Commencement Speech Delivered to an Audience of OneMatthew Olzmann
Every time my friend gets dumped, he pens a letter to his newest ex. The letters feel like weird commencement speeches, he says. Each one starts with an anecdote then blooms into a vague blessing. So one opens with a tale of a stranger knocking on a strange door. It ends with an uncharted sea, the bow of the lover’s boat kissing the tops of waves, wind messing the hair, virgin coastlines straight ahead. Or another letter kicks off with a story of two golden retrievers, digging separate holes in a common yard. Then closes with a prayer, clouds that part, a funnel of light. Hey, it’s been fun! You were “here.” Successfully, you finished being “here.”Good luck. So that was my version of the anecdote. Here’s my attempt at the blessing— I haven’t slept in days. I can’t find single amusing narrative to narrow all this history into a metaphor for this moment. You are heading off toward— somewhere. I hope you get there.
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