Friday, November 7, 2008

Maya Angelou Writing a Poem about Obama

There's an associated press article out today about Maya Angelou beginning to write a poem about Obama. On election night, I wrote one too. I couldn't help but write; I had to keep myself from vaporizing into thrill beams.

The whole night, once the networks were seriously projecting that Obama had won, my cells spun dizzy like thimbles on their edges, dimpled with light. I watched, and was part of, a takeover of the streets in downtown Austin (I'll post a piece I wrote about it soon). We danced, we chanted "Si se puede!" and "Yes we did!" We stopped traffic. I hugged random people. Random people hugged me. Instead of New Year's it was New Era. The world change was booming down upon us and we had created it.

It was the ultimate in feeling one's ability to change the world. If you re-watch Obama's last speech of the campaign, posted here under the heading: "Virginia, let's go change the world," you'll see again the eloquent emotion-journey Barack takes his audience on. He moves from the microcosm to the macro in speaking about one person's ability to change the world (it's very near the end of the speech).

It was this feeling that I could feel on Tuesday night as we chanted in the streets. We all felt part of this victory. We had ownership over the outcome. Most of us had gone beyond just voting: some had driven others to the polls, some had called voters to get them to the polls, some had worked for the campaign for months. But most importantly, because Barack's intention was to empower citizens to feel like change was possible, that empowerment had taken root and threaded through our beings affecting all that we do.

We had changed. The molecules in our bodies had shifted and brightened up with energy. We felt our own power through the mass collective power that had worked together from all parts of the country to get Obama elected. We were all churning towards a common goal of changing the United States and thus the world.

As Obama said in his acceptance speech on Tuesday night:
"This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other."

I think that's the heart of this change, working together to elevate the collective. And so we begin...