To begin the story at the beginning, read "Part 1: Post 1: Beginning Again," published in January, 2013. To consult a description of the campus, read "Part 1: Post 14: The Greening of Campus," published in March, 2013.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Year 2: 6th Interlude

Hi, it’s Daniel-of-2014 here.

Is it really time to do another "interlude"? This past month and a half has flown by somehow. Did I skip a post somewhere? How is it there have been so few since Mabon?

Anyway, I sit down to start this entry, and I realize I’m about to sound like the proverbial broken record; another interlude, another post about the cuteness of my daughter, the advance of the seasons, and getting together with the others to celebrate the Sabbats.

And yet there are changes. Carly is talking now, not just a smattering of isolated words but two and even three-word sentences. It’s possible to have a conversation with her, of sorts.

And when we get together for the Sabbats, it’s starting to feel less like an exercise in nostalgia and more a new thing, a new tradition with its own wholeness. It’s been three years, after all; the loss of the school as an institution is not a new thing anymore. In those three years, a lot has happened—Carly’s whole life, for example, and a quarter of Aidan’s. This will likely be his last Samhain as a Sprout. Based on his comments at the march in September, he could start next year as a student, which raises the question, how do we have students if we don’t have a school?

Greg articulated the shift for us at a meeting of the Six a few weeks ago.

“We have a decision to make,” he said. “Do we want to move on, or do we want to move on?”

Greg has a knack for saying the things the rest of us know and don’t know that we know. He observes well. He witnesses. But his initial synopsis of a situation is often cryptic. It took the rest of us a couple of seconds to realize what he meant and to agree.

“Yes, it’s time,” said Joy. “The ‘over’ is over.”

“Curious,” observed Karen, “each of us would say it in a different way.” 

Greg nodded.

“How would you put it, Daniel?” asked Allen. “You’re the Chronicler.” 

They have started calling me that, but it doesn’t just mean that I’m a blogger. I thought for a moment.

“I’d say it depends on what story we want to be telling,” I said, after a moment’s thought, “whether the closing of the campus was the end, the beginning, or the middle of the tale.  But” --and here a new idea, a new perspective occurred to me—“I don’t think that’s the best question, because I don’t think we get to decide what story we are telling or where we are in it. We do get to decide whether we are telling one story together, or six different stories.”

The others seemed to think that was profound—their faces changed. I was rather pleased with it myself. I don’t know where half the things I say come from, they just arrive and I let them out. Just like I don’t know how or why I came to join the school in the first place. All my best decisions surprise me.

“Daniel the Chronicler,” Kit said, fondly. “You reflect us, refract us. We would not be what we are without you.” I blushed at the unexpected praise, but Kit continued. “And that, I think, is the answer—Daniel changes our wholeness, shifts the dynamic of us. But he couldn’t do that if there weren’t still an ‘us,’ could he?” The rest of us looked around at each other, a bit stunned, but reassured. Kit was right. But she cut off further discussion with one hand. “But I think we should not talk about the issue further right now. This needs more dreaming.”

And we went on to talk about other things.

I know all this might seem a little arcane, but that is really how the group of us discuss issues. We are used to it, so it makes sense to us. I guess the way to explain it is that instead of talking about pros and cons and wants and needs and opinions, we mostly observe and refine where we are in a decision process. Eventually, we observe that the decision has been made. I don’t mean that we never actually decide things as a group the way other people do, only that we do it less often. Charlie once told me that the big decisions make themselves, and the key is to focus on becoming a person whose decisions are good. I guess that’s what we do as a group—work on being the kind of group that has good decisions while we wait for the decision to present itself.

Each of us has a knack for taking care of a different dimension of the group process—Greg witnesses, Joy intuits shifting energies, Kit entrains with relevant myths, I attend to what narrative we are playing out, and so on. Together, we make a single conversation, a single, gradually shifting entity, the Six (sometimes we are more or less than six, but we’re always called the Six).

I’m not sure that the above conversation is really clear to you, my readers, since you are not used to how we do things. But I’m going to act like a master and be mysterious by not explaining.  I’ll do as Kit said and let it dream a while longer.

In the meantime, my family has been invited to a children’s Hallowe’en party this week. The hosts own the in-home daycare we use for babysitting occasionally, so Carly is friends with some of the other children there. We’re going to the party so she can play with her friends. I hadn’t known kids her age can have friends yet, but evidently she can and does. Fortunately, the party is on Saturday, not on Hallowe’en itself, because Hallowe’en is the same day as Samhain.

The two holidays are very different, as I discovered years ago—the decorations and traditions are mostly the same, but the themes are almost diametrically opposed. As the years have gone by, my wife and I have celebrated Samhain more and more and Hallowe’en less and less, but we’ve never actually made a declaration about it. The two merge into each other. How Carly will sort all of this out, I do not know. 

I should probably ask Aidan how he did it.                    

[Next Post: November 3rd., Samhain]

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