"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The End of the Age of Indulgence

I woke up this morning to a buzz in the air. Yes, in the rural technological wilderness of Michigan's Thumb, the feeling of electricity permeates the air on this Inauguration Day. I threw on some sweats and my big fat slippers and opened the door to my living room and an absolute ocean of people on the National Mall. I've been glued to the television ever since, leaving only to refill my coffee cup. What is it about this man that inspires everyone to do better, to be smarter, and to try harder?

If you live on a farm, however, farm activities take precedence over all else. A truck came in this morning to take a load of corn out to market, and my husband is complaining about having to go out in the cold to upload the semi, but what he's really worried about is missing the swearing-in ceremonies that start at 11:30 AM. I plan to watch, if I have to go AWOL from the checkpoint to do so. They say there have not been this many people on the mall for an Inauguration Day since Johnson's in 1965 when 1.2 million people congregated in front of the Capitol, a record they expect to break today.

Much later tonight.... Hello again on this bone-chilling yet warm winter night. The Obama's just danced their first dance at the Neighborhood Ball and a new era begins. Less me and more we, an era of self sacrifice and national service. We kicked the can down the road for too long (starting with Reagan who bad-mouthed govt. yet ran up the deficit, turned the financial markets into a vast casino, and began his infamous trickle-down experiment), and now we're at the end of the road. And about that truck.....it flipped over on the Ohio Turnpike and spilled corn all over the highway. They might be able to save much of it but needless to say, it is no longer organic. Oh...and the crowd record? The Park Service estimates that two million people were gathered on the mall, the ellipse, and around the Washington Monument for President Obama's swearing-in ceremony.

So, are you hopeful or cynical? Me? I'm taking a leave of absence from political talk and concentrating on my writing! That's what hope does. It allows us to pursue our passions.

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