I am in a heavily-paneled hotel room a la Almost Famous somewhere in Kentucky, where I have stopped on my way to my parents' house in Tennessee, having left so late in the day that I could only get through part of my drive before needing to sleep. (Plus I'm too much of a wimp about driving more than nine hours alone and so I couldn't bring myself to do it all tomorrow.) The day began with Nietzsche in rhet trad, then turned in to a mash of meetings and emails (the meetings were lively and fun, thank goodness); zero time for working out; barely time to eat. Definitely no time to get lost finding the rental car place, because it moved from its location four years ago when I last rented there. Packing consisted of scooping warm clothes out of the dryer and into the newly-emptied suitcase. Ugh.
Tomorrow night I'm joining in with women who played basketball at my high school over the past two decades to gather around our coach, a hard-nosed, driven, warm, funny, and loving man who was badly injured in a boating accident this past summer. Very badly. Still can't walk. Not sure if he will. The whole thing is flatly awful, not least because he lost his son in the accident too.
But I think the idea for the gathering is to remind him just how many lives he has shaped--for awhile there, every player of his played in college on scholarship, and he coached four teams to state championships. Coach Ricker loves winning, that's for sure, but he lives for the moment just before winning--the crucial moment when a surge of intensity will put away a game, what he has always called rally time. And I guess to some extent that surge is what we're trying to create.
I hope it works.