I just spent the majority of the last 36+ hours with 32 members of my high school graduating class of 1978. Considering there were only 60 of us in the class, this was both an amazing turn-out for our 30th reunion and a wonderful experience. So many of us showed up because of a deep vein of affection that we share, a product of having spent three or four years together in small private school, at which most of us lived as boarding students (a private school which is a little different than most others, at least in New England. It's a fuddy-duddy, academic place in many ways--and a quiet aura of slightly ostentatious humility does hang over it's identity as an Episcopalian school--however, the motto over the chapel door is "From Each According to his Abilities, to Each According to his Needs," which is--as you may recollect--straight out of Marx and Engels.) These were the first people whom I learned to respect, in my life. When we were sixteen and seventeen, our essential characters already seemed visible--if not always fully actualized--and the passions and commitments that others would learn to identify with us, as adults, were already taken for granted, by us. We took each other for granted in the best possible sense. We were in each others' lives before we learned to categorize people and make the kind of adult judgements about others that would, in adulthood, rob us of too many profound intimacies--or, so I think. Do you remember that time in your life in a similar way?
An added bonus: these were the first of my peers to know me as an actor, so my return to theater is no great surprise to them, nor simply a sign of something-like "mid-life crisis," that under-rated developmental stage of life in which we have a last, best chance of re-appropriating original dreams.
I love these people. We knew each other when.