Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Graduation

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?

Here's mine:

"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."

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh Elizabeth.You take my breath away.

Miguel Frasconi said...

Beautiful, Liz. I am so proud of you!! I wish I could have been there.
-migs

Elizabeth Hilts said...

Thank you, Dawn and Miguel.

Daisy said...

So, SO proud and blessed to have seen you complete your journey as I begin mine in this magical place. I wouldn't be here if not for you, my dear friend. Keep on writing.

erin said...

elizabeth, i'm so darn proud of you and so glad that i was there to witness this greatness!

p.s. you're going to have to change your "about me" because it says you are still a MFA candidate!

Pat said...

I am so very proud of you. Your line was so beautiful and powerful and it has been a privilege traveling this road with you.

Elizabeth Hilts said...

Thanks D, E and my LIF (your line was a stunner—so beautiful, so tender). What a gift.

ajoconnell said...

Seeing you all, wearing caps and gowns, lined up, and watching you walk across the stage as Baron read your words, was amazing. It made the program more real somehow. Congratulations, Hilts. And thank you for helping to pave the way for the rest of us.

Elizabeth Hilts said...

Thanks, AJ! It was pretty amazing and amazing to be among the first.

Colleen Friesen said...

"...if I could just say the right thing..."
Wow. I have a hunch that if you dug deep into the darkest recesses of most of humanity, there might be something very similar most of our own dark shadows.
But your writing has revealed that belief and brought it out where it can be examined in the light of the day. Very powerful stuff and beautifully written.
Thank you.

Elizabeth Hilts said...

Colleen, sorry for the delayed response—thank you so much foryour kind words!