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I had never before made a life decision based on a dream

Posted: 04 Dec 2022, 14:02
by admin
Matt had a question for me.It was the reason he called.It was the last thing in the world I was expecting.North of the restaurants, no buildings, only shoreline.Parking on the side of the road, I climbed down to the jumble of brown limestone boulders and lay down on one.The terrible news sank in as seawater lapped against the stone.Cumulus clouds the size of huge weightless castles drifted above.My last words to Feit haunted me.I told him I had to get back to Tacoma, that I had an appointment.The truth was that my restlessness made it difficult for me to sit in any one place for too long.That’s all it was, restlessness, but I had to pretend otherwise.I didn’t want him to think that I wasn’t enjoying his playlets.I should have said that the image of the kernel popping up from the spoon was working me over, which was true.I had absorbed much from his performance.To take in more would be water spilling out of a filled glass.He stood and hugged me goodbye, and I was surprised we were at eye level, each of us six feet, five inches tall.This similarity of bodies was remarked upon by Matt on the phone.Matt pointed out that Feit and I shared a common educational background, which was Jesuit.But there was yet another connection.All of which meant that Ken died in the middle of a beeline from my West Coast world to Chicago, a straight shot from Brian to Matt.Ken was en route to Matt’s institute.Which led to Matt’s weighty question.I blurted out the news that someone I had just met had died.Nothing like this had happened to me before.I thought it better not to tell her how interested I was in teaching a course at Matthew Fox’s institute.When I asked Matt if there was a set curriculum that Ken was going to use, he laughed and said I could teach whatever I wanted.Denise stopped and listened to the account of Ken’s death, but she returned to her celery with added vigor at the mention of going to Chicago.You want to go to Chicago? She pronounced Chicago the way most people would say, To a cess pool? With a groan, she returned to her vigorous chopping.And what about discussing it first?I thought we were.Wait .Because of this guy’s dream?Did I already mention this is someone you don’t know?Can you see how bizarre that is?..And this course you’ll teach?You’re substituting for someone who calls himself a .With Bruce’s support, I could apply for unpaid postdoc positions.Carl Sagan, the world’s most famous scientist in 1981, sent me a cheery, typed reply inviting me to join his research team at Cornell.They too agreed to my request that I come and study with them for a year.In her mind, it was one of America’s most interesting cities with all its history.She was especially excited about the chance for our son to take in the arts and museums of Boston.On top of every other challenge, she was five months pregnant and quailed at the thought of negotiating childbirth in Russia without any knowledge of the language.For myself, I felt it was heroic of her to agree to leave the security of a university position in Tacoma and charge off into what I hoped was a spiritual adventure but which could be an exhibition of stupidity.The least I could do is go with her choice of Boston.Things had fallen into place quickly.We had our three plane tickets from United Airlines tacked to the corkboard in the kitchen.Now I was throwing that away and asking her to move to Chicago.I had never before made a life decision based on a dream, so I was in agreement with Denise.You’re a mathematician, she said.Did I really want to throw that over to go someplace no one had ever heard of, Mundelein College, a women’s college known only for its arts program?I might be the only scientist on the faculty.It would be nothing more than camouflage, a place to hide while I worked on the new cosmic story.