Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Spirit of Service


I've just come home from my favorite day of the week - Wednesdays, where I zip into the school by 8:00 and get to make fun things until noon in Production, then off to Binders for bookmaking until 5:00, capping off the day for 3 hours of calligraphy. I still pinch myself every morning when I go to work - to be so lucky to love what I do so much that it doesn't for a split second ever, EVER feel like work.

Hank came in this morning at PC and spoke with my first quarter class about how lucky they are to be in a place where it's safe to fall. Safe to fail. Safe to disagree. Safe to ask for help. I think nothing is harder than art school - pouring yourself into a medium, only to have it dissected and critiqued over and over and over again until it's perfect. This is a beautiful place. This place of conflict. It is a luxury to not be alone.

I am grateful to live in a country who is always, ALWAYS aware of that conflict and whose people are empowered by the ability to move forward. I am grateful for the mistakes we have made as a nation. I am grateful for the voices who spoke in unity to select a man who has put a positive spin on an ugly election battle and who has turned this nation purple. He has called us to action by turning an emotion into a verb. HOPE

And though there is still a little voice in my head that wonders if Orwell's 1984 is in play and that's big brother looking down at me, I am going to dutifully trust in Obama's call to set my cynicism aside and to put a little more faith in my government. I will support him.

Kudos, too to McCain who was so gracious and served us even during the campaign as the man brave enough to battle against such a positive campaign as Obama's. How do you fight a smile? You cannot. McCain sacrificed himself to finish the race and held fast and said goodbye in a way that no one else could.

I am too frickin' busy to post a picture that appropriately honors Obama's victory speech last night. I want to calligraph his speech and paint his face in rich violet hues of eggplant, avocado, red cabbage and merlot. (Can you tell I'm inspired?) I have never been more excited.

Here are highlights from his speech I found particularly moving.

"This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice."

"So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other."

"Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long."

"And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too."

"That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected."

So guess what friends. If we can make ourselves kinder, our friendships deeper, our marriages wiser, our children safer, our decisions wiser, our compassion real, we can do the same for our country and it for us.


katie lee grosskopf said...

I thought a lot about our conversation that we had together, and I thought of you last night when I was resolutely weeping like an asshole during Obama's entire speech.
I'm glad that we can look at each other, see past our differences, and ignite change together. To be in a country where this can happen is pretty incredible.
I have never been part of a moment of history such as yesterday's election. I have never felt my heart swell the way it did. I have never, ever expected to see such a beautiful thing in my lifetime, in my generation, and I feel so fortunate to have witnessed and taken action in this election.
Like Obama said, we must all work harder, and together, across all party lines, racial divisions, and economic statuses. I look forward to the future of this country with great, great optimism, with great friends like you.
I love my President for the first time in 8 years, and it is an intense emotional experience. Thank you for our conversation, and all our future conversations.

Katie Grosskopf<--AnneLoverExtraordinnaire.

Anne Elser said...

Katie Katie Katie! This hope is contagious. I am thinking that Obama should be now called the Republican Whisperer. So many friends of mine whose ideals I trust and admire can't all be wrong. So I'm giving it a 4-year whirl. :)

Bacchus said...

As intensely proud as Obama makes me to be an American you make me even prouder. I hope we all can inspire each other as much as your post has me.

I would also like to add that McCain's concession speech was an absolute gem of professionalism and true patriotism. It takes a lot of class to get up there and say what he said the way he said it.

Anne Elser said...

Oh I do agree with you Bert. We are all in the honeymoon phase and I am going to work hard to maintain the faith once we really get to work. Let's hold each other up.

Nancy said...

I am so very proud of America and proud of you Anne. I have been crying on and off since the election and resisting the impulse to hug all total strangers.

Mary Campbell said...

Amen, sister :)

Anonymous said...

Gosh Anne, you should be his speech writer! I too actually feel confident and excited about what he can do for the country, and the world for that matter. I've kept an open mind, and he hasn't let me down yet. This must have been similar to the country's feelings when Kennedy was elected. :) barb

Anne Elser said...

Thank you Barb. I think you're exactly right about that!
And thanks Mary!