The Beauty Of Turning The Page

Today marks one of my rare forays into politics.  Today is a day that I, along with so many others, have been awaiting for four years.

I’m under no illusion that there aren’t a lot of things that are dysfunctional, or flat out broken, in this country; Joe Biden and Kamala Harris face a supremely heavy lift. But today I’m allowing myself to reach for a glass of optimism (as well as, later tonight, a flute of chilled Veuve Clicquot).

Among so many other things, it was nice to see our incoming President and Vice President solemnly acknowledge and honor the 400,000 Americans who have died during the pandemic.

Over these last four years, I’ve been buoyed by the writing of several fine journalists, Peter Wehner among them. I was especially taken by these words from a piece of his published on The Atlantic‘s web site in late December:

There’s a lovely line in William Wordsworth’s poem “The Prelude”: “What we have loved, Others will love, and we will teach them how.”

There are still things worthy of our love. Honor, decency, courage, beauty, and truth. Tenderness, human empathy, and a sense of duty. A good society. And a commitment to human dignity. We need to teach others—in our individual relationships, in our classrooms and communities, in our book clubs and Bible studies, and in innumerable other settings—why those things are worthy of their attention, their loyalty, their love. One person doing it won’t make much of a difference; a lot of people doing it will create a culture.

Maybe we understand better than we did five years ago why these things are essential to our lives, and why when we neglect them or elect leaders who ridicule and subvert them, life becomes nasty, brutish, and generally unpleasant.

[Today], a new and necessary chapter will begin in the American story. Joe Biden will certainly play a role in shaping how that story turns out—but so will you and I. Ours is a good and estimable republic, if we can keep it.

Today, I wish a good man and a good woman Godspeed on the journey they’re beginning. I, for one, am on board for the ride.

The two photos at the top of this post display the work of Seattle-based artist Rudy Willingham, of whose creativity I am insanely jealous.


      • Sure looks that way. And for a quick and easy “PLU” test, how good is it to have Ms KH as VP!
        My hope for the US is that there is repair, not simply replacement. The brutishness that has terrified many will not simply heal; the pestilence of lies and dishonour needs surgery. Or, dear Doctor, to put it in a frame your antipodean mate is more familiar with, some serious therapy needs to occur. No change without self-awareness.
        Here’s hoping many can–and will–drink to that.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Therapy all round; I’ll drink to that! And yes: thrilled to have KH in the VP slot. News commentators made note of the fact that, 12 years ago today, the first African American president was inaugurated. Today, another first: a female of African American/Asian descent took the oath of office as VP. And the common denominator of both = Joe Biden. Not sure if this has appeared in any news stories you’ve watched/read in Melbourne, but Harris has two stepchildren and they call her Mamala!

          Liked by 1 person

        • That’s wonderful. Re the Biden connection, I think I heard on the breakfast news that the cabinet is >50% non-Anglo. If Joe and his team actually walk the walk, that really is grounds for optimism.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, half of his Cabinet picks are women, and the majority are people of color. He’s tapped the first female treasury secretary, the first Black defense secretary, the first openly gay man confirmed to a Cabinet role, and the first Native American Cabinet secretary.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Amanda Gorman is a true star in the making: talent, poise, grace. She was a highlight of the day yesterday; I can’t wait to see what she does next.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Breathing many sighs of relief that the election went the way it did, the insurrection wasn’t particularly successful, and inauguration day went off without a hitch. It’s wonderful to know that there are reasonable, caring, competent human beings in charge now. I don’t have to worry about what kind of crap the POTUS is doing today, because THIS ONE is doing his best for the country, and assigning good people to help, including VP Harris!

    Kathryn and I loved Amanda Gorman. Kathryn felt a kinship as they are the same age and Amanda is also a twin. 🙂

    We are still hunkering down, masking, doing everything we can to stay safe and keep others safe. We will get the vaccine when we can (general public). We look forward to better times now that there are grownups in charge, using facts, enacting plans, etc. We can be patient through this — it’s just so nice that the light at the end of the tunnel no longer seems to be an oncoming train.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for weighing in, Melanie! I read somewhere that the number of Amanda Gorman’s Twitter and Instagram followers, which were modest at the beginning of the week, *exploded* post-inauguration…deservedly so.

      Liked by 2 people

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