Monday, December 27, 2010

Food for Thought

It was the noise that caught my attention. The conversation was loud, and grew progressively louder. The laughter was loud, and it too escalated in intensity and volume throughout the course of the evening. It was hard to distinguish whether it was the wine or the company. It mattered not.

Through this little ski patrol, in this little town, with its little mountain, new friendships have developed. As the pasta carbonera cooked, and then cooked some more, the stories of lives past and present flowed. I learned of upbringings and ancestors, of travels and travails, of meetings and departures. There were coincidences and similarities. There were bad jokes and more bad jokes. There were conversations in small numbers, and discussions as a group. There was something always to keep the mind from wandering too far.

As the evening moved forward, and the intimate details and thoughts emerged, the caveat was heard with increasing frequency. "This", we were advised, "is not to go beyond the confines of this room". What was being said was being said in this time and place, for the consumption of only those who heard and saw. There was to be no recounting of tales, no hearsay recollections. And so, you get no details from me.

I once viewed the Berkshires as a purely collateral part of my existence. No connections of consequence could take place there. But I have learned that pre-conceived notions are only that. The bonds formed this night flowed as easily and naturally as wine from a bottle.

I do not know when this group will next convene, though I hope it is not too distant. For me, the evening will long be remembered for all it revealed and all it offered. There was a joy and a camaraderie unexpected in scope and intensity. While the carbonera may have been why we came, we certainly left with much more than full stomachs.

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