As our friend Evans pointed out in his article the ALG public speaking class graduation June 9 was a moving event. All of the speakers were eloquent and emotional.
Among the speeches, two moments in particular stood out. One was the reading of this poem, ‘The Lotus,’ by its author, Tarsha Miller:
I am as old as time, forever standing in humble defiance to turbulence…
and the kind of ice that lasts for ages.
My mere existence is a dare…
a challenge to trouble, to turmoil, to the heartbreaking indifference of time itself.
Though I might have withered, shrunken by the deathly sun,
with colors that put hue-drenched royalty’s robes to shame.
I am crowned and embraced by Spirit, yet fully rooted, grounded in the rhythms of the Earth.
My presence is a balm, my hand a healing salve to the wounds of the world.
I feed the weary with my tears and sweeten the bitter root of its essence with my blood.
And in the darkness, I descend into the nebulous, murky void…
submerged in solitude
sitting in silent meditation.
But in daylight I arise…unscathed, unstained…and offer the sun a bit of its own reflection.
I’ve lived so many lifetimes, died a dozen deaths destined to give birth
To something yet unimagined, but still as old as time.
The lyrics are different, but the song is perpetually the same…
I ascend again
The other standout moment came from Gaëlle Koanda. Gaelle emigrated from Burkina Fasso 10 years ago, and moved to Denver three years ago. Here is what she had to say about the impact the public speaking class had on her life:
“Giving up is like giving birth to regret.This class has taught me more than public speaking. This class has taught me wisdom. This class has taught me patience. This class has taught me not to judge people. And this class has taught me to accept myself. This class has helped me regain confidence in myself, and I will forever be grateful to you all.”