A Spree For Starting Anew

May 18th, 2013

This Commencement Spree is my riff on Brother Lawrence Whitney’s (Brother Larry) Howard Thurman remix:

I make of my life an offering to you, the young folk.

There is a surrender of the life that redeems, purifies, and makes whole.

Every surrender to a particular person, event, circumstance, or activity is but a token surrender, the temporary settling of the passing and transitory.

The surrender must be to something big enough to absolve one from the little way, the meager demand.

It is the claim of religion that this is only found in God. The pathways may vary but the goal is one.

I make of my life an offering to the Nation.

There is in every person something that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in herself.

There is in you something that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself.

The burden of what I have to say to you is, “What is your name – who are you – and can you find a way to hear the sound of the genuine in yourself?”

I wonder if you can get still enough – not quiet enough – still enough to hear rumbling up from your unique and essential idiom the sound of the genuine in you.”

I don’t know if I can. But this is your assignment.

I make of my life an offering to the World.

On the one hand is the absolute necessity for the declaration that states unequivocally the uniqueness of the private life, the awful sense of being an isolate, independent and alone, the great urgency to savor one’s personal flavor – to stand over against all the rest of life in contained affirmation. While on the other hand is the necessity to feel oneself as a primary pary of all of life, sharing at every level of awareness a dependence upon the same elements in nature, caught up in the ceaseless rhythm of living and dying, with no final immunity against a common fate that finds and holds all living things.

People, all people belong to each other, and anyone who shuts himself or herself away is diminished, and anyone who shuts another away is destroyed.

And all the people said,


(Inspiration and Words by Howard Thurman. Remix by Brother Larry. Music on Spotify. Italicized words are meant to be read aloud and with others.)

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