Thursday, February 5, 2009

Inauguration notes

Inauguration notes.

The Weekend and The Week have come.
I find myself feeling very odd, feeling like I belong. For so long I have felt outside the mainstream of my country. Now with Obama and Biden rolling across the country,
headed toward Washington, I am holding my breath elatedly, happily, scared.
So much could go wrong.

Cool, sophisticated, detached would be the safe way to be. Raised on political cynicism, I want to say with the pundits, those who supposedly know--It can’t last. Nothing changes. He’ll turn out to be like all the rest.

Call me a cock-eyed optimist. I believe things will get better, in many ways. Maybe not the economy right away. That seems to be a problem outside any one man's control.
Instead I look forward to a slow change in attitudes: maybe being one
of the good guys will become all right, maybe being a really smart, attractive
woman who gets along with her mum will be all right, maybe consensus works.

I hope, I don’t have hope, I actively hope that my country will find itself. A disillusioned liberal from the 60s has suddenly decided to take another chance with her heart. I love these guys. Along with millions, I hope and think they will do as well as anyone can in our clumsy system. They might even do better than all right.

A story that lives in our family resonates today especially. Ron's great grandmother was taken to see Lincoln's funeral cortege as it rolled through Indiana.A story that probably connects millions of us, sets itself a little deeper in my heart. Part of my family stood beside the tracks and waited through days and nights, to pay respect to the man who held the Union together for us. All these years later, a man who benefitted from Lincoln's courage, and his children, the descendants of slaves, roll across the country, through the night toward Washington,toward the future.

I am cynical. It is hard not to be in this time and place. After the nadir of Watergate, and all that resulted from that, the despair and loss of focus for my generation, the sense that my fellow Americans were more than willing to sell the Constitution for a mess of pot(tage), after the sleeping years of Reagan, after the malfeasance of the past eight years, today is a time to breathe, to step back a moment, to allow ourselves a little national political happiness. I am happy just to be with the in-group for a few minutes. It is a new place for me. I like it. I fear a lot, loss of political will, failure of the economy, assassination(the punctuation of my adult life), but for a few days I am going to revel in good rhetoric, in a handsome young couple with some beautiful kids and a dream for tomorrow. I am going to face forward.

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