Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Last summer, I cut a path around the perimeter of the property as a walking trail. My GPS receiver logged the distance at a little less than a mile. To keep in shape, I walk the perimeter four times every other day or so. It is a nice heart pumper with great ups and downs. I listen to a book tape on my Ipod, breathe in the air, and gaze at the distant mountains from which it flows. It's one of the profound joys of living here. I think about it every day as I walk out the door; how lucky I am to be here, both in Wolftown and on this pretty blue/green planet suspended like a bauble upon the torqued ionic skeleton of the universe's dark matter. Our cosmic neighbors, such as they are, will never know us unless through a worm hole. Newtonian point-to-point distances, even at light speed. simply won't allow a living organism to visit us, much less find us. So, we're pretty much alone. Since we have only each other as company, shouldn't we try to do a better job understanding that?
Which brings me to Barack. He called me last night. This is Virginia after all, and we're kind of important to him right now [Primary day - ed.]. I listened to his message, his intonations, the unadulterated humanity in his voice. For some reason, it made me think how we're too often caught up in our own daily lives to remember a fundamental fact. When you match the squabbles of the human race with the size and scale of the universe in which we live, our monumental pettiness (great oxymoron, eh?) clearly emerges. Our successes, our failures, our wars and peaces, our structures and cities and political divisions mean nothing in comparison to the simple fact of life itself; that great ongoing experiment that unites every living being throughout the universe in a common experience, whatever its corporeal reality, wherever it may be. That's what all great religious traditions understood before their adherents screwed it up over time. It is only our dreams and visions that link each of us to the other, however distant in space/time. In fact, the only thing faster than the speed of light is the life force itself, which doesn't move at all. It just is, everywhere, and it serves us well to experience that every so often. Look deeply into a wildflower and feel the emanations of life eternal.
Now, I don't mean to wax too philosophical about Barack, although it looks like I already have. But I do believe he has a perspective broader and wiser than any leader that I can remember. I think he understands "life." It's not his resume' or his record (however important) so much as it is his words, and eyes, and tone. It's more what I feel rather than what I think (though I clearly favor his platform and progressive agenda). I've forgotten who an ancient Roman was comparing to Cicero, but he said something like "when Cicero speaks I marvel at his oratory; when <insert name> speaks, I want to march." That's what Barack does for me. I want to march And it's what he has done for others his entire life. He's not a flash in the pan.
I voted for him today. I hope he sweeps these primaries and the others leading up to Texas and Ohio. I think if he does, and even if he loses slightly in Texas and Ohio, the momentum will force the super delegates to abandon the Clinton campaign and acknowledge the obvious. He will have proven to be the best nominee the Dems have, and he will overwhelm McCain. I look forward to the debates about the war and health care. McCain's position is simply unsupportable in the face of reality and the desires of the American public. He will get crushed, and only the "dead-enders" (to throw back at the Republicans the phrase used by Rumsfeld, the prick) will agree with him.
But even more, Barack will be a leader who will elevate the conversation, who will inspire America again, and who will show the world that we're not dark, paranoid, torturing douchebags. Only the Bushies were, and they will be gone.