After his introduction, I lead the mantra. May I be Free from Pride. May I Live in Integrity. Through the Grit of Sand, may I become a Pearl. The faces below tilt upward like flowers to the sun. Smiling, I shift my gaze to Arnold, but he stares ahead, his lips turned down. It wounds me deeply, his brusqueness, because I know that I disgust him. I disgust myself. Thirty-two years with Arnold Burgstaller and I am still slow to learn.
“Perhaps, Bronwyn,” he says, looking at the students in the front row, “you could allow me to finish speaking before you jump in. Just something to remember going forward.”