Archive for June, 2013

 mll walk

When you assemble in the foyer, look into the eyes of everyone you see.

This will be the last time the lot of you will gather…

When you form those lines, know that others have taken the very same steps. Then they went forward and fed and raised you…

When you hear the music and voices of the crowd, embrace it as sweet harmony…like the same sweet sounds that lifted you over the last four years…After tonight, such a chorus will be but echoes and memories…

Entering the auditorium, you will leave behind the glorious freedom of chains that afforded you the room to grow…gave you chances to falter and still recover. Leaving the moment as a lesson learned without bridges being burned.

As you walk to your assigned chair for the night, look around and feel the pride exuded from friend and family there…embrace that kind breeze.

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When you sit down and await the songs and salutes, awards and speeches, retirements of staff and handshakes from teachers…treasure every word, each expression and breath…There will never be a moment quite the same…You will have other such grand glimpses, but just one carries the fruit of at least thirteen years in such a cumulative harvest and grand acknowledgement.

This day is unique, and gives way to your leaving the souls gathered there as one.

Take pictures, take pride, take a moment here and there and hold it inside. For they will later at times sustain you, raise and remind you that much is possible, and that you are loved…Sign the yearbooks. Your words will be looked upon and reflected upon and perhaps even clung to over decades at special moments in time.

Inhale this day or evening as it may be…and know that when you walk away, some will move on, others are to be left behind. Some are to prosper and some to perish. But for at least this moment, appreciate the fact that you will never again be this young, nor as filled with possibility and potential…overflowing with dream and vigor.

And while you wait for your row of chairs to rise and journey to the handshake and presentation…bask in the applause, the love from theirs and yours there in the assembled oneness.

Be aware that whether they be your junior, or seniors, all in the crowd will be living through you vicariously, to dream of what will be, or what has been…regardless, for the magical glimpse in your time, you are giving them all a chance to once again, or somewhere down the road, gather and glow as individuals and as one.


Mark the year, as it will accompany you as no other. Take the time and also give it…place it all in a place of honor…whether it was marked on field or court, behind desk or podium…this is a time like no other…And mostly, give appreciation, share thanks, and immerse yourself in all that surrounds you…This is your time, your day, collectively and as one.

Here are some reflective thoughts I penned some thirty years after I made my walk, gave my speech and held my paper to the sky…For a moment it all returned to me, and again I addressed my class, wherever they may be…

“…I can still hear the echoes down the hallways of that long abandoned school, feel the warmth of your being as we brushed shoulders in a lunch line or rolled eyes at each other in the midst of a boring lecture in some ancient class on even more ancient history. Through the years as I have ventured down as many other halls, sat dutifully at other desks, broke bread with whoever was a part of my days, and toiled at the work put in front of me…And I have felt parts of our years still with me, imagined your faces in a crowd. Longed for the innocence and the unbridled joy that being there with you could bring. While I’ve always lived in the moment, I also find myself clinging to fragments and shreds of tired memories and trinkets of our times together.

Today, I’m here to replenish my supply, to fill my heart and raise my glass to you again before I resume the journey.

When I leave here this time, I will have looked each of you more deeply in the eye, held an embrace longer than in the past, and let your words, your expressions, your collective essence embed a little more meaningfully into my soul…”


Tonight I pray that God blesses and accompanies each of you, now and following your moment and this momentous occasion…

Take care with you as you go. And remember, when you walk, walk on air…

Yours, Matthew Lyle Landsman


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