I have photographed many "Seniors" in my community and their respective graduations and parties. I have captured the ceremonies for 2 Military bootcamps, several colleges and many more high schools, a few preschools and even a couple of middle school ceremonies. Each one of these occasions I feel are very memorable at the time. I remember a hand full of quotes for a minute and I ponder them for a minute more. I look through my lenses at the faces of anticipation .....and ask myself.... for those that I am viewing, will they savor these moments, these words, these lessons or will this moment that I am documenting ....all become a "blur?"
My own graduations and the graduations of my children have all become a blur. I have a few photographs tucked away and I have the tassels (still) from my daughters and my own college graduations. I don't remember much about any one of them but rather one or two poignant moments from each. Its funny how for me the visual is all that remains. I cannot remember the speeches, the speakers, the words of encouragement or anything really .... except that I was eagerly there to either receive a diploma or see someone smile proudly about their accomplishments.
My own college graduation was the same year as my eldest daughter. My husband had rented a limosine for me and my youngest daughter rode in it with me to the ceremony downtown to the ceremony. We had a Social Work graduation which was smaller than the entire school of VCU and therefore not as long. I remember standing up and sitting down over and over as we were recognized for several different things. I was so happy to have my closest friends and family with me and we went to dinner at Gumbo Ya-Ya. But really the biggest memory from that day was me being upset that my 16 year old daughter was smoking in the bathroom!
Now days..... I hear better or I pay attention more to the details , as it is not "my" moments, but I am still proud. I am proud of all of the graduates, their friends and family and the administration that make everything happen. I love capturing the anticipation , the excitement and the entire atmosphere. The happenings are more "clear" and not the blur that they were when I was in my own nervous or anxious state. The words are ringing more clearly in my ears and my brain absorbs more and more important quotes, notes, and encouragement. The tears that well up in my eyes are not tears of relief but tears of those heart tugging moments when I see someone "dance" across the stage, shaking the hand of those that have mentored them, the throwing of the caps, the flowers etc etc... I mourn that I cannot remember the words from the graduations that have meant the most in my life. I wonder if I am the only one whose ears were ringing so loudly at the graduations of my family....from my own head's thoughts that I could not absorb the words that were meant for my ears to hear?
So today .... I reflect back on my Blurry memories of yesterday and I try to remember something... something that was profound, inspiring or encouraging from the Graduations, and I am struggling.
The words from the 2017 Cumberland High School principal ...ringing in my head ... loud and clear.
The world will be made, changed and enhanced when we begin to start with "the man/woman in the mirror." How fitting, how inspiring, how thought provoking his words were. I wonder if the graduates of this class will remember those poignant words. I know I will.