Lately I have been pondering the lack of blogging energy I've had over the last few months. I just have not been in a writing mood, it seems; apparently I have enough verbal outlets these days that I don't feel the need to write. When I had less human interaction - when I didn't have colleagues, and had to drive a half hour to meet people socially - I needed to write. My extrovert brain, which barely thinks if it's not spewing something forth in verbal or written form, would have exploded during that period if I hadn't learned to blog.
Now, the human interaction in my life is fairly constant, and writing has taken a backseat. Such is life.
Anyway, what I really meant to blog about is the inauguration. I was there, standing near the Washington Monument, obviously unable to see a thing except via the jumbo-tron, packed in shoulder to shoulder with so many people that I feel certain that all the attendance estimates are way too low.
Many emotions were flying around on Tuesday, but the one I felt the most was relief. Relief that I can now listen to the president of my country, not because I feel obligated to or because I want to know what the comedians are talking about for the next month, but because I feel interested in and inspired by what he says. Relief that my reflex is no longer to apologize for my citizenship. Relief that I finally feel hopeful rather than angry, embarassed, and overwhelmed.
Of course, relief can turn quickly into complacency, and I worry that nothing will change at all - that people will be lulled into a false sense of peace and justice. The fact that we've elected a non-white president doesn't mean that racial injustice has come to an end. The fact that he talks about equality and unity across divides of religion, race, and sexual orientation, and that people cheer about it, doesn't make it the reality. These things seem more possible now, but they take work, not just from the president or from his administration, but also from us, the people who stood on the Mall and sat in front of TVs on Tuesday, feeling better about this place that we live and the people who now lead us.