I spent six hours yesterday with a Civil Rights leader and Freedom Rider, Rip Patton. He was delightful. We talked about everything from drums to how to foster hope in people.

How is this life?

He sang. He quoted scripture in ways that moved me to tears. He listened so intently to the students he was supposed to be speaking to. He asked them such interested questions.

He spoke only obliquely about trauma, but I think I’ll be thinking the most about that, about the things he couldn’t remember and his decision to not try to remember them, assuming his mind was trying to do him a favor.

He was charming and funny. It was great.