It’s easy for things to seem so perfect in a sort time span. Things are forgiven in the name of a temporary peace that would be seen with much harsher eyes if their consequences were not so easily painted over with the watercolors of a weekend.
Rudeness is rare, touchiness is temporary and offenses are only fleeting. The laughter is legendary. All the stories are new; nothing and no one is boring yet. I know all of this. I am aware of the appeal of the escape.
So why idealize this last weekend?
Because this was no cruise, or dude ranch special we bid on over E-Bay. No thrown together conglomerate of diverse personalities on a corporate retreat or over-the-hill gang of ex-jocks playing practice games with minor stars from World Series one-shots. Our common interests were deeper, and we still have a community to share when we get to our places of orgin. Sure, it comes with an “ignore” function. But we will see each other again.
Some of us already have done this. Already we scheme for the next gathering. Already we are planning the next set of memories. The loyalty is the difference in this band of adventurers, the reason but also the riddle.
The quick camaraderie is not the thing. That is a function of shared vocabulary and common questions. What moves us beyond our shared interest, into loyalty and love?
I think it is because we all have had to do one thing. In order to write you have to be willing to share. Every story, every poem is a small part of us we have let loose to share with the world at large. We are vulnerable. The anonymity of the internet, illusionary as it may be, is our one protection. In coming together face-to-face we have abandoned our protection and stand before one another, naked in a way those in our stories rarely are.
We have been brave enough to face rejection and ridicule and have been accepted as who we are. We have passed the test. Now and forever, those I took it with will be bound to me and I to them.
We are a family, and anywhere two of us are together, there is a home.