I found these snow football pictures Julia Pistell took during our first winter residency and posted a few on Instagram. My friend Ben replied with a quote from a shared favorite novel A Separate Peace: Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him. It is the moment when his emotions achieve their most powerful sway over him, and afterward when you say to this person "the world today" or "life" or "reality" he will assume that you mean this moment, even if it is fifty years past. The world, through his unleashed emotions, imprinted itself upon him, and he carries the stamp of that passing moment forever.
It's a good quote and Bennington is as close to Gene Forester's Devon as anything. That winter residency was beautiful and real. Snow football in the sunset splendor of the Green Mountains made us feel like Kennedys. It stamped me, yes, but it isn't only Bennington and that time. When someone says "life" or "reality" to me, it's that sense of community I assume they mean. I've been lucky in mine and was lucky to be a part of this one in the freezing winters of Vermont, playing with my poet and prose comrades without keeping score, then climbing into the common room through the window, hands cut by the razors of snow, jeans frozen stiff.