It may seem odd, but the moment I step off the plane in Boston, ready to ride the Silver line, then the Red line to Lesley University every six months, I feel as though I've stepped into a separate container of time and space from the one in which I live. Time there is sweet and beautiful, every moment is precious. The world gives us magical gifts, like calm summer nights and blankets of snow. Most importantly, we, the students and faculty, are gathered for ten endless and fleeting days to share the most important things in our lives--our writing, our dreams, our love.
But what makes this time so brimful of meaning is the same thing that makes it heartache-sour. We cannot continue forever. After one more residency, and a truncated graduating residency, we will never again converge in this sacred space with these saints in our lives.
A theme kept showing me its face today, peeking around corners at me, calling me to follow. It whispered in my ear, Loved, lost places--this idea that we leave a place and even if we come back, neither the place nor ourselves are the same; we can never return to that place, even if we are physically present there.
Maybe I've been listening to The National too much lately, but this kind of melancholy, I believe, allows us to appreciate even more deeply the transient, profound moments of our lives.