Another Class Is Finished

by Mark Chmiel

Appreciation is the sacrament.
—Allen Ginsberg

Another class is finished…the autumn one entitled
“Facing the Future: Resources for a Rebirth of Wonder”

“Rebirth of wonder” comes from lines in a Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem—
“I am perpetually awaiting a rebirth of wonder”

I’m not “awaiting” …I’ve experienced rebirth over and over
From the gathering of friends on and beyond Wise Avenue…

Dianne Lee’s commitment to “Whenever we see or think your name, you exist”
Provokes a more ardent anamnesis

Bill Quick’s ever genial receptivity
Models how to be in a learning environment

Chris Wallach’s intimate connection to Dipa Ma
Shows the way for “concentration, lovingkindness and peace”

Sarah Burkemper’s Nerudean ode to the first cucumber of the summer season
Awakens my amazement at the ordinary

Arundhati Roy’s de-mystification of corporate philanthropy
Revives the necessity of the “hermeneutics of suspicion”

J’Ann Allen’s decades-long morning practice of writing and generating poems
Rejuvenates my sense of what’s possible over a lifetime

Fatima Rhodes’ hospitalité et humaine chaleur
Wordlessly urges me to invite, host, hug, and serve likewise

Liz Burkemper’s holistic engagements at GWU
Ignite respect for the fusion of the Socratic and the prophetic

Cami Kasmerchak’s mailing seven gratitudes in seven days to Chouteau Avenue
Allows me to bask in epistolary ecstasy

Marty King’s fearlessness before suffering
Reminds me to take refuge in deep listening

Andrew Wimmer’s understanding of Dahr Jamail’s unembedded journalism during the U.S. aggression in Iraq and his hospice love for Planet Earth
Rehabilitates my sense of the “political” and the “spiritual”

All of this is why my next book has the title—
The Dear Love of Comrades