Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Sometimes you don't even fully understand the stress that you're feeling until the moment when it is removed and you say to yourself -- wow! So that's what that was all about!

I lived in Poland at a time when not many of us had faith in the political leadership. I'm used to that. Some people are motivated to challenge what is thrust upon them and some people withdraw and concentrate on other worlds. (I belong to the latter group.) I have always wondered if art flourished at a time when so many artistically inclined felt themselves to be politically apathetic and disenchanted. Poets, after all, write when they are unhappy. That's what I've been told.

I never fully grasped how disconnected I felt from politics in the last years until the presidency passed today from one person to the next. And how happy I am to once again follow the political discourse (not to worry, not here, not on Ocean).

So let me at least recognize my own thrill at listening to the inaugural address today. As I would recognize the birthday of a daughter, or the funny comment made by my occasional traveling companion, Ed. [And there was such a comment, just this morning. Sensing I was about to start my yearly nag on the matter of Valentine's Day -- he wont observe it, nor any other holiday -- he preempted me by saying: so, I bought us the bus tickets you wanted so that we can visit your friend at the end of February. Happy Valentine's Day!]

And so, even though the day proceeded in the most normal fashion (yes, we are a town of many clothing styles)...

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... and I taught classes and rode the bus home as I would any normal day, this day was not normal. It was thrilling.

Notable, too, was the light on my ride home. Last semester, I would travel back in the dark of a winter evening. Today, the bus driver shielded his eyes from the glare of the beautiful, fantastic sun. Sure, my last class ended a bit earlier. Or maybe it's because we're moving closer to spring?

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In the evening, I went to the gym in my “Obama makes history” t-shirt.