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Colin Sander’s poem delivered at 2017 Graduate Ceremony

Many of our graduates have asked for a copy of Colin’s poem, as read during the recent 2017 Graduate Ceremony. Here it is. It certainly was a lovely and thoughtful moment for the evening.

May You Know Peace

 

May you know peace

Upon waking and

Peace   at the end   of each day

 

Peace within your being

& within your becoming

 

May you know mutual love

Of an-other   of others   all-ways

 

May you teach and counsel by example

All whom you may encounter

To be accepting and seek to comprehend

Differences and distinctions   with compassion

 

To be hospitable,

to be welcoming

Of newcomers and asylum seekers

 

The tortured, impoverished

Destitute, deranged

For they could all be

One of us

 

Recall we too are all newcomers to this land

Acknowledging and learning from indigenous cultures

Local wisdom and knowledge

And recollecting the first peoples’ who greeted our own ancestors

 

May you not walk past the street homeless

Without reflecting   why?

Without acting   how?

 

Statistic:

As of April of this year

3600 homeless alone in Metro Vancouver

Up 30% over last year’s count

While in the suburbs, increasingly more and more

 

May you actively resist, as educators and therapists

The continuing cruel war on drugs

The criminalization of poverty

The concerted intentional war on those who already struggle, already suffer

The war on drugs and its real effects

Statistic:

Approaching 500 fentanyl related deaths January-April of this year

With 1,400 needless deaths last year

 

May you navigate and surf

Liminal space

Exist and play upon the margins

Of desire and

Of love

 

May others’ learn from your teaching and your counselling

to be accepting and comfortable with

ambiguity and uncertainty,

the unknown, the yet to be realized

 

Most of all

May you hold on to one an-other

In communion    and within community

 

May you one day read

Heidegger’s Being & Time

Sartre’s Being & Nothingness

Baba Ram Dass’s Be Here Now!

 

May you fight the power

Of in-justices

With compassion

For the not-knowing and the ignorant

For the suffering

 

May you know peace

Upon waking

And peace   at the end   of each day.

 

Colin James Sanders.

Originally composed on the ferry, Langdale to Vancouver, June 30th 2016/Revised June 27 & 29th 2017.