Thursday, March 24, 2016


Five letters. Yet they evoke an era: the mid- to late 1960's at Columbia University, where I was a student at Barnard:

1.The young man who told me that fluid beauty is as important as static beauty. The same young man who used poets as authorities; in this case, Theodore Roethke. See "I loved a woman ... ."

2.A person who loved the female mind as well as the female body: the original male women's libber.

3.A man who drank all your fluids, and left you bone dry. The person who then located you in the library the next day, and later filled you once again to a level that to this day astounds.

4.The one who taught you that the way clothing felt was as important as the way it looked.

5.Someone who proved that you could show love in many ways without ever uttering the word. "Our relationship survived because we did not define it." Though we never used the word, love pervaded and defined everything we did together.

6.A student of the human condition who knew change was coming. On the most personal level: I, a Jewess, could marry him, a Christian, without losing my parents.

7.A young man who lived by axioms. The one I remember the best: An unplanned pregnancy leads to a happy and joyous marriage. No questions asked.

8.A person who understood the causes and significance of the student riots of 1968 much better than I did.. We weathered those turbulent nights together in my apartment on W. 114 St.

9.Someone who smoked way too much.

10.A man who died at a very young age from a quick and sudden bout with lung cancer.

In blessed memory, Christian Scott Ward.