At a press conference years ago, Bill Murray was asked if art had ever changed his life. In fact, it saved his life. He was just starting his career in Chicago, and he claimed, “he wasn’t very good.” After a very unsuccessful performance he began walking. Just walking the streets of Chicago. He found himself on the shores of Lake Michigan, and considered the fact that drowning would be pretty simple. But on those same shores was the Art Institute of Chicago. He went inside. In his words, he felt like he was already dead. He stood in front of one of his favorite paintings – The Song of the Lark, by Jules Adolphe Breton, 1884. He looked at the woman, standing in the field, as the sun was coming up, and thought, “Well, there’s a girl that doesn’t have too many prospects, and yet the sun is still coming up and she has another chance.” He gathered himself in front of the painting and thought, “I, too, am a person and get another chance every day the sun comes up.”
My mother did the impossible every day. She warmed me with her own brilliant light, and made me believe it was me who was shining. There will always be a woman to light your way. Some will be lucky enough to call her mother. Others will call her friend, mentor, boss, aunt, and now, even Vice President. If we are able to walk in the light, it is because someone lit it for us long ago. And we must do the same. Even when are prospects seem few, we can still be that light for someone. Today, I ask you to thank those who went before you, and light a path for those coming behind. The sun is rising. We are rising. What a chance! What a day! What a light!!!!