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Inauguration Poem For Bill Rosendahl:

A hundred years ago, this very day, July 2, 1905,

Venetians gathered to turn on 17, 000 light bulbs

illuminating Venice of America.

That light is now being passed to another century.

We here today, are a result of those first Venetians’

intentions as we gather to witness Bill

Rosendahl take his oath of office as our Councilman.

His intention: to both preserve and nurture that luminosity.

Raised in Venice, the very place in which he will take the

oath, he is deeply connected to the land. “I try to live close

to the earth,” he says.

And “My religion is simple: Love thy neighbor.”

Of him it is said: “He listens.”

And (this is true) a chicken will lay green eggs for him!

There is both an unexplainable magic and a practical

explanation for this. But the real question is– if he can

nurture a chicken to the point where she will lay green

eggs, what else can he do!?

Today, July 2, 2005, just before noon

In the full force of our Southern California sun

Before the Pacific Ocean

Surrounded by those whom he calls neighbor

As Bill Rosendahl speaks his oath of office

With him will be the voices of those

Who illuminated Venice 100 years ago

And with them our voices joining

In the full force of that original intention

To preserve and protect the body and soul of Venice

Venice, city conceived in imagination for imagination

With body intact –the canals, the welcoming houses

The people came.

It happened – the magic — unexplainable

Venice becoming the city imagined

A city like no other city on earth

Its community of Venetians giving her a soul

Bright. Transcendent. The soul of Venice

A gift, which cannot be bought nor stolen

This is the gift out right, freely given

To those open to receive it; for those who listen

But Venice transcendent still needs a body

It can be, has been, wounded

It can die; live on only in history

So we here today, as with previous Venetians

Welcome all as neighbor, loving freely

At the same time preserve and protect our radiant city

With magic and practicality

And with the hope of a pale green egg– almost iridescent

In a Venice late afternoon light

That resolve passed on from those that have gone before us

For them as for ourselves, and for those that will follow

Will stand here where we stand today

And who will walk upon our footsteps into the next century

That the light of Venice not be extinguished

Nor diminished, nor simply be maintained

But that light burn, burn, burn into a boundless Luminosity!

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