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Goodbye to Dolores

Posted: 29 Nov 2022, 21:00
by admin
Using the electric pot I had brought from home, I made myself a cup of coffee and sat in the wooden chair at the small desk.The dark fir planks of the walls had two windows without glass so that the night air wafted in through the lacy curtains.From the desk drawer I pulled out a sheaf of white vellum paper.One side was blank and the other filled with the notes and cleft symbols for the Gregorian chant.Someone had cut the sheets of music into quarters and stowed them there in the desk should any guest need writing paper.In the stillness of the morning, I waited for the world to wake up.The forest of scrub oak and alder, though still shrouded in night, would soon light up with the first rays of dawn.It felt as if I were writing my obituary.The deed itself of making the decision was now in the past.I thanked President Phibbs for his vision of interdisciplinary education.I thanked the Mathematics Department for giving me a chance.I wrote at lightning speed, putting language to whatever surfaced.I thanked the Jesuits who had trekked to Tacoma and constructed Bellarmine Prep.I thanked Dad for taking me fishing on Chambers Creek and throughout the Salish Sea, for waking me up before dawn to hunt deer in the Cascade Range and duck on the lakes of Eastern Washington.As I wrote, a new thought broke in, that a specific cosmology had been transmitted to me before I could think, before I could speak, before I could know my name.And even now, a grown man, my foundational cosmology came from those early years.Dad, growing up on the banks of Fraser River, was a culmination of one tiny branch from a hundred thousand years of human evolution, and Mom, from her place near Alki Point in West Seattle, was another culmination, another tiny endpoint in a long, branching development.Like all humans, Mom and Dad had absorbed a system of assumptions about reality from their ancestral relations.That’s where my cosmology began.Not with Lemaître’s theories.It began when Mom nursed me, when she enveloped us children in ten thousand acts of love, none of which we would remember but that would shape our sensibilities throughout our lives.I thanked Leslie and Nettie for our journey together in that ineffable world of infancy and toddlerhood.And for teaching me profound truths.My earliest memory was Leslie making me laugh, again and again, conveying her intuition that I was important, that I, her baby brother, mattered.And when Nettie appeared, she latched onto another dimension of our parents’ cosmology.She taught us, in her subconscious way, the metaphysical hunch that kindness is what matters more than anything else.My sisters put in place the foundations of my cosmic sense of things.When I returned home, Denise and I talked into the early morning about what I had found in Thomas Berry’s The New Cosmic Story. I needed to take on the challenge Berry had articulated.I needed to study, needed to learn so much in order to do this right.I could no longer stay at the University of Puget Sound.Later that morning, I phoned Bruce Bochte, who was down in California with the Mariners playing the Oakland Athletics baseball team.Still vibrating with excitement, I ran through the main ideas of Berry’s article.He instantly understood the monumental sense of it.We made plans to get together when he returned, but half an hour later he called back to tell me he had spoken with Linda, his wife, and they both thought now was the time to set up our center.That I should take a year and do the necessary research in order to tell the new story, and that he and Linda would cover all the costs.