Summer of 1993
Chapter 16--Crazy Monday Nights 3: The Young Romantics

    Earlier that summer, I had spent a night in my dormitory bedroom telling Price about the Young Romantics, and he had encouraged me to pursue the idea in Yellowstone.  At that time, I thought it was impossible.  I did not feel comfortable enough with anyone except for Price, and so I didn't know how I would pursue the dream.  His suggestion surprised me and made me feel my shyness down to its core.  My dreams always had this inadequate feeling about them because they felt out of touch with the rest of the world.  I didn't want to impose myself on everyone else.
    However, after bathing at night in the warm and soothing waters of the Boiling River and taking the moonlight hike up Avalanche Peak--after discovering the magic of the night--it did not take me long to figure out what I wanted to do with our last crazy Monday night of the summer.  No later than Wednesday of the week prior I told Price that I wanted to convene a meeting of the Young Romantics in Yellowstone, and the only thing we needed was another person, or two or three, and a fantastical place to go.  Price quickly agreed to join me, and all we needed to do was recruit somebody and think of a place to go.
    I have spent some detail in Chapter 10 talking about the genesis of the Young Romantics and the basic idea behind it, but here I will go into the specifics of the Young Romantics in more detail.  In short, the idea was supposed to combine the poetry and romanticism of the Dead Poets' Society with the intimacy of true friendship and the dedication to help each other make our dreams come true.  Realizing that, however, involved a lot more.  Since exposing oneself to a community of strangers involved trust, trust in some sense had to be mandated by the rules of the group.  It may seem strange to mandate what really cannot be mandated, but you will be surprised how well it worked.  So, the first rule of the group was that members had to trust one another in every way.  So, when someone asked you a question, you had to respond in full as honestly as possible.  If someone asked you about a fear, you had to admit it.  If someone asked about a secret, you were bound to tell it.  Besides a whole host of rules governing openness, the next important rule involved the dreams themselves.  Since the group was founded on the idea that we would support each other's dreams, we had to agree to help each other achieve our dreams, even and especially if we did not agree with the goal of the dream.  So, for instance, I am a pacifist and do not believe in any kind of violence, but I had a friend who wanted to become an Air Force pilot.  Even though I did not agree with war in any form, I was bound to help him achieve his dream of being an Air Force pilot.  The point here was that we were not there to judge each other but to support each other on our own path.  At some point, the rule could have broken down, and someone might have had dreams of murder and things of that sort.  Although those extremes could in some situation arise, the idea behind the group was premised on having enough faith in each other that that sort of situation was not going to arise.  If it had, I'm sure the group would simply naturally disintegrate.  Yet, within a broader sense of morality than some are accustomed, we were supposed to be absolutely supportive of each other's dreams and were bound to make each dream part of our own life.  The last major rule involved romanticism itself.  We must agree to meet and try to meet in places that we thought of as romantic in one way or another and must encourage ourselves to express ourselves and our dreams in the most fulfilling way possible.  So, we were there to encourage all forms of art, letters, poetry, drama, and sharing of this kind.  It was not just about hopes, fears, and dreams, but in its inception, it was about art as well.  It was about breathing more into our lives than simply routine in a community there for the same purpose, open to each other, respectful of differences, and engaging.  This was as much about overcoming our fears and inhibitions as it was about dreaming because those fears and inhibitions are just the sort of things that happened to keep us from pursuing our dreams.  That was the lesson of a seventeen year old boy who had his dreams always dashed to pieces by his overwhelming shyness.
    The hardest thing for people to accept about the Young Romantics was the idea of absolute trust.  People were often very afraid of having their hopes, fears, and dreams taken advantage of.  Joining a group where you had to start right at the beginning believing that a relative stranger would not take advantage of you was a very hard idea to swallow.  It was a risk that many were not willing to take.  Most people would not even know how to begin to take it.  Yet, this was the most important starting point for achieving dreams, for helping each other achieve dreams.  You needed to commit and believe others were committing to the goal of openness.  You had to be willing to open up and let it all out.  You had to be willing to dare to suck the marrow out of life (to steal part of a line from the movie that partly inspired this).
    In the past two weeks, I had seen colors dance on moonlit glaciers and felt the warm friendliness of the darkness.  Bears and shooting stars and heated showers of tiny waterfalls all had made their way into my life.  Beauty surrounded me, enveloped me, took me to places few had ever been.  Yet, our worlds can be more beautiful still if we will find some way to bring what is best about being human with what is best about the world we live in.  The best thing about being human is our ability to love and embrace and to be aware of loving and embracing.  Our great advantage is not only that we can interact but also that we can be aware of the interaction, and can be aware of each other interacting.  We can not only see things like elk and deer do, but also we can see things for what they are as they are.  This is a great advantage because we have the double pleasure not only of smelling flowers but also of knowing that we are smelling flowers.  When we share this "that" with each other, it is a profound inspiration to us because we realize that there is more than just this flower and this mountain and this person, but a whole other level of awareness and perception to our world.  It gives us hopes that our dreams actually have a meaning and that the love we have for each other may mean something more than simply the feeling of pleasure that often accompanies it.  My hope for my last Monday with Price was that we could add to our feelings and be aware of the meaning of them by means of reaching out to each other, reaching out to each other in the most beautiful way possible, with the most beautiful openness, in the most beautiful and romantic place.
    The first Young Romantics meeting I ever had was in my best friend's basement, and this was not the sort of setting that I had in mind, although it did that night.  Matt's basement was a romantic kind of place because it was the seat of important discussions that shaped my life, a place that meant something to my heart in a kind of way.  Any place in and of itself can be romantic.  Yet, we often search for these metaphors and convince ourselves that less beautiful things are just as beautiful on their inside, but we really have something else in mind.  Even though I was in a land as bland as Ohio, I knew that some place outdoors was the ideal location for a meeting.  The meeting location could and should change, or that was the idea, but for me it felt like romance was most romantic outside of the walls of a house.  Facing the fear of dealing with each other seemed most dramatic when we were facing the elements as well.  I was interested in the most powerful kind of intimacy possible.
    Now, in Yellowstone, preparing for a new meeting of the Young Romantics, you would be surprised how hard it was to think of the right place.  For one thing, I wanted us to go to a place that would be slightly risky because I was inspired by our previous Monday adventures.  Secondly, I wanted to find a place that offered us no opportunity of being disturbed.  The Boiling River, for instance, was out of the question because it was not necessarily private.  Although it was going to be dark, the setting had to have a certain kind of spectacular beauty about it.  It was hard to think of just the right place.  Finally, however, I settled on something really unbelievable if it were possible.  I suggested to Price that we try to meet BEHIND Tower Fall.  We talked about whether such a thing could even be done, and it seemed like it was possible, at least in theory.  I had only been there once, and so it was a bit hard to remember how it might be done.  Still, it seemed like we could cross the boulders to get to a point along the canyon wall where we might be able to find our way behind the wall of water.
    So, Price and I agreed to try it out, but as a backup plan, Price knew of a little cave in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone where he used to meditate.  He said it would be perfect for what we wanted to do.  However, I really wanted to go to Tower Fall, but I was pragmatic enough to know that it was good to be able to fall back on this.  In Yellowstone, you just cannot go wrong, and so the important thing was to get some people together to try this adventure.
    The next step was getting people who were interested in going.  I did not want more than 5 people, but I wanted no fewer than 3.  To have only 2 people was not really sufficient because a lot of the challenge of intimacy is lost when you only have 2 people.  There is something public about the Young Romantics idea, and sharing your hopes and fears with a single friend does not seem to be what was behind my dream's vision.  Having more than 5 people, while possible, seemed to be too many.  While I was open to the idea of having more than 5, I realized that it would be hard to keep the group as personal as it needed to be.  People needed to feel like they had a place to express and share themselves.  Anyhow, it was not easy to find people willing to join Price and I.  Lynn did not want to go because she was sure that that kind of sharing wasn't in her nature.  She encouraged us to go, but she did not feel right joining us.  Patrick did not go, I think, because he had already gone back to Kentucky.  We may have asked some others, who for one reason or another were unable or unwilling to join us.
    Of course, you can undoubtedly guess who joined us.  Without even a second thought, Reuben agreed to become a Young Romantic.  However, unlike other times that summer where we were always trying to find some way to minimize Reuben's presence in our lives, I really wanted Reuben to be a part of this.  I wanted to know what made him tick, wanted to see what we could do for him.  I already knew that Reuben had a heart of gold and was willing to help anyone out whom he could help.  I wanted to know what Reuben dreamed about, except his life back in Clarkston, Washington.  This time, I was more than happy to have Reuben join us on our crazy adventure, hopefully to Tower Fall.  This was perfect for Reuben, although I wondered about his mental maturity.  I wondered if he could care about our dreams in the way we hoped to care about his.  However, since he was joining us, I was committed to trusting him.
    It was also perfect for Price, who was in the middle of a great personal and spiritual struggle.  Price was constantly depressed about his life, low about his prospects for finding answers to all the riddles that plagued him, unsure of what he was doing in his relationship with Lynn, lost in pursuing what he should be doing with his own life.  For all of Price's kindness and acceptance, he was often in very low spirits.  He often admitted to having extremely little motivation, and he just didn't know what he had to live for or why he was living at all.  What made the idea of the Young Romantics tough for him was the idea of dreaming itself; for him, there were no dreams.  There was just this puzzling emptiness he couldn't make sense of.  Lynn didn't know what to do with him, and occasionally she would come to me and admit that she didn't know how to help him through any of this funk.  Yet, for all of that funk, Price is the one who encouraged me to push forward with this and supported me every step of the way even in spite of his own reservations about how he fit into a group of young dreamers.
    What about me?  Once I knew that this was going to happen, once I knew we had three people going, and once I knew we were going to try to dare to dream in a remarkable place, when I saw what this might do for Price and for Reuben, I felt like my dreams had already come true.  The Young Romantics was the most profound dream I had ever had, the most tangible and realizable vision I had ever had, and it was about to come true before my eyes.  I did not need a woman in my life those days.  I did not need to be kissed, stroked, and loved in this way.  All I desired during those days were these moments in this place.  There was this euphoria that came over me, like few I have ever had that didn't involve falling in love.  I doubt I had ever felt more serene in my life than I did those days, and though I have had even better days since, I could honestly say that this was now the happiest I had ever been in my life.  It is strange that it was so simple as being in a place like Yellowstone pursuing a rather simple vision about dreams with a couple of other people.  Yet, everything for once was just right, just as I wanted it, and this one very special dream of mine was about to come true.  It was hard for me to imagine the dreams of tomorrow, when I was living a dream so fond to my heart today.  Now, it was just important for me to help Price and Reuben as best as I could.
    The last crazy Monday night approached with a great deal of excitement.  When we told others where we planned to go this Monday, people honestly told us that we were crazy.  I think even Jim Savstrom said as much, although you could tell that he admired us.  Yellowstone was changing him in ways I'll explain another time, and you could just feel this very spiritual man pushing us forward.  He knew about the magic in Yellowstone, and he knew it would somehow carry us there.  He didn't talk about Yellowstone magic (he talked about it explicitly in another time and another place to me), but you could feel it.  Nobody was quite sure whether getting behind Tower Fall was possible, but it was worth a shot.
    It was raining that evening before we left, and that made us feel a little unsure of things.  However, we were determined to try.  You never ever let rain stop you from doing something in Yellowstone because you can never be sure what the weather is like in another part of the Park.  It can be raining one place and be clear skies just miles away.  It can be clear one moment and be raining hard within half an hour.  I have explained how quickly the weather changes in Yellowstone, that it really can change dramatically in a matter of minutes, and so you cannot let weather be the determining factor in any adventure you have planned.  Still, since this was my first summer and since I didn't have enough experience with this truth about the weather, I was a little worried about our adventure.  This was our only chance; it was now or never.  Somehow, we needed to be able to have this meeting, and I didn't want it in the basement of our dormitory.
    Price, Reuben, and I left fairly late that evening because we wanted to be sure that we would be alone.  Although I had to be at work at 7 AM the next morning, I felt confident we could get out to Tower and be back in time for me to start work the next morning.  This is the kind of craziness I wanted and expected on Monday nights.  I wanted it to be thrilling and slightly stupid.  If we could get behind Tower Fall, that would be legendary.  If we couldn't, at least we tried, and if that failed, we still had somewhere else to go.  Lack of sleep couldn't be an issue when there were dreams to share while I was alive and awake and aware.
    We drove quietly on our way to Tower Fall.  About the time we reached Canyon, the sky began to clear.  Everything was now ready except the place we were going.  Being late, the traffic was light.  The night sky began to fill with stars, although it was still somewhat cloudy from whatever weather system was moving through the area.  We did not talk about our dreams yet.  I do not believe we talked about much of anything.  There was quiet conversation that I don't remember.
    At Tower Fall, the busy tourist trap that felt like it was cornered in along the edge of the world, we did not find a single parked car.  It was about midnight or so, and it was dark.  However, it was bright enough to see the outlines of the terrain.  You don't know how great a feeling it is to be in such a beautiful place that is normally so busy when there is no one else around.  Price was extremely silent, and I don't recall Reuben saying much of anything.
    As we looked at everything, as we knew we were in a beautiful place, I began to speak to Price.  Knowing that he wondered what he brought to the world, I said to him, "Look at this.  What a tragedy it would be if we weren't here to witness the beauty.  How can this all be just a meaningless mixing of chemicals?  We are here conscious of it.  We are here to say, 'This is beautiful.'  That's what makes us different from the chipmunks and the squirrels.  What would all of this be if you and I weren't here, if there wasn't a God here to love and cherish it?"  Price remained silent.  He was taking it all in, but I think he was listening to me, not sure of how to react.  The cool air, the dark water flowing through Tower Creek to Tower Fall below, the canyon and its walls as the Yellowstone flowed through it, the silence, and us.  The feeling was something to behold, unclouded by large numbers of tourists.  It was just the three of us.  I wanted Price to be aware of how what made us beautiful was intrinsically tied to the beauty of this place.  Although Price preferred silence while I, as usual, preferred a lot of words, I think Price needed to hear what I was saying.  He needed this to be more than simply an empty peace, a feeling that fades.  He needed a few thoughts that would continue to agitate him, continue to be active in his wonder.  If at the Boiling River, Price and the others had taught me to let the beauty of Yellowstone absorb me, to take it in and let it seep into my bones, here I was expressing the need to see how beauty is nothing without a mind to appreciate it as such.  These places needed dreamers like us as much as we needed them.  I simply wanted to convince Price, "My friend, you belong here, and you have a lot to give."  I know that Price was not convinced that evening or during any evening we spent together in Yellowstone that summer, but I know I succeeded in agitating him.  He could not calm his so-called demons, and he needed to stop trying.  He needed to reach out and believe that his beauty was essentially the very profoundness of Yellowstone.  He was never going to calm his thoughts, his mind, and all the images that passed before it.
    At the same time, I realized again that there was some value in this silence, that there was something in the place we were that was trying to speak to me, and I had to remember the moment and absorb it.  I was so focused on the people I was with, it was hard even here to be like Price and become enthralled with this quiet and dark majesty.  Nevertheless, when I had said what I had to say quietly though passionately, I stopped speaking also, at least for the moment.
    When we got down to the bottom of Tower Fall, we soon realized that it would not be possible for us to try to get behind the waterfall.  Even if it were possible, the darkness and the power of the water made an attempt far too dangerous.  We had no idea how we would get back there or even see the rocks well enough to try to get across the creek.  The water came down so hard, and the rocks were wet.  As we stood facing the faint image of the fall, mist came down on us.  When we realized how impossible it was, Price climbed the hillside along the path.  Reuben and I soon followed.  We didn't say a word.  We just listened to the loud, roaring sound of the waterfall, felt the cold mist hit us in the face, and took it all in for about half an hour.  The more I sat there, the more calm I felt, the happier and more elated I felt.  It was so beautiful.  Tower Fall wasn't more than two dozen feet from me, but I could barely see it.  I could feel it, though.  The mist felt wonderful.  Price was as calm as could be.  I wasn't absolutely calm because I felt excited, and I also wanted to find a location for our meeting.  While the silence was sweet, this was a night for talking and sharing.  Yet, these quiet moments at Tower Fall were a wonderful prelude.  It felt like I was being cleansed.  The full meaning of the moment was not lost on me.  I knew I was in a special place with special people.  A lot of people go to Tower Fall, but we were getting a unique perspective on it.  I was hoping to see it from behind, but I didn't anticipate being touched by its water, feeling its roar, and sensing the rest of the landscape.  It was so beautiful.
    Finally, we climbed back up the path back to our car, and we were now headed for our secondary location.  Price was sure that this cave that he was talking about in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone would suit our purposes, and so he began to drive us there.  I didn't feel disappointed that our first plan did not work out because it had been an experience of awe all the same.  I knew that we were now going to get to the hard business of dreaming and learning about each other.  With me, I had a tape recorder and a cheap black tape and some of my original letters about the Young Romantics when I was 17.  I hoped to tape the experience so that I would never forget it.
    Price drove us down to the Canyon area and parked our car near one of the stopping points along the tourist route.  I am not going to tell you exactly where or how we got to this cave because I really don't want people to go looking for it.  This cave is a sanctuary to me, and I only take people there who are special to me.  So, please do not go looking for it on your own.  In all honesty, I don't know if it's even still there.  However, I will say that the way you get to this cave is by going past a sign that says, "Do not go beyond this point."  That should tell you that it is not exactly the safest area to be trekking along the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  As we went past the point, I was amazed that Price told us that we were going to have to leap to the next little precipice.  It was extremely dark.  The fall below us was anywhere between 800 and 1200 feet.  If I missed the jump, it was a long way down.  The jump was only a couple feet, but the platform on the other side was fairly small, and so there was even a small risk of jumping too far.  It was very scary.  I think what happened was that Price jumped, then I jumped, and then we together pulled Reuben across.  After the first jump, there was a second jump.  Finally, you get to the opening of the cave, which is not like a cave that you imagine, which is hollowed out on the side of a cliff.  This cave was really just a kind of tube-like formation between the rocks where you enter from the top.  That's right, there was about a five foot descent into the cave from the top of the rocks.  The climb down was a little scary.  I think we had a little trouble getting Reuben down.  Finally, we all safely were inside a hollow in the Canyon.
    The cave itself was not very large, and the tube-shape descended to another opening at the bottom.  Although I cannot precisely remember, I would say that the cave was about 40 square feet in total surface area, perhaps an area of about fifteen or so feet long sloping somewhat up to down with small platforms and about 2.5 feet feet wide most of the way.  At the bottom end of the cave was another opening that looked down on the rest of the Canyon.  The fall from there was complete.  Nothing was between the bottom opening and the narrow flow of the Yellowstone River hundreds of, perhaps 1200, feet below.  The cave itself, though solid in a way, was largely basalt, and it felt like it would easily break off in a significant earthquake, and you got the uneasy feeling that erosion would eventually destroy the formation one way or another.
    No ranger was going to disturb us here!
    While no ranger disturbed us, soon after we came in, we heard a chipmunk or a squirrel scurry up the side of the cave wall and out of sight.  That goes to show you that you are never completely alone even in the loneliest parts of Yellowstone.
    I was in awe of this place, and it was absolutely perfect.  It was incredibly romantic, in the part of the Park that I still believe is the most beautiful place on the earth.  Tonight, I could not see the fantastic colors.  It was all black to me.  Much of the night, I could not even see the Yellowstone River at the bottom of the canyon.  Our flashlight could light up the wall.  Price may have brought a candle or two, but it was just a white light on a black background.  We could see each other faintly, but we could not see the stars above us, the path we had followed, or any of the visual beauty of Yellowstone.  However, this was an astoundingly amazing place.  Movies could barely conceive of such an amazing place.  Poets and romantics, dead poets included, lacked the imagination to think that such a place on earth existed.  Even if they had set the movie in the clouds, I doubt I would have been more impressed than I was with this isolated little place on the very edge of the canyon.
    It was now time to dream and share our souls with each other.
    I turned on the tape recorder and began explaining why we were here and what we were doing.  Price was sitting near the open hole on the bottom of the cave, Reuben further up, while I sat between them.  I shined the light on my papers and began explaining, especially to Reuben, what the Young Romantics was, how it got started, and the kinds of things I had in mind.  I thought it would be fitting just if we began to share what we were thinking and what we hoped for, share anything we felt like sharing right here and now.
    The moment was so intimate, and I continue to toss inside my mind how much I want to share about details and specifics.  I am not going to tell you much because I couldn't do it justice, and what was shared was so personal and so candid that I do not believe that this is the place to discuss it all.  I wish that I could share it, though, because it was truly mind-boggling what power there was in committing to being a Young Romantic, in committing to each other and into supporting each other.  Being here in this place only made it that much more amazing.  It was not very long before Price expressed his discomfort at the tape recorder being on, and as soon as he said it, I turned it off immediately.  I wanted nothing to stand in the way of our evening.  Price began to open up about his deep depression and sense of emptiness, that lack of motivation I was talking about.  I didn't have much to share, to be honest, because I felt this intense happiness, this intense sense that for once in my life I was doing something right, something pure, something having a profoundly beneficial impact on other people.  I was just so happy.  However, none of us could prepare for the way Reuben was or the way he began to share.  At first, he seemed somewhat distant and aloof.  I think he began making strange noises.  However, when he had a chance to speak, what he shared was profoundly disturbing and yet wonderful.  I cannot share here what he told us, but it blew us away.  This kid had lived far too much in his 18 years.  He had lived a very complicated life.  When he opened up, he seemed more receptive to us all.  There was a maturity that I had never seen in Reuben before.  I think it really moved Price deeply.  The more we talked, the more amazed we were at how close we were feeling.  This topped anything we had ever done in Yellowstone.  Here in this quiet, solitary place, we were bonding together, sharing deep and dark secrets, dreaming, worrying, combating the emptiness, sensing the power of true, honest, and open friendship.  I would never be the same, and Price would never be the same, and while I cannot speak for Reuben, he admitted afterward what a profound experience this was.
    So, if Tower Fall was the serene silence that embraced us, here in the cave, we were being profoundly human.  In other parts of the world, people were being murdered and raped, boys and girls and men and women were having their hearts broken.  Someone's dreams were dying somewhere else.  I doubt anyone could have imagined that in this landscape, this empty land carved by the incredible forces within the earth, that people were sharing a profoundly meaningful experience.  We were dreaming in a dreamy landscape, hoping for a better tomorrow, facing and sharing the dreams and failed dreams of yesterday.  We were just three guys out and about in the Park on a Monday night, soon becoming Tuesday morning.  Two of us were still teenagers.
    The saddest part about the evening was that the Young Romantics were doomed not to last.  The original conception of the dream involved a group of people who would continue to share and help each other, but we knew that, within days, Price was leaving Yellowstone for Missoula.  This was a one night deal for the three of us.  There would be no second meeting, no growth, no helping each other toward dreams.  Price and I, of course, remained in touch, and there is more to this story, but for me right then and there, I knew that it would end like the Young Romantics of Cambridge, Ohio, ending before it ever could become anything more than a fraction of its potential power.
    After a couple of hours, our time in the cave was over.  I don't know if I have conveyed the true power of the evening, the true profundity of it, and I feel like I will always be tempted to rewrite this chapter in order to capture just how profound it was.  Price had suggested to me to follow this profound dream that I had had, a dream that had such an impact on my friends back home.  Yellowstone was perfect for it because Yellowstone was a land of magic and dreams.  Over three Monday nights, three crazy Monday nights, I had a different kind of experience than many have in Yellowstone.  I did not go on that daring backcountry hike to lands rarely explored or climb the Grand Teton or anything comparable, but nevertheless I found a niche that Wonderland had reserved for me, and I did my best to bring my best to it.  I found romance of a different kind.
    We climbed out of the cave.  I was more intimidated by the jumps, and so I believe I lay on the rocks and pulled myself across them.  It was still so hard to see.  The moon had set, and the stars were impressive.  The band of the Milky Way was bright across the sky.  I believe the Leonid meteor shower had just passed in recent weeks, which is one reason I was able to see a shooting star or two at Avalanche Peak.  We walked to the car, and Reuben was very tired.  He went in the car and fell asleep.  Price and I walked out to one of the points overlooking the Canyon and looked out at the stars as we talked about our evening, especially how amazed we were by Reuben.  This was an amazing high, and Price's spirits were much better than I had seen since I knew him.  As we watched the stars, we saw a number of meteors flying across the sky.  The sun was going to rise soon, and the sky was getting a little lighter.  The stars were beginning to disappear, and the Grand Canyon was becoming more visible.  Finally, we decided to head home.
    We got back to Grant just before I had to go to work the next morning.  My adrenaline rush was so great that I had little trouble making it through the next morning before my afternoon nap.  Thanks to Price and thanks to some inspiration in a bathroom and thanks to failed dreams, the Young Romantics dreamed under the starry, starry night of a true Wonderland.  We bathed in the mist of a tall waterfall, made our way across a treacherous path of rocks, and found solitude while embracing each other's being.  At that time, we were quite literally young, but our being Young Romantics had more to do with our rebirth, our nakedness before each other, exposing ourselves to people who could appreciate our beauty.  It wasn't just that we dreamed under the night sky, but it had just as much to do with the way in which we dreamed.  The magic of Yellowstone that night was just as much a human magic, one where the interaction between humans was just as wondrous, just as profoundly mysterious as the oddest geological feature.  In an odd geological feature with these people, the work of art was as perfect as I could have hoped.  I wonder if Thomas Moran reserved a spot for us somewhere in the crevices of his famous painting.  If he didn't, he should have.
    The Young Romantics later dreamed again in Yellowstone before going dormant.  Yet, in my heart, I don't want that dream to stay dormant.  I want it to erupt again.  I want someone to step forward with me and make it happen, some two or three or four people.  Let's please not make this story simply about my past, but let's make it a new today of romantic aspiration.  More than ever, I believe that we have need of it.  I know I still do.
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