Tonight I listened to President Obama's farewell address, and I couldn't help but think about this book of presidential portraits. What will his portrait look like in the book? What will the overview say to my grandchildren? I imagine him smiling on the last page, his legacy not yet defined, having led with an idealism unmatched by any previous president. If only Michelle could be painted at his side to complete the portrait of his leadership and grace.
In November I was in DC for work and spent an evening with two dear colleagues on the National Mall. It was a cool, clear night with a full moon, merely a week after the election. I had felt confused by the election, both by its outcome and by what it would mean for the future of all citizens and would-be citizens. I also worried about what it would mean for my job, my healthcare, and my childrens' education. The Mall, however, lifted me up. I felt grounded by the monuments that Americans have made to commemorate the truly great people and accomplishments in our history. We have suffered many low points, as any great nation does, but in the end we celebrate the high points. We will continue to have high points to celebrate.
|Me, on the approach to the Washington monument|
|The moon and the monument|
|Me, reaching for the top although I cannot see it. Always reach for the top although you cannot see it.|
|The monument reflecting on itself as I reflect on it, by the light of the moon|
After our fill of the Washington monument, we made our way through the World War II memorial. With intention I walked around the pond, placing each foot on the stones around the perimeter. So much fighting to free the oppressed and to protect democracy. And a turning point for women, who were essential for the war effort.
|Inscription on the WWII memorial|
|What is he trying to say?|
|What would he say now?|
|For their country, even though they might not ever see it again.|
In summary, which I say only to trick you into thinking I actually have some way to summarize my thoughts, tonight the President said that, "...presuming a reservoir of goodness in other people is a risk..." I am ready to go forward and take that risk.
I suppose that this post is ill-placed on a cancer blog, but I guess I had something to say.