January 20, 2009

Barack Obama was inducted as the 44th President of the United States today.

I don’t have too much to say about that, but I thought it deserved mentioning.

In fact, I have about ten book’s worth of things to say about that, but this day has beat me down. I’ve been crying since I woke up. Mostly from incredulous joy and reawakened hope, but basically from every emotion known to induce tears.

It is a beautiful day. And the beauty of this day extends far past Mr. Obama himself – and he knows this, and he is humbled by this – and that very fact humbles me, as well.

Other than 9/11, this is the most important day in the history of my brief life, and upon reflection will hopefully mean more and more as the years progress.

Today, I don’t care what people have to say about the state of the economy or the emptiness of promises or the impossible standards people are holding the President to before he’s even begun. Today, I’m allowing myself to be moved by the words of a man with passion and integrity, and by the fact that this is real life, not a movie or a book. I can not recall the last person who has somehow managed to stir our souls the way Obama has. And this… THIS IS REAL.

A few minutes ago, I was watching Barack dance with his wife, Michelle, at the Neighborhood Ball. Beyonce was singing “At Last,” and Obama was holding his wife, and they were dancing, and everyone was crying, and all I could think was how humbling the entire experience must be. For example – here is Beyonce, looking all gorgeous and being all famous, and yet that moment was probably one of the most profound and humbling experiences of her entire life. In that moment, she was just a singer, offering her gift to the President and his wife, so they could dance together and begin this incredible journey.

I think it’s time the nation possessed a little poetry. And today, I heard poetry. Today, I felt stirred to believe in something again. Regardless of all the realities we face, regardless of all the complex issues to come… today, was a beautiful day.

Today was poetry.