July 24, 2010

Golden Years

I've had visitors abound on Gwynn's Island. Lacy and Greg followed by the Breingan family, soon to be followed by the whole catastrophe. I love to share this place with people who appreciate it, but it does make me feel vulnerable sometimes, like I am exposing my underbelly. It is a house of memories, especially precious now that some of the players are no longer in play.

While Lacy and Greg were here we watched a movie I made in 2004, documenting a one week sojourn in the family hurrah's nest. I hadn't seen it in quite a while, and found I still liked it. It was odd to see the family then, before a lot of what would make the next few years hard had even threatened us. Granddaddy rules the dinner table, making grand proclamations about the intelligence of pipe smokers. Laura appears frequently, and I see things in watching the film now that I had missed before. The sadness just creeping into the edges of the frame, like spiderwebs. Everyone looks older now, and more tired, and our laughter is perhaps lacking in some of its old irreverence. It seems that you never realize you're living in the golden years until they've changed into something else. Laura is dead, Zoe has cancer, and my grandfather can't remember to claim that smoking a pipe is a sign of intelligence. We are still here, and we are still laughing, and in a week most of the whole catastrophe will gather her at my insistence. We have done this every summer since I was a child, and I am not letting go of that. I am glad that the film exists, a time capsule to remind us of the before now that we're living in the after. It doesn't make me feel sad so much as thoughtful, and when I watch Laura onscreen, wiping peanut butter on Zoe's head after feeding her a cracker, I am glad to see her.

1 comment:

  1. I was glad to see her as well. Thanks for sharing those memories, and all of Homagin, with us.