Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tears of Joy

There's so much irony that on the same day as probably the best ever President of the USA got sworn in, that the banks, where we all put our money went into freefall. They collapsed. So this morning I was panicking about fighting my neighbours for food (nearly), yet by the afternoon Obama had persuaded me to take a homeless person in (almost). It's the same mixed emotions as when he got elected. Absolute and utter joy. Appreciating every last detail and every last memory of the day - that is every last memory of the inauguration - not the financial news. Michelle's pale lime green dress with beautiful slightly darker green gloves. The sunshine. Not just through my windows, but glinting off the windows of Capitol House. The only thing comparable was my own wedding day. Knowing that for years afterwards I will want to remember the things that happened today. The funny bits. Obama fluffing his lines over Lincoln's Bible. Realising that the song Aretha Franklin was singing was the same as God Save the Queen - with different lyrics. Obama smiling as he went into Church.

His speech I was waiting for. I don't think I was disappointed. I've put the think in there because he mentioned patriotism as a virtue. I don't agree. The speech was also perhaps slightly too sombre and warlike. He might have been better capturing some of the joy in what he represents. He did mention the fight against fascism before communism, and the historical scenes he painted were great. The commentators went on and on about the cold. I saw the clouds of breath. It was minus ten in Washington . He mentioned the frostiness and reminded us how previous generations worked so hard for us - we, the new generation. I felt sobre. I started shivering. Then I put on Connie's salmon steaks. And thought about some Muscadet.

But the happiness did not dissipate. I felt proud to be almost-American. Sharing the American culture a bit at least. Watching people in HD and remembering the USA of my childhood. It's all superlatives. Superman, Wonderwoman, Supergirl. Moonlighting (not a superlative, but a an excellent TV programme which I can't get on DVD). Because I've read his wonderful books I feel like I know them all. It feels real. Real life, real people. Real tears of joy.

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