My mother has a tradition of not watching or paying attention to the Cal football team, because she says that if she does, they lose. Sometimes she even tries not to hear the scores.
In this vein, during the ceremony and the speech, when everyone in the country was watching, I was wandering on foot on Madison from Michigan to Wacker, crossing the river, crossing the freeway, staring at the sky, which got bluer the longer I walked.
Through a humorous but very Dara sequence of events and a misplaced bus pass, I ended up walking home, all the way from downtown to Humboldt Park, which isn’t that far, really – less than five miles. I walked very slowly. I walked on Milwaukee and Division, all the way home. The city was subdued. I was subdued.
On the way home, because I was walking, I stopped into the office of an organization I’ve been thinking about stopping in on for six months, and had a good talk with them. It seemed like a day when anything could happen, and something did.
At night, I went to yoga class. The teacher said she expected to find us dancing when she came in, but we were sitting there, quiet as schoolchildren, ten mice on yoga mats. The real work begins now, doesn’t it? This is where we figure out who we, as a country, are – and if we can deal with the enormous problems that lie ahead of us.
I still didn’t believe it, not really, when I went to bed. It was too quiet.
Finally, this morning, I finally let myself go online and start to believe that it had really happened – that Barack Obama is our President. I let myself Google Michelle’s dress and Barack’s speech and a glorious photo montage of all his advisors and cabinet staff. I typed “Whitehouse.gov” into my browser and saw that his Web aesthetic has overtaken even that stentorian site.
It’s real. Barack Obama is our President.
Yesterday and today, as if the sun came out to celebrate with us, it’s been two glorious beautiful days in Chicago, with positively liveable temperatures, and people on the streets are laughing and shouting “Feels like summer!” at each other.
So it does.