Last night I had the opportunity to see the great Peter Cook and Kenny Lerner perform their poetry performance Flying Words.
It was fantastic. But of course it was, that almost goes without saying.
The room was packed with members of the Deaf community, interpreters, interpreting students, ASL students and their families. It was literally standing room only.
As the program began and Peter and Kenny were introduced my heart leapt to see that the interpreter was one of my former students, now graduated, certified and working as an interpreter at a local college. She was poised and confident and I could not have been more proud.
I looked around the room and saw many of my students, current and former, filling the audience. As I looked at each of them I remembered the laugher and tears I had with each one. Struggles and breakthroughs. Frustrations and insights.
But most of all I could see love. So much love. For each other, for the language, for the community. I am proud of each and everyone of them.
If I am to be remembered for anything let it be for them.
Now. Don’t think that I’m saying I made these interpreters what they are today. I just helped them to find the path and refined the edges.
There is a, possibly apocryphal, story about Michelangelo where someone asked him how he carved an angel from a block of marble and he replied:
I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. Michelangelo
I’m not trying to aggrandize myself by saying I am comparable to one of the greatest artist in history. I am simply saying that we talk about him today because he saw the angel and set it free.
I looked at that room full of angels; those who are free and those still finding their wings and I smiled and thought, “if someday, at the end of my time here on this planet, I look back to see what I’ve left in the world for future generations and I see this room full of angels then even when I’m gone I will truly live forever in peace.”
Thank you Peter and Kenny. It was a wonderful show!