Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Dancing on Broad

The news called the election in Virginia, and the decision had been made. Tomorrow, with its challenges, will come. I'm not one for victory laps. I give into cynicism and realism over sentimentality.

But in this moment, I had to hear this city. Stepping outside the shouting started slowly. I grabbed my flag from the wall and started walking towards the intersection up the street from my house. A man was already dancing on the corner, and the car horns started echoing through Faubourg St. John.

When I got to the intersection, the horns got louder. From across the street, a man in a tee shirt and jeans approached. He was wearing an elaborate headdress of all colors and was carrying a decorated tribal staff. People were shouting from the houses nearby. We all shook hands, we all started shouting and without knowing it, I was dancing too.

Later, watching the speech from Chicago, I thought of history. All the days I've woken up to tragic history when it seemed like the world was ending. The bad images seared into my head.

I had to dig to remember another moment like this, another time I knew in one singular moment that I live in a special time where the world was more than all the bad things. Another time when I didn't have to fall back on all the little things that make us great. Another time when I knew, in one singular moment, that we as a people will win through and lead the world to something better, God willing.

Tomorrow, with its challenges, will come. But in this moment, I thought of how I felt when we turned on our televisions to watch a monolithic wall crumble to the ground in Berlin. I thought of that moment so long ago and how I had felt in that moment.

Except this time, it was me jumping up and down and dancing in the street. This time it was my voice shouting. This time, it was our flag flying over our heads.

.

7 comments:

Dante said...

Pat, are you out of your damn mind? Are you really comparing an American Presidential election to the fall of the Berlin Wall? Besides, I thought Bush was a Nazi, not a Commie.

"Except this time, it was me jumping up and down and dancing in the street."

So last time it wasn't you jumping up and down and dancing in the street? The other side was doing that, Comrade Pat?

On a more serious note, congratulations to President-Elect Obama.

liberalandproud said...

Well, I for one understood your analogy Pat. You were reaching back into your memory for a comparably historic-in-a-good-way moment. You were not actually attempting to compare the two historically. At least, that's how I took it, and I know exactly how you feel. When I think of moments that news has made me cry, there are very few tears of joy in there. Last night I shed tears of joy as I sat with other exhausted folks at Glynn County HQ and watched a black man give a speech as president-elect.

Maitri V-R said...

Beautiful.

S.A.W.B. said...

In the it'll-never-happen-again department, I agree with both Dante and L&P on this.

I agree with L&P in seeing where you got your analogy from. I also agree with Dante in his observation that you have lost your damned mind, and your analogy sucks.

So, what, the Berlin Wall coming down relates exactly to, what, 8 long, dark, years of opressive Republican control of...the White House?

The wall came down two years ago, when the Dems swept into power in both houses. This was just the odd statue of the old commie in the courtyard that they hadn't gotten around to yet.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

While I could make an actual historical analogy, L&P got the image. This has nothing to do with Ol' Dubya-as-East-Germany metaphor.

This is about witnessing an event that will go down in the history books as a positive moment.

DADvocate said...

While I'm glad a black man was elected to president during my lifetime, I'm not entirely comfortable with Barack Obama as president. I can't think of many historical leaders who had people dancing in the streets who turned out to be people I would want leading my country, but plenty I wouldn't. The dancing in the streets is not necessarily Obama's responsibility but the adulation worries me greatly.

sophmom said...

Gave me chills, darlin'.