Mary and Me: 58 years now, and humming.

Well, here I am, on the first day of the 1.5 day conference, with another grueling car trip ahead of us. YOU try going from Evanston to a conference center in Elmhurst Illinois and not getting lost, which we did yesterday, when going to the opening reception. Grrr. Took us two hours, in heavy traffic. Coming back slightly better, 1.5 hours. Better traffic, but we missed one turn that was crucial.

Question: How do people live in cities? My old friend Mary takes the zippy train to work in downtown Chicago. She NEVER gets out into the western suburbs. No wonder!

Having known each other since we were thirteen, that’s what, 58 years? — we always have a lot of catching up to do. And it’s not so much that, as noticing new perspectives on old memories, old sets of memories, our children’s and grandchildren’s progress through life, our own aging bodies and how we work with them, and so on. She’s managing acid reflux, I do tai chi to help smooth “primary tremor” in my right hand.

About a month ago, my younger sister Mary sent me a book that she unearthed, Omar Khayyam’s The Rubaiyat, which friend Mary had given me for Christmas back when we were in high school! It sports a clever little inscription of course; she was always good at punning. When the book came back to me, I was taken back to my first thoughts on receiving it. I felt honored. Honored to have been gifted with a book of poetry. Me? A “hick from Idaho”? Yes, me. Mary’s parents were more cultured than mine, and poetry books sat on the shelves in the living room of their idyllic, beautifully situated log cabin in the country (with horses!) that her Dad built. I wanted to live there, with them, only three kids, much quieter and more refined. Mary wanted to live in town with my family, in the rough and tumble cheerful chaos of eight squirming Kreilkamps. We would have given anything, back then, to have traded lives.

Her folks would take us on long pack grips in the Sawtooths with horses. Like a week long! I LOVED it. Mary wasn’t as obsessed with horses as I was, and I think her parents wanted me to come so she wouldn’t mind going!

Sometimes we sit around now and talk about old classmates. Here’s a double “selfie” from yesterday,


I asked her, do you remember Angie Arrien? Yes, she did but Mary has no idea what happened to Angie. Which surprised me, since Angie, who was active in student government in high school, and is known more formally now as Angeles, has long been one of the movers and shakers in “New Age” circles, consciousness circles, whatever you want to call the evolutionary movement that began during the ’60s with the Uranus/Pluto conjunction and now revs up again during the ongoing volatility of the (90°) 2012-2015 Uranus/Pluto “square.” It’s the zeitgeist itself that’s on the move.

So interesting, the sometimes completely divergent currents that run parallel to one another. Mary, who with the MacArthur Foundation, has long been focused on human rights, and so is Angie, in another current and using different language.

I googled Angeles Arrien. Of course there’s oodles of stuff. This is the first I came across, a relatively new one. She was a dear back in high school (two years ahead of us), and she’s even more or a dear, now.

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0 Responses to Mary and Me: 58 years now, and humming.

  1. Pamela says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Ann, and thank you for this beautiful reference of being.

  2. Oh My! Ann there were 8 kids I’m my family and i used to think the same thing when visiting my friends with one or two kids. funny how we always want the opposite of what we have when we are young. sounds like a great catch up with your friend. love the selfie too. I am so grateful for all my siblings now. about to have a family get together with my 94 yr old dad. so fun! Love reading your blog

  3. Mark White says:

    Ann, I didn’t see you mention it, so maybe you are unaware that Angeles passed away on April 24th. May her work carry its momentum into our world.

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