Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Waking Up to a More Hopeful World

I don't know whether it will be a new world with Obama elected in the USA but symbolically it is important for a number of reasons besides the most obvious one; that he is the first African American president in a country whose black population has been struggling for almost the entire 232 year history of that country.

It signals the possibility of a radical shift from the policies of the Bush era. This new president has roots in the developing world and in the African American world of the USA. He cannot help but be influenced by his own history.

He is young and energetic, and his vitality has sparked something far more positive in the USA than the terrible fear that has pervaded that country and influenced all of its policies since 911, a fear that continues today during the current economic crisis. It is as though he has awakened the electorate. People who were either too timid, too disinterested or too downtrodden to participate in the political process are now involved, just as they were during the Vietnam protests and during the Civil Rights Movement days in the United States.

It has been a long time coming, and change won't happen overnight, but at least now there is hope.

My own world is also feeling more hopeful. I have reconnected in positive ways with several old friends this year, three of them in the past few days, and I have established connections with some new people whom I think may become friends. Many of those friends are doing interesting things with their lives in exciting creative ways. One is active politically. Another has just published a novel that has emerged from a two year long mourning period. A couple are producing some wonderful art; one of these seems to have awakened from a long sleep, and I feel inspired by her newfound enthusiasm. Another is becoming a star in her own field and she seems to glow with positive energy these days.

And one has simply reconnected in a very personal way that has lifted a heaviness from my heart.

As for my own activities, I have some ideas for those felted slippers, and I've even managed to read a few chapters of The Brain on Music. I still don't like it much but at least I have figured out why, so I don't feel like a complete loser every time I pick it up with a disgruntled sigh.

Today I hope to finish the book, cook a pumpkin, make a zucchini bread, and spend some time outdoors with Kenya enjoying this wonderful weather. And maybe I will start cutting out pattern pieces for the first pair of slippers.


Tamarak said...

I remember way back in school I would have trouble reading books that some of my teachers was completely dependant on whether I liked the teacher or not! Some of those books I have since gone back and read on my own and enjoyed! I am hoping that I have outgrown that! But I have never joined a book I don't know if that old feeling would come back...

I imagine this book is just not your type of book...just because we love to read dowsn't mean we would love to read ALL books!

Some books you have to be in the mood for as well...

Too bad, though that your first book is not a wonderful (for you) one...hopefully they will improve!

What do you use as the 'base' material for the slippers? would have to be something sturdy and soft and comfortable at the same time...

Oma said...

My first thought was to buy felt insoles in different sizes and work from there, but then I looked at a mohair throw that I bought at a Sally Ann which I had felted and thought ... hmmn ... I could cut many soles from this and it would definitely be stronger and thicker than commercial insoles. Anyway that is what I am going to use for my prototype and go from there.

Any ideas?

Barbara Carlson said...

"Happy Obama Day"

Overnight the face of America changed. I am full of joy but exhausted by the emotional strain of the last months and months of daring to hope. Last night about 9:30 I finally exhaled!

I still get goosebumps and tear up when the FACT that America voted a black man to the Office of President rolls over me, knowing he ran as a person first and an African-American second. Still...

I am so proud of Americans today. I regret I could not physically stand with all those in Chicago celebrating this real step forward. America is growing up.

But roll on the day when a candidate's colour, gender, sexual orientation and religion (if any) aren't even commented on. That will be true equality.

It is a day for Big Thoughts as we do small but vital jobs.

Oma said...

Barbara ... Hear!Hear! ... Yes indeed and you have expressed it so well.