Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Yes He Did

Baggy eyed from staying up too late, I dealt with my email this morning and decided to indulge myself with a tour around my favourite blogs before attempting to write anything myself. And the first thing I found was this post by Bon which captured so beautifully a lot of what I felt last night. Andrea captured, in her usual incisive way, some of my concerns as well as the pleasure so many of us felt. Sarah talked about Obama's speech and how it and the victory resonate with her and captured the moment so very, very well.

Ewe are Here, who is an absentee American, has posted some very telling comments about American politics and what Obama will be facing in Congress. I, too, recall how Carter's promise was lost in the morass of Washington's political games. There's a happy little word dance from Alejna, posted last night just after the 'call'. There's an heartfelt statement from Painted Maypole on how she felt the tug of history being made. Breed 'em and Weep's post is an euphoric chant.

I am sure that I have missed many other great posts in honour of the occasion. Or Honor, for our American friends. Lawyer Mamma was working the polls and I just caught up with her blog. She has a super map, if you're a who voted how junkie. There are some superbly thoughtful comments on the blogs I have listed, as well.

What is left for me to say? Yes, I also listened to Obama's acceptance speech with tears running down my face, relishing the occasion, simply admiring the man's gifts. As he spoke the cameras panned over faces in the audience, rapt, uplifted, thoughtful or wreathed in grins a yard wide. Faces not grouped by age or colour, faces simply American. United in accomplishment; united in purpose for the future.

On November 22nd, 1963 I was in a train station when the announcement came over the Tannoy that JFK had been shot. That was my generation's seminal moment. I was twenty one. There was no person there whose face did not show horror and sorrow. We had all felt secure, prosperous, hopeful, in spite of the temporary terror of the missile showdown two years earlier. We felt that the world was on the right track and that righteousness was in charge. A few days later I watched on television as the cameras panned over the crowds keeping vigil as the funeral cortege passed by and took note of faces made similar by a great grief. And it happened again, Robert Kennedy, and again, to Martin Luther King, Jr. I think the outrage of the assassinations helped to fuel the civil rights upheavals that followed.

From those days to this has been a long journey. I'm a long way from the young woman I was, a young woman whose world seemed so ugly. I really like the idea that somewhere in that crowd there is a young woman of twenty one whose values have been affirmed and whose world will, please God, now be on the right track with a righteous man in charge.


  1. I love how my Canadians friends have felt as equally (or close to) vested in this election as we have been. It's one of the many reason I love you guys so much.

  2. your writing is lovely too, mary. just saying.

  3. i love the juxtaposition of you at 21 with some young girl now...the rebirth of hope, second chances and all that.

    he has so much on his shoulders.