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fall colorsFall and October are being ushered into the Northwest on blustery wings and benign clouds here in the desert. All at once the things of summer here gave way and were added to memories of all that was before…While I rolled up my watering hoses and put sprinkler heads away yesterday, I came to realize this is the advent of my fifty fourth autumn…I was born in the time of frost and dwindling daylight in the midst of October then…
I am still able to wander out into the day in short sleeves, but she is coming once again…the chilly mistress who decorates the trees in shades of orange, brown, red and gold. She is coming, accompanied by shorter days and lengthened nights…she is coming to remind me, that time is passing, and there will soon be a change of the calendar…and a fresh new year to embrace…she is coming once again. Autumn, in all her glory…Take care with you…Matthew
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I want today to be unremarkable. I think I can do with the boredom of working hard and getting the expected results…with no drama, no frills, no friction, no one being overly officious.
Tomorrow, I want to remember this day as one that simply went as it should, and I will be grateful for the turning of the page and another chance to do the same tomorrow.
The best part about today should be getting and giving the love of my friends and family…that will be plenty for me. Matthew

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Friday morning…quiet here this time of the morning…peaceful. Its nice to just sit and reflect, listen to the sleepy world as it wakes up and eases into the gateway to the weekend.
I have lived and savored every day this week, given and returned smiles, moments of undivided attention, laughter, pleas and thanks to the heavens for losses and mercies alike.
I hear the day beckoning me and asking me to live it, not simply let the time pass by. Be well all, and don’t abandon hope and faith…they will build bridges over troubled times and carry you when there are no bridges over metaphoric deep waters…Stay strong..Matthew L Landsman

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There is but one opportunity to live a day. One chance to be treated to moments and precious smiles, giggles from a child over some little thing that tickles the fancy. One moment to give your ear to an aged Veteran who helped secure your future many decades before your birth. A single collection of minutes and hours to be embraced with the presence of members of the greatest generation.
Each smile or thought exchanged is a chance to possibly validate the life of another…be the person who makes that difference. It is your chance to help another to feel worthy. Lend your heart for a second…it will be rewarded in kind or greater…Be well…Matthew…

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 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.

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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…”

award

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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It occurs to me…In Oklahoma…during the storm, I can hardly imagine the only storm cellar around, and a soul choosing to remain out in the wind because the owner of the storm shelter voted for Romney…And on the same note, after the winds died down and folks are lifting debris off of trapped souls, and from under the rubble a voice would be unlikely be heard to to say, “if you voted for Obama, just leave me here to die.
And in the months to come, I can hardly imagine a Republican home or business owner refusing help and aid from the federal government, nor would a Democrat citizen turn State or local support away.
Mother nature doesn’t vote along party lines, nor religious denominations, or race, or age or social standing…Mother nature creates a level playing field…a flat, destroyed, tragedy struck playing field.
God bless the good folks in Oklahoma and the entire tornado alley. God help us and bless us all. MLL

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Today there is no rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox, the Knicks and Celtics, the Rangers and Bruins, Jets/Giants and Patriots…For today, and forever more, these two grand cities will be forever linked and sadly have terror and profound loss and pain in common.
For today, there may be a lack of criticism and bickering between our citizens, and less finger pointing by our politicians…For today I will pray to my idea of God, and I will also pray to yours…for tolerance and oneness and a collective embrace…
It was not a mixed up boy that killed in Newtown…or a collection of terrorists that came to prey on us on 9-11, and 4-15 in New York City and Boston…It was Satan himself wearing the shoes and hats of many murky souls…
For today, while we are down on our knees to pick up the pieces, to scrub the bloodstains off of sidewalks and our memories…for today and forever more, let’s pray the Devil gets a one way ticket on a hell-bound subway, and that prayers and serenity fill that void…
For today, and the rest of my days, I shall weep for the loss of serenity and life in kind…Matthew Landsman

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