Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tumult within Hope

There is so much in my heart that it is bursting.

The crowd started chanting, "Yes we can!" even before they knew it was an integral part of his acceptance speech.

When Obama gave his speech last night Justin lifted his foot--half foot--in salute when the President-elect acknowledged the disabled of America.

Michele Obama is the next First Lady of the United States of America. A black woman. Black children will live in the White House (with a new puppy!). This world has changed changed changed. Praise Jesus.

I love the story that Obama told of the 106-year-old woman who voted yesterday in a world so different than the one she was born into--"a generation past slavery". She lives now in a world in which women can vote, blacks can vote; she touched a screen to vote.

Yes we can!

I am grateful to my parents for moving to this country, for their decision to let us come to our own decisions to become citizens here, for our opportunity to vote in these elections.

Yes we can!

But then I remember Proposition 8, and the theft of the right to marry that California inflicted on gay men and women who love each other. I do not understand how a proposition to amend the state constitution to "eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry" can pass in a world that can also feel so progressive. It is a tragic humbling outcome.

Now that in my small way with words and a little money and a little time I have contributed to the election of Hope, I wonder what next steps I can take to help make this world a better place. How can I help Barack Obama get his good work done? How can I help gays be treated as equal human beings? How can I contribute to the change we elected to have the chance to enact?

I consider my still looming student loan debt and my current work as a waitress and an art model and I wonder how I can better use my education (What's an English major to do?) to serve this country. I consider my recently-well-managed mood disorder and I wonder what I can manage to do and still be healthy. I consider my free time and pray for healthy outcomes and blessings on my work, whatever that work may be.

Barack Obama is the next President of the United States, and for the first time in years I harbor h a feeling of hope for the world, hope that is not against all odds, hope that is real and strong and steeped in the courage of so many people who believe that this world really can be a better place.

If yesterday I felt like it was audition day and I was waiting to hear whether I got a part, today I feel like the part turned out to be for a Broadway show instead of a school play. I might have a bit part, but I do not know when the show will close and I know the lead needs us all to do our best to support his role.

Yes. We can.

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