A number of years ago, when I was teaching at Wheaton College in Illinois, a couple of students asked me if I would consider becoming the faculty sponsor for a club for Southerners at Wheaton — a club to be focused on the real South, in all of its complexity, and one that didn’t give a fig for the Confederacy. They came over to our house for a meal, and Teri and I had a wonderful long talk with them. Those are special young women, we thought — and goodness, was that an understatement. Their names were Sara Hendren and Claire Chamblin — now Claire Holley — and they have remained close friends, and have gone on to do exceptional things in their chosen fields of endeavor.
Last week we were all together again, at Laity Lodge, where Sara and I offered sessions on the theme of Critique and Repair, while Claire played songs for us and led us in singing — and gave an exceptionally beautiful concert on Saturday evening in the Cody Center. I learned so much from Sara’s talks — she is really doing innovative and compassionate and philosophically rich work on the topics we explored — so it will take me a long time to process it all. Look in the next few weeks for responses, probably piecemeal at first.
In short: few activities are more rewarding than doing hard things with friends. My mind is full, and my heart too.
Claire at the piano in the Great Hall (taken by my wife Teri):
The peace of the river: