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Coming Full Circle: 25th College Reunion June 23, 2011

Posted by frostwolftfirerose in Uncategorized.

Over the last weekend, I attended the Dartmouth Class of 1986 25th Reunion, and I got a lot of unexpected benefit from just showing up.  It was an incredibly healing journey, and it has left me quite emotional.

Who would have expected that it would turn out to have been such a spiritual journey for me?  I had delightful conversations with people who were total strangers to me, and I just showed up as myself.  I didn’t have any agenda to prove–I only went with the intention of enjoying myself, and it went beyond my expectations.

I’m eager to share a lot about the reunion, but I feel like I need to hold the container a bit.  In talking with someone in my food fellowship, it became apparent that this could be a delicious story that I could translate into a screenplay form.  See, Dartmouth in the 80s was a really rough place for a gay boy or girl to be.  And I was dealing with the aftermath of my parents threatening to disown me “because they loved me.”  That had me looking over my shoulder, even as I kept constantly checking in my heart to see what the right thing to do was.

I knew deep down that coming out and being open about my sexual orientation was the way I had to go, for my own peace of mind and spiritual alignment.  I bore witness to my fellow GSAers at the time who were facing the shit of others’ projections and unrecognized demons.  It was a boon to have appeared at the reunion at the urging of one fellow 86 who had been one of the more visible lightning rods on the campus.  Fester suggested I go to it, and he must have had an inkling that it would have been a good thing for me.  I certainly was willing to just round-file the application, but something in me said “let’s try it, what the hell?”

For starters, it is a great thing to go to a reunion and have people I knew stop and look at me, and say to themselves “who is that? Oh!  Ohmigod he’s changed SO Much!”  I do look quite different from the chubby fellow I was back in the 80s.  Chubby, but still hotter than I realized I was, thanks to my “fat head.”  I was struck by how well many of my classmates had kept up their physiques, and how some did inevitably let themselves go–though I’m testament that that can change!

At the DGALA breakfast, Fester, his partner Mickey and I sat with a couple of younger alumni, including one woman from the class of 2001.  She told us that when she was at the school, her sexuality was a non-issue, she was able to go through her studies without incident and find welcome at the College, and by the way, she thanked us for having gone through the gantlet back then.

I discovered a fellow shaman in my class, who lives in Santa Fe and is a solitary.  I’m studying with a teacher, but I work pretty much solo in my community.  That was a total plus.

I got the chance to make an amends to someone I had perceived I had harmed, but in reality he saw the issue quite differently.  It was one of the most moving moments.

President Kim at the DGALA Breakfast informed us all that we had a place at the school if we wanted it.  And I’m finding that I do want it.  I have a couple of ideas to share with the folks in Hanover, should they have an interest.

I also decided to attempt to reconnect with Dartmouth Alumni involved with theater and film.  I will be assembling a list of people to inquire as to how I can get a couple of scripts to people who will seriously consider them.  I sent My Littleton Play to the Theater Department Chair, who I met years ago when he was the Literary Manager at the Denver Center.  And I’ve got one other person I need to find out how to contact, who is a powerful player in TV.

I have a lot of possibility, but I also have to say that the Reunion comes at an interesting time in my life.  For my funds are dwindling to nothing, and I see that we have an economic whirlwind forming around us all, and I wonder just how I’ll be able to take care of myself, how I’ll be able to work with others to take care of our communities.  For now, I am doing the things I need to be doing, and trusting it’s enough.

There are more things I wish I could share about, but they have to do with recovery stuff.  I maintain the mantle of confidentiality and anonymity ruthlessly.  People may know that I’m involved with the Steps and Traditions, that is my decision to disclose that.  But to me, it’s just one aspect of the bulwark of the spiritual way of life, and I am living in a place of constant joy.

I just have to shift my focus and there it is.  And Dartmouth strangely enough brought that forward, despite seeing some rather hard-set faces who reflect back judgments that who knows where they came from and what purpose they serve.  It all seemed rather puny and annoying actually.  I occasionally noticed one fellow who was a lead proponent of the “anti” side during those times.  He hovered close to his wife.  Oddly, I  never saw him really interact with too many other members of the class.  Now I put this tidbit in here with the proviso that I didn’t follow the fellow around.  Just that when I did notice him, he seemed to have a smaller existence and a bit of loneliness.  I could identify actually.  There were moments when I was sort of waiting for someone or was at a loss for who to interact with during the reunion.  Funny that I would see this former publisher of the Review just at those odd moments, no?

This reunion kindled in me the most surprising of all reactions in that I want to give service.  I guess it’s sort of a 9th Step amends for having kept myself away from the school all this time.  I thought that the place didn’t want anything to do with me. Come to find out they’re eager to embrace me with open arms.  I may not be able to give much in terms of finances, but I do have passion and attentiveness to burn.  I hope to find something agreeable to all parties concerned.




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