I think there is only the poetry view. I mean, all these snippets of stories, all we can do is read between the lines and imagine, hopefully with empathy and something akin to openness that listening matters.
It’s spring in Maine: hot, then cold, dry, then muddy. And lots of commencements. I went to Maine College of Art’s, even though I’ve had the last year as a sabbatical from teaching. I wanted to notice these graduates become alums, say goodbye, and see their work in their thesis exhibition.
And last night was the Casco Bay High School graduation. The rowdy ceremony seemed specific to this public school— there was original music performed by seniors and the principal’s speech was a sort of performance piece with the graduating class. And apparently most of the class was nominated to speak but the one that did gave a heartfelt and engaging talk that represented with gusto the confidence mixed with curiosity of an 18 year old. There was even a full-class orchestrated shout-out to a senior they’ve been shouting-out-to for four years. It was evident that in the huge beautiful city auditorium absolutely everyone in the audience and on the stage was astonished and moved as each senior spoke a phrase from their ‘final word’, leaving all of us with a subtle prompt of reflection, joy, and definitely hope.
And another kind of commencement happened in the last few days. My daughter’s premier soccer team won the Maine state championship for the 15-yr-old girls division. They worked hard for this, training several times a week in the rain and into the dusk, playing all winter indoors, and in cold early season weekend games around New England. This team is mostly new together this year and has a new coach that leads with an encouraging, professional, and personable hand. Just like the recent graduates they too played and won that last game bringing every touch they’ve had on the ball since they were each on city soccer teams years ago.
That’s the thing. Every touch on the ball. It all adds up, it is all available.