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Clear Blue Morning

My chest tightened. I could barely swallow. And suddenly my cheeks were warm with tears.

And it was just because Aretha was singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”

I looked over at Granny.  She sat with her eyes closed.  Just listening.  I would give anything to be in her head at that moment.  Was she reliving her almost century-long history?  Was she imagining the future.  Or did she simply just enjoy Miss Franklin’s voice?

Whatever it was, she was at ease.

I took her hand in mine and just let it go.

Normally, I’m not a crier. I can probably count on both hands the number of times I have cried in my adult life.  But, now I can count on one finger the number of times I have cried and it felt good.

Oddly it all hit me before he even took the Oath.  Maybe it was just the emotional power if music.  Or maybe it was because I knew that at the stroke of noon (which fell in the middle of the song) the exchange of power officially occurred and the past had passed.

I’ve always been a believer in signs.  I’m taking it as a good one that the clouds parted to let the sun shine down on Washington earlier today.  It made me think of  a song by Dolly Parton called “Light of  A Clear Blue Morning.”  It finishes with the lyric:

“Everything’s gonna be alright.  Gonna be ok.”

For the first time in eight years I can lay my head down on my pillow tonight and actually believe it’s possible.  I may even actually sleep.

{ fin }

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18 Comments

  1. Bob Bob

    Amen!

  2. When I heard the radio announcer say, “and now it is official. George W. Bush is no longer the President of the United States”, it hit me. A wave of calm euphoria washed over me and I too cried a little.

    We’ve got a lot of work to do to put things right again, but for the first time in a long time, I think we can.

    God bless you and yours.

  3. Paul from Q Paul from Q

    Bob pretty much nailed it–as did you.

  4. Mark Mark

    Great post. Go Obama!

  5. my favorite part, besides his amazing speech? the poetess line “a teacher says, pick up your pencils. Begin.”

    Not sure why. We had an Obama-thon in the office, brought out lunches to watch on one big TV in the conference room. Broke out the r/w/b decorations. i stopped on the way to work for r/w/b cookies, only to find cupcakes and a big cake with his picture in the frosting, so those had to join. Betwixt Bible and his sermon, a friend texted to all her cell group “yes we can!”. As it wrapped, i said to the workforce…”all well and good, now let’s eat his face” which helped dry some of the emotional tears. Will NEVER ever forget it. Copland never sounded so good as watching that First Family to Be listen to it….

  6. David David

    Boy El Roy, loved your comments. Tony, LOVED your post. Office worker here too. I was running around the office, “you can watch it on http://www.1010wins.com“. Sometimes they cut from the streaming to just give sound because the buffer would, obviously, freeze, so they played the sound and the commentator said Michelle Obama was bringing over Lincoln’s bible, and my eyes swelled then.

    It’s joyous. (funny, I spell check many of my comments in Word because I’m a horrible speller. Spellcheck wants to change Obama to Osama…. I didn’t let it.)

  7. FortWorthGuy FortWorthGuy

    Your feelings are very typical of the gay blogshhere, from what I can tell. I cannot help but remember that I felt much the same way 8 years ago when WJC was no longer POTUS.

    To my knowledge I do not ever remember being looked down or discriminated against on because I was gay. That is probably not 100% true…I am not sure what all was said being my back, and I do consider myself to be lucky in this regard. And I do not remember being held back professionally or socially because I was gay. However when I mention, in a gay crowd, that I did not support Obama, these people look at me like I have a third eye in the middle of my forehead. Or…..they stand there waiting for the “punch line” that never comes. Then once reality sets in on them, the invectives fly….like venom from a spitting cobra. It was really interesting and somewhat humbling in a certain way. Interesting how some people automatically think that just because you are “born that way” that you are also inclined to be politically oriented in a certain way.

    You have a great blog….everyone says your previous one was a “must read”. Hope I did not rain on your parade.

    • My support for Obama has very little to do with being gay. My support comes from the fact that, if nothing else, this is a man who has re-energized millions of people and given us a common cause: the rebuilding of our Nation. And he is not coming in like a Superman or a great savior like so many past Presidents. He has put the responsibility in our hands, too. Well all have to do this together, straight, gay, black, white, and everything in between. Responsibility has been a major issue in modern times and I am thrilled to have a leader who makes us all accountable. That’s how great nations are built…in this case, rebuilt.

  8. indmichael indmichael

    Wow…I read Fort Worth’s comments and thought well, he is a Texan! I did not support Obama in the primaries. I am a Hillary kind of guy. But as yesterday approached, my momentum continues to build- not because a black man is in office (I personally am highly offended that he was referred to as African American in the convocation- he is running America, not Africa) but instead, I feel for the first time in my 40 years of life that America is legitimately buying into the need and possibilities of change. I hope, and pray, that it is America that changes this country. One man cannot do it, one cabinet cannot do it. I also hope that people understand that voting is a testiment to the power of voice and democracy and that our job is NOT over because we flipped a switch (or filled a bubble or punched a chad).
    I fully support our Republican Governor because he has proven himself. I just couldn’t support Bush. From September 12, he did nothing to prove a worthy vote but I respect him for trying.

    Wow, off track- I think Granny is one special lady for her beliefs and like you, Tony for sharing such a humbling moment.

  9. I, on the other hand, am a crier. I’ve lost count. And yesterday was no exception. For the first time in many years, I have some hope, some feeling of happiness in our nation.

  10. Gene Owen Gene Owen

    Hallelujah! As a Federal employee in Washington I feel like our long dark night is over. I go around singing ‘Oh Happy Day’ to myself all the time. I feel for President Obama; it will take years, and all off our efforts to clean up the mess W and Cheney have created in every aspect of national life. I do not know how ex-President Bush can claim to ‘have kept Americans safe’ when over 4,000 of us and countless Iraqis and Afghans have died over the last seven years after 9/11. But I, like our new President, will look forward, not back. Nothing like tears of joy. Thanks Tony, as always.

  11. mystik mystik

    Well, let me start by saying that I am a Black man, or African- American, Or whatever box is on the application at the time. I am not going to get caught up in labels. But I can truthfully say that I was half expecting tragedy on Tuesday. Is that because I have no faith in some people? I don’t know. I am not even going to make a guess. But what I do know is that, finally, the one country that professes to be a leader on so many fronts has now caught up with the rest of the world and elected a leader that doesn’t look like it’s 43 previous leaders. But, is a true reflection of the nation’s populous. Whether you want to call him Black, African-American, Bi-racial, Tri-racial, Or as even he has stated, “a Mutt”. He is each and every one of us, and that gives me HOPE!!!!!

  12. It is so weird to think that I like our president, I really like him!!!

  13. The face that inauguration day was my birthday held special meaning this year. I was truly overcome with emotion watching Obama take office. I find myself once again hopeful for our country’s future.

  14. Just briefly weighing in again, Tony, but your comment (I don’t think you’ve ever done that before) is really bang on. We are being held accountable and we are being asked to help rebuild and correct our Nation. We should be. The insanity has gone on for far too long, but the rebuilding starts at home with each of us.

    This includes shifting our paradigm to something more humble. We can learn the difference between being strong and being arrogant and stubborn. We can learn to be supportive and caring not only to other Nations, but to each other. We can learn to be better by letting go of fear, letting go of hate, and letting go of nonsensical grudges that only keep us held captive in the nonsensical past.

    It’s a new day. A new beginning. We can learn to hold out our hands in friendship and we can learn to grasp that hand that is held out to us. We can learn to heal and be healed.

    It really is up to us, isn’t it? The time is now and we start with ourselves.

  15. Kris Kris

    I have to add an amen to everyone else’s. I’d had a picture of Bush made of a composite of tiny photos of American soldiers killed in Iraq in my cubicle at work. Under it I put a line I got from bettybower.com [America’s best Christian] “1-20-2009: The End of An Error”. It had been there for about 2-1/2 years. I took such pleasure in taking it down Thursday and tearing it into as many tiny pieces as I could. We have a lot of work ahead, but knowing that part of what we will accomplish is to erase the shithead’s presence makes me just that more eager to see us all get started.

    So glad to see our Tony back………!!!

  16. Mark Mark

    I have to agree. I watched on my computor at work, and hearing and siing Miss Frankling made my heart melt. I beleive we are in for an exciting four, maybe eight years.
    And speaking of excitement, Tony, I just found out tonight about your new blog. I was so excited. I have missed your writings and felt like a friend had moved away. I will always be checking in. I don’t comment often, but that doesn’t mean what you write doesn’t have meaning to me. Please keep us in your life.

  17. irisgirl irisgirl

    Tony–you beautifully described the essence of the inauguration. It was an amazing, collective emotional moment, that was both shared and uniquely personal at the same time.

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