Thursday, May 01, 2008

From the landlocked heartland to the Jersey shore

We've got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels...

I'm a little stalled, creatively, but not in a place where I've ever been stalled before. It's ... interesting.

Went to an Obama rally yesterday evening. Assembly Hall (you know, the big basketball place) was packed to the rafters. As I was waiting (and waiting... and waiting... and waiting... they told us we couldn't bring bags, so I didn't have a book to read, and it was too noisy to make phone calls, and I'd gone by myself so I didn't have anyone to chat with, and I don't own a cute little internet thingahoochie like a Blackberry though I would just about have killed for one at that moment), I observed how thoroughly managed the message was. Even the throngs of students doing the wave around the arena struck me as an exercise in getting 12,000+ people to say and do just what they're supposed to say and do at just the moment they're supposed to say and do it.

And then Obama finally came out to speak, and what struck me more than anything was how completely comfortable he is, speaking. That comes across a little more powerfully "live and in person" than it does on TV, I think. It's sort of like hearing a fabulous singer live when you're used to hearing them recorded, and realizing how cool it is that the sound isn't just a studio trick of some sort.

(And isn't that such a generational thing ... to be amazed that the live sound isn't a studio trick, instead of disillusioned that the recorded sound is. Hm.)

He was comfortable, and as he bounded up onto the stage I was struck by the fact that he seemed to be happy. Like, genuinely happy and loving his work. I don't think George W. Bush does what he does out of joy; I think he does it out of spite, in some ways; and out of insecurity, in some ways; and out of greed for power, in a lot of ways. I've seen glee on his face, but never joy. But Obama's presence feels joyful. I didn't expect that, for some reason.

I grew up during the long hard Vietnam war, and I see how many of those wounds are only barely just beginning to heal. It makes me sad to think that the scars from the current long hard war(s) will probably still be unhealed when I die. And what that does to people, to the condition of our hearts.

You can hide beneath your covers and study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain...

Little part of me still wants to be a rockstar when I grow up (which won't surprise anyone who's ever gone to a concert with me). It feels both funny and wistful to say that, now.

Forty-seven, later this month. Holy crap.

Behind on everything.

And after all this time to find we're just like all the rest
Stranded in the park and forced to confess...

My best elegies and my best love poems are for people I don't even really know, and for places.

I may come back and delete that line.

Nobody's really a stranger, although everybody is.

And it's true that I raise my hands in supplication, that I fall to my knees, that I rise up shouting: all without an ounce of irony in my bones. I suppose that dooms me.

Have I ever really written about where I come from?
Have you?

Faith will be rewarded...

I haven't quite been here before, but then again, I think I've been stuck here for my whole life.

Funny, these things. Funny.

Nights like this, I wish I played the piano. And had a piano to play.


Jessie Carty said...

I'm so glad to hear you say he looked comfortable and happy. I've been trying to put a finger on what was strange (among many thingsS) about the way the W carried himself, but I think you are right--i don't think he really wants to be there.

Great post :)

Diane K. Martin said...

Anne, and is it your opinion he'll take Indiana? I know that sounds sort of like Napoleon or Caesar...

I've been so depressed lately about the news. About this crazy country. Sometimes I think we get what we deserve.

No just because I'm a woman and a feminist -- from before they called it that -- doesn't mean that I will vote for HRC. I can't. I feel she will do anything, say anything. (Though I'll vote for any Democrat over McCain.)

Didn't mean to hijack your blog into politics, but I guess I did.

Radish King said...

I want to read your story.

Anne said...

Diane: I really don't know which way Indiana will fall on Tuesday! I know my county is pretty heavily Obama, but it's definitely not representative of the rest of the state. I'm afraid I think it's inevitable that Indiana will go red in November, though I'd like to think there's some small shred of hope.

RK: Me too. Somebody should figure out what it is and tell me, so I can write it down. ;)

cornshake said...

great post! tho i lean towards Hil, it does move me that he seems so joy-ful and...comfortable too. it's hard not to get enthusiastic for him, that's 4 sure!

Lyle Daggett said...

In the vast sea of facts and numbers and stories and statistics of the past century, for me one of the most significant (and I haven't seen current figures on this, but the last time I saw anything which was years ago) is that the number of U.S. veterans of the Vietnam war who have committed suicide since coming back from the war is larger than the number of U.S. military people who were killed in the war itself.

Yeah, I think (and regret deep down in the heart of the earth) that we'll be dealing with the effects of the war (the one going on now) for a long time to come.

I definitely dislike Clinton, she strikes me as wholly opportunistic, intent on pushing some type of corporate agenda with a smiley face painted on it. I'm still uneasy about Obama -- he also, to me, seems a little too friendly to corporate political desires as well. I don't know yet how I'll ultimately vote (or if I'll vote) -- whether I'll cave in and vote for a Democrat, or vote for the Green party candidate, or see who else is running on the left end. Minnesota usually goes Democratic by a comfortable margin, so it's not always as critical here to vote for a democrat just to keep the Republicans out.

I will, however, likely vote for Al Franken, assuming he gets the Democratic nomination for Senate. The Republican incumbent he's running against, Norm Coleman, is a Bush lapdog who needs to be sent back to the doghouse.

Beautifully written post here. Some of the most deeply moving writing I've read in your blog. If you don't mind an opinion. :)