Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The election--what else?

I was way too tired to blog last night. I had friends over to watch, because I was nervous and didn't want to watch alone. My neighbors, Jay and Sue, complained about the small size of my TV and wanted to move the party (I hate big TVs that dominate the room). They were so noisy, the rest of us were glad when they left. That left five of us watching, enjoying talking about what was going on. They left a little before ten, and I swear I went to brush my teeth and missed a historic moment. By the time I'd gotten ready for bed, let the dog in, and settled at my desk, they were saying McCain had conceded. I couldn't believe it! I had expected to go to bed with the election unsettled, but hey! I got to watch McCain's speech--he was incredibly gracious and charming and was the McCain I had once admired, not the mean-spirited man who campaigned. And then of course I watched Obama--as a child of Chicago, the Grant Park setting was sentimental for me. And the speech was wonderful. Most of my friends--why are all my friends liberal?--woke up feeling euphoric this morning, but I didn't. I felt relief but a certain uncertainty--Barack Obama has so much to prove now that he's gotten this far and he has such an enormous task before him. I desperately want him to be equal to it, but I know that nobody can turn the course of this country in months, perhaps even years. Yet I am hopeful, and I'm very aware of the importance of the historic moment--I saved the newspapers, probably for Jacob, because his parents don't subscribe to the weekday paper. Someone needs to remind those children that even though they were too young to remember, they lived through a historic moment.
I asked Mel if Maddie and Edie, being older, stayed up, but she said no, they were tired because of the time change. She put them to bed and told them when they woke up Barack Obama would be president. Then in an email this morning, she confessed she was a weepy mess last night--so were a lot of people.
One of the things that most impressed me was the expression on Jesse Jackson's face as he stood in Grant Park--almost tears, but a look of wonder, of quiet satisfaction. I've not always been a Jackson fan, but I tried to imagine what it must feel like, for him, for others like him, to see an African American elected president. It was truly a night to remember, and I think it will take time to sink in.
Everything else, including writing mysteries, seems to pale in the face of the election. I brought home an incredible amount of work from the office today, have made pretty good headway but don't expect to get anywhere near my own projects tonight.
And my thoughts are on Christmas, which will come incredibly soon. And so will Thanksgiving. Fun, but lots to be done.

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