Jack Balas, 2023; GRADUATION (CLICK) (#2430); India ink & acrylic on paper, 30x22 inches

GRADUATION. I go every year. Join the trickle of people, then a river streaming into the big bowl of the football stadium at sunset, sit up in the stands surrounded by Moms and Dads and sisters and bros, grandparents, neighbors-you can feel their happiness, their joy. We listen to the speeches, watch the ceremony, hear the kids shout as they are awarded their degrees, the fireworks, and then the lights come on and the smoke clears and everyone immediately is in search of Their Kid, somewhere down on the field. They meet up on the ramps, in the halls, out on the quad. This is the best part, this is why I go. To see how happy these families are, proud, first generation grads especially, taking big group photos. The very first time I went there was a family of 14 people all lined up waiting for someone to come along and take their picture. That someone was me. Back then I didn't know how to work a cellphone camera, so I've prayed ever since that I didn't screw it up. They worked so hard. I think I go back every year looking for them. Maybe I will find them again. Or someone like them. YOU. This time I'm ready. Waiting. OK smile now. CLICK.

(Today is Fri. May 12, 2023)