Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Old Roads Rapidly Fading

My mom’s not sure, at this point, how old she was at the time—very young, though old enough, apparently, to ride the Washington D.C. city bus by herself—but she got on and saw Estelle, a woman who worked for her mother, and went to sit with her. “No, Joyce,” said Estelle, “you can’t sit back here. You need to go up front.” Confused, she did as she was told, and it was only when she got home that her mother explained how it was that, in our nation’s capitol, Estelle had to sit in the back of the bus, and she couldn’t join her there. Earlier today, at the age of 82, my mom went to the polls and voted for Barack Obama, who, a few hours ago, accepted the office of the presidency of the United States. It’s been a long time coming, but change has come to America, he told the crowd in Chicago's Grant Park.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a satirical piece called Yoga for Real Americans, which turned out to be my most popular blog post (and I rather like it myself). But the truth is that yoga, in Sanskrit, means union (though this blog has offered up its own, related, definition: opening), so that real American yoga would have to, in fact, include all races, all genders, all sexual orientations, all cultures, all ideologies and beliefs, ultimately transcending America itself to embrace all the people of the world in a deep understanding that, ultimately, there are no differences between us that are anything but superficial.

Namaste, America.


Anonymous said...

That's a beautiful full-circle type of story.

One of my African American twitter buddies tweeted the following: "My grandfather is 92 years old. He never dreamed he would live to see this day."

We in Oz had a similar momentous occaision in February this year when our newly elected Prime Minister (no black ones yet) staged a "Sorry Day" for the generations of mixed race Aboriginal children that were removed from their parents as a matter of social policy. It was thought it wasn't "proper" to have mixed race children brought up in full-blood Aboriginal homes.

For years, our governments have refused point blank to say sorry - "What good would it do now?".

But when we ousted our terrible conservative government, the new PM stepped up to the plate and held Sorry Day as one of his first points of action.

It changed lives.

I'm so glad for all Americans. Even the red-necks. I think this will be good for them in the long run. :)

P.S. So I guess I'm not completely apathetic about politics after all! ;)

Bird said...

Namaste America! Whatever comes next this result will ALWAYS be a big deal.

Lydia said...

Namaste to you, Jay. Thanks for this perfect post to cap off a perfect night/early morn.

RiverPoet said...

It was a huge change for my mom to see us go from having a black maid coming in to help with ironing and cleaning to a time when I wanted to bring my black friends home along with my white friends to a time when Mom herself had a best friend who was black. She adapted, and I hope the rest of this country will adapt, too.

I, for one, am so relieved. I really believe the change we need is coming now.

Peace - D

Seeing Eye Chick said...

I cried my eyes out last night. I cannot believe how relieved I am that Bush is really on his way out. And that we have gotten, finally the man we voted for, as his Successor.

lucy said...

Great posting, Doctor.

I think about older people of color in this country, the things they've witnessed and lived through, and what they've woken up to witness this morning...

Not that we don't have a ways to go, but I'm taking pause to drink in a this celebratory moment!

Hoping your words of union vibrate through us all.

roadgurl5 said...

Beautiful post drjay.

I, too, am thrilled. How lucky this country is to have someone of Mr. Obama's character as its leader. Someone who, through his whole adult life, has strived to help others and make change for good and when unsuccessful, regrouped and did what it took to succeed. I see a smart, focused and compassionate man who I believe will help ALL Americans achieve their dreams as well as restore our country's reputation in the eyes of the world. I know that under Mr. Obama's leadership I will no longer feel like an "ugly American" as I have for the past 8 years.

And I'm elated that he took was the icing on the cake!

Daisy said...

I didn't know what song to post in celebration until you posted. BUT OF COURSE!!! :)

Thanks a lot, linked you properly also. Namaste.

Claire said...

Stories like this, made sitting across the pond at silly o'clock watching the election results come in, well worth it.

bob said...

nice post.

it really is the most incredible possibility that i never imagined.

Brooks Hall said...

Beautiful post! You're right, yoga includes Sara Palin!

aviva said...

Gorgeous post, Jay. And thank you for reminding me how phenomenal this really is. I've been so heartbroken over Proposition 8, that it's been hard for me to focus on Obama's stunning landslide victory and what it means for America.

This isn't a cure-all, certainly, but hope and unity are powerful and necessary, and I can't imagine a better message of hope for the future than this.

Id it is said...

I liked your build up to this post!

Obama and 'change' have become synonymous; let's hope that it's a sustainable change that he brings about.

For some reason I thought 'yoga' meant 'experiences'

Liberality said...

Wonderful blog you have here. I will have to come back to visit you again.

Hope springs eternal and yoga just happens to open one up. Namaste, my friend.

timethief said...

This is now my second favorite post on your blog and you have already named my #1 favorite.

ToughGirl101 said...

Hey! Thanks for dropping by my site. I actually didn't know anything about what Yoga really meant, so I just learned something new!

Actually, I don't usually go to someone's blog after only one comment but after my knee surgery I was told that I needed to do yoga to prevent further injuries! So I decided to drop by.

Gypsy at Heart said...

Nobody says it better than you.
Namaste back. I do believe that is the first time I've said Namaste to anyone Jay. I'm glad that you're my first. Viva Obama!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

"ultimately transcending America itself to embrace all the people of the world in a deep understanding that, ultimately, there are no differences between us that are anything but superficial."


Louise, Carmine Superiore, Italy said...

I hate to be negative, but I do hope when the euphoria has worn off people try to remember that he's only a man. He can't help you pay your mortgage, stop the bank foreclosing, get you a job, disarm the gangland criminals or chase away the drug dealers. We can only do those things ourselves. This vote, though, was a big step in the right direction. America, the world applauds you.

Arnold Layne said...

Really beautiful story. I'm so happy Obama won.