Hand-clasping, pulse-rising, hopeful, hopeful smile

Yes. I’m excited about the Inauguration ceremony. Are you?

I watch the people pouring into D.C. on the news. I see the excitement, the diversity of the features that express that excitement. Have citizens from such a broad spectrum of age, race, economic status and North American geography ever come together this way before?

Probably. But not to my recollection.

I also hear the reports of security. How they are combing through all the threats, how they are trying to apply caution to this event that is meant to be markedly inclusive.

And that makes me think about how fragile hope is. Fragile and immense- symbolized by those sea of faces, this event. And while it bothered me during election that racial considerations were so prominent in the reporting, I was struck today by the reactions of black Americans who are completely ecstatic. Tears of profound gratitude to be witnessing this event, exclamations of disbelief and pure triumph in the fact of Obama, the first black president ever elected in America.

I understood that it was historical. But I didn’t fully comprehend how personal this precedent is to people who have believed themselves on the margin of society all their lives. This is important in ways I can’t grasp fully because there are barriers coming down tomorrow that just never existed for me.

But I’m thrilled. And I feel a part of the changes, and maybe that’s what’s most miraculous about our future president:

So many of us feel like we’re a part of what’s going on. And what feels to be going on is a valid reason to hope for a better tomorrow.

8 thoughts on “Hand-clasping, pulse-rising, hopeful, hopeful smile

  1. 4 years? I’m hoping 8 or even 16. And the hell with feeling the same. I hope we feel a hole lot betta’. I hope I feel proud of the Job I don’t currently have. I hope I get exited as I pay my mortgage and know that my equity keep rising. That my kids teachers get paid better than the local bagger at the shop and buy. That America is not at war with any one. Ooohhh sorry going to go take a chill pill now.

  2. I don’t think any barriers are coming down today or tomorrow or next week. The barriers have now been seen and acknowledged. That’s all. If we fool ourselves into thinking that the barriers are coming down, it would be a very sad and foolish thing for this country.

  3. i’m loving the optimism on show everywhere about this lately even if I don’t share it.

    historical though it is, its going to be interesting to see how he meets the stratospheric expectations that have already been set down for him.

    I’m hopeful that serious positive change is incoming, but pre-election rhetoric has a nasty habit of being just that.

  4. I, too, cried like the proverbial babe as I watched the inaugural coverage. Do I believe Obama is the second coming? No. He’s a politician. A smart, charismatic politican who has a way with words that inspire. He’s got a tough road ahead of him, but my sense he is a pragmatist, so stuff will get done, and I’m sure I’ll disagree with a fair bit of it.

    BUT, it felt damn fine to not be ashamed to be American again, and to know that our country is not filled with small-minded bigots that seemed to exemplify the Bush years.

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