it was the best moment of his presidency.
things said were repeated a lot...just thought I would carry on with the pace...
when he began, there were uncomfortable moments -- oddly sounding more like a campaign speech -- his voice began to rise at the wrong time, people started cheering for nearly everything that came out of his mouth, but then, he acclimated, he settled in, and reminded himself of all the things he needed to say to the American people and took control right before our very eyes.
when he began, we were seated before just another run of the mill, partisan driven, rhetorically challenged politician -- but we ended up, bearing witness to a national leader.
To follow the footsteps of his little Mrs...I don't believe I have ever been more proud of my country -- under this presidency -- until now.
It turned out to be a rather raucous affair to the surprise of many; but honestly, I think the whole event, every word, every incantation, every moment in either silence or applause ended up feeling right, good, hopeful and healing.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED Carlos Gonzales and his feather -- his authentic message, birthed from our Native American heritage, was endearing and heartfelt, as it pushed us into another realm of sacred consciousness and awareness; the imagery of the four doors, Eastern - Southern - Western - Northern, all bringing lessons to guide us in our healing process, searching for the Creator of all things, seen and unseen, in hopes of making the crooked, straight, turn our darkness into light, was beautiful.
many cultures acknowledge and respect the juxtaposition of two energies in everything under heaven, the yin and the yang, good and evil; Carlos captured this very essence as his way of leading us into the proper receptivity of the moment, to lead us into the service, preparing us to open up our hearts and minds.
Of course, his humor touched me in a big way; and I loved how he interrupted the end of his prayer with a personal extension of blessings for his son, in Afghanistan -- it was perfect. Our brothers and sisters we walk this earth with, and share this beautiful country with, each have a story, a family; drawing us personally into his world, refreshes the understanding of what living in a community really means -- sometimes we walk around totally unaware of each other, oblivious to the needs of others, only caring for our own, and immediately casting false judgments, in a guilty by association manner, not just as individuals, but as entire groups of people! what I took away, one of many, is the lesson to stop, listen and pay attention to those around me better...
Bless you Carlos, and thank you for your prayer for America...thank you for your prayer...Yahweh...Yahweh
And how about Daniel Hernandez Jr...we have already talked about him here on Gthing, but how about that...in a week and a half, you go from first day intern jitters (not that I really think he had any) to speaking before 300 million and sitting next to the president of the United States of America.
Thrust into stardom as the hero of the night, he quickly brushed it off as anything but and proceeded to name, by heart, all those who selflessly came to the aid that day..."must humbly reject" [being hero] he said. Adding in a few soundbites on what E Pluribus Unum means, profiling us en mass as "Tucsonians... Arizonians...[and most of all] Americans" and topping it off with the realization that "what defines us is NOT our differences..."
Amen to that, Daniel, amen to that.
Governor Jan....all good...all good.
And then the service really kicked it up, really kicked it up, with surprises and more surprises.
Picture this, if you weren't lucky enough to watch with your own eyes, a certain Janet Napolitano and an Eric Holder each chiming in with a text from the Bible. I kid you not. I kid you not.
From Janet, we get a reading from Isaiah 40, "comfort, comfort my people says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins..make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Each valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low..."
And Eric, my man, how you, just this once, have pleased me so -- this was a good moment for you -- I believe the verse, a message from Paul, was from 2 Corinthians 4:13-18, my gorgeous Woman of Faith Study Bible, NIV, chooses a slightly different tongue, but in any event, Eric recited something like this: "I believed; therefore I have spoken. With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause Thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God...So we fix our eyes not on what's seen, but on what is unseen. For what we see is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
Now to our Chosen One.
First, he had me at "there is nothing I can say ...to fill the sudden hole in your heart..."
Okay, getting the partisan humor out of the way right out of the gate, we can move on now.
So, I think it took about the first ten minutes for him to recalibrate the mood; for up until that time, the scene warped into an abrupt rah rah rah almost on a beat of every other word...
and I was sitting there thinking...and I was sitting there thinking...is he gonna reel us all in here anytime soon...is he gonna reel us all in here anytime soon...
Of course, part of it was his fault...adding to the level of excitement, he got special permission from Mark Kelly to tell us the good news, "Gabby opened her eyes for the first time...she opened her eyes..." to a roaring thunder of applause...
The conversation quickly spiraled out of control from there though, ringing in his natural tendency to swing into preacher mode, yelling out names and heroes, sounding all MLK like, and rattling off the names of first responders, the fearless bystanders who jumped to the call of duty, and adding a dramatic shout out to all the doctors and nurses and public servants who came to everyone's aid. It turned into a hot mess for a second.
But then, a miracle happened,
posing the question, "how can we honor the fallen?...be true to their memory..."
"WHAT", he asks of us, challenging us to look inside ourselves in our darkest hour, "what, beyond our prayers and concern...WHAT, going forward...how can we honor the fallen?"
And then he was off, to the races, in full stride and gliding past the posts one by one, and never looking back.
G's Fine Print Disclosure: going forward from here, I am merely paraphrasing off of a crazy slew of notes... so if you will be so kind, take a chill, have a mint julep and allow me have a little creative license to stretch things just a bit from here on out; allow me to spill it in the way that I heard it... trust me, it's more fun for both of us this way...just keeping it real...
"already -- national conversation has commenced -- everything from gun safety laws to adequate mental health laws...
but at a time when our discourse
becomes so sharply polarized...
it is important to pause,
to make sure we are talking
in such a way that heals and not wounds."
Of course, after making such an outlandish wish yesterday, I never thought it would really come true either...doubting Thomas' we all were...doubting Thomas' we all were.
But it did. it really did!
And by the way, if you are wondering how I could use the word annihilation and run off the mouth with a few inconsiderate pops, if you follow me, regularly, you would know I am not condoning harm to people, place or thing in a way, shape or form...if you actually read my week's worth of blogs leading into today, the annihilation was in reference to 'removing any room for doubt' that our president stood for not just the left side of America, but also the right. And he did! ya see...context is EVERYTHING.
And by, by the way, he was addressing the crowd who veers left -- and their vicious attacks on the right -- within minutes of the massacre.
My wish was that we would see our president lead ALL Americans out of the darkness, and he did, and then some.
He said, "scripture tells us there is evil in the world..." citing a passage in Job. Continuing on with...
"None of us can know, with any certainty, what...what could have stopped...what...in a violent man's mind..."
"BUT what we CANNOT DO....
is use this tragedy to turn on each other!
That we cannot do!
That we cannot do!"
to a standing ovation for the umpteenth time.
calling for humility, begging us not to point fingers, asking us to temper our blame...yes! go baby go!
"If it prompts debate -- let us make sure it is worthy."
Amen, brother, amen
Calling upon us to personally recognize "all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together..."
"tell a spouse...how much we love them, not once in awhile, EVERY SINGLE DAY! Nurture the relationships with those who are still with us...what matters... is how well we have loved."
calling for civility in our public discourse even further, driving the point all the way home...
"only a more civil, honest public discourse can face up to the difficulties [in the days ahead...] in a way we can be proud...
"we should be civil "[almost annoyed with his flock]
"we can do better " [as if why we make it so hard on ourselves]
impressing upon us to "constantly widen our circle of concern.." beautiful.
"how we treat one another is entirely up to us..
.forces that divide us
are not as strong
as the forces that unite us."
thank you for having something good to say.
thank you for having something good to say.
Then he rounded the final turn giving it everything he got, throwing out all the stops, pushing the envelope, making the grade, giving everyone in his company a run for the money.
calling upon us to remember what it is like to be NINE in this world -- that everything is real, everything is possible, everything is doable, remarkable, fascinating and splendid; all the wishes and imaginations of a young Christina Taylor Green were invoked and ceased upon. We were instantly thrust into yet another realm of living and believing and hoping and praying -- through the eyes of a child.
"I want us to live up to her expectations.
I want America to be as good as she imagined it."
and rising to the level we were hoping, the president harnessed all 300 million of us, referencing the Faces of Hope book, and the page keeping Christina's smile emblazoned forever, along with her wishes for the world: "I hope you help those in need. I hope you will know all the words of our National Anthem and place your hand over your heart when you sing them. I hope you jump in rain puddles."
himself, finishing with,
"if there are rain puddles in Heaven,
I'm sure she is jumping in them today...
may God bless you..."
And in the winner's circle, much to everyone's surprise, coming off a couple of really bad appearances, we have Healer-in-Chief; in second place, in a photo finish, we have We-the-People; and to Show, the United States of America...
And coming in dead last, we have a three-way split...'oh my, better days have come and gone for a few here today, huh, Charlie?' ... 'yeah I think you're right Frank, a pasture or two may be calling their name... get a load of these guys hobbling in... "111thCongressionalCaucusRaucus", struggling along side her, is an old mare "Moveon.orgOrBust" and then we have, "InANewYorkTIMESminute" (an offbeat bit to tie in here, Frank, apparently the trainer, Paul Krugman, is retiring).
well well better days ahead better days ahead.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
que the music..."'tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free...'tis a gift to come down where we ought to be...and when we find ourselves in a place just right...'twill be in the valley of love and delight..."
And then a poem, by W.S. Merwin, "To the New Year"...
"...to make sure that this country lives up to our children's expectations"
Together we Thrive
together we thriveG thing is feeling frisky today; may just want to bask in the sunshine of a brand new day for awhile in this here united states of america, the land that I love; our healer in chief pulled off a really good show, one of his best day's ever, and a big purse to show for it.
just a girl. her name is gretchen. a day in the life of an american girl just got better. May the good lord willing and the creek don't rise, be only the beginning.
My hat's off to you, today, Mr. President!
You took the lead, and set the people straight, turning our differences into something of the divine.
(of course, I would be remiss, at this point, if I didn't forewarn, not to let it go to your head...you know you are not God, right? ...right?)
Make it a Good Day, G