November 05, 2008

בָּעֶרֶב, יָלִין בֶּכִי; וְלַבֹּקֶר רִנָּה | Psalm 30:6

At evening, one beds down weeping, / and in the morning, glad song.

The scholar Robert Alter, in his notes from The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary, writes on his English-rendering of the Hebrew verse, "This upbeat vision of life has, of course, been manifested in the recent experience of the speaker." Further, it precedes a thanksgiving for having been rescued from death.

On November 4, within hours after the epoch-making rescue of America from its death and dying, I heard the speaker-psalmist's Hebrew voice.

The death? Of historic fears, of democracy run aground, of cynicism.

The rescue?
The tectonic-like shift from nearly three hundred years of poisonous racism on the body politic to reason, plans, strategies, and passion for hope and change for all Americans.

. . . the dream of our Founders is alive in our time . . .

. . . lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, . . . [of] people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

. . . [wisdom] spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states; we are and always will be the United States of America.

. . . It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.
— From a transcript of Senator Barack Obama’s victory speech in Chicago, November 5, 2008

My tears of joy, sobs of gratitude are for the greatness which is the human spirit, for our country, and for the trust we have put in Barack Hussein (a name that does not mean a terrorist or an assassin) Obama. Our president-elect, an American just like the rest of us — a mortal, not a deity, not a rock star, as someone viciously described him (really, revealed his own cynicism and envy) in his email among the genuine congratulations Skyped, called, and emailed to me from abroad.

בָּעֶרֶב, יָלִין בֶּכִי; וְלַבֹּקֶר רִנָּה | At evening, one beds down weeping, / and in the morning, glad song.


Madeline said...

This was beautiful, Tamar. Oh happy day.

Pete said...

I think it's impossible not to be excited by the results of the election. The true believers of the extreme right disagree, however, and insist upon their right to be gloomy and fearful. Our local newspaper has been printing a few letters that predict sturm und drang, but I think those folks are wrong.

I was a first-time voter 40 years ago. I had to wait a very long time to cast a ballot that excited me in a presidential election.

Tamar Orvell said...

Madeline and Pete – Thanks for registering your reactions, which I share. At long last, a new era in which we begin to reclaim our country for ALL its inhabitants, to recommit to living out the ideals of one law for all, justice for all, and equal access, opportunity, and fairness for all.

I loved watching all that hugging among the Obama-Biden family members after the acceptance speech. Not pat-pats on the backs. Real hugs.

I give thanks to live in a democracy in which voting is a civic duty, among other responsibilities required to protect the blessings.

Anonymous said...

My heart has a broad and persistent smile. It seems as if the world lives in greater anticipation that tomorrow holds promise for better days. These are exciting days that have elements of disbelief and long-desired change. With the election over, I should be able to drop my election-obsession and finally attend to projects begging for my time. However, I'm so savoring this time that I don't want to leave it too quickly.