BRIDGES ACROSS TIME AND
In Texas, a wonderful journalism professor taught our class that
any time a reader or a viewer says that a story is objective, they
have simply defined
the parameters of a belief system. Learning never comes from
this middle-ground, but from the edges.
Real learning takes place when we discover new ways of thinking.
Or as stated by Joanna Macy in her wonderful book, World
as Lover, World as Self: "Real learning is not something
added, it is a reorganization of the system. New nets and assemblies
occur, loops form, alternate pathways develop. The viewed world
is different and so is the viewer."
Consequently, I've become a grand fan of the alternative press.
Personal curiosities lead only so far, and I try to read articles
and books that I don't agree. Good friends shape one's sense of
the world. I've learned to see the world through eyes other than
When plans were being set for the 1998 Collins LLC reunion, I
dismissed the idea of returning for a few reasons. First, the trip
was going to be expensive. But more importantly, it was comfortable
to have Bloomington, to have Indiana and to have Collins in the
past - kind of like a safety deposit box for memories.
But my friends wouldn't leave me alone. Emails teased and cajoled
me. It really was time to go back.
It's hard to describe the feeling of returning to southern Indiana
during the summertime, feeling the familiar energies underneath
the ground, smelling the sweet perfume of the humid soil and abundant
growth. All that rain, all that life! Since this is the dry season
(not to mention the fire and smog season) in Mexico City, the contrast
Almost 200 friends showed up for the reunion, most from "my generation."
We figure it was just enough time to miss the place and not enough
time to get so busy or lose interest. Or perhaps we just had better
communication since folks like Rich
Remsberg and Caroline Dowd of our generation live in Bloomington
and were instrumental in bringing us back. There were also friends
of my brother and sister, who lived in the same dormitory seven
years before I arrived.
What did I enjoy most, beyond the pleasure of returning to familiar
faces in a familiar place?
Grudges and interpersonal fights seemed to disappear in the whirlwind
Many of my friends are working in fields far afield from what they
Even if jobs have changed, the basic attitudes didn't. This gave
me great hope that we are touched not by the exterior, but the interior
lives and souls of our friends.