Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Take out your pencils. Begin."

My eyes started to tear when I heard this line from Elizabeth Alexander's inaugural poem this morning. What an amazing poem...and a perfect poem:
What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.
Her poem, Obama's brilliant speech, and Rev. Lowery's moving benediction converged, their messages of love, peace, and dignity overlapping, resounding, ringing clear and true.

Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old.

These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.

What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence: the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall. And why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
Our president -- articulate, passionate, brilliant, and inspirational -- spoke these words today.

The next four years will be very difficult ones, I know, but I love that we're starting the right way -- with hope: "Take out your pencils. Begin."

No comments:

Post a Comment