After Our Blood and Tears…

Posted: January 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

Barack and Michelle Obama have walked up Pennsylvania Avenue, waving to the cheering crowds as the President and First Lady of the United States of America. We are a different country now; a better one.

If you are one of my rare friends who is unmoved by the historic meaning of this moment, I ask you in kindness and in love to examine your own heart and see if there may not lurk there some burden on your soul.  For the rest of us–those of us who are prouder and more sure of ourselves as Americans than we can remember being–today is a victory over the real enemies of our country:  fear, hatred, xenophobia, and jingoism.  

You can tell I’m moved because everything I try to say about this day is pretentious.  I can’t find work-a-day words for an event of such great moment.

So I’ll shut up, and leave you with Aretha, who sings what we can’t speak.

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Comments
  1. shyloh says:

    Oh, how much today mattered – how much all the words and gestured mattered. I am also proud and teary eyed and hopeful — and less fearful of my own country.

    My goal for this year is to hold on to these feelings – and act on them.

  2. I am SO fortunate to have not observed the ‘historic meaning’ of the moment — so, I do not fully understand — I must guess it is like the significance of Charles Curtis when he was elected Vice President. (This was before Native Americans were allowed to vote in federal elections Curtis was Kaw nation). I’ve read about Jim Crowe a little — but never seen it (thank God). I am lucky to live in a place and a time when my friends seem genuinely confused when they hear about society being opposed to interracial marriages. [blushing — Yes — I am saying I’m young, and western]

    This being said — whether or not I understand the symbol, I understand that our president is a good speaker, and he inspires optimism in me. He is a symbol that things do change.

  3. inktarsia says:

    Aretha had a hard time hitting those high notes–not sure it was just because of the cold. She’s a pro, and she made it ring ring ring ring. And I loved her hat.

    There is so much more to this than can be explained by color, history, privilege, party alignment, character, or feeling that the rug had been yanked from beneath our feet for 8-something years. There’s something deeply archetypal about all of this.

  4. Kim says:

    Well said!

    I got out of bed at 3am local time (Brisbane, Australia) and watched the inauguration.

    How anyone could not be moved by this is beyond me. Personally, having living in your country for close on 10 years (during the Clinton/Bush administrations), sure, there was an attachment that others in other places may not have felt. BUT — the humility of your President shone through — he was excited, not only for himself but for friends, family and the American people — and, the world. In Australia there was a buzz as the day drew near, and many of my own friends did as I did — rose from sleep to witness what was one of the major events of our lives.

  5. And what a moment, for me, to exult on that beautiful day, with my 10 and 15 year old granddaughters, who watched the inauguration at school and wished so hard that they could have voted, too.

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