June 11, 2005
Tomorrow is our permanent address.” — e.e. cummings
The Class of 2005, for whom compact disks and phones longer than five inches are obsolete, wore time-honored mortarboards and accepted traditional diplomas in commencement ceremonies this week.
Congratulations, graduates. You made it through high school. The community wishes you good fortune and a healthful path through life, starting with whatever your next challenge will be: more schooling, travel, a job, or a combination of all three.
The poet cummings, writing in the 1950s, got it right about “tomorrow:” that the Class of 2005 might read this on a Friday evening, when the newspaper is dated Saturday, is befitting a generation accustomed to Real Time and rapid, ever-shifting exchange of information with less and less connection to a minute-to-minute schedule or a Monday-through Sunday orientation.
Almost prescient was cummings: tomorrow is our permanent address. That is the bracing reality facing tomorrow’s leaders.
With the buzz and flick of time that graduates will experience in their new challenges, may they recall something of the words of Philip Larkin:
“Tomorrow new diaries consulted, new calendars stand;
With such small adjustments life will again move forward
Implicating us all; and the voice of the living be heard:
It is to us that you should turn your straying attention;
Us who need you, and are affected by your fortune;
Us you should love and to whom you should give your word.”