Tuesday, November 04, 2008

An American Diary

12:40, Tuesday afternoon

Just returned from the polls, wearing my "I Voted" sticker. I've never had this kind of faith in a presidential candidate before--even when I was my son's innocent age watching as my own proud mother pulled the curtain to cast her vote for Jimmy Carter. In my adulthood, I have happily voted for Dukakis, for Clinton, for Gore, for Kerry. But I could not imagine that any of them could live up to what I wanted in a leader.

Today it is different. I don't know what people felt when they pulled the ballot for FDR, for Kennedy. Like I do today? I'm thinking about what MLK called "the fierce urgency of now." Now it is our responsibility, our time. "We are the ones we have been waiting for!"


2:40pm, Tuesday afternoon

I am weeping. How can a 40-something-year-old woman be so emotional in the face of possibility? "In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."


4:40pm, Tuesday afternoon

Son is taking a late-afternoon nap in preparation for a late evening watching the returns. I think about my 9yo boy and the fear he has faced this year as he came into awareness of climate change, of peak energy, of bits of the financial crisis. I want this time ahead of us to be filled not just with whatever difficulties we must face but also with the hope, the caring, the sense of duty that Obama inspires in Americans. "These are our hands; What are we gonna build with them?"

1 comment:

teabird said...

I'm so happy today. We may be asked so sacrifice. Surely, if calamity occurs, we won't be told to go shopping. For the first time in many years, I think we are about to engage the world instead of being told to fear is.

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