"I don't know, Pop. Maybe. That happened over a year ago and I still don't know what it was supposed to be about. Just that it left me with a humbled kind of feeling. I mean unless you've gone through that kind of thing it's quite impossible to convey, do you know what I mean?"
"I can imagine it would be that way," Ives told her, remembering his own experience from long ago.
And Ramirez nodded, and then said, "The only kind of spirits I care about are these," and he raised a glass in a toast to her return.
Caroline, Ives' daughter has just returned from a stint in the Peace Corps in Nepal. Ives is throwing a little dinner party for her, with close family friends. Caroline has just finished telling the group about a profound spiritual experience she had while in Nepal, and the party has come to a standstill. Ramirez, Ives' best friend, brings everybody back to Earth with his comment and toast.
Tonight, the members of my book club descend on my house. In fact, in about half an hour, my living room will be crowded with people. My book club has been meeting for almost ten years now. Members have come, and members have gone. Right now, our core group are the diehards. They show up in snowstorms and heat waves. They are some of my best friends, and our book discussions go a lot like the one described in the above passage.
Someone makes some kind of profound comment that sort of brings everything to a thoughtful halt. We sit around with our plates in our hands, contemplating what has just been said. And then we joke and try to move on to dessert. Most of the time, I'm the Ramirez of the group, trying to keep the festivities lively and upbeat. I'm not always successful.
Tonight, for God's love number sixteen of Lent, I lift up the members of my book club. Each one is an important person in my life. They've seen me through a lot of crap. I've seen them through a lot of crap. We know each other. We bless each other with care and compassion and good humor.
Now, Saint Marty has to go check on his dip in the oven. Cheers.
|Don't forget to bring the spirits|