I had 2 emails waiting for me this morning that put things into a strange perspective about the election and our dear citizens. A small part of me wants to ignore it and put it away forever — but then, that’s not sharing and that’s not what I’m about.
One of my friends who lives in the rural South, sent me her reasons of why she voted for Obama. They were beautiful and true. And yet she describes the undercurrent of racism that she felt the day after the election. The conservative co-workers clearly upset, the community that doesn’t celebrate. She shared a hug with a fellow co-worker; but only when no one was around. The underlying fear of seeming too happy or too celebratory in a restricted community. On the inside, she wants to yell from the roof-tops.
And all of this makes me wish I were a lion. I wish I could roar and claw. I wish I could make people tremble with my gaze. I want to be an animal that drives the ugliness into the light and sink my teeth into it. I want to shred its flesh off and leave it bare bones and defeated. But I’m not. I’m just a human, with a bit of reason about me. A human that knows this very scenerio of fear and doubt has been dealt a blow Nov. 4th, 2008. I’m a human that doesn’t have to resort to the animal, because the animal is us. And we decided — sans claws and blood and flesh — enough.
The other email was from a former student of mine in Florence. She wanted to write me and let me know she thought of me on Election Day and she is excited for the US. She is excited for the world. She knew that I would be happy and just wanted to share her own happiness at our election of Obama. Someone so far away. For those of you that never have left the country and do not look at international news, you have to understand the devastating impact the past 8 years have had on the world. There are people on rooftops all over, celebrating. Now if only every American citizen felt comfortable enough to do the same.
Happy birthday to my dearest Lori. Sorry this post isn’t about how important and wonderful you are — but you are. Thanks for the years of friendship, magical rambles and understanding.