Reading the honorable dispatch.
See this tree-lined walk, snow framed beneath the red brick. Notice the tower, the arch. Hear this presidential address: honor society, an array of diversity, equity, inclusion. Notice the right words in appropriate places.
Want evidence? See this picture! Don’t miss our greens, our greenhouse, and We Are Going Green. Dedication! Concert! Debut!
We cut the ribbon. A trio of new sculptures in the courtyard. The renovated center. Award, fellowship, title, win! Our success rates. Recognition, honor, inaugural event! Homecoming.
Last, in memoriam. Here are the latest dead. See their photos, all smiling. Notice their honors, connections, advanced degrees. They are survived. We remember. Dates. Pay no attention to the missing. We look forward to an exciting year ahead!
I remember the tower bell, how it would sound on the hour, the expansive flood of its knell. Impossible, even if you kept talking through it, not to notice the suggestion, at least, of what was infinitely more vast and ancient than the oldest historic building––in the air we gushed, the land we rushed over, the silences between each proclamation.
Inspired by the pile of mail I’ve been meaning to go through, in which I found my alumni magazine. It’s a beautiful publication for a wonderful school, but I always feel a little funny about opening it, probably for reasons similar to the trepidation one feels around reunions. One’s life never quite fits into an update. One never quite feels quite “arrived” enough. Sensing that I must not be alone in this discomfort, I decided to read it here.