Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Joy






We didn't go to any of the official balls last night but we sure had a good time celebrating, dancing and eating popcorn. If you didn't get a chance to hear the Inaugural Poem by Elizabeth Alexander, you can read it here.
“Praise Song for the Day”
Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."
We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to
consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."
We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.
Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.
Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."
Others by “first do no harm,” or “take no more than you need.”
What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.
In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp — praise song for walking forward in that light.

7 comments:

Leslie said...

I loved that poem by Elizabeth Alexander and have kept a copy of it as well. Another friend said that she was putting it under her 16-year-old son's pillow. He had reported being so inspired by the ceremonies yesterday.

teesha said...

LOVE the dolls! floating up there in the sky! LOL

nina said...

that is a beautiful thing, that poem, and i loved reading it again here today...so much to celebrate, and now we can continue to hope!!!!! x

Karen Cole said...

Yes Diana, what a beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing it again.

Bess said...

Lets plan on 4 years of "walking into the light"

Diana Trout said...

I'm hoping for 8 years of walking into the light!

Linda said...

I was there and "joy" was everywhere. I felt very fortunate for having had the opportunity to be part of the crowd.

Linda