Yes, there was Bill Clinton yesterday, and Bill Gates today, and honors and ceremonies and prayers and cheering and parties and toasts and family and hugs and pictures and perfect weather…
There should be more weeping, that’s my feeling about all this.
Yes, it’s a jubilant, joyful, blessed, exciting, hopeful, inspiring, beautiful, precious time, but it’s also a time of ghosts, of memories, of finality, of fleeting youth, of loss and separation. To weep seems to be the only appropriate response. Weep for joy, weep in relief, weep in exhaustion, weep in mourning, weep in gratitude. Weep for the bittersweet tang of unrealized relationships, forgotten dreams and missed opportunities. Weep for the painfully beautiful metamorphosis of nebulous possibilities into sharpened minds, coherent personalities, and recognizable individuals. Let the tears of rejoicing and anxiety and disbelief comingle and stream freely down in respectful acknowledgement for the kindness of time, of others, and of God.
What else can we do but weep for the ghosts that we will add to the multitudes already wandering the hallways of the buildings we loved and the dining halls where we ate and the libraries where we worked? The accumulation of emotions and energy and effort that we have expended here over the years echo ever and only louder and more poignantly as our rooms become empty, and we violently, unceremoniously, and even unwillingly erase the physical evidence of our time here. Every bare shelf and abandoned bed starkly attests to the existence of their previous owners. And these owners no longer exist – where is that boy that worried about a midterm grade, or that girl that threw everything into her student group? We will be different tomorrow, we have no choice, and the future promises so much. How can we not weep? There should be much more weeping.
Weep, and you will know then that in some small way, perhaps without noticing or even acquiescing, in this place and with these people you encountered the mystery and meaning of life.