Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One Day After

I watched the inauguration live yesterday on Public Television. I could feel the teeth chattering cold out there on the Washington Mall! But I didn't find the occasion as emotionally stirring as I had imagined it might be. Obama himself seemed reserved, although perfectly in character to what he ran for president as, a man of principle disgusted by the direction America had taken under George W. Bush's presidency.
I was stirred by the musical interlude at noon just prior to Obama's swearing in. It nearly brought me to tears although I can't say why. I don't normally get emotional listening to classical music.
Obama's inaugural speech seemed dry to me, as though the wind has been taken from his sails since election day. He was polite to his predecessor, but he did get in a few good jabs. I wouldn't have wanted to be Bush sitting there taking it from Obama, although as an Obama supporter, it certainly felt good to know that someone bigger than George W. Bush was delivering punches with the truth about how devastating the Bush presidency was for America.
Now it is one day into the new America. Obama is already beginning to live up to his campaign promises. Republicans are stalling the confirmation of Obama's choice for Secretary of State, but the pow-wows that Obama promised us all while on the campaign trail have already begun. Obama is meeting with Defense Department heads to discuss the withdrawal from Iraq. He has requested a suspension in the war crimes trials of Guantanamo detainees. And he has suspended all changes in federal regulations until his staff has reviewed them. He has finally put the brakes on the Bush machine.
I think the one thing that struck me the most about inauguration day was that the departure of Bush and Cheney was a cause for great celebration. There was no regret at all in seeing them go. No, I can't say that is true. That is what I wanted it to feel like. That is what I celebrated. But a layer down from there in my thinking was this feeling of uncertainty. It was exactly the feeling that the codependents of an abusive husband feel when the husband is dragged away in hand cuffs. Once we resign ourselves to the abuse, we become dependent on the power of the abuser to protect us. That is what George W. Bush was to us. He was the man in control of the abuse. I tend to think Obama doesn't have that same effect on us and we are going to have to adapt to not living under an abuser.
Yesterday was liberating for a large portion of the world's population. But none of us know what today will bring. That's how I feel one day after.


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