Everyone in this room is a marvel.
You are a wonder of the world,
you are a statistical improbability,
you are that particular sperm and that particular egg out of millions
You won the lottery of existence.
You are a walking miracle.
You are blood and flesh and bone
sinew and muscle
fat and fiber
protein and vitamin
hormones and chemicals firing on all cylinders,
you are lucky, you are reborn.
You have risen not from the ashes
but from Stardust.
You share this transcendent connection with the universe,
and we may all be orphans of it but before we longed to reach back up towards the stars,
we were blessed enough to be blown into this earth
and the dust still hasn’t settled—
we have not settled.
We have pushed ourselves to the limits,
defied our own disbelief,
we have been spat on by naysayers and we have spat back—
societies formed; empires built; castles crumbled
wars fought; peace sought; riots started; movements championed.
We are stewing in the juices of the human condition
and some of us pick off the meat on our bones
and we bleed to feel the pumping.
We get addicted; we get obsessed.
We are violent and dirty and gritty,
we rip and tear and wrench screams from the wicked and wails from the wronged
and we live in fear of retribution.
We form connections and feel sparks,
we whisper sounds and communicate in lilting cadence,
hold each other, wrapped up tightly and bury smiles into necks,
love for love’s sake and we are lit up from the inside.
There is a beauty to humanity that science can’t quite tap.
We are described in poems like this; we are works of art and so art has been
around us for as long as it is known half-lit in the half light
(I cannot fathom the impossibility of this classroom, of having people here
To be in a club and to rally around an idea, that this — our condition—exists at all)
We surge forward in the never-ending race of progress and we scream out
The earth molds beneath our hands.
We live to relive and start anew.
We wade our way through the unfeeling of the cosmos
and we can break, we are fragile.
Fleshy blobs with brains, with thoughts and ideas
that have managed to endure, managed to mend over and over again.
We go through hell and back and still feel our hearts jolt
When a sunrise breaks; when a baby is born (another miracle); when a bond
when the music swells; when a dream is realized; when a lover gazes soft.
We can empathize; we can be gentle enough to hold another’s life in our
hands and keep it safe,
and crass enough to tear it to shreds, but many of us won’t.
We are human and we are sacred; we can be divine.
We are to be celebrated and loved for sheer impossibility
and we will sing glory, glory and hope it echoes back out to the stars.