Thursday, December 1, 2016

Annals of remove i: December as we know it

In the desk drawer to my right
there is the Book of Common 
Prayer given to my father as a
young man by his fiduciary at
school. It is inscribed to him
personally, to a resonantly
historic name Dad never used,
and signed in the embracing
third person, His headmaster.

To this day, December marks
the breaking up of families
improvised in the rough and
tumble of experience in com-
petition, away. Young people
dutifully disperse, asking
each other only, how long be-
fore you might be near?

I suggest a refutation of the
fiction that this is immature.
These families, let us not ig-
nore. They are the ones which
conserve Horace. They are a-
ware of every crab we caught
in crew, every shirt that can
be borrowed, every note that
made us sing the thing again.

Why should we notice this, as
families are obliterated every
day, by repression, famine,
war, the divinity of walls?
Yes, intimate family frailty.
The essential answer stumbles
from the teeth of astonishment:
because this is also true, and
because they are right here.

December is parting, and this
is experience to draw upon, as
January looms to abrogate its
promise of reunion. We have no
precedent to resort to, not e-
ven a Commencement apprehension
of working for money, for that
repeal of learning, skill, wit
and poise, that separating tak-
ing of our heart, we never did
imagine, and have voted into


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