Last night was the graduation ceremony for the inaugural class of Fairfield University's MFA in Creative Writing—-a group of which I am a very proud member. To have witnessed the growth of these writers, to have shared the moments of struggle and of triumph, to have grown and struggled and triumphed in their company is a great privilege.
The ceremony had moments of particular magic—-lining up as a cohort, jittery about the hood ("is it right? is this thing on right?"); entering the chapel full of family, friends, the faculty, fellow writer-students; seeing everyone's proud smiles and hearing their applause; passing before the pew full of our writer-teachers who worked so hard for us; the call and response in Chris Belden's speech ("What are you going to do," he asked. "Keep on writing," we answered).
Then this: Baron Wormser, poet/novelist/essayist/wonder, called us forward and read our words as we walked across the altar to shake hands, receive hugs, get our diploma. Read our words.
One line. Chosen after much consideration--what one line can stand for all the writing we have done over the last two years?
"The secret I carried closest to my heart, however, was that I still believed that if I could just say the right thing, my mother would remember that she loved me and she would come back."