I have no words. I suppose with some distance from this day, I will be able articulate what the inauguration of President Barack Obama feels like. But not now.
I watched Barack Obama's inauguration in my office, surrounded by a handful of co-workers, on a little 13-inch television with "rabbit ears." There was an awkwardness to the gathering--the kind that always results when the political makes an appearance in the workplace. I would describe the mood as decorous jubilation. It seemed right to swallow my emotions in a situation like that.
And my emotions are roiling. I have suffered a lumpy throat and leaky eyes more than once today...watching a montage of images from Obama's campaign scored by Sam Cooke singing "A Change is Gonna Come"...watching Rep. John Lewis and Rev. James Lowery--two lions of the civil rights movement--watch the swearing in of the nation's first black president...spotting an ailing Sen. Ted Kennedy for the first time since the Democratic National Convention and then watching him rushed away in an ambulance...seeing the blanket of celebrating Americans spread out for miles along the mall...getting an excited text message from my stepson at the moment our new president was sworn into office...hearing our new president give a speech that honestly outlined the hard road ahead and forcefully heralded the return of bedrock progressive values that have been absent over the past eight years.
It is overwhelming. And I am no Elizabeth Alexander. So I simply cannot write about President Obama's inauguration.
Links to people who are writing about President Obama today:
What effect will a black president have on young, black men in the inner city? (Hat tip to The Enclave)