January 21, 2009

A brand new day....

Like most of the world, we were watching or listening to the historic festivities of Inaguration Day. It's hard to express in words the enthusiasm in Canada. 

Danielle's school paused yesterday to watch the swearing in, unfortunately she was at the Montreal Car show for a math project (more about that in a later post). Louis came home very excited because they got to listen to the speech on the radio. Then, after he told us what some of his Canadian classmates said about John McCain, we explained that the election is way over. For our Republican friends and family, don't worry, we also explained that it's still important to respect McCain and he can't listen to everything his new Canadian friends say. If we're not careful he's going to become a Toronto Bluejays fan. He couldn't wait until Danielle got home so we could watch the speech and have apple pie. This is when this photo of the kids was taken -- thanks to DVR (called PVR in Canada). The fact that President Obama is a White Sox fan is very impressive to Louis. And Louis swears he saw a "White Sox" guy in the crowd. The tapes are still under review.

Regardless of political opinions, there's no doubt the country and the world is jazzed. Particualrly, it's so wonderful to see so many young people excited about politics again. 

We'll keep "reporting" from Canada. Today at the dog park the people Kish talked to were very excited. They too found themselves surprised that they were glued to the TV. I asked if they were this excited about their own Prime Minister and one man said "nope....we're watching what you guys are doing -- we just follow you." 

Kish thought the poem by Elizabeth Alexendar was exceptional. How many of these phrases do you hear each day out loud or in your head? Today as Kish ended up with a blown out tire, this poem was on her mind...with some additional colorful language.

Here's the poem....

Praise song for the day.
Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, 
catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. 
All about us is noise. 
All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, 
each one of our ancestors on our tongues. 
Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, 
patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair 
of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, 
boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; 
A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, 
whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone
and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; 
I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; 
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. 
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, 
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, 
picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick 
the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. 
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; 
The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."

Others by first do no harm, 
or take no more than you need.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, 
filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. 
Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, 
anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.

On another note...did anyone see that Starbucks ad last night, the "I'm in" campaign? It was an amazing commerical. It doesn't seem to be on YouTube yet, if anyone sees it, let us know. 

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