Wednesday, November 5, 2008

7.45 a.m., November 5, a brand new world

I just wrote this to all my relatives in the U.S.:

Dear American family, you know I am given to hyperbole.  But this morning feels like the moment in the Narnia books when the Ice Queen is killed, the terrible cold ends and spring returns to the land.  Or like "Sleeping Beauty" when the handsome prince hacks through the brambles and wakes up the sleeping princess.  Or any fairy story or movie where the forces of evil are defeated and the people are freed from terrible oppression.

America has found its spring and is awake, and the whole world rejoices with you.  

The funny thing is that Canada now has a right-wing government and you have Obama.  I'm moving.

It does feel like a nightmare has ended, doesn't it?  A dark time of torture, deceit, greed and corruption and foul stupidity.  There were three sublime moments last night: when the Obama victory was finally confirmed and the planet, with the exception of the Biltmore Hotel where the Republicans had gathered, erupted with joy, and when John McCain returned to the decent person he once was and made a gracious concession speech.

And then, of course, when that graceful young man kissed his wife and children and then turned to speak to us all.  I wondered if he's superhuman.  Think of what the last year has been for him, the last month, the last few days.  And yet he looked as if he had just returned from a retreat: relaxed, thoughtful, direct.  He was honest about what America faces.  I loved "I will be your president too," to those who did not vote for him.  

Just to hear an American president speak with such eloquence, warmth and honesty - well, Dorothy, this is not a dream, this really is Kansas. Even if the citizens of Kansas voted the wrong way. 

He will be their president, too.

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