Indeed, the very coming-of-age ritual is referred to in shorthand as 'walking'. I wondered if it was a source of annoyance for this man. Unlike everybody else garbed in wizard clothes, he did not look happy. He looked quite the opposite of happy. He did not wave to his particular fans in the crowd, smile and laugh with the president during his handshake, or fist pump at any point during his stroll. I wondered if he was humiliated by the whole ordeal, or if something else was making him grumpy. Or perhaps he is just a scroogy kind of fellow. I don't know.
But it made me think about how different today must feel for each of the 800 graduates. It made me think how different today was for me than the day I graduated high school. I left high school feeling like I had overcome a sort of victimization. I had endured getting the short end of the stick, but not quietly. I worked hard, but I cannot say that I took the high road more than once or twice during my high school years. I bitched alot. Mostly about other people. Not a good game-plan. But on May 7th 2011, I stomped happily across the stage towards Eric Gilbertson, shook his hand, gave a fist-pump to MJ Brandimore, did a fancy handshake with JJ Boehm on the way down the stage, and proceeded back to my folding chair in the Arts and Behavioral Science section. On most days, that chair is not a very pleasant chair to sit in for anybody. But for me on that day, bringing with me all the cushion of four years of fun, adventure, learning, and relationship-forging, it may as well have been a million-dollar recliner.
And that's what I learned at that moment. The headline of that epiphany was, "Bring your own cushion." It reminded me of Becky Miller's dad. Becky Miller was one of my older sister's friends when she was in elementary school. She was a very pleasant, nice, funny, gangly girl with a quite tall father with quite large glasses and a quite large mustache. He had a really nice, memorable folding bleacher chair that he would bring to every Sault High Sporting event ever. I don't know if it's called a bleacher chair. It was like a bleacher supplement. It just unfolded and had a nice big seat and a nice tall back, and sat right on the nasty hazardous wooden bleachers of Sault High's gym. Once, I fell onto those bleachers running full speed, sliding along them and filling my right butt-cheek with dozens of splinters. That's what happens when you run fast. I should have run with a bleacher-seat bungied to my bum, but that's hard.
Rituals and ceremonies are useful for many reasons, one of which is the taking of due time to reflect on what has happened around us and to us. I think we shall have a few rituals of this nature in the next 73 days, time to take it all in and practice some invaluable introspection.
My life is a nice musical piece, a familiar verse constantly repeating around a theme, with funky little variations. I think that I get the pleasure of looking back and writing the lyrics to each verse. The melody of this last bit was loud, fast, and sweet.
happy mother's day. Happy Rob's Graduation Day. When you go to Starbucks, ask for a Chai Frappuccino