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!