Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Been Four Weeks??!!

It's been 28 days since I last blogged. I'm surprised the Weblog Police haven't come knocking at my door.

Rather than feel the pressure of attempting to play catch up and do a dozen posts in the next dozen hours; or act like the last 672 hours didn't occur, I'll do a couple of "filler" blog posts.

Brief highlights of the last few weeks. Here we go...

October 30th - Facebook Photo Causes Avalanche of Other Photos, Dialogue, and Memories
On May 31, 2007 I joined Facebook. My second visit to the site was seven months later when I got a "friend request" from one of my real friends. It wasn't until seven months after that--fourteen months after my first log-in, on July 23, 2008, that I visited again and added three other friends who had found me.

Within 24 hours, people were coming out of the woodwork, and my facebook friends were rapidly expanding. People I hadn't heard from in 10, 15, 20 years!

One group of friends are from my high school--The Chicago Academy for the Arts. I posted a picture of Jamie Harrold with the caption "Our playground". That picture had some of the funniest comments from fellow classmates, as they recounted some of our teenage escapades. That dialogue inspired Sean Guinan to upload 49 photos -- 49!!--none of us had seen before. It's been a fun and interesting and moving and rich experience seeing every one's thoughts and their perspectives, prompted by 20-plus year old photos.

October 31st - Halloween. Why?
Now that the kids are old enough to participate in activities, it's become apparent that I'm not really in to Halloween.

Not even addressing the spiritual aspect of Halloween,
I'm not a fan of:
*scary stuff
*knocking on strangers' doors

I do like:
*dressing up in cute costumes
*parties with healthy tasty food

Make note to self: Kids will participate in fun costume parties and costume parades, but will skip everything else.

November 4th - Obama Rally in Grant Park
There is much to say about this night. Many different images, thoughts, feelings. I want to mention just one aspect: the realization that Grant Park was the center of the universe that night.

My aunt sent me an email, acting like Charlie from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory who just received a Golden Ticket. She was so excited that she had received a ticket to the event and she was able to invite someone. And she chose me.

Frankly, I was not interested in going. I was indifferent to the whole thing. Then I got to thinking...I'm an "el" ride away from seeing possibly the next president of the United States, with major implications which could be remembered for generations, and I don't wanna go 'cause I'm not really in to crowds or politics or staying up late or leaving my family for an evening? How lame is that?

So I went and I took photos, kind of with a historian/photojournalist/observer perspective. Here's a 28-second video of the celebratory crowd

a few minutes before Obama took the stage to deliver his sobering victory speech. Interesting juxtaposition.

My first inkling that all eyes were looking right where I was standing, was when I went on to my phone to send a "status update" on facebook. My friends all around the country were on their computers sending updates about their thoughts as they watched this event on television?

And then to see one from half way across the world write: "David welcomes America back to the world. We missed you."

Huh? It took the next 48 hours, as I watched the event on video, read accounts of the event in the newspapers, saw tons of pictures of the event online, to grasp the magnitude of what had occurred and that I was smack dab in the middle of it.

The most overwhelming was to see 700+ front pages of newspapers from around the globe, reporting the events in America on November 4th, 2008.

The world is watching America. Stunning realization, to say the least.

to be continued...


Matt said...

Great stuff, Bridgett! Way to boil it down....a tough act in any literary setting.

Amthrax said...

After reading the coverage, did you still find Obama's victory speech to be sobering? I, along with my friends, thought it was a great speech.

Bridgett said...

Yes, I do find it sobering...still.

I think it is a great speech AND a sobering one.

Of the 17 minutes, the first 7:40 is celebratory and thank-yous. Obama then shifts gears, gets down to business, and makes it clear that that night wasn't the change, but the "chance for us to make that change."

He talks about the "enormity of the tasks ahead". He says "the road will be long, the climb will be steep". He says that there will be "set backs and false starts".

He lays it out very clearly that there will be WORK for ALL of us to do, "block by block".

He uses words like "service" and "sacrifice" and "self-reliance".

And then he ends his speech with inspirational examples of how hard work and service and sacrifice paid off.

I am hopeful that enough Americans will be up to the task. That enough Americans will catch a vision for what could be. That they will commit, and continue to commit on a daily basis, to the work, because they see that it's worth it.

Amthrax said...

Thanks for the clarification. I agree with you on your analysis of his speech.

Carol LaChapelle said...

What a great aunt you must have! She writes books, invites you to world-changing events, posts your photo on her blog, even babysat that one time....