Tsunami

I had a dream about a tsunami the night before the election.  When I woke up, I didn’t feel distressed; I felt energized.  Nervous, nonetheless, I spent the day fuming, wondering whether or not America had awakened from our collective sleep to “take arms against a sea of troubles” and choose to change direction,  or whether we would choose to go down deeper into the heart of darkness.

Tuesday night I was at a friends’ house watching the election returns, seated next to a woman whom I had not met before, but who had been close with my mother-in-law, the late Governor Ann Richards.  Margaret described what was happening in the election as a tsunami. I smiled and told her about my dream  and how portentious it seemed.  Indeed, it seems archetypal: what we experienced Tuesday night was a deep, seismic shift–in attitude, in vision, in confidence. It was the culmination of a movement begun long ago, with many fits and starts over the years.  Inspired by a man whose background has been suspect to many and symbolic and healing for the rest of us, we saw thousands–millions–of people do the quiet, steady hard work of reclaiming their country. Many of those thousands were in  Chicago watching Obama step into the role of president-elect of the United States of America.   Thousands more danced in the streets in communities throughout the USA and the world, including the front door of the White House in Washington, DC.  Tsunami.  If ever there was a time to use the hackneyed phrase “a picture tells a thousand words”, this was it.

In electing Barack Obama, America has not spoken, but shouted.  Intelligence and truth have prevailed. We have turned from the “warrior” leader archetype to “visionary/healer” archetype.  We have chosen hope over fear, possibility over destruction.  We have co-created a vision which Barack Obama so beautifully embodies and eloquently expresses: ordinary citizens can accomplish great things. We don’t have to live out a script of cynicism and failure, we don’t have to create armeggedon for Americans and the rest of the world.  We CAN CHANGE OUR DIRECTION. WE CAN LIVE OUR IDEALS AND PUT THEM INTO PRACTICE. WE ARE CHANGE.  Yes. We. ARE.

I have been experiencing bouts of tears alternating with wonder and joy.  I feel like I can breathe.  The tsunami is washing away something old, battered, weary. I am riding the wave and am hopeful, dreamy and ready to continue the hard work of being a responsible American citizen.  Can we risk putting aside fear and act from compassion, reason, intelligence? Can we really co-exist peacefully with each other, regardless of race, religion, politics? Can we create an America worthy of our higher selves and vision? Yes, WE can.

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