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Blog Entries tagged 'lincoln'

In Love with A. Lincoln, by Maira Kalman

"The occasion is piled high with difficulty. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country." --A. Lincoln, 1862

From the lovely Maira Kalman's lovely ode In Love with A. Lincoln

February 28th, 2009

Election 2008: Are You Okay?

I don't know about you all, but I've come down with the election-flu.

I've identified the germinology:

1. 24 hour election coverage. I've got news about the Mccain-Obama situation coming at me from Twitter, Friend Feed, CNN, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Fox News (thanks to my multi-news channel that lets me watch all the major stations at the same time), the local Hawaii ten-page newspaper, Alternet updates on my Blackberry, a constant stream of posts on my Facebook page, huge Hawaii for Obama posters at the supermarket, and even Tenzin. Right this second, he is in the bathtub singing, "Barack Obama, Barack Obama, Barack Obama."

2. The growing hostility. I was just speaking in the bible belt, the midwest, the west coast, and the northeast. Among many moments of difficulty, an airline attendant looked me up and down when I asked for a cup of water, then told me there wasn't enough to give me. At a hotel in Tennessee, a family of five asked me huffily to show them to their room.

When I asked why there was a "No Firearms Allowed" sign on the front door of a hotel in another Southern state, a policeman stood up from his post in the lobby, put his hand on his gun, and asked the woman behind the desk if she was having a problem with me.

And then, last night when I got home, I heard what I can only describe as Commando-style yelling coming from across the yard. I heard "Go!" and "Aim!" and "Move out!" Was it a television? A white supremacist group doing an exercise for the day after the election? I wish I could say definitively that it was the former, but since I've been hearing a lot of bagpipe playing over yonder, and checking in with the SPLC on the staggering rise of white hate groups, I'm not so sure.

The truth is, the backlash on this necessary step forward is going to be monumental. I recently saw a documentary on the civil war. One historian said the North won the war, but the South won Reconstruction-- black folks were emancipated, but they were also severely brutalized and disempowered shortly thereafter. I'm not saying it's going to happen, I'm saying Obama supporters of all colors need to get ready. Now is the time for all of us to vote, and also prepare. 

Today, my friends, I am going to take some time off to rest and recover. I'm going to lie in bed with a book after I post this and try not to think about the economy. I am going to send messages of reassurance to all of the people in the world terrified of change that we will make it through if we can be open to what is rather than attached to what was, and I am going to check all of the locks on my doors and windows to make sure they are secure. 

I'm also going to try, try, try, to give Tenzin my undivided attention for at least thirty minutes. And that includes being with him without thinking about the ten thousand things on my to-do list and what the world might look like at the end of next month.

And one more thing. The Dalai Lama says a guaranteed way to feel better is to think about others more than yourself. So I'm going to ask how you're doing with all of this. How are you managing these final days to E-day?

Are you okay?

October 30th, 2008