Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

I'm SUPER busy this week, but I took time today to sit and watch the inauguration. You won't see political commentary on this blog. I tend to get myself in trouble when I share my opinions with people who didn't ask for them. I believe in God and I always vote. That's all I'm gonna say about religion and politics on here. I'm not going to tell you how I worship or who I voted for. But I do have a few thoughts to share about today that are of a more general nature on life and patriotism.

I'm a sucker for big historic events. I remember watching the FIRST space shuttle liftoff.... and the second.... and the third. I always go outside late at night and look up at the sky when the weather reporters tell us there is something special to see. Last year I drug my husband outside one very cold night to watch a meteor shower. I remember getting up in the wee hours of the morning to watch the wedding of Dianna and Charles. Years later, I watched Dianna's funeral. I never miss a state funeral, famous wedding or inauguration when they are broadcast on TV. I don't even care for sports, but I watched the Phillies last month as they made me proud to have grown up in Philadelphia. I don't care what country, or what political party- I just love history. I love being a part of something big-- thinking that people all over the world are watching the same thing I am watching. It's somehow connecting- uniting humanity.

As I was listening to our new president make his first speech as the leader of the free world, my heart skipped a beat when he said, "Our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness". Our "patchwork heritage". Did you hear that? PATCHWORK! He said PATCHWORK! (Do you think he likes quilts???) I was feeling something as I heard commentator after commentator focus on the race of our new president, but I couldn't quite put into words what I was feeling until he said, "patchwork heritage". Then it hit me.

When we make our quilts, we work with fabrics that contrast. They may coordinate- but they aren't the same. The difference in the fabrics is a strength- not a weakness. If they were all the same- we'd have a "whole cloth quilt", not a "patchwork quilt". The beauty we create comes from contrast and blending. It comes from using different colors and different values and different textures. The beauty comes from how they blend and how they are interwoven to lock together in harmony. We would never make a patchwork quilt and look only at one fabric. One fabric ceases to be important when appreciating the beauty of the interplay of many fabrics.

What bothered me was the focus on Obama's race. Couldn't seasoned reporters find something else to talk about than the color of his skin? I didn't hear anyone point out that Biden was Caucasian. And I heard more reporters talk about Michelle Obama's dress than any other single thing about her. There has to be more to say about her than who designed her dress. (Her dresses were stunning, by the way- I just wanted to know more about her).

Commentators spoke of this being a great day. They spoke of history being made today. I submit to you that history was made yesterday and will be made tomorrow and the next day. History is a kind of patchwork, as well. It isn't just a few special days. History, like patchwork, is about all of the days and how they play together. The world is not a better place because Kennedy was Catholic or because Obama is a man of color- and it will not be a better place when a woman holds the highest office. The world will be a better place when the race, religion or gender of the president is no longer newsworthy. When we no longer point out that someone is a minority, or point out that we deserve a shot at something in spite of the fact that we are in a minority- then we will have equality. When physical qualities and traits no longer hold us back OR move us forward- THAT will be a great day.

Lest you think I'm complaining- I loved watching the inauguration. And I'll be watching the next lunar eclipse in the back yard. Another blogger wrote that inaugurations bring out the best in Americans. Life is good- and it's worth watching!

Our "patchwork heritage"..... I like that.


Ginny said...

What a wonderful post! You brought tears to my eyes! I love your patchwork decription! And I totally agree about the race thing, I also wish the focus had been more on person than on skin.
Have a wonderful day!

Sue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue said...

Well, gee---- I just wanted to fix the spelling and it removed my whole comment! Let's try this again-

Thanks, Ginny- Here's to live TV!!! It makes us a part of the bigger world- and what a world it is!