Monday, January 21, 2013

Barack's Inauguration

It's Really Happening!

            I woke up Monday morning at 7:15. That’s early for me. I’m a night bird, usually sleep until 9 or 10 a.m. But I had a reason for wanting to get up early on this Monday. I thought it would be a good idea if Jala and I went to our custodial job at the Methodist Church early enough so we could get home in time to watch the inauguration.
            The plan, arranged in part by my subconscious mind, worked with uncanny efficiency. We got home and flipped on the TV just as the President was repeating the last two sentences of his oath.
            For the next hour or more I watched the proceedings, breaking at intervals into spasms of uncontrollable weeping. I was a mess, and when I glanced at Jala, mostly in embarrassment (I usually try to cry alone), she wasn’t far behind.
            I voted for Obama, of course, and shared the great wave of relief that passed through many of us when he won the election. But I had my gripes, and while I think he is domestically compassionate I don’t like what I read about drones, expelled immigrants, invasions of privacy, the drug war, and so little on the well-being of Mother Nature.
           Nevertheless, I was glad for Barack Obama on this Inauguration Day. I heard words I always wished a President would say. I saw crowds of people of all races and ages celebrating together on the podiums and in the streets. It was the country I always wanted to live in. It just took 72 years before....
            “It’s happening!” I gasped, as I bawled in my rocking chair. “It’s really happening!”
            That moment passed, of course, though the glow of it lingered for several hours as I went about my other work. Then I watched it and cried all over again during the evening news.
            It’s true I’ve gotten sentimental in my later years. But when I think about what I saw on TV today, I’m just....
            Deeply moved.
            The ‘60s assassinations were my education into politics. But that was then. We live in a different America now, and it’s the America John Kennedy called us to. I see it in my own life, I saw it today on TV—all the way back to the Navaho and Cherokee and Iroquois and all the way up to well-spoken white women from Alabama. All those people of different colors and orientations, and all of us sitting at home watching—genealogy forgotten—are Americans. Truly! It’s not just bullshit! It’s really happening!
            I will sleep tonight with a light heart in the country I always wanted to live in.
            Tomorrow is another day.


At 9:36 PM , Blogger Peter Goodman said...

enjoyed the post; and read back to your post on conventions, and on green party folks and bernie sanders appearing on bill moyers show; and glad you decided to vote for barack o, although obviously i understand the temptation to go green.
hope we see you some time when we get east again -- or call us if you guys are ever passing through new mexico.


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