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Midweek Wisdom

The Poet Inside

Amanda Gorman, Youth Poet Laureate

“To live one’s genius is to dwell easily at the crossing point where all the elements of our life and our inheritance join and make a meeting.  We might think of ourselves each like a creative geography, a confluence of inherited flows.  Each one of us has a unique signature, inherited from our ancestors, our landscape, our language, and beneath it a half-hidden geology of existence: memories, hurts, triumphs, and stories in our lineage that have not yet been fully told.”  -David Whyte

This past weekend would have been our HNU 2020 Commencement, a celebration of the hard work and dedication by our students who have finished their undergraduate and graduate degrees.  This is an amazing accomplishment for our HNU Hawks and for everyone completing their studies this spring.  And yet how we are marking this milestone is uniquely impacted in this time of the Covid-19 Pandemic.   How have you honored this important transition and achievement?

I have been considering David Whyte’s words deeply today.  The immense geography of each of our lives is difficult to chart. We are the singular person, the only one,  created uniquely through our own experiences,  “a confluence of inherited flows.” This pandemic is creating a new way of life and, in particular, is defining and enhancing the remarkable genius of the Class of 2020.  How will this time of quarantine and change impact your precious and unique signature?

“In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists”  – Eric Hoffer

One way I hope this time impacts all of us is for us to remain and always be learners.  The achievement and privilege of a college education impacts us personally, yes, but, as we know, this gift of hard work also extends into our communities.  We bring back the story of our learning and we promote that desire to be curious, open-minded, and level-headed: traits so needed in our world today as we roar into this 2020 decade already carrying a vast weight of unknowns.  Where will you share your story of learning?

“There’s a way a disaster throws people into the present and gives them this supersaturated immediacy that also includes a deep sense of connection. It’s as though, in some violent gift, you’ve been given a kind of spiritual awakening where you’re close to mortality in a way that makes you feel more alive. You’re deeply in the present and can let go of past and future and your personal narrative, in some ways. You have shared an experience with everyone around you, and you often find very direct but also metaphysical senses of connection to the people you suddenly have something in common with.”   -Rebecca Solnit

We have the choice to live out of hope and connection, rather than fear.  We can cultivate the shared experience of this odd pandemic time to create sustainable, beautiful alternatives.  Our genius,  and the special genius of the Class of 2020, will be that these months of sheltering will forever influence what you love and what you live. How this time transforms you is the greatest mystery and hope I have this day.   How will you hope and dream in the days ahead?

I believe we will rise.

As Amanda Gorman,  Youth Poet Laurette of the United States, writes we are tasked with continuing to rewrite the poem, our story, our genius.  We do this as we live, in simple and ordinary ways, as our history remakes itself into the world we dream of and create.

Be gentle with yourself,  Class of 2020,  you are already becoming what our world needs you to be.  May your journey be gentle and joyful.  May you see the poet inside yourself today and every day!

Excerpt from In This Place (An American Lyric)
-Amanda Gorman

….There’s a poem in this place—
a poem in America
a poet in every American
who rewrites this nation, who tells
a story worthy of being told on this minnow of an earth
to breathe hope into a palimpsest of time—
a poet in every American
who sees that our poem penned
doesn’t mean our poem’s end.

There’s a place where this poem dwells—
it is here, it is now, in the yellow song of dawn’s bell
where we write an American lyric
we are just beginning to tell.


Coming Up in Campus Ministry

in remembrance of Sr. Chris Patrinos, snjm
May 13, 2020
Meeting ID: 502 905 5546

Upcoming Friday Meditation Pauses
Friday May 15, May 22, and May 29, 2020
Meeting ID: 810 398 7414

Upcoming Sunday Liturgies
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Ascension Sunday, May 24, 2020
Pentecost Sunday,  May 31, 2020
Meeting ID: 502 905 5546

Upcoming Monday Mindfulness
Monday, May 18 and May 25, 2020
Meeting ID: 810 398 7414

Campus Ministry Summer Pause
June -July 2020