Thursday, November 6, 2008

body rocking

K and I did not go out last night, though it was tempting since people in the Mission were spilling out into the streets, standing on top of cars, shooting off fireworks. Instead, he and I sat with our glasses of wine in front of my computer (hey M, at least I did not say NPR—I know boug-city) watching Watching the crowd in the long moments before Obama came out to give his victory speech. Most of the people the camera panned to were so absurdly happy, so wildly goofily human—dancing to Stevie Wonder—at least a dozen of these displays made us teary before Obama even came out on the stage.

Then I listened to this:

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled….

When he included people with disabilities in that registry—something that is, actually, rarely done in such a sweeping national context—I was shocked for a moment and then I really began to cry.

Being politically aware, I have to admit, is a relatively new thing for me. Such an awareness has come about with my move to San Francisco and a growing understanding of what it means to be the minority I am and to experience the existence of a disabled community such as I have here in the Bay Area. hearing Obama include the words “disabled and non disabled” in his roster of people with a “message” clinched it for me--made me named and in that naming, feel alive and awake and thrilled to be living in this moment in history.

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