Monday, November 3, 2008

the story of a voting hopeful

Whew. I just did a speed walking tour of our neighborhood. I had to get out of the house for a bit. Adrienne is on the phone with her sister and they are literally screaming about this year's presidential candidates. As probably all of you know, we are gleefully and tearfully voting for Obama. Her sister, on the other hand, is voting for McCain. I totally understand Adrienne's pain, there are members of my family as well that voted for Bush and will vote for McCain. However, I would never call and talk to them about it -- especially on the eve of election night when emotions and anticipation run high.

I am stunned by the transition surrounding me. It seems like everything from my own personal growth as a friend, family member, and business owner to the world around me is expanding and contracting at phenomenal speeds. Even the weather, rainy one day, sunny the next, and rainy again. If anything it reminds me, that each bad mood, or point of angst, can literally not be held or fixed, beyond my control a moment of happiness, a point of inspiration comes sweeping by. To me it is a question of percentages spent in each emotional space.

The first time my attention was drawn to the percentage of time spend in each space occurred when I arrived to India in 2001 to research textiles. A very large, 7.6 earthquake hit the area I was researching in, destroying 3/4 of the city and surrounding areas. Nearly 20,000 people died. 150,000 people were seriously injured. 600,000 people were left homeless. International aid workers poured into the region. At first they were a great help, but as time went on, the region became sorely inflated as foreigners altered the value of rental properties and food. Those native to the region, called Kutchis, were pushed out of the marketplace and a long standing depression occurred. Many Kutchis had no idea how long it would take to repair there homes, or if ever. That said, life went on, as the months went by, weddings started to take place again, holidays came and went. We celebrated, ate simply, and gave thanks for our health and aliveness. But the anxiety and depression would climb back in, under our skin before the night was out.

I was in India when 9-11 happened. When I came back to the U.S. in 2003, the feeling in the U.S. was very similar to the personal and societal feeling I experienced in India. Yes, I, and many of those I know, am healthy, and basic needs are taken care of, however, there is a malaise, a sense of helplessness, or hopelessness that I feel pervades the U.S. For the first time, in the last 8 years, I feel like I have the hope that things are going to change. That my country has an opportunity to have Barack Obama as President. That I am going to have a leader that I truly believe in. A person who I think is intelligent, articulate, diplomatic, and truly believes in the U.S. and the citizens of the United States, and will ultimately choose to do what is right for the entire country not just a particular portion of the population. We have an opportunity to heal.

It is a remarkable feeling and experience to see people around me, fellow Oaklanders, getting out there to participate in this election. To drive down the block, to see home after home, with posters of Obama in their windows. And to anknowledge that this person, Barack Obama is inspiring people, across class, race, and gender to come out and vote. That in this election, we will quite possibly have landmark numbers of voters come out to participate.

Honestly, I had a whole other blog post ready for you. One filled with tales of Northern California beach front, spinning, new spindles, and yarn. But that will have to wait until after the election.

I hope everyone reading this gets out there and votes!

p.s. Vote NO on 8. Keep church and state separate.

1 comment:

marcia-x said...

It's the same in Seattle, but that's to be expected. I hope it's the same in Cleveland, Scranton and Tampa Bay.