Now, to be totally honest, I had not a single clue what a Duffer was. I knew (from the photo’s) that it was a group of guys I went to Elon with and, quite frankly, thought that they came up with the name…The Duffers…after a few rounds of golf and many more rounds of drinks.
Come to find out that a Duffer is:
- A person inexperienced at something, especially at playing golf
- Invisible dwarves in the Chronicles of Narnia
So we know that, though majestic, Elon was not Narnia… A- Would be the appropriate choice.
These Duffers, though initially inexperienced, became bolder and more empowered over the years…just as we all do.
So, in fact, maybe a Duffer is how we all started… Inexperienced at something, many things. Always learning and growing and figuring it all out.
So to start at the beginning, a long time ago, I was a part of a magical place…surrounded by Oaks and fountains and green grass and to this day (I am sure) there is nothing like it. I know that to be true. Time stopped for a moment, long enough for me to find family outside of anyone or anything I had ever known.
And I met a group of boys, boys who I would see at a bar. Boys who always smiled at me. Boys who I knew were good, and true and crazy fun. And there was one with a smile that would rival the sun. It was infectious and you could pick him out in every photo because his zest for life shone in his eyes. And, like the Cheshire cat- he had a wonderful and mischievous grin. He was always there through time and space and as we rolled along I thought of him as Gatsby, like the green light… His smile was like Gatsby’s, pure and driven by all that was good.
“He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself.” –The Great Gatsby-
We learn and love and lose and fall and get up again- no one escapes failure and defeat, it is an inevitable part of life. When you fall, those that soften the blow are the most important cushion, and that for most, for the Duffers has been Elon. The common bond, the Numen Lumen-what we used to laugh about over several beers repeating it again and again…not really knowing the true meaning. But now (thanks to Wikipedia) we know that these words are about love and light and God’s space. It’s where we began and, in a way, where we all end…in the hands of each other. No matter the name or the symbol—we belong to each other. Phoenix, Fighting Christians, Sorority, Fraternity…we are each other’s love and light…Numen Lumen.
God Speed Mark Foley-you are our green light.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning—so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.