Out of the Blue



[Harvard Square; reflected]

Sometimes it’s challenging to live in this part of the world. Like my son-in-law noted the first time he took the T—known as the subway in his NYC—”too many students!”

Sometimes it’s challenging to be perpetually surrounded by young men and women. Sometimes I get impatient. Sometimes I feel invisible. Or irrelevant. Sometimes I just get tired of college students.

But last night, walking under a smeary, bright, three-quarter moon, something happened. I’d just left myQuaker meeting when one person didn’t show up for a meeting I’d attended. And had spent much of the meeting both absorbed in why we were there and pretty sure that missing person was AWOL because I’d again forgotten to notify her that we were meeting and feeling really, really, really bad. Again. (Did I mention I’d done this to her once before?) And angry at myself. And old.  (I make stupid mistakes SOO much more than I used to.)

As I walked across a broad, paved expanse of open space in front of Harvard’s Science Building, out of the blue a young man on a bike rode diagonally past me. (If I was going from a 6 to 12 direction on a clock face, the Science Building at 9, his route was from 10 to 4.) He rode, knees high and lost in thought, his hands in his pockets.

And I remembered how great it was as a kid to “Hey, Ma, no hands!” I remembered how riding my bike had been my first taste of autonomy; what an absolute thrill that was. I remembered being a kid. And, despite my anger and guilt, I remembered to be grateful.

PS: Turns out I did NOT mess up. Doubled gratitude!


Join the Conversation


  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hi, there, Patricia! Wow and wow, my wonderful Christian white friend and sister! Wow and wow! And wow and wow! What a great and inspiring blog post article this is of yours,as well as your other very fine and excellent, brilliant ones! Sister, I know what you mean about living in an area and city with many, mainly young, college students. Here where I live in Iowa City, Iowa is a college town and the home of the marvelous and fantastic University Of Iowa. I love the young people so, so very much, and I love being in a college town. Sometimes I yearn to see “regular people” (SMILE!). Not that college age people who are young are not regular people, but it can be fun for me as well to see other people in the community who are not necessarily college age people who are young. I love to go to the Iowa City Public Library and downtown Iowa City, and throughout Iowa City away from the campus also to see more of the community people in town. Also, my dearest and precious white sister, Patricia, I love to go to neighboring Coralville to go to the library there to see community people, and to go throughout Coralville to see the community people. Still, I so dearly love and enjoy the college age people who are young, though. When I was a lot younger right after I graduated from high school in June 1980 I attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. I had some personal issues and family problems and I ended up withdrawing from Michigan in my junior year in March 1983. I did not go back to college, until this time at the age of 40 at the University of Iowa at Iowa City, in Fall 2002. I became a Women;s Studies Major and sought my Sexuality Studies certificate at Iowa, and I graduated from the spectacular University Of Iowa in May 2010 at the age of 48. I earned both my Women’s Studies Major and Sexuality Studies Certificate when I graduated from the UI. I so thoroughly enjoyed having classes with the younger people, and all of the other students of any age, and I enjoyed and learned from the many wonderful faculty and staff at the UI. I am so glad that I finally did go back to school. It feels just fabulous to have my bachelor’s degree, sister!

    I know what you mean, my dearest and precious Christian white sister, Patricia, about feeling self-conscious and awkward about being older around the college age students who are young. I was aware of the fact that I am older when I was a student at the UI. I truly loved my college experience at the UI and being around the mainly younger people, but it did feel a little self-conscious and awkward for me, but not too much. The college age students who are young also like how they do for you, sister, help me to connect to my much younger self. Mainly by far this experience has been so, so very good for me and such a great blessing for me, Patricia!

    Patricia, you please be very gentle with yourself. It is perfectly alright to be imperfect and to make mistakes, even many mistakes, and even bad mistakes, and to be forgetful. I have always had an excellent memory, yet since I hit my fifties I am slightly more forgetful than I used to be. Maybe I can now say that I am starting to hit my senior moments (SMILE!). I just love it when my friends say that! Most of my local friends, like my dearest and darling white women sisterfriends who I love and cherish so, so very much and who are my very heart as the lesbian black woman who I am are older than I am. These local friends are in their mid-to-late fifties, and some are in their early-to-middle sixties.I have such a sense of humor and just gets me to laughing when they refer to their senior moments. At the age of 52, and I will turn 53 in February, am I able to say still at 52 almost 53 that I am having senior moments (SMILE!)?

    Patricia, you are such a great joy to me and such a blessing to me, and also your brilliant and magnificent blog post website and articles, and other splendid writings, and I know that you bless your other very grateful and appreciative readers as well! It gives me such immense joy, excitement, and pleasure visiting your fantabulous blog post website, and responding to your very astute and inspirational blog post articles, my Christian white friend and sister, Patricia! I thank-you, thank-you, thank-you all of you from your dearest and darling family, and also your blessed friendsfamily at your super Friends Meeting at Cambridge for thinking of me and praying for me the way all of you do-I can feel the love and thoughts, prayers, and concerns coming from each and every one of you! I, too, keep each and every one of you in my heart and love, and in my for always daily and frequent thoughts, prayers, love, and concern, and I keep all of you lifted up to our Good God Spirit, and keep all of you covered in my most loving, caring, sensitive, and heartfelt prayers! May all of you have a very nice, special, and a very blessed Wednesday, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed, Patiricia!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely Always,

    Your Christian lesbian black friend and sister in solidarity, Sherry Gordon

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