05 November 2008

And they did, abandon their nostalgia for the womb.

Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008
by Elizabeth Peyton for W Magazine

Last night, I was thinking about the bookends- those who fought the Civil Rights battle, and those so small, whose first memories will include President Obama, and who might not have the chance to be inculcated with muck and mire. It was a hard night to not be wildly hopeful and long for an Americana that has only existed in dreamscapes to spring forth into reality. I was thinking of the poets, too. Of Dylan, whose acute sense of injustice denies him the need for didacticism, and Toni Morrison, who wrote this, in an open letter of endorsement to Barack Obama nearly a year ago:

In thinking carefully about the strengths of the candidates, I stunned myself when I came to the following conclusion: that in addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don't see in other candidates. That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom. It is too bad if we associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight. Or if we settle for finessing cures tailored for each ravaged tree in the forest while ignoring the poisonous landscape that feeds and surrounds it. Wisdom is a gift; you can't train for it, inherit it, learn it in a class, or earn it in the workplace--that access can foster the acquisition of knowledge, but not wisdom.

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