The other day (alright, a few weeks ago) Ian and I had dinner with my best friend and her boyfriend, and camp came up. Specifically, the fact that this new job I've got will mean that I can't work any sessions, and that I will therefore most likely be spending a lot of weekends up there. And Ian, in an attempt to be all wise and mature and winning (and maybe a little condescending), said something along the lines of, "maybe it's time to accept that the door is closing on that part of your life, and move on."
And that seems like a totally reasonable and obvious thing to say, I guess, but I was floored. I was so floored that I just keep talking about this story. I'm honestly getting a little sick of it, but I keep thinking about it every so often. Because it just doesn't work that way. I was writing about it the other day, in the van, on the back of some papers from work. Here's part of what I said:
"It is difficult to explain and a little embarrassing to admit how shocked I was. In truth I am actually sickened by the thought of 'the door closing' on Alkulana being a part of my life. How could I explain that sometimes a place, a community, an adopted family will get under your skin, and that Alkulana has seeped into my bones? I feel like Wolverine, except that instead of adamantium, my skeleton has been infused with the love of Christ." Because of camp. I love the way I do (and, considering the person I could be, I think I love rather well) because of this community.
Probably nobody cares who hasn't been there, and that's okay with me I suppose. Why should the cool silk of the creek at midnight hold any sway over you? Why should you feel warmed by the early morning sun swimming through the mist and touching down on our daily prayer circle? By the smell of campfire on all your hoodies? By the blissful quiet of rest hour or the welcome relief of a raucous late-night kitchen after staff meeting?
I can't make him, or you, understand. That's how life is. But I hope nothing ever changes the fact that when I am at my worst, when everything is unbearable and I can't find any light, I am sustained by this. It seems ridiculous. (Maybe it is ridiculous.) I know that. But those memories feed me when I am starving. I don't plan to put them away any time soon.