Showing posts from June, 2022

Commencement Speech for the OWL Class of 2022

Congratulations, class of 2022. I am so honored by your invitation to speak on this special day. I’m sure it’s not a surprise that I’m going to seize this opportunity to give you advice. Let’s begin with a poem. Poppies Mary Oliver The poppies send up their orange flares; swaying in the wind, their congregations are a levitation of bright dust, of thin and lacy leaves. There isn’t a place in this world that doesn’t sooner or later drown in the indigos of darkness, but now, for a while, the roughage shines like a miracle as it floats above everything with its yellow hair. Of course nothing stops the cold, black, curved blade from hooking forward— of course loss is the great lesson. But I also say this: that light is an invitation to happiness, and that happiness, when it’s done right, is a kind of holiness, palpable and redemptive. Inside the bright fields, touched by their rough and spongy gold, I am washed and washed in the river of earthly delight— and what are you g