I am eagerly looking forward to Barack Obama's inauguration this coming Tuesday, the day after tomorrow! Dear friends are down in Washington with their family to witness this historic event and I look forward to hearing their report from the front lines, or more likely, the way back.
It was deeply fulfilling to cast our absentee ballot votes this November, though the process was unnecessarily Kafkaesque. As with many challenges in life, we were tenacious and persisted, and finally, we were counted.
In an extraordinary blast-from-the-past profile of Barack and Michelle Obama in The New Yorker (January 19,2009) with a charming photograph of the two of them and an interview by Mariana Cook from May 26, 1996, "A Couple in Chicago," Michelle is quoted thus:
"There is a strong possibility that Barack will pursue a political career, although it's unclear. There is a little tension with that. I'm very wary of politics. I think he's too much of a good guy for the kind of brutality, the skepticism. When you are involved in politics, your life is an open book...I'm pretty private, and like to surround myself with people that I trust and love.... There is a possibility that our lives will go that way (into politics), even though I want to have kids and travel, spend time with family....In many ways, we are here for the ride, just sort of seeing what sorts of opportunities open themselves up."
And here Barack Obama speaks more personally, even poetically, about his bond with Michelle and the mystery of what makes their marriage work:
"...what sustains our relationship is I'm extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways....It's that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about that other person."
Yes we can. Yes we must.