The benefits are proven. The speech of the same name is indelible.
Returning home to Oregon for a stretch has me revisiting a host of things…
Boxes out in the barn overdue for sorting. Keep, pass on, upcycle, toss. Same goes for the storage unit my parents graciously and patiently have kept up for us.
The fields where I played softball with some of the greatest teams to have ever played, cheered, chanted, won, drew, and lost.
The parking lots where I sat and listened to my BMG discs and homemade mixtapes. The parking lots where I cried, dreamed, parked, and carpooled. Et cetera, et cetera.
And then there are the nostalgias with which I am mixing my time and labor. These concoctions are shaping up to be transformative and healing. For example:
The farm chores and rural home once perceived as barriers to my so called (social) life, are now the lifeline I need in this season to let the nutrients return to my figurative soil1.
Slowly reaching out to friends and teachers who knew me when. Hoping to meet up in some near future, on a front porch or a back lawn. Maybe under our walnut tree. Or over a slice of banana cream pie at Shari’s. Or at The Festival—so long as aebleskivers and community dance are involved.
Hearing graduates rejoice in multiple languages at the UofO, jogging by them on our way to rushing Willamette waters and calm deciduous leaves whispering in the wind: you belong here.
And so, on this otium-filled, first-Sunday-in-June, I leave you, my treasured co-pilots in this Turtle Adventure, with two important messages:
One: I am going to be offline for a while. To take care of health and family. To be present in the season to which I am called. You’ll be among the first to know when I am back. You have my word on that.
Two: Among the hurt, injustice, and sorrow in this moment there are millions of graduates progressing from one stage to the next. And with their progression comes hope, courage, and the promise of liberating, decisive action. To ring in this momentous moment, I share the message from one of my most favorite graduation speeches “Wear Sunscreen” by Mary Schmich in June of 1997.2
I highly recommend listening to Lee Perry’s reading in one of the forms below. The first video rightly credits Schmich and includes Spanish subtitles:
The second video appears to be the ‘official’ (??) music video from the Baz Luhrman production (popularized in 1999):
Any prompts come to you from listening?
Any discernments come to you?
Where were you in 1997 when this was first written? Where are you now, 25 years later?
Schmich’s text is available in its original form behind the paywall on the Chicago Tribune here and reposted on Genius.com here (« Genius has a bit of a confusing attribution with Baz as the headliner, which is explained in the footnotes for SPCY TRTL team and available by clicking around Genius a bit).
Personally reflective and relevantly verbose footnotes have been care-filled-ly written for the SPCY TRTL team subscribers. Join the crew to see how we do.