Monday, May 20, 2013
Book of the Heart
Graduation from Normal Community High School used to be a pretty hot, crowded affair in the gym. You could only invite a few people. Now it takes place in a huge coliseum that also accommodates ice hockey, Olympic volleyball, and the Bob Dylan concert we attended a few years ago, with Elvis Costello as the opening act!
So a jillion people can attend. Comfortably. High up and all around, with a good view of the proceedings and close-ups provided on a big screen (of which I was blissfully unaware any time a camera was aimed at me, fortunately). Because, by happy chance, I was up there on stage at my daughter's graduation, receiving a Distinguished Alumni award, along with Walt Byerly '48 and Judith Preno Boekholder '60. The awards committee was delighted when they found out my daughter was graduating, and I got to read a poem to her class and hug her when she came up for her diploma!
Don't worry. I checked it all out with her beforehand, and she was fine with it. She okayed the poem in advance, too. And her friends liked it. And their families. And that's what matters.
Book of the Heart
The wise ones say to know yourself. They’re right.
If you don’t learn to know yourself, you might
someday wake up in the middle of the night
afraid, unable to get back to sleep
and wonder if you lived your life right.
But the wise ones, who are many, are very deep.
They know already what you keep
inside you, like a secret flame:
We are all human. We are the same:
hopeful, yearning, timid, if there’s need,
bold, courageous, able to succeed
at loving one another, if we really try.
That’s all that really matters. You and I,
we know that, don’t we? We learned it here,
in the book of the heart, year after year after year.