Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Daydreaming

Here in South Pasadena, it's easy to be lulled into a false sense of idyllic security: beautiful surroundings, safe neighborhoods, great schools, art and architecture, culture and recreation, and a diverse community intent on preserving what we have for future generations to enjoy.

We're extremely fortunate, and luckier than a lot of other people sharing this planet.

You'll all forgive me a rare lapse into my own personal politics, but here's my heartfelt wish for President-elect Obama and his new administration: that through their work, more people will have a chance to enjoy the good life. That change and hope are not just beautiful nouns to hypnotize an electorate but action items to build a better country. That the trusted ideals of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and not the tarnished fantasies of Milton Friedman inspire new plans to benefit workers as well as shareholders. That our fragile planet's ecology receive more thoughtful solutions than Cap and Trade. That women's rights be a top priority, not just a tool for voter manipulation, and that equal pay for equal work become a reality, not just a forgotten slogan from the 1970s. That not only our children but the children in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Gaza, and Iran, and all other regions lashed raw by violence (or awaiting a strike) will have reason to believe that America is a land of peacemakers and reformers, of fairness and humility, of innovation and collaboration, of accountability and honor, of tolerance and charity.

It's a tall order, I know. But something tells me these are extraordinary times...

27 comments:

Fabrizio - ikol22 said...

""...These are extraordinary times..."" I do have your same expectation. America has to be back the country we know it may be.

In this atmosphere I find extraordinary and touching your photo. Really.

Benjamin Madison said...

Perfect photo and a great "lapse." I'm sure people all around the world tonight are sharing the same thoughts you've expressed so beautifully.

Cafe Observer said...

I wundered who O'bama's speechwriter was...I can now see, it's you!!

Julie said...

The dawn of a new era, even. Nicely phrased, Laurie. This man bears a heavy burden but will be carried along by the hopes and aspirations of people around the world.

Webradio said...

Yes, we can dream Laurie...

Nice phot, also !

USelaine said...

It's now our job to hold him to the ideals he has expressed. I can't imagine an American more well placed for his times.

Sally said...

You guys did it - congratulations.

A gracious concession speech, a moving and inspirational victory speech and a lot of joy. I had tears.
Sydney Daily Photo

Jilly said...

A beautiful scene that s perfectly illustrates your words. An historic night, so moving, giving us all hope for a brave new world - for America and all the world. I like your last paragraph, Laurie. I too feel this man is exceptional and so are these times. Thankyou America for electing him!

Halcyon said...

You said it much better than I could. Amen Sister!

Judy said...

I'm with Sally. I was so moved by the sincerity of McCain's speech. He was humble and his words seemed heartfelt. I was also again brought to tears by Obama's acceptance, and the joy of the crowds that were shown throughout the United States and the world. We have come so far. It's hard to imagine that in our not so distant past, a man like him would have been shunned from society because he was of mixed race, and now he is going to be the leader of the Free World. I was very proud to be an American last night. I hope his ideals are more than words. I hope that the dreams and hope he has inspired in so many can come to fruition.

He has a huge task at hand. I think he is up to the challenge. These are indeed extraordinary times.

altadenahiker said...

Well said Laurie -- and at midnight, no less. (Is that your little girl?)

Dixie Jane said...

Laurie, your picture reminds me of the title of an old song, "I'm Beginning to See the Light."

I can only ditto the words of our Judy and thank you for having the ability also to master the English language and to put into words what is in our hearts.

Sharon said...

Beautiful sentiment. You write so eloquently. It will take a strong leader to turn this boat around. My gut tells me he's up to the challenge. I hope we are.

Kelly said...

Amen.

A friend posted the following quote she heard on Facebook today:

"Rosa sat, so Martin could walk. Martin walked, so Obama could run. Obama ran, so our children could fly."

Your photo reminded me of this sentiment!

USelaine said...

And if you thought voting for President was fun, wait until you see the January theme day ballot just waiting for you to make your voice heard! 8^)

Mister Earl said...

Laurie,

Thanks for the moving thoughts today and yesterday. Lots of things make me cry, and last night's events were right up there. The comments at the beginning of McCain's speech showed he's not the man we've been seeing for the last few months, and really was not comfortable with the smear campaign he ran.

Not since Jack Kennedy have we had someone who can, by his very words, move us to higher ideals and greater accomplishments. I have a lot of hope for Obama because he gets that we've got to change the way we solve problems and the way we resolve conflict.

When I was in high school there was a proposition on the California ballot that said that people should be able to discriminate in whom they sold their houses to. That measure passed by a 2/3 majority.

At the same time, I read a book called The Fire Next Time by James Balwin about how the white world was going to have to change. My father marched in Selma, Alabama alongside Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte and so many others. I was privileged to meet both James Baldwin and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Then came the assasinations, and so much seemed lost. Only the Beatles and the revolution in culture they started seemed to offer hope to my generation.

A now we've arrived at some sort of culmination of all that we went through. We've raised our children to be color blind, and have come to accept that it's a new, different-looking world. And that's how we voted yesterday.

Although we sometimes lose our way, we are a great and good people, who only want the best for the entire world.

Ken of Mac said...

is that light or the sun monster? thrilling shot

babooshka said...

Well said. I'm just so caught up in the whole Obama feel good factor, but I am a realist. I genuinely believe though, he's the man, the right man. For America, in fact us all I do hope so. Either way we couldn't have stomached another Republican administration in the UK.I'm so proud
of America today.

Petrea said...

I read this earlier and didn't have a chance 'til now to respond. I always enjoy your well-thought-out posts, Laurie. Another great photo, too.

I wish my parents could have been part of this election. Mr. Earl's tale of his father in the Selma march has me thinking of my dad, who volunteered as a researcher for the Angela Davis defense way back when, and who took me to anti-segregation marches when I was little and anti-war marches when I was less little.

Look what the current generation of Americans gave to its children yesterday.

Cafe Observer said...

Well, the current generation & our local area has given local college kid BO ( Oxy College And Obama ) to its children. From Jackie Robinson to BObama -remember our Pasadena area is the best in the country.

However,,the current generation has also left its children trillions in debt and maybe an America with less opportunity than prior generations.

JT said...

Well said, neighbor.

Great photo too! It truly captures a moment, feeling and of course time of daylight savings, or "loosing."

Mademoiselle Gramophone said...

I love this post. It's nourishing.

Here's a song for Dixie Jane in her little 1945 tea dress.

Cafe Observer said...

This pic is one of your greatest hits.

I just thought of something! This pic is like a trillion words

Château-Gontierdailyphoto said...

All the world is with you.

Hilda said...

Amen.

Laurie said...

Hi folks,

Thanks for indulging me a little political rambling. All of your kind words and hopeful thoughts about the future touch my heart and make me feel very excited about the possibility of a better future. I think we all feel like something shifted in the zeitgeist. For me, it's not so much what Obama stands for but the fact that so many many many many MANY others all over the country and indeed all over the world are willing to stand with him for a better global community. Wow, what a concept.

Altadenahiker, yes. That's my sweet little darling girl.

Judy, I was also moved by McCain's speech -- and touched by his graciousness and generosity in what had to have been a painful moment of defeat. I wish all races could end with that kind of good will from the losing candidate. All of Palin's words to the press were equally unifying and generous. I know, in a few months we'll be back to the same old dirty namecalling us vs. them political war but the good vibe from all sides right now is awfully nice. I'm reminded of stories of Christmas during World War 1 when the two sides stopped fighting for that day, came out of the trenches and celebrated the holiday ... all before climbing back to positions and killing each other.

Sure would be nice if it were Christmas every day.

Mister Earl, I love hearing your history. I came from a pretty apolitical family. When I wanted to wear a Cissy Farenthold button in the 2nd grade, and wrote to Shirley Chisolm to ask for an autographed photo, my mom (hi Dixie!) wasn't sure exactly where I came from. I spent a lot of my youth feeling like a cultural outsider -- especially during my youth in the 80s when Jerry Rubin was doing his Yuppie not Yippie tour with Abbie Hoffman and everyone around me seemed to want to be Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken.

Cafe, I hear ya about the debt -- and you know how I feel about the corporate-led current political system of which Mr. Obama is a definite participant. I'm hoping all of this good will and citizen participation in government will lead to a more populist movement. I can dream!

Mme Gramaphone, I love that recording! Dixie Jane and I know that song well but I've never heard that great version of it. I just love the Internet!

Thanks for all the great conversation, everyone. I'm so delighted to be here together with all of you. Til tomorrow...

Mister Earl said...

I don't know how you find these, Laurie. I certainly don't! This one looks like a Plymouth to me, which would mean it's related to a DeSoto.

Your mention of Jerry Rubin yesterday reminded me that one time he showed up at my Poli Sci 5 class at Berkeley in 1967-8. It was a huge class in a large auditorium. He just sat on the stage and played the guitar for awhile and then left. It was definitely a Berkeley/60s moment!

Just got back from the Farmer's Market with my supply of sweet grapes!