Monday, November 17, 2008

A New Hope

I haven't written about the elections, the campaigning, my hopes and worries. It was very interesting for me to realize that this election year has been filled with more things that mean so much to me.

I read McCain's positions on his official website, I read Obama's positions on his official website. I liked the positions of Obama and was pretty concerned about McCain's.

Then McCain picked Palin for his running mate. At first I thought it was brilliant on his part...an attractive woman who spoke plainly could get things going for McCain. And then she spoke some more and more, wink, wink. I went through the roof. I could see her in a meeting with a Saudi Sheik winking and talking about Joe Six-pack. I had never really considered McCain as a possibility but now a real element of fear entered into the election for me. What if McCain were elected and died...she would represent our country. Real fear. Fear for women's reproductive rights, fear of Christian's who have given Christianity a bad name being in the White House, fear of scientific teaching going out the door, abstinence policies that have been proven not to work being touted, fear that more teenagers who are pregnant will be heralded as doing the right thing by keeping their babies or getting married before high school is finished, fear the the freedoms I hold very dear would disappear. And in California we had to deal with Prob 8 which would remove the right for non-heterosexuals to marry.

So much intolerance. So much fear mongering. So scary.

I was in New York at the time of the election. I had sent in my ballot before hand. I tuned out the election news by immersing myself into my class. I did not watch the news or TV, I did not read a paper for four days before the election. Prior to that I had been a news junkie. Went cold turkey.

Election night came and I refused to watch the early guesses coming in...I've seen too many polls and news people trying to guess without enough information to go on. So I didn't watch.

I went to bed but at 10 pm got up to take a peek in the class room where there was a TV and saw that Obama had the lead but still had a way to go. So back to bed I went.

The next morning I was informed that Obama had indeed won the election. I have never felt such a heavy burden lift as it did at that moment.

And then, later, to see that he had won by such a large margin! There is hope for our country.

I lived in Virginia in 1960 when the public schools had been closed as a response to the order to integrate the schools. I had seen the signs over water fountains that said "whites only". My grandmother was southern all the way and called people of color Niggras. And today we have a president elect who is part African and part American...black and white. What a world we live in.

And then last night I listen to 60 minutes interview Barack and Michelle Obama. Everything I had seen in his campaign came true. His answers were well thought out. He was clear. He was concise. He acknowledged that the entire country has to work together. He was presidential. He can laugh at himself. He can be a normal man and talk about doing the dishes. His wife can tease him and he isn't threatened. They clearly love and support each other. She has a grace about her and a calmness that I am glad will be with him.

I have hope.

On other thoughts...I sit at my computer and look at a maple tree across the tree from me. I watch the seasons through that tree. We are in our typical Bay Area fall which means it is summer one day, winter for a week, fall for a week, summer for several days, fall again and so it goes. It is like this until spring finally comes around. Then the rains stop and the sunny days are here with fog in the evenings to cool us down.

What I notice most about this tree is not so much the color of the leaves changing, but the color of the light as the sun's position in the sky drops down. I walk out my front door and have a glare in my eyes from the low level sun. But the tree...it glows with the late afternoon sun coming in from the low west. The light at this time of the year has a golden glow to it. It seems to warm up things. The reds look redder, the blues look bluer.

I have finished my quiltlets for the article, now have to finish writing the article for Quilting Arts and then on to one for Cloth, Paper, Scissors. But I can feel the pace slowing down. It feels good.

5 comments:

Gerrie said...

A wonderful post, Liz. I felt the same way last night. These two beautiful people and their children make me very happy and hopeful.

Alison Schwabe said...

I don't know if you Americans realise how important the change of leadership in your country is to other parts of the world. We were travelling in Lima Peru and sat up flipping between CNN and BBC with their different but both very interesting style coverages, and did not turn the lights out until after the acceptance speech (about 1am Lima time) What a relief - we slept like logs. We had huge concerns with how McCain looked and sounded. We were additionally interested because our kids both married Americans and live with their chidren there... Despite the deterioration of his campaign I must say that in his concession speech McCain was incredibly gracious and statesmanlike. I totally agreee with everything you wrote, Liz.

Stacy West said...

Ditto! What a great time to be alive. You have expressed my feelings so closely. Thanks for writing this.

Stacy in Miami

Mary Ann Mauney said...

Liz,

Thank you for your beautifully written post. It's still hard for me to believe that we actually did the right thing in this election! I feel a surge of hopefulness that I haven't felt in such a long time.

Mary Ann

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