Today! What a day! It has been an amazing, magical inspiring day. A day that doesn't feel quite real because it really has been so different from any other day I have ever had, it's one of those stand alone days in the history of me.

The day started with all four of my kids snuggled in bed with me, watching for the Obamas to emerge from Blair House. Obama=not so much punctual. Hey! He's just like us, kids!

As we got ready to attend the Inaugural party and I was forced to be away from the TV for whole minutes at a time, in order to make these truly wicked brownies (yet another sublime experience this day), they gave me blow by blow descriptions. Benjamin took it upon himself to draw this and stick it up on the door. I only noticed it when we left the house and it made me smile all the way through me. Indeed it has.

A few people I know have expressed that they don't see what the big deal this day is. That it has been overblown, that we have all been swept away on some sort of media band-wagon and why should this inauguration get any more attention then any other.

Hey, it is a free country, and they have every right to express that opinion. but this is my blog right? So may I please admit, that this has frustrated me? Deeply? HOW can anyone not see what a huge deal this is? It has changed the identity of an entire race not just in this country but across the world, forever. A glass ceiling that has always existed has been shattered. Slavery, bigotry, hatred, segregation, the continuing feelings of isolation, of being on the outside looking in, until today, there has been no real closure on them. Not like this. No black person has ever achieved the highest political office that this country (and arguably the world), has to offer. Don't think this is a big deal? Try being a little black boy who was not allowed in a restaurant to eat dinner with your parents, and watching on this day as a black man and his wife walked into the White House, and took over. This is not ancient history, this is the experience of people not too much older then me. All within one short lifetime! This. Is. Huge. So at first, yes I felt frustrated, even outraged. How could anyone be so insensitive as to claim this was no big deal?

I frankly feel that if you are not black you don't really have the right to say how big a deal this is. I'm not black, but trust me, even this white South African girl knows- it's big. It's huge. Look at the faces out on the mall today. This is not just not a fad, this is transformational. It changes everything for these people, and by extension for us all.

Here's some reaction from my fellow South Africans

Now I am not so naive as to think that this fixes everything. Racism is alive and well. African-Americans will continue to be discriminated against by racists. That is a sad reality. But something like this gives the successful 50 year old black man, who was denied admission in that restaurant as a little boy, the man who admits that despite all that he has achieved, he never truly believed this day could ever come, that this thing could ever be achieved, a whole new perspective on what is possible in this world. And it gives a 32 year old white woman a whole new perspective on what is possible too. And speaking just for myself here, that's a big deal.

Tonight, after this glorious day, the outrage, frustration and confusion about this what's the big deal? mind-set has faded to more of a sense of sorrow for those who could not participate in this day with a sense of wonder. Who did not get to watch it with the sense of how truly miraculous and special it has been. There are so few experiences like this in life, this may have been a once in a lifetime moment, what a loss to have missed it! Does that sound condescending? I suppose it depends on where you are coming from when you read it, but please know that I am genuine, I don't think I am better then you are. I just wish everyone could have felt the joy and wonder that so many felt today. You know how it is when you want to share something wonderful you have experienced with everyone else? It's just that. Less of the righteous indignation of earlier, and more of a yearning. It's progress anyway.

But anyway, back to ME. This is all about me after all, and my feelings. My lovely, warm and fuzzy, happy, amazed, sublime, anything is possible and the world is so good, and let's all just cuddle one another, feelings.

We watched the inauguration with others who had worked hard in our community to help make this happen. There was an awesome energy in that old theatre. I am so glad my kids got to be there. Someday when they tell their therapists how awful I was in every single way, I hope that they remember this day, and say, "but I guess there was that one time she was pretty cool and let us stay off school so we could see Obama's inauguration. Yeah, I saw it, you were doing a worksheet? Oh. I'm sorry." Or at least that is my fantasy.

Finny was not feeling well and spent most of the time snoozing heavily in my numb arms , I spent most of the time dripping tears on his head. He did not seem to mind. He even slept through all the cheering and clapping. Another miracle in our time.

This blurry shot is the closest I have ever seen Obama to tears, (or that is how I interpreted his expression, there was some sort of strong emotion going on there) walking towards the inauguration stage. I wonder what he was thinking. I truly cannot imagine not having a massive panic attack right about then. You have got to be wired differently to go for this gig, man.

And THEN, THEN! Just as today could not get any more inspiring, I got to see another of my heroes in action. A year ago or so I received a book called The Art of Possibility as a gift just after I was called to a leadership position and was doing a little bit of the freaking out.

The friend who gave it to me has always been an example (and somewhat of an enigma) of serenity and chill-ness to me. So I read it. It was another one of those transformational experiences. The same friend who gifted me the book called me last night to offer me tickets to see the author speak tonight. Well twist my arm. Aaron and I went What an evening. It was the most perfect, inspiring, exhilarating, and utterly appropriate ending to this remarkable day. Living within endless possibility. Is there any other way to truly be alive? I think not. If you have a few minutes I would highly recommend tuning in. You won't even have to pay a sitter. (Which would be totally worth it btw)

Did I mention that I loved this day? Well, I really, really did. Here's to many more impossible dreams being fulfilled and infinitely more people inspired. Yay this day!

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nyn said...

LOVED IT!! I was talking to my sister today about how I cried during the swearing in and the speech. She said she did too. We were both just so happy. How anyone could not be happy and excited for a day like this is beyond me. An no I will not get off my high horse. To bad for them that they couldn't have had such joy as we

Janet said...

It was an amazing day in our country's history. I don't know how you could look upon the faces of those in the crowd assembled in Washington, D.C. and not be moved. Their faces expressed joy, relief, hope, reflection, possibility. I am so thankful to have been a witness to this moment in history and I look forward to the day, I hope in my lifetime, when an African American, Asian American, Hispanic American,etc. or a woman taking over the highest office in our country no longer makes history but is just a part of the possibility of being an American.

Heather Madder said...

I love the energy and positivity flowing from your ideas and your page. Thanks for sharing this's to limitless living for each of us, and all of humanity. I believe in this. I know we are destined for it, each person in their own time and way.


Mommy Dear said...

Hi Kirsty! I saw your comment on 4 Kennedy's blog. Anyhoo--just wanted to say thank you for speaking your mind the way you did on her "political post." I appreciate everyone's opinions, but come on, NOT historic than any other inauguration? There have been 44 presidents--all white but one. Her approach is puzzling, and well-meaning or not, I don't get it.

So thanks for the inspiration!

Hail to the Chief! :-)

Soxy Pirate said...

I don't see what the big deal is. He's been President for several days now and we still haven't won the war, global warming hasn't ended, and I had to take my dog to get neutered today for crying out loud.

Looks like we were all lied to.