It occurred to me only this morning, when I jumped out of bed all energetic (and strangely enough, no hangover), fired up and ready to go, if you will--Ack. I had hoped never to encounter that phrase that again. (I mean the “if you will” part—forever in my mind associated with Cheney. Why the hell did he keep saying that? Like we had any choice?)
NOW I’m ready to jump into my diet/exercise/whatever other resolutions I can come up with at this late date. Being a better person, etc.
For years and years now I’ve been yearning for somebody to ask Americans to take some responsibility…something Bush obviously felt we were either incapable of or that it would be a terrible imposition (projecting, maybe?). And it finally happened! Hooray!!! I felt like I had almost written Obama’s inaugural address my own self. Or at least the outline. He is so right—there’s nothing like a good challenge to get the blood flowing.
I couldn’t tear myself away from the television until the Obamas had danced their last dance. I was thinking during the parade that they must have been so exhausted—though they stood there for hours smiling and cheering. I somehow felt that if they had to endure the entire rest of the day, running the gauntlet of the inaugural balls, I would just see it through with them (albeit from the comfort of my couch).
I’ve been cynical about the comparison of the new White House to Camelot—Barack Obama is no Jack Kennedy, and I mean that perhaps in a good way. I believe that Obama has a lot more going for him—for one thing he’s a lot healthier, both mentally and physically. Well, okay, Kennedy was funnier. It began to dawn on me though, that I was experiencing something like déjà vu, or nostalgia, in spite of myself.
I realized as I bounced down the street this morning on my way to work that part of the glow I was feeling was healing, not the healing I was expecting from the emotional and spiritual wounds of the last eight years, but something else as well.
I was fifteen when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and it was a trauma that haunted me for years and years. I always believed that that same trauma drove everyone who lived through it a little mad, drove the craziness of the rest of the sixties.
With succeeding inaugurations, there were always odious comparisons in my head, always the feeling that the energy, élan and aura of the Kennedy years would never be recaptured. That the world would never look at our leader again with that same mixture of awe and respect. Until now.
That wound--still gaping all these years, though I didn’t realize it—has finally closed.
God and the Secret Service keep them safe.