Visiting with my family this week. His Holiness stole the show last night as we gathered at mother’s house for a terrific dinner prepared by my older brother. He played the piano and sang and generally endeared himself to everyone by being able to say his or her names. I didn’t sleep any better here than I have been at home and so find myself at four in the morning in the den typing out this post. I’m sitting in the room where this family circled around the TV one Sunday night ages ago eating peanut butter and crackers and watched the Beatles perform for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show. Yes, I am probably older than you, and by some considerable margin. Coming home always seems to point out to me just how old I really am … Seeing my brothers and sister after a stretch of time heightens the realization of passing time - the graying hair, the spreading waistlines … Mother uses a walker now. I saw it for the first time yesterday when we got home from the airport. Knowing mother as I do I know she is mortified to need such a device to get around. Nothing was said about it, and during dinner it just sat in the corner like a discreet assistant waiting for it’s employer to turn for advice. But it was there behind her, an unavoidable presence in the room, another sign of passing time and impermanence. The family is gathered here to send us off on our move to Europe. I look forward to spending time with them this week in what is unfortunately a reunion with a rapidly diminishing number of repeat performances.