Back on the home front Ms. Bacon received her Wall Street Journal weekend edition. In it was an article in the Opinion section that started, “I want to write about something I think is a problem in our society, that is in fact at the heart of many of our recent scandals, and yet is obscure enough that it doesn’t have a name. It has to do with forgetting who you are.”
Ms. Bacon smiled. Was this not what had moved her to go to Esalen? To help remember who she was-to find her “original face”? She had learned to call these funny little coincidences “winks from the universe”, a nod that yes indeed, you are asking the right questions.
And love? Her conclusion from her visit to Esalen was that while she may not understand it or have experienced it, or really know what it was, she did feel like she could care for her friends and maybe experience giving and receiving a bit of love in that way.
A woman in her running club had recently lost her husband of 37 years. She was very sad indeed. Then she had a car accident. Then her furnace caught fire and burnt part of her house and left her with no heat. The poor lady was taking hits left and right. The women in the running club decided to take up a collection. Ms. Bacon understood having only one income and having no one to help you with “stuff”, so she donated. Sunday morning the group went for a run in the forest and convened for coffee and gossip after as usual. But then they presented the sad lady with a card and all the checks spilled out across the table. There was a moment of silence as she took it in. Then she was confused. Then tried to give it back. But the women in the running group smothered her with hugs and convinced her that it was their way of showing they cared about her. Ms. Bacon hugged her like she had been hugged at Esalen. The sad lady burst out crying and said, “When Paul died I had thought no one would ever love me again. But all of you love me!”
And still a little more light shone through Ms. Bacon’s cracks.