Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I haunted his office hours religiously, hanging out on the English Department floor of Academic Hall in an area my friend Nina and I affectionately called "The Nook". I'd hear him cough or chuckle or make some sort of loud noise (he was never very quiet) Thinking back now, I can't even remember what sorts of pressing matters I would make up in order to spend time with him.
It is so hard for me to believe that someone so animated, so full of emotion and passion, is gone. Where does all that energy go?
I wish I had some way to visit him again. It's been nearly 20 years since I was a student in his class. How can that be? But so much of him has slipped from my memory, leaving just sparkling remnants of who he was. The gleam in his eye when I got something right. The disappointment when I didn't. His fabulous stories and how completely wrapped up he got in retelling them. His chuckle. But more than anything I will remember how much he believed in me. It seemed incredible to me how much value he saw in me...it makes me smile to think of it now.
I took a class with him my senior year called "The Power of the Metaphor"...there were only five other students in this class and it was intense. Every thursday night, for three hours we'd discuss how everything in life is a metaphor. How even the simplest word is a metaphor. He said often "There's a poem in every thing." And his life was spent searching and collecting them.
I wish I could go back now to that nook, waiting to hear him in his office. I would dream up something wonderful to tell him about...something that would engage him in another of his wild stories with expressive hand gestures and loud guffaws. And then I would keep it safe somewhere where time could not go.
Thank you, Dr. Garrison, for all of those office hours. I can't wait to hear your stories again.
Click here to read more about Dr. Garrison.