As I write this, there are less than 24 hours left until Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States. I can't even begin to express what this feels like.
Just thinking of the part where Bush finally leaves Washington causes my heart to soar. I have this image of the Pigpen character in Charles Shultz's Peanuts - he leaves a wake of dirt wherever he goes. Only in W's case, it's death and destruction left in his wake and it will take more than a broom and a brush to clean up the mess he's made. So much of it is irreparable - lives lost unnecessarily - and so many rights have been trampled, so much environmental and economic damage done that some of it will take many lifetimes to heal.
But I don't want to dwell on the negative today; I've been doing that for 8 years. I want to celebrate this awesome occasion!
I don't remember being excited about an inauguration before - well, the truth of it is, I've never been excited about a President before. And I can just feel the excitement, the energy around me building. I believe the US has been on a downward spiral for a long time and the only thing to save us from complete collapse requires something to shake it up, to change the course. I'm not about to put all of the burden on Barack Obama, for no one person can achieve that kind of goal, it's a setup for failure. But the essence of what his election represents is what gives me hope - that enough people in this country have seen that the path we've been on is unsustainable and we need to radically change the way we live and work and eat and treat each other. Obama is not only a symbol of this change, but has the qualities needed to inspire others to do the work that needs to be done.
I believe that Obama and his administration have no grand ulterior motives as Bush/Cheney did, that when he swears tomorrow to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution they will not be empty words, there will be no unspoken subtext. I have to believe this.
And - how cool is it to see this African American family move into the White House? this mansion that symbolizes the best and the worst of this country. I remember hearing someone right after the election say they wish they could be witness to the arrival of the Obamas, greeting the mostly Black house staff - what pride on both sides there will be.
I have to say it. I'm worried for Barack Obama. I'm scared that some wacko or wackos will do their best to take him out. I don't think our nation could survive a tragedy like that. I don't want to think about it, but in these days when people gun down classrooms of students, anything is possible. So that's where most of my prayers are directed; I don't feel a need to pray that Obama will do the right thing most of the time. But I do pray for his health and safety.
So, this time tomorrow, the US will have a new President, most of the world will celebrate and we can begin to move forward at last! Free at last! Free at last!
What are your hopes, dreams and fears about the new administration?
One more thing - a bumpersticker spotted:
2009: The End of an Error.
The wonderful photo above taken by Doug Mills, NYT .