Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just one more word about the inauguration--I had watched a lot of it at Gerry's but missed the Inaugural balls. Today, on my computer, I just watched Barack and Michelle Obama dancing to "At Last" as sung by Beyonce. What a gorgeous moment.

The white one-shouldered dress that Michelle Obama wore looked like a wedding dress, and the lyrics to the love song were both a tribute to the love between the Obamas and also an acknowledgement of the emotion in the country.

"At lonely days are gone." It was like they were marrying the country, as if we were enfolded all together in that powerful powerful love. That is both the seductive magic (and perhaps the danger?) of their sweet myth.

I talked about displacement with Carla and also with C last night, specifically how I've made Bush be a convenient target for my anger and aggression all these years. Not that Bush doesn't deserve it, but there's also something knee-jerk and unproductive about that dynamic.

Carla was talking about how she can get mad at the usher of a theatre where there isn't good handicap access, or at something or someone else for a seemingly "petty" thing (although when you're in a chair, nothing is really petty because the smallest things can prevent your access,) and the real object of her anger is the situation itself. It's no one's fault, it's just frustrating not to be able to get down or up a flight when you need to, or go to the bathroom when you need.

I think we all do that--throw our rage around, (or in my case, I've often directed it inward, which doesn't work either.) I felt lucky to be able to discuss this so openly with C because there's never a whiff of judgement or condescension or moral superiority from him when I confront my negativity head-on. He doesn't try to gain any holier than thou points--he's completely trustworthy.

This business of withdrawing our displaced rage from the conveniently placed targets and then working it through in some other way that results in creativity, love and wisdom rather than just a well-worn negativity groove is hard. I don't know how one really does it except through art. It's like that Langston Hughes poem, "A Raisin in the Sun." "What happens to a dream deferred?" And then all the different options are explored, "Does it crust over and run/like a raisin in the sun?/Does it sag like a heavy load?/Or does it explode?"

That poem, with its last word, "explode" presaged the Black power movement. And now we're in the after-after-afterglow of all that, the Obamas dancing cheek-to-cheek together at the Inaugural ball last night. It ends in a love song--for the survivors.


Anonymous said...

forgiveness is an eternal virtue but hard to evoke depending on the injustice(s) done. may it bring the world to a better place if we do forgive? we shall see.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we need to begin with our individual conspiracy to look the other way when it hurts too much too look straight on...we are all such fragile, weary creatures on one hand and on the other, goddesses, gods and can we be both so easily?