Amazing. And I kinda like July. I am a big fan of July 4th. Grew up watching "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and always related to George M. Cohan as an Irish, flag-waving, singing and dancing American liberal. And the summer heat and recent humidity should have been a clue that July was around the corner.

Last night, I had the privilege of delivering the keynote commencement speech for the 2006 graduates of California College, San Diego. Last year, they had invited me to do the opening Invocation and I thought that was cool. Being asked back because they "...thought my words were inspiring." was even cooler. I admit to being flattered and nervous. I realized that I wasn't giving the commencement speech for Harvard or UCLA or even Holmes Institute, but I took the charge seriously nonetheless.

Happily, they asked me to bring someone from the church to do the Invocation and Rev. Michael said yes! So I had a buddy and a grounding influence with me. The event was held at the Scottish Rite Auditorium and it was SRO. For each of the 120 graduates seemed to bring no less than two supporters each. The room was filled with families, friends, babies, cameras, videos, noisemakers and signs, I really did think we were watching American Idol turned into American Graduate.

Sitting on the stage with Dr. Thomas and many of the other distinguished faculty, we were all in our robes. I admit to being envious of those onstage who had those swell looking stoles (?) that indicate their higher level of learning and degrees. I want those too. When I graduated ministerial school from Holmes Institute, they did not offer the Masters program, etc. So I just get to wear my black robe and my white Ordination stole. Being at a major graduation event reallllly stirs up my desire to go back and get a big-time degree. I have often said that I want to be Dr. Duchess Dale. D.D.D.D. (sounds like Morse code, huh?)

The crowd was unwieldy in size and audible volume. It was a tough house to play. People were there really just to cheer on their loved one(s) and watch them waltz across the stage with diploma in hand and walk off towards the party...er, the sunset. Yet, they had to endure all the administrivia, the letters from the Mayor and the Governator and of course, my humble nudgings. I had written a longer speech that was actually two speeches and when I arrived and learned I only had ten minutes, it made my choice clear. What was not clear was the fact that I had put my text inside plastic sleeves in a notebook from which to read and the lighting on this stage made it such that I could not see through the pages for the glare or blur. And did I have the presence of mind to remove the pages? Nope. I plodded on with a few more stumblings than I am used to or comfortable with. All the while, trying to reassure myself that they weren't really listening anyway so maybe they wouldn't notice some of the glitches. Soon, it was over and I sat down. And then all the snippets of ideas that I wanted to share came tumbling into my mind and it was all I could do to not grab back the microphone from the next speaker and add my post script pearls of wisdom.

Rev. Michael and I stayed through a bit more of the ceremony but I felt impelled to leave at a certain point as they were about to march up to the stage. Orignally, I thought that it was to beat the traffic exodus but I was soon to realize there was a metaphysical motivation. We drove over to the church to pick up something for Sunday and found the 12 Step meeting still there wrapping things up. We walked into the bookstore to get the item dropped off in the mailbox and ran across TK who looked started to see us. We explained our reason for being there and he broke into a big grin because he had locked his keys in the bookstore and did not know how to retreive them! He had left a voice mail for Patti (who unbeknownst to him is in Florida) and was about to start making a littany of calls to see who could come down to resolve his plight. And then we show up! Now here's the cool part of this I want to note--we became his demonstration. If Rev. Michael and I had left earlier or later from the ceremony; or had gone to dinner first as was once our plan, we might have missed being of support to TK.
Yet, I was sitting on that stage and KNEW when it was time to go and where to go. I trusted that nudge and walked into the church just as TK was walking out and it was synchronicity of the highest order. That's the BLEEP I know.

: )


stacy monster said…
Sounds like you two were amazing...as usual. :) i cant wait...i have no clue where i was going with that. anyways, thanks for comeing on thursday, it was a lot of fun having you there :)
i love you!
TK said…
Yes the timing could not have been more perfect. Most of the keys that control my life };-)were on that key ring. I didnt even have much chance to start worrying. Badaboom Badabing here comes Rev's Duchess & Michael. Talk about "ask and ye shall receive". This is just one more reminder of how connected we really are. Ah Oneness. Aint it grand.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,

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