bring me back in time and space closer to my own children...
the time, once again and always, disappears. so much expectation ('great expectations'...) and then -- whooosh -- the time with ezra recedes so quickly like the faint car lights following behind us on the taconic (iconic? ironic?) parkway as our mutual journey disaggregates and i am left alone, in the car, on the subway, on the train, traveling now and once again by myself in the vast and echoing american landscape.
i lie in bed this morning, trying to catch up a bit on the sleep i didn't get while together this week, seeing my second son in my perpetually cluttered mind's eye finding his taxi to port authority, boarding the bus ('all aboard for greenfield, that's a last call for greenfield!'), throwing his NMH laundry bag of old clothes and bare necessities underneath the 'buus while lugging his precious ibook and headphones up on the stairs into the quiet of the transport for his early 6 am journey back to the isolation and stimulus of boarding school.
i want, at such times, to thank-you my sons for sharing this life's journey with me. i feel, at times, it's tedious for them, worldly and smart teenagers bursting out to be real adults, yet still having the father around with his incessent humor, tense at times about arrangements, over-scheduled, rushing to college tours and still full of the memories of his life on these fragrant shores -- all those agonizing and fraught moments a child must endure with their parent.
yet, these sons are kind to be patient with me, as i, at times, seek to be w/ them. it is another aspect of the parent-child relationship, but now they are close to real independence. they have wings on their sneakers, altho with deep roots in our family love.
alas, again, what to say, but i do love being w/ them, having them nearby, observing their ease and comfort with whoever they meet, their bright, eager intelligence and casual humor, their deep and caring thoughtfulness about the world and those within it.
shakun says i love my sons too much. maybe she's right. altho she says it w/ a wry smile knowing, as i do, that there's hardly such a thing as 'too much love'. maybe too much attachment. too much attention. too much sentimentality et al. but love? never too much love, methinks.
so, off y0u go, dear son. i must toss you back in to those wine-dark seas. each of us our own odysseus. each anchored to our own noble quest.
for the world is your oyster and i am simply the ancient mariner on the shore watching the gulls frolic, the fish leap, the seals splash as the sun sets spraying light of such brilliant, diffuse color over the distant horizon..
om shanti! om shalom!