Monday, January 19, 2009

Tears for Cheers - Obama

My personal Obama-rama continues. Yesterday I watched the We Are One concert shown on HBO. I taped it for Kidlet and ended up watching it again with her last night. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that for the entire show my emotions randomly ranged between lump-in-my-throat to teary-eyed to ugly-uncontrolled crying. I was profoundly moved. This whole Obama thing has mysteriously connected with me on a very deep level. I couldn't help but notice that each and every performer wore huge wide smiles and unrestrained and utter joy.

Tear-inspiring moments
  • The shining faces of the mosaic youth choir grooving and moving to the music;

  • Bruce Springsteen opening the show with The Rising - backed by a choir of cathedral proportions;

  • Hearing Bettye Lavette's mournful A Change Is Gonna Come (it's been a long time coming) duet with Jon Bon Jovi (powerful lyrics being sung by a woman who lived them);

  • Heather Headley singing My Country on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the same spot a black woman sang it in 1933 for the Roosevelts AFTER being denied entry to an event because she was black. Heather Headley's misty eyes and expression showed she got the momentous nature of it all;

  • The sheer magnitude of the crowds, the occasion, and the visible hopes invisibly tattooed on the faces of each person in the crowd;


  • Pete Seeger the living legend singing This Land Is Your Land and seeing a dream of his come to fruition.

My heart is full to overflowing. We need this - humankind needs this collective uplifting. What we do with this injection of hope and call to action is up to each one of us. The images, words and music that has clogged the airways and the networks has me recalling black and white images from the sixties that weren't so positive. Images from the news of assassinations, violence, riots and funerals, have stayed with me even though I witnessed them as a small child. It has me thinking about the pain, anguish and humiliation endured by people through the ages and of the times I have felt ashamed to be white.

In my lifetime I can only recall a few rare moments in history in which the world has shared a collective emotion, or cause - i.e. assassinations of great people such as Gandhi, Kennedy, Martin Luther King and even the death of Lady Diana. The Boxing Day tsunami and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall are two other notables for me. I am certain that I will remember the election and inauguration of Barack Obama as one of those rare flickers in time that optimism and hope was stirred in the hearts of the world -- at least in mine.

Once what were shed as tears for fears are now tears of cheers and renewed faith - in Obama -and in humankind.

P.S. To be continued ...

1 comment:

  1. You have HBO! I could only listen to it via public radio. Sigh. I should have come over.

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