I gave my graduate reading yesterday. I read from the novel that was my master's thesis and it went well.
As is customary, I began by thanking faculty, my mentors, family, and friends, and as I stood at the microphone another line of thanks inserted itself into my thoughts though I didn't speak it aloud. Thank you Mr. Ex for being from Nebraska. Thank you for continuing to deceive me when I chose which MFA program I would attend. Thank you for remaining silent when I stood in the doorway between our dining room and kitchen, looked you in the eye and said that I wanted Nebraska connections in case we ended up retiring there. You have returned to me my earliest metaphors---open fields and soil, the hum of insects in summer, the crunch and squeak of boots on snow in winter, birds that we don't have in California.
Beginning the program while you were in the thick of planning your wedding I thought might kill me, but it didn't. So thank you, Mr. Ex, for leading me here. Thank you.
This morning in one of the last lectures before graduation, this quote from Louise Gluck was presented:
"Personal circumstance may prompt art but the actual making of art is a revenge on circumstance."